How Jeremy Lin might get Rangers, Sabres, Devils and Islanders back on Time Warner cable

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By now, you've probably heard something about this Jeremy Lin fellow that went from waiver-wire fodder to the starting point guard for the New York Knicks seemingly overnight. The Taiwanese-American basketball player has everything you'd want in a global sensation: crazy talent, eye-popping stats, a great backstory, and a name conducive to terrible puns.

But if you're the New York Rangers, Lin has something you'd prefer he didn't: the attention of everyone in New York. No doubt this had something to do with the Rangers' ad in Thursday morning's Newsday (at right).

The ad did more than remind people that the Rangers were playing Thursday night. It also served to remind that, while Lin has the New York Knicks riding a seven-game win streak that's pushed them all the way up to eighth in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Henrik Lundqvist, meanwhile, has the Rangers in first in the East and is arguably the best goaltender in the NHL right now.

The Rangers shouldn't have to incorporate Jeremy Lin puns into their advertisements to get people to pay attention to them. Lin-sanity is probably driving the Rangers certifiably, uh, lin-sane.

But there's a bright side to this for the Rangers, as well as the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and New York Islanders: with Jeremy Lin sweeping the nation, Time Warner Cable suddenly has a renewed interest in hammering out a deal with MSG, the network that broadcasts the games of these teams -- as well as the New York Knicks.

From The New York Post:

Linsanity may bring peace in the MSG-Time Warner Cable war.

The two sides met earlier this week for the first time since December, when Time Warner's contract expired and MSG shut down the signal.

Hours before Jeremy Lin led the Knicks last night to their seventh straight victory, a 100-85 blowout of the Sacramento Kings, Mike Bair, head of MSG media, told WFAN's Mike Francesa that negotiations had reopened.

Of course, it's not wise to get too excited just yet. After all, at any moment the Knicks could remember who they are and rattle off 17 losses in a row or bring back Isiah Thomas.

Furthermore, Time Warner and MSG are still fairly far apart. From WGRZ in Buffalo, where Sabres fans with Time Warner Cable have missed 14 games due to this dispute:

According to Time Warner, "there's been no meaningful movement or progress," said Joli Plucknette-Farmen, Communications Manager.

The two sides failed to reach a new contract. Time Warner Cable claims MSG is asking for a 53% increase. MSG denies that but would not say how much of an increase they are asking for.

Meanwhile, Time Warner is offering a 6.5% increase. That's a massive disrepancy. Is MSG pulling a Turris?

Clearly, there is still work to do, but New Yorkers hoping to get hockey back on Time Warner are going to have to bite the bullet and keep cheering for this Jeremy Lin character to keep dominating all the coverage. As long as he is, there will be pressure on both sides to close this deal, and hopefully, progress in doing so.

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