Steve Zipay is an award-winning journalist who has covered events from Super Bowls to World Series and issues
So far, Derek Dorsett has been the forgotten man in the Marian Gaborik trade to Columbus.
The rough-and-ready right wing, who broke his clavicle on March 7 when he was taking the puck to the net and took a shoulder-to-shoulder hit from Vancouver defenseman Andrew Alberts, has been limited to off-ice workouts.
But X-rays indicate that the break is healing well and Dorsett, who is anxious to play, said Saturday that he hopes to skate next week.
"I've got all this built-up energy and not being able to make an impact here is tough," said Dorsett, who missed his sixth game since the trade, which included former Blue Jackets Derick Brassard and John Moore. "I missed a few weeks with a concussion my first year and had some broken hands, but I've never been out this long."
Dorsett, who is 6-foot and 190 pounds, is a cross between Brandon Prust and Sean Avery, with a reputation for never taking a shift off, finishing checks and willing to drop the gloves and throw rights with guys far bigger.
"That's the way I like to play," said Dorsett, who has five fighting majors this season, "and I want to make sure when I get back, I'm not holding back,"
He didn't hold back when he spoke to reporters about a game in Detroit. "You think you're fighting a 6-5 [Jonathan] Ericsson and then Jordin Tootoo comes in and sucker punches you," he said. "But that's just Jordin Tootoo. You expect those kind of things from him. Me and Ericsson were going to fight, we were backing up. Tootoo was being himself and came in swinging, being the cheap player that he is. In my mind he should have gotten a suspension. Those are the type of things that they're trying to get out of the game, but he's an irrelevant player, so it doesn't even matter."
What matters for Rangers fans is that he signed a three-year deal in May, which carries a $1.6 million cap hit through 2014-15. In 2011-12, he set career-highs in goals with 12, time on ice (14:41) and shots, hits and points. Dorsett, who is in his fifth NHL season, has played in 280 NHL games, amassing 727 penalty minutes.
"I'm excited to be here," he said. "I'm from a small town [Kindersley, Saskatchewan], and New York has a faster pace, but the city doesn't intimidate me. You can go on about your business." Which is what he plans to do on ice, as soon as possible.
Five players have skated for the three New York teams, Rangers, Islanders and Sabres. Two of them dressed for the Rangers on Saturday night. Martin Biron and Taylor Pyatt. The others? Pat LaFontaine, Jason Dawe and Mike Donnelly . . . With 78 points and in seventh place in the AHL East, the Connecticut Whale are in a similar position to the Blueshirts, just three points out of ninth place before Saturday night's game against Adirondack. The season ends next Sunday.
Rangers @ Flyers, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.