Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
News from Gary Bettman's address in Chicago
In no particular order:
--- In addition to Caps playing at Heinz Field in Pitt on Jan. 1, D.C. will host a Winter Classic in next 2-3 years.
--- Next year's schedule out June 22, three weeks earlier than usual
--- Outdoor game in Calgary vs Montreal expected to be Feb. 20
--- With NHL revenues up 4 percent, cap could rise about $2 million if NHLPA accepts escalator. But not definite.
--- NHL will stage research and devlopment camp with top 17 year olds on Aug. 18-19 in Toronto to test potential rules, equipment changes. But not shrinking goaltending gear, says Brendan Shanahan, who is helming the project.
--- League discussing possible change in All-Star format. Game to be held in Carolina next season.
---Reiterates feeling that Isles owner Charles Wang doesn't "have any intention to leave New York area" and will honor lease through 2015.
---No expansion on table, but Winnipeg has been told to be patient after making case for Coyotes. Also mentioned Quebec, where there are plans for new arena.
----Told IIHF chairman Rene Fasel to apologize for PR director's slam of NHL players who didn't participate in World Championships. Says issue of future participation will be discussed with NHLPA...
----No transfer agreement with Russia on tap, but exhibition games scheduled for St. Petersburg and also Belfast this fall