I’m sitting here eating Swedish meatballs in Stockholm, thinking about what a crazy past couple of weeks it has been. It seems like only yesterday that we were back at the MSG Training Center for training camp. I had heard about Torts’ [coach John Tortorella’s] training camps; it lived up to the reputation of being physically demanding — and it got us ready. Since then, we’ve traveled throughout Europe, playing exhibitions against teams in Prague; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Zug, Switzerland.
The trip has allowed me to visit some beautiful cities and see things that I might not have otherwise. Just as important, it has helped the team become closer off the ice, which is invaluable for a new Rangers player.
On Friday, we played in Gothenburg, Sweden, against Frolunda, the Swedish Elite League team that Henrik Lundqvist won a title with before he joined the Rangers. To see the welcome and hear the cheers that Henrik received before the game is something I’ll never forget.
I’m excited to start the regular season by playing these two games here in Stockholm, and then heading back to the States. This is what we train for, and with the team we have, I am very excited. We are well-rounded, with players who have strengths in all facets of the game.
I can’t wait to put on the New York Rangers uniform, walk out on the ice and win at Madison Square Garden in front of some of the best fans in the world.
Mike Rupp is a 31-year-old center who played the last two seasons in Pittsburgh. This player diary appears courtesy of Madison Square Garden.