Greetings from Greenburgh again....
So it turns out that Michael Del Zotto smashed his face against the dasher board attempting a hit near the Rangers bench during a home game in January, and underwent surgery last week to rearrange and move some cartilege to clear a blocked nostril.
There is some swelling and he wore a full visor in practice today, purely as a precaution. The sophomore defenseman believes he will be 100 percent, and visor-less, when training camp officially opens on Friday. "I've got my fingers crossed," he said.
Del Zotto said he didn't think much of the injury at first, although "it didn't feel too normal,", and continued playing until just before the Olympic break whe Evgeny Malkin's skate opened a 50-stitch gash on his chest after a collision near the end boards. "I was more worried about that than anything," he said. "My 2010 got off to a rough start."
Asked about the timing of the surgery so close to training camp, DZ said that he wasn't in New York all summer, and the Rangers doctors determined that it was best to have the procedure done before camp.
Some players wore blue home jersey on ice, with names and numbers, for team photos. We've mentioned some of this previously, when numbers appeared on lockers. We can confiorm though, that Mats Zuccarello Aasen will wear 36, and have simply Zuccarello on the sweater. Frolov has 31, Boogaard has 94, White 12, Kennedy 13, Biron 43, Eminger 44. Tryout Garnet Exelby wasn't here, but a blue sweater with 28 hung in his locker. Tryouts Alexei Semenov and Ruslan Fedotenko were not at the rink. There are two more group workouts scheduled the next two mornings (none Thursday) before Friday's medicals and testing.
Attention, MSG: Looking for a new player to mike during games? Marty Biron's ready and willing. He's worn a wireless (and sometimes an earpiece) for Versus and thinks captains, coaches and goalies should wear mikes. "it was no problem at all, I enjoyed it," said Biron, showing where a tiny mike was attached to his equipment, ("I didn't even notice it,") and recalled a story about he was taped giving Eric Staal some lip during a faceoff (from the bench) after the Carolina winger fell awkwardly. "They told me the NHL needed my permission to run it, I said sure so they showed it later and people loved it."
Biron was impressed by HBO's "Hard Knocks" for the inside look at the Jets' training camp. "The NFL does that well by allowing it, the NHL should allow more of it. They tape it and can just beep stuff out."
Brandon Prust, acquired at last season's trade deadline, wasn't here for last season's training camp, but isn't concerned about the rigorous program. "I'll be fine. In Calgary, I finished second overall behind [Jarome] Ignla in most of the testing," he said. The Flames' testing is a little different, though, with more off-ice requirements. "VO tests, the Wingate, no two-mile run. It seems Torts is more focused on conditioning specifically for hockey."
The scrimmage today was not as high-tempo as others. Among the scorers: Brandon Dubinsky twice, Zuke once, Propsal once, Frolov with a quick shot off a loose puck in front; but don't read too much into it because of the pace. ...The three goalies here rotated frequently and lines were jumbled as well, with Avery between Frolov and Cally at one point; Prospal between Gaborik and Williams; Boyle between Kennedy and Boogaard....