With a week left before the regular-season opener with the Islanders, the Rangers will be spending parts of Friday and Saturday with the New York City Police Department as part of team-building activities, including a visit to the 9/11 museum and memorial downtown and a talk with the expert who disarmed the homemade bomb not far from Madison Square Garden last month.
After Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Flyers, head coach Alain Vigneault said the team would be meeting with members of the department Friday for “some training with them, and we’re going to have the detective who disarmed the device on 27th Street talk about teamwork and communication.”
After a morning practice on Saturday, the team will visit the 9/11 museum and memorial.
“We’re going to have the police chief [Citywide Operations Chief Thomas Purtell] talk to our group and one of the sons of the first responders [after the attack] will talk also,” he said.
Many NHL teams have team-building activities before the season, including trips to the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Rangers visited there in 2005 and 2007, and had planned three days of activities there last October, but days of rain forced the team to cancel.
This October, Vigneault, a native of Quebec who is beginning his fourth season behind the Rangers’ bench, decided to stay closer to home.
“We don’t really get an opportunity to really go out in New York that much [as a group] and learn about the people, learn about the city and learn about the NYPD that we respect a lot,” he said, “so I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve been talking to the team about it and they’re really excited to have the opportunity. ’’