Just days before the collective-bargaining agreement expires Saturday and with the possibility that players will be locked out, Rangers coach John Tortorella and a group of his players spent the early part of Sunday with fans, friends and dogs at the Rangers Dog Walk at Riverside Park.
"The New York Rangers camp is ready to go the 21st [of September]," Tortorella said. "If they say no, then we'll wait until they say yes. I just hope we keep on worrying that this needs to be a partnership for this league to continue to flourish as it has, as it keeps on growing . . . I don't think they want to lose that momentum, players and owners."
The Rangers reached the Eastern Conference finals before falling to the Devils in six games last season. In July, the team acquired star forward Rick Nash from the Blue Jackets in an attempt to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Nash is no stranger to big cities, having grown up in Toronto. Once the labor situation is resolved, he said he looks forward to skating as a Ranger.
"I just want to get playing, get started and help the team out any way I can, any way I'm asked," said Nash, who has scored at least 30 goals in seven seasons. "It's exciting for me."
As for alternate captain Brad Richards, he said he wants to get started but is unsure when it will happen.
"It's something I think about every day," said Richards, who went through a lockout in 2004 and played in Russia during that lost season. "Lots of teams want to get out and play. This time of year is an exciting time. It's tough to sit here and wait and speculate."