The throwback "third" jersey commemorating the franchise's 85th anniversary, which will be worn for the first time next Wednesday for the home game against the Boston Bruins, will be officially unveiled tonight at The Rink at Rockefeller Center at 7 p.m., followed by a free skate from 8 p.m. to midnight.
During a photo shoot for the media guide, Sean Avery wore the slightly darker blue jersey, with the words "New York" in block letters stitched diagonally in front, rather than "Rangers" (really a hybrid of jerseys from the 1940s through 1978-87) and a patch with the logo that has been at center ice this season. They will be worn for a handful of times the rest of the season.
Ed Giacomin, Rod Gilbert, Brian Leetch and current Rangers will be on hand for the festivities. Bill and Bun Cook, Taffy Abel, Ching Johnson and the rest of the inaugural 1926-27 team, by the way, wore jerseys with "Rangers" down the front. The NHL store, which will be selling the jerseys, and later, the Garden, will have a display tracing the team's jersey history.
Trading the captain? Sounds like a message.
LW Dane Byers, who played six games for the Rangers, but has spent most of his career with the AHL Wolfpack since being drafted in the second round of the 2004 draft, was shipped to Columbus yesterday for C/RW Chad Kolarik, who has some more offensive upside.
The 5-11 Kolarik, 24, had four goals and six assists in 13 games with the Springfield Falcons this season. The Abington, Pa. native and University of Michigan grad has 50 goals and 60 assists in 165 AHL games.
The Wolf Pack, on a 1-8-2 slide and not scoring, need a shakeup and it's a fresh start for Byers, who will face his former mates on Saturday.
Candidates for the C? Hmmm, could it be Wade Redden? He and Kris Newbury are the alternates.
Rangers have an opportunity to cap the four-game homestand at 2-2 on Sunday afternoon. Marian Gaborik, with a game under his belt and today off, should be sharper and Tom Renney's young Oilers are sinking in the West. They've lost four of five going into tonight's game against the Devils.
With the Penguins on tap at the new Consol Energy Center on Monday, I'm thinking Derek Boogaard may be a healthy scratch again on Sunday for the Edmonton matinee, but will dress in Pittsburgh.
Todd White can win faceoffs---a dire need on this team at the moment---but Pens D Deryk Engelland has dropped the gloves with Colton Orr, Chris Neil, Jody Shelley, etc, so....and Matt Cooke is another issue.
For the Pens, couple notes:
1. Evgeny Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury have been struggling, and Mike Comrie, after a good camp, has fizzled.
2. The ice in the new building in the Burgh has been less than acceptable, according to reports, and efforts are continuing to create a better sheet.
Tune for the day? Haven't heard this one in a bit: Stereophonics' "Maybe Tomorrow" from "You've Gotta Go There to Come Back." www.youtube.com/watch