A midsummer-night’s wrap….
Well, the Rangers coach will be in town in September, lockout or not. John Tortorella’s first NYC Dog Walk, a fundraising event to benefit the Westchester Shores Humane Society and organizations dedicated to the humane treatment of animals, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 9 at Riverside Park and will feature members of the team, coaching staff and select alumni for a one-mile walk with fans and their dogs. The walk will culminate with an interactive session, featuring a Q & A with Torts, dog adoptions, along with contests and games. To purchase tickets: http://newyorkrangers.com/rangersdogwalk.
Traverse City goes by the wayside. The popular September prospects tournament, organized by the Red Wings, has been cancelled due to the CBA uncertainty, the team said. Eight teams, including the Rangers, have been regular attendees at the Michigan resort and MSG Network covered some of the games. Not unexpected, but tough break and a sure sign that a labor deal isn’t close.
On the positive side for prospects, the AHL schedule is expected to be released Friday afternoon. We’ll post a copy of the Connecticut Whale---and the Isles’ Bridgeport sked---here when we get it. Some Rangers with two-way contracts might be assigned there; the AHL rules do limit how many players with extensive NHL experience can dress, however. More on that down the road.
Just CBA committee meetings in Toronto today, with issues such as training camp, travel and ice conditions on the docket, according to Chris Campoli, one of the attendees. He echoed what the union’s executive director, Donald Fehr, said yesterday: That the league took such an aggressive stance out of the gate, players didn’t in a sense of compromise. Campoli said he was “a little disappointed to see the (NHL’s) response.”
Down memory lane….When the season was cancelled the last time around (not to say it will be this time), very few current Rangers were around: Some were in high school.
Brad Richards played for Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Super League with Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Kovalev, Dany Heatley and others; (Russia was a popular destination; 78 players went over); Henrik Lundqvist was still in Frolunda, Brian Boyle was at BC, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi were in Guelph, Marc Staal was in Sudbury, Stu Bickel was in Green Bay, Marian Gaborik played mostly in Slovakia, but a little in Sweden, Rick Nash and Jeff Halpern went to Switzerland; Mike Rupp played for the now-defunct Danbury Trashers of the United Hockey League.
You know what I remember? Jason Spezza played the entire year in AHL Binghamton; Scott Gomez played for the ECHL’s Alaska Aces. Both won MVPs.