Granted, maybe it’s because the Wolf Pack are off to a discouraging start at 1-6, but I wouldn’t exactly describe the atmosphere here at the Civic Center as electric.
Or put it another way: if Darius Kasparaitis wasn’t depressed when he was first sent down to the AHL, he probably is now.
Speaking of which, I had a chance to talk to Kaspar in the empty Civic Center prior to tonight’s game, and it’s clear how much the demotion has stung him—even if it might be a better fate than being put on waivers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very painful thing in my career playing with New York and being sent down to the minors,Ã¢â‚¬? Kasparaitis said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing I can do but play good and get back with the Rangers, or play good and maybe be somewhere else.Ã¢â‚¬?
Indeed, you get the sense that Kasparaitis isn’t entirely convinced that he’ll be back with the Rangers, or for that matter, that he felt he got a fair shake when he was there. When I asked him about his conversation with Tom Renney, in which the coach told him he wanted to see him back in New York, Kasparaitis shrugged.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what he told me, but anything can happen,Ã¢â‚¬? Kasparaitis said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was sent down to the minors after playing only a couple of games in the NHL….All I need is to play and have the coachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s support. Sometimes you need somebody to support you and tell you weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re here, we care about you, we want you to be good.Ã¢â‚¬?
Meanwhile, for those keeping score at home, the Wolf Pack are at 2-2 with Portland early in the second. I’ll have more on them later….