Brendan Shanahan and Tom Renney need to get their stories straight. While the Rangers coach only said he was leaning toward having the future Hall-of-Famer back in the lineup tomorrow, Shanahan sounded today like it would take armed guards at the Garden door to keep him out against the Flyers tomorrow night.
Rest assured, Shanny will be back tomorrow, and he’s already preparing himself for an emotional evening. Rangers fans will likely enjoy the audio below, especially seeing how Shanahan largely credited them for helping him get back so soon.[audio:http://lohud.com/audio/rangers/shanny0320.mp3]
As for where Shanahan fits into the lineup, this is where things take a bit of a turn. With a number of ailing players missing practice today — including Jaromir Jagr, Ryan Hollweg, and Michal Rozsival — Shanahan skated on a line with Sean Avery at center and Ryan Callahan on the left wing. Both Avery and Tom Renney confirmed that Avery will likely be back in the middle, a position he played often in Detroit before switching to wing in L.A.
As intriguing as that move sounds, it will come at the expense of Brandon Dubinsky, who was offered a handshake from the coaching staff and a return trip to Hartford. I asked the 20-year-old center if he felt he belonged to stay, but he said he takes it as part of the process.
“They’ve got some good players coming back that are healthy. I was happy I got the opportunity, and that I got to be here as long as I was,” Dubinsky said. “I feel like I am close to being able to play at this level full-time. I’ve proven I can do it in spurts. Other times I feel like I’ve watched things go by.”
A few other updates:
OK, more later…