Finally, after four months of wondering what the 2007-08 Rangers might look like, we will get our first glimpse tomorrow. Granted, it isn’t much—just the first day of scrimmages and practices at training camp. But it at least beats scrawling out line combinations on a napkin.
What we know:
That Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr will be paired together on the Blue squad in an effort to develop some chemistry, while Chris Drury and Brendan Shanahan will skate on the Green team for the same reason. That alone is worth watching. But maybe we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, either. I remember watching Shanahan and Jagr skate together in a pre-season game last year and I was convinced that line was bound for greatness.
Of course, I was young and inexperienced back then. Now I’m much smarter.
Meanwhile, thanks to my man Carpie for passing along these quotes from Darius Kasparaitis, who was painfully honest about the travails of last year, and his efforts to revive his career.
“It was emotionally Ã¢â‚¬â€a divorce, injuries. Ã¢â‚¬â€I was just tired from all the pressure in life,” he said. “Then I realized that, ‘What else is there going to be in life besides being in hockey and playing hockey?’ Then the night of the panic attack in Hartford, after practice, I kind of felt, Ã¢â‚¬â€I don’Ã¢â‚¬â„¢t know if it was depressed, but I just didn’Ã¢â‚¬â„¢t feel right.
“Glen called me and said, ‘Ã¢â‚¬ËœYou’Ã¢â‚¬â„¢re a top player; get yourself back and start training.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ I basically felt I didn’Ã¢â‚¬â„¢t belong in Hartford, and I wasn’Ã¢â‚¬â„¢t here. I was like in the middle of nowhere with a team.Ã¢â‚¬?”
Unfortunately, that’s where Kasparaitis is now seeing how the numbers in New York only work against him. But he still said the incentive is to make the decision difficult for management.
“I prepared myself for that,” he said. “At the same time, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢’s all up to me. If I go back and play great, eventually somebodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to need a D. I know I can do that. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢’m not going to give up right now.”