Honest to God, yesterday before going to the Garden I was throwing a bunch of old Sports Illustrateds into the recycling bin when, completely randomly, a page opened to a tiny photo of Aaron Voros. In a little blurb, SI was touting an upcoming Rangers-Penguins game and talking about how Voros had led the Rangers to a 6-1-1 start, their best in years, at the start of the 2008-09 season. Imagine, promo-ing Voros, and not Crosby or Malkin, for a Pens-Rangers game?! What in Holy Hell?
Then Voros goes out and helps lead the Rangers to an 8-2 win over Tampa Bay last night.
He was a big part of my column in The Journal News and LoHud.com today.
Just a couple of quick thoughts:
1) Christopher Higgins, I thought, played his best game as a Ranger. Fabulous away from the puck, and he scored goal No. 8. No matter how good he’s been, and he has been, he’s going to cost himself a lot of money if he doesn’t start scoring a bunch of goals these last 32 games.
2) Is it just me, or has the Captain suddenly re-gained his skating legs? He looks a step faster these last few games.
3) I’ve always thought that hockey players were the most confidence-fragile of all athletes. I wonder why that is. But when they have it, it grows, and you can see it. When they don’t, it plummets, and you can see that, too. Right now, the Rangers have it.
I think a few of you are aware of your comments disappearing. It seems to me (no tech wiz, as you know) that some comments that are all CAPS or have a bunch of exclamation points (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) are going directly to the spam queue. Because, I guess, a lot of spam looks like that. So think about that when you comment.
NHL Network will broadcast the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game tonight at 7 p.m. The top-rated prospects for the 2010 draft will play, including Tyler Hall, Tyler Seguin and Cam Fowler. Last year’s game featured 16 players who went in the first round of the 2009 draft.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 4:33 P.M.: This just in from the NHL.
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF JOHN HALLIGAN
NEW YORK (January 20, 2010)— Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, released this statement upon the passing of veteran NHL publicist and historian John Halligan:
“John Halligan cherished the character of the game as much as the characters of the game. He loved the stories of the game and, over his decades in hockey, told those stories with an abiding respect for the history—and humor—so that future generations of fans could enjoy them as much as he did. Even as we mourn his loss, we recall his enduring smile and the sheer delight he derived from the chase of the puck.
The NHL has lost a dear friend. Our sincere condolences to his family.”
And this from the Rangers:
New York, January 20, 2010 – It is with great sadness that the New York Rangers announce the passing of a long time member of the Rangers family, John Halligan.
“John Halligan was an institution with the Rangers, and is as much a part of the tradition and history as any player who has worn the sweater,” stated Glen Sather, President and General Manager. “His tremendous loyalty and love for the organization and the game of hockey will be greatly missed.”
Halligan joined the staff of the New York Rangers in 1963, and served as the club’s Public Relations Director and Business Manager during his first tenure with the team. After 20 years with the organization, Halligan left the team in 1983 to join the National Hockey League as Director of Communications. He returned to the Rangers in 1986 as Vice President of Communications and remained in that capacity until 1989 when he became Director of Community Relations and Special Projects. He then rejoined the league in 1990 as the Director of Communications for NHL Anniversaries, the group which coordinated the League’s 75th anniversary celebration in 1991 and Stanley Cup centennial in 1993. Halligan continued his tenure with the National Hockey League as the Director of Special Projects until 2006.
Halligan was a founding member of the Rangers Alumni Association along with Bill Chadwick and Steve Vickers and remained an active member. In 1993, he was honored by the organization at the New York Rangers Golf Classic for his dedication and service to the Rangers and their alumni.
In his 53 year career as a public relations executive, author, and historian, Halligan earned numerous honors and awards. He was honored by USA Hockey and the National Hockey League with the prestigious Lester Patrick Award in 2007 for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. During his career, he was also recognized by the Public Relations Society of America, the City of New York and the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. In addition, he served as a member of the selection committee of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Halligan authored numerous works, including “Game of My Life: New York Rangers,” “New York Rangers: Seventy-Five Years,” and most recently “100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters.”
Halligan is survived by his wife Janet.