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An appreciation of Kenny G

Posted By On February 12, 2011 @ 8:23 pm In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 49 Comments

How’s that for an intro?

I’m not talking about the frizzy-haired musician. I’m talking about Ken Gernander, coach of the Connecticut Whale.

Four score and seven years ago — well, at least it feels as if it were that long ago — I covered the Rangers’ AHL affiliate when it was based in Binghamton. During the franchise’s final couple of seasons in upstate New York, the AHL Rangers were led, in large part, by a versatile forward by the name of Ken Gernander. He surpassed the 40-goal mark one season, but that wasn’t what he was really known for. Kenny was as capable a two-way player as any I saw during my own AHL years. He was a grinder, always willing to work in the corners and take a beating in front of the net. He understood the importance of playing well in his own end. And he was a stand-up guy — always accessible, always telling it like it was.

So, I guess it’s not surprising that so many of the young guys have fit right in upon joining the Rangers. They’ve been mentored by a professional, one who subscribes to so many of the same principles as John Tortorella. Credit Glen Sather for drafting some fine ingredients for the future success of the Rangers. Credit Ken Gernander for providing the proper seasoning.

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