Rangers’ first unofficial skate of the post-lockout


Sorry again for the tech problems with the audio. I’m supposed to be getting a new, improved (how could it be worse than this p.o.c. Mac?) laptop for the season so this won’t continually happen.

To review, 15 players skated today, including: Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards, Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle, Mike Rupp, Arron Asham, Jeff Halpern, Taylor Pyatt, Michael Del Zotto, Anton Stralman, Steve Eminger, Carl Hagelin.

The news? Marian Gaborik has made it back from Slovakia, and coach John Tortorella said his surgically-repaired shoulder is fine and ready to go. Nash said he has no ill effects from the shoulder injury he suffered in Europe. Ditto Brian Boyle from his concussion — no symptoms all off-season.  Michael Del Zotto remains a restricted free agent and hopes to get a contract done by the time camp opens.

That is expected to happen by the weekend, after ratification of the new CBA. And that means the season will likely be 48 games, opening on Jan. 19, after just a week of camp.

I’ll post the story I wrote later on, and maybe some more interview transcripts.

Here are a couple to get you started:

Brad Richards:

“We lost a lot here as far as playing, but most of all what it’s done to the sport as far as fans. I totally understand if fans don’t come back. That’s very understandable. But for those that do, we can’t wait to play our hearts out, get back out there and make the game the way it’s supposed to be.”

Expects everybody by Wednesday. Good paced practice.

“Last year was a great learning experience, but it’s really so far away now because we’re starting in January. I know last year’s going to be there but we’re going to look at it like we’re been playing this whole time. Last year’s in the past. We like our group and we’re not surprising anybody this year. We’re going to be a target, especially with the additions and the types of players we have, the year we had. So we’re not sneaking up on anybody. It’s going to be harder. We’re going to have to play better than we did last year to finish in the place that we did I think because everybody’s going to be gunning for us.”

“It’s their right to feel how they feel and I don’t blame them. Unless you’re in the meetings and living it, it’s really hard to understand. I don’t blame them if they don’t come back. I hope everybody gives us a chance ot watch what I think is a great sport and to get out there and play our hearts out like we want to do. That’s what the game of hockey’s about, not what’s happened here the last four months.”

“Everything’s going to be more magnified. It’s more like a playoff mentality where, if you dwell on things good or bad it could spiral quickly. We don’t want to do that. We want to try to build on everything. Forty-eight games, you’re going to need a good start and that’s just obvious. There’s not many games to regroup if you don’t get off on the right foot.”

“Probably (some teams will have an advantage) but I have no idea which team that will be and you’ll probably be able to see that a month into the season, which teams are doing well, you’ll probably say it was an advantage (for them). But everybody will be experts by then, say ‘Oh yeah, we thought that.’ Whether it’s players who have been playing a lot, they’ll say it’s that reason, and if it’s a team that hasn’t played a lot, they’ll say, ‘they’re well-rested.’ Until it all plays out, who knows?”

“That was the hardest part in the fall, being so excited coming here, becoming a New York Ranger, getting one year in and coming so close, and having to sit. It’s just tough. You saw the fans, you saw the way the city was when we made that run, and you just want to keep that momentum going and you realize there’s not many more years you’re going to have a chance to make a run. It’s tough, but I think there’s bigger things. It’s more about the sport, and what it’s doing to the game of hockey.”

Rick Nash:

Been off last couple of weeks. No lingering issues with shoulder injury.

“It was great. It’s one thing to be out there skating and wondering when things are going to be happening, but it’s another thing when you’re out there skating and you know things are done and the season’s coming. It seems like everyone has a little extra jump in their step.”

“For sure. We missed the game just as much as they did. Obviously we’re not happy with the way everything went down, but we’ve got to look ahead, look at the future, look at the positives. It’s back a hopefully everyone will be supportive of the NHL and the players and we can just go on with the greatest game.”

“It’s going to be really hard, You just hope guys are in good shape. There’s nothing like game shape. It’s going to take a few games no matter what you’ve done. It’s going to be tough.”

“For sure. It definitely does. We’re lucky to be doing the thing that we love, as a job, and it’s a game and it’s exciting. When they take it away from you, it’s devastating and it makes you realize how lucky we are to have it.”

John Tortorella:

“I have the model that we’re going to use. Throughout the whole situation here it’s been adjusted through the amount of time off. So we’ve got to be really careful there as far as what we give them, when we give it to them, how we give it to them.
“Of course you’re concerned because you haven’t been with them. But I have confidence in our guys and we have quite a few of our guys returning. I think there’s four or five that will be new as we enter our camp. I think they’re going to go through a little bit of an adjustment period as far as what we expect out of them, how we go about our business here, but all in all, from our leadership group right on through, they have been in touch with one another, the guys that have been with us the past few years have told the newer guys what to expect and I think they’ve addressed that and worked accordingly. All the teams are in the same boat as far as a little bit of uncertainty because you haven’t been with them, but I feel really good about our group and always have, even through this, that they’re handling themselves the right way.”

“We really look forward to (coaching Nash). Playing against him, watching him on tape, in just the short time I’ve been with him and the couple of conversations (we’ve had), how he handles himself. He’s going to fit. He’s low maintenance, he wants to play. He wants to be in this type of situation. So as anxious as he is, I am double that to get with him and get going here.”

“I think the hunger is that they’re together again and will be a team again. We’ve gone through a few years of trying to cultivate it. I think the room is good. I think that’s what they want to get back to, and competing. That’s all these guys know how to do, is compete. That’s what they’re anxious to do. Sure they were excited about last year; we made some good steps ahead. But I think right now, they just want to play.”

“I always felt there was going to be a season. I’m not supposed to talk too much about it. But we were always prepared; our coaches were prepared. We had conversations. But when they come out the other day and say we’re there – obviously they’ve got to do a few other things to get it done – knowing that it was going to be there, that’s exciting. This is what we do. This is really the only thing I know how to do and as I (said about) the players wanting to be together, the coaches want to be with them too. We want to get back with them. We feel we’re a tight-knit group, and quite honestly I miss them and I’m anxious to get back in with them and get to work here.”



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  1. Carp

    Any chance you could get Stan Fischler at some point to ask Tort what he thinks about Girls In Yoga Pants?

  2. “Forty-eight games, you’re going to need a good start and that’s just obvious. There’s not many games to regroup if you don’t get off on the right foot.”

    Game #1 is *must win* says Richards.

  3. “All the teams are in the same boat as far as a little bit of uncertainty because…”

    …Dustin Byfuglien is at the wheel?

  4. Almost shed a tear reading this post. It’s really good to hockey talked about in the media again (good or bad, but mostly good). Great to watch and read player and coach interviews on ‘the game’ and getting back to doing things ‘the right way’.

    Things just feel right again.

    (deep breath)



  5. Sioux-per-man on

    Torts will have the Rangers playing right where they left off last year.

    Opening the season with a 10-2 winning streak!!!

    So Boneheads if I were a betting man what sight has the best odds to win the most napkins on the Rangers this year?

  6. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp how excited are the players to be BACK, rested, ready to make a “Cup Run”?

    Do you think they will offer Gilroy a contract as the 6th – 7th DMan?

    Outside of Nash being the #1 new guy, who do you feel might be a nice surprise THIS short season?

  7. Gilroy looks terrible to me in Connecticut. He can score but his defense is scary at times.

    He is -16 on plus minus. I doubt he gets called up.

  8. Absolutely not. I hate Walt Clyde Frazier with a passion. Sam Rosen and Mike Breen would make a great team. Richards enters the zone, drop pass to Gaborik, to Nash , he shoots..BANG!…. it’s a Power Play goal.

  9. Sioux-per-man on

    Fella’s Who scores more goals. Gabby – Nash – or Richards?

    Will they all get over 50pts?

    Who get’s the most?

  10. Hey guys…long time Rangers and Islanders fan here…grew up playing hockey on long island and my grandpa was big rangers fan, but also rooted for Islanders once Rangers got knocked out. He always said the only NY team he could root against was the Mets. I guess even he knew what a bunch of sissies the Mets and their fans were even then. I found this blog from twitter friend, and will be reading here regularly. Having the Islanders in Brooklyn will be amazing for me. It is like having two shots at winning stanley cup every year.

  11. Wicky©Carp jinxed my macbook and bought his from bettman! on

    Anyone else think torts likes nash?? LOL

  12. you guys crack me up today … again. no hugs from Torts, but he was in a good mood. except when asked something about himself … Heck, even Uncle Glen said hello to me today, called me Carpy for, I think, the first time ever, and cracked me up with an unprintable joke.

    I love Clyde, FWIW, but then I am old enough to have seen him win championships.

    Players are totally pumped to be getting ready to play again. We’ll see how many of them are puking on the first day of no-pucks camp.

  13. Olga Folkyerself on

    “It is like having two shots at winning stanley cup every year.”

    More like a shot and a beer…

  14. Aren’t they going to have to go through medicals, Carp? I imagine it can’t be done until the CBA is ratified….Puking may not describe what they may have to go through starting this weekend, lol

  15. Hey Carp! Any truth to the rumor that the Journal News is also going to be releasing the names and addresses of all your Boneheads?

  16. Exactly what talent does this Pitbull guy have? Seems like just a product of 2013 lounges full of delusional twenty something’s

  17. I wanted to take a minute to personally thank all of you for your patience during the last few months of negotiations. As a player and a fan of this game, I couldn’t be happier to have hockey back. Your ongoing support and encouragement throughout the lockout has been incredible and has helped us prepared to get on the ice and play some games. I am looking forward to playing in front of all of you again, connecting with my Ranger’s family and seeing and hearing all the fans at The Garden! We will work hard to make 2013 OUR season, and reaching the ultimate goal…bringing The Cup back to New York.
    Stay tuned to brichards19.com for exclusives and updates throughout the season. See you all soon! Lets go Rangers!!!


  18. Phaneuf hits clean. That’s why they call it “Getting Phaneuf’d”. He’s not a dirty player. Just a really, really good checker.

  19. You guys are being way too nice…I want to Captain Crunch the Wales conference this season and go gangster up in here

  20. ROFL @ islangers??? that has to be one of the boneheads trying to get our goat…where is manny??? Where is ella correo??

  21. Did Rod go on a lurking strike? Or is he always lurking the way a tree in an empty forest falls with or without sound?

  22. Carped

    Not even gonna lie ive been waiting for lockout to end and fully intend on going to games and wearing my already owned jerseys…cally winter classic and brand new white Nash ive been saving since before lockout…maybe im a sucker but i love my Rangers and idc if its a 10 game season ill be screaming my aasen off

  23. Olga Folkyerself on

    “What Lockout? That ol’ thing? All is forgiven- here’s all my money. I hope I didn’t inconvenience you Gary…”

  24. Izzy Mandlebaum on

    Olga! The sheep held out just as long as they could. But that wool is itchy, they need to be sheared again as soon as possible.

  25. Actually, Book, it’s looking like Wednesday around noon for the first live chat … I’ll let youse know for sure tomorrow.

    wonder if anybody will ask about Sauer?

  26. Fat Guy, your stuff’s going to spam again … I have no idea why … sorry. Wonder if it did that when you had the little coat in your name?

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