Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Well, The Rangers Are Ready For Opening Night
The Rangers made their final preseason roster moves today, sending Nigel Dawes, Artem Anisimov, and Al Montoya down while keeping Dubi and eight defensemen on the roster (including young Staal). I don't mind these moves at all because, lets face it, it is finally safe to say that if a prospect does well, we will see him on Broadway sooner or later. Dawes will be the first call up if a winger goes down, Anisimov a center and Monty if Hank gets hurt (god forbid). Blueshirt Bulletin broke down the moves pretty well, as they always do.
Blueshirt also pointed out that the Rangers updated their roster and the guys have their uniform numbers set for the season. I thought it would be fun to break down the four guys who have new numbers by who else has worn the jerseys they are about to don in Rangers history:
#5 - Dan Girardi - a pretty well worn number in Rangers history. Bill Cook wore it when he was captain and led the Rangers to their first two Cups. Boom Boom Geoffrion and Eddie Shack also both donned the digit. Granted Girardi isn't a scoring winger, he is a defenseman. Hopefully he will grow into as good a player as other notable Rangers blueliners Barry Beck and Carol Vadnais and not into a loser like Stephane Quintal or Peter Andersson. Most recently it was worn by Dale Purinton (who left for the Aves) and Matt Cullen (traded for cap room).
#17 - Brandon Dubinski - Not a lot of greats have worn 17 in Rangers history but that doesn't mean that it didn't have its stars in earlier eras - Dean Prentice and Eddie Johnstone both donned 17. However, it was also worn by bust Brian Lawton, sociopath Chris Simon (although he was closer to sane when we had him), a long-past-his-prime Jari Kurri, and cokehead Kevin Stevens. Petr Sykora was the last Ranger to wear it, and unfortunately we will have to face him eight times this year with the Penguins.
#18 - Marc Staal - 18 is traditionally not a defenseman's digit - only seven defenders in Rangers history had it and none of them were particularly good. But some great young Rangers wore it, particularly Tony Granato, Mike Ridley, Mike York and the great Walt Tkaczuk. Adam Hall had it last, taking it from Dominic Moore.
#24 - Ryan Callahan - Much to my surprise, no great Ranger wore 24. Swedish great Kent-Erik Andersson wore it for two seasons in the early 80s but he never got acclimated to NHL play. Red Berenson, the great University of Michigan coach, also had it. Nik Sundstrom was #24 while he was here ... and for those wondering, last I heard he is playing at home back in Sweden. Boozer, I mean, Bozo, I mean Sandis Ozolinsh last left the number at the bar on his way out of the franchise.
For all of the talk about the lawsuit MSG has against the league defending the Rangers website, they are fighting the good fight as www.newyorkrangers.com is really well done. It could use a little bit more work - like an in-game blogger *cough, cough, me, cough, cough* but it is a fantastic resource. I got the numbers history from there and you can go there to get profiles of any of the players I mentioned.
Let's Go Rangers! Is it Thursday yet?