We're getting close folks, can you feel it? The humidity in New York has slightly improved and a cool breeze is sweeping across the streets. Not long before we can feel the rush of artificially chilled air as we walk into Madison Square Garden.
As I sit hear enjoying my second favourite sport with some Prem football in HD on ESPN2, I figured I would talk a little about No. 1 hockey.
*First off, individual Ranger tickets will go on-sale on Saturday, September 12th at 10:00 am through the usual outlets. For those of you season subscribers, our tickets can be picked-up beginning Wednesday, September 2nd at 9:00 am.
*In addition to sending out that info this afternoon, the Rangers also released their *official* roster for Traverse City. Still no word on if the games will be televised but it would be folly for the NHL Network not to offer up coverage. I don't know about you but I've seen Pens/Caps 18 times already this summer.
*Speaking of folly and hockey, how about this Direct TV/Versus battle? How ridiculous would it be for the NHL to lose their primary national network because Comcast plays hardball with DTV? Times like this I am glad I have Cablevision, but only in times like this.
*I don't have any game-worn hockey jerseys but I'd imagine if I did - unless it was some kind of special jersey (like a 9-11 Rangers or a signed superstar like Hank) - that I would wear it. I have looked into the game worn market quite a bit this summer and it seems that most folks don't wear them. What about you?
*Zip is reporting that the Rangers are again interested in acquiring Mats Sundin. I'm not so sure that's a good idea. On one hand, Sundin on the power play with Gaborik will ensure that our special team doesn't suck as bad as it did last season. On the other hand it doesn't inspire confidence in either Brandon Dubinsky or Arty Anisimov. With double-A's play with us last season didn't inspire much of anything in me, I do think he has reached that make or break stage and deserves a shot.
*The New York Rangers Blog tracked down a story that the Blueshirts are looking to bring in another blueliner ... again. First it was Anton Babchuk, now Dennis Seidenberg. Mind you, both were part of a defensive corps that was said to be Carolina's Achilles heel and mind you that the Rangers have a half dozen young players trying to make the jump to Broadway. Is Sather hedging his bets, does he have no faith in the kids, or does he feel that he has to sign "every piece of garbage on the market"?? Idiot McGrath.
*If you are trying to plan your Christmas shopping this year, I recommend the book 100 Ranger Greats. It isn't out until the end of next month but I luckily got a preview copy. I will give a more detailed review at a later date but it will definitely be good for debate. They have a blog up here where they have the daily "This date in Rangers history" - well worth adding to your daily viewing.
*While I am shamelessly whoring stuff, MSG.com has kept busy this summer with a bunch of photo slide shows. Of course Handsome Hank has a gallery, as does the camera-loving Avery but they also have the "Bad Boys" of hockey.
*Blair Betts still doesn't have a team for this season as Edmonton has immersed in money troubles (where have we heard that before?). If he can't have a reunion with Renney, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if New Jersey picks him up. Bettsy would be a good, cheaper version of John Madden, who headed to Chicago. That would suck, Shanny and Bettsy across the river playing for those clowns.
*As for another ex-player favourite of mine, anyone else excited to see Jed's return with the Sharks on October 19th? It will be his first game since Game 6 against Buffalo. Then again, I am almost as excited for the first preseason game against Boston on September 15th ...
*Keeping with Boston - they are keeping the Winter Classic rink up after New Years in Fenway and are planning on having a BU/BC showdown on it on Friday, January 8th. It just so happens that the Rangers play the Bruins the next day. Can you say road trip?
*Getting back to the top, the Liverpool match I'm watching was preceded by a moving rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone", which is simply awesome. It is a shame there is no singing of any sort at hockey games (Potvin Sucks doesn't count).
*A bigger shame is that hockey broadcasts are so much worse then football. Listening to this match has been a delight because you can actually hear the match! What a concept! No droning on by Al Micheletti, spouting off incorrect facts and analysis. No awkward banter. Just the facts. And the announcer mics aren't much louder than the nat sound from the stadium. You get an actual feel for what the live experience is like and hockey is best experienced live. Letting the broadcast breathe is a good thing, and something MSG - and the rest of the U.S. NHL broadcasters - would be smart to learn.