Tuesday, January 18, 2011

True Blue Subscriber Night

The Rangers held a fan forum for season subscribers tonight inside the Manhattan Center. It was the same space that held last year's Lifer Forum and the team kept the same formula this time around. Parade the Rangers in, have the team banter with a moderator, then open the floor to questions from fans.

Ryan Callahan, Henrik Lundqvist and Brian Boyle were on the panel last year and were joined tonight by Vinny Prospal, Brandon Prust and Ryan McDonagh. Some randomness to come out of all of the talking:

*The biggest thing to come out from the players was Vinny Prospal's admission that all is not well with his rehab. Prospal said that he has been testing it and was skating "on one leg." The one thing pushing him is his promise to his son that he will play again but certainly he did not seem optimistic.

*Prospal is so tan from spending all summer playing tennis outdoors. Hank is tan because he spent the off time during the recent Florida trip out by the pool.

*Hank overdressed with a sharp, skin-tight suit while Prust underdressed and was given a bit of grief for it.

*The guys have good chemistry and there was a bit of fun banter to be had. McDonagh, however, did the smart rookie thing and kept his mouth shut. Kinda felt bad for him because he was barely acknowledged after his initial q&a with Al.

*McDonagh admitted that he is not a big television guy and he prefers to read while Cally admitted that he has a passion for reality TV - specifically Toddlers & Tiaras and Jersey Shore.

*As ridiculous as that was, Cally came across as the captain. I'm not sure how to phrase it any other way - he had a certainty to the way he was talking and the way he spoke to the other guys that just seemed to me to show leadership.

*Brian Boyle's nickname is Boiler. And the guys acknowledged that hockey nicknames are not particularly inventive nowadays.

*As I tweeted, many of the fan-asked questions were dumb beyond redemption; the players must have walked away thinking that we are all idiots. Many people actually didn't ask questions, choosing instead to rant or talk about themselves.

*One poor woman, who may have had some kind of mental disability, went on and on about gifts she sent to the guys. It was heart-felt but rambling and she was cat-called by another member of the audience.

*Hank said that he goes through 120 sticks a year, and that he may not throw his sticks into the crowd anymore during the three stars as it ignites fights in the crowd (and some brass said that he shouldn't). The fact that he had the three-game point streak was brought up and Hank said he called several friends to taunt them.

*Scott Lasky was the MC and he was horrid. The guy is corporate vanilla awfulness. He tried to claim an life-long fandom of the team, saying that he was a Ranger fan who used to get beat up during the years that the "boys on the bus of Bossy, Potvin Trottier" were going on. Sorry pal, the Boys on the Bus were the Oilers, not the Islanders.

*For as good as Al was, he didn't do his homework ahead of time and said that Prust was a Western Canada guy when, in fact, the Ranger hails from London, Ontario. Whoops.

*People asked if the team was going to play in the next Winter Classic and, of course, the guys didn't know but would like to. They also have no problem with starting next season overseas as Callahan said that the last time it was a good experience and it brought the boys together.

*And everyone hates Sidney Crosby.

All told it was a nice evening but, of course, you left wanting more. There were no autographs, no photos and only a lucky few received prizes. But, considering the large amount of diehard Ranger fans, those 1,000 or so in attendance were the lucky few to even get to go so we should be thankful.


Anonymous said...

I wish the Mets and/or Giants did stuff like this for their fans

Pete said...

Not for nothing, I always thought the fan night was one of the few things MSG did right by season ticket holders. While the format was always the same, and the fan questions could get weird/annoying/awkward at times, and guys like Drury would give nothing but canned answers to everything, I always came away with something fun from the night. Could MSG be a little more giving with some quality freebies for the fans and season subscribers? Hell yeah. Could they cut the prices by about 10 percent? Hell yeah. But, this event is goes a long way towards bridging the gap between the Garden brass and the Garden faithful.

Anonymous said...

Considering some of the lame/witless/bland answers offered up by the Rangers in attendance, I could understand why none replied to the inquiry about what they were like in fourth grade....third grade was their last year of formal education.

Graying Mantis said...

I totally agree with Pete's assessment.

I thought Prospal's comments were some of the most heartfelt and upsetting things I have heard off the cuff in a long time.