A lot of people say they were born and raised to be a fan of a team. I can absolutely say that as my dad has had season tickets for over 40 years and I promise all of you, I am not near 40 yet
The best part in my mind about having seasons tickets? Sure you get to go to all games but I get more excited about the subscriber events, such as the one last night held at the Beacon Theater. (Side note: There were two, one for long time subscribers and one for families/kids. I was at the first one.) There is always some memorable moment or quote that comes out of these events. Colton Orr asking to be put on the power play, Dan Girardi telling Marcus Naslund he doesn’t have an island, Ryan McDonagh telling Marian Gaborik he used to pay to go to games and watch him…I could go on and on. Last night was no different.
It was a good split of players as there were two goalies, two defensemen and two forwards ranging from rookies to vets. Attendees for the evening were Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Biron, Dan Girardi, Stu Bickel, Arron Asham and J.T. Miller. Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash were supposed to be there but missed the event due to a surprise birthday party and being under the weather, respectively. (I mention this since everyone is freaking out that Nash missed practice today. He’s fine.)
The boys spoke for about an hour answering questions from Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti then spent about twenty minutes answering pre-decided fan questions. (After being at past events, I thought this was a great move to make sure the questions were actual questions and not inappropriate. Now we just need to screen those asking the questions. Anyone who was there knows what I mean.)
Before I get to the stories, some overall thoughts on the players:
The goalies were basically as I expected them to be – very talkative with Lundqvist more serious and Biron joking around a little. The strange part was they didn’t have much interaction with each other. Assuming it was because they sat on opposite sides of the stage.
Girardi was hilarious. You can tell he is finally feeling comfortable in his role and with the team because the fans are finally getting to see this great personality we always hear about.
Bickel was extremely quiet which caught me offguard. He answered questions given to him but with short answers and then hoped someone else would take over. It was his first fan event so maybe he was nervous. Anyway, I was a little disappointed because I expected him to be a fun one to listen to.
Asham had some good quotes but seemed a little spaced out most of the night. Maybe it was because he was the new guy so wanted to feel out how it worked. He spoke but I guess I expected more. Probably just me.
As for Miller, he was definitely a little nervous and shy but he spoke when asked questions. You could definitely see that “swagger” (yes I’ve seen different words used) people say he has. Give him a year or two to be comfortable and he will be a blast to watch at these events. I was curious about his wardrobe though – a purple shirt with green socks? Lundqvist really let him do that?
Now for the stories. (Editors Note: All quotes are paraphrased per my memory and not direct quotes.)
Asham was asked what it was like to play for Torts and he kind of shrugged as if to say he is what he is. Then he said “you have your screamers, you have your quiet guys…and then you have Torts”. Everyone, including the players, laughed. He shrugged and said he finds him “comical” when he goes off but knows he has the players best interests and doesn’t mind his style.
At one point in the evening, Lundqvist was asked about his guitar playing and what he was up to with that. He answered and then it turned to him playing for the guys. Girardi decided to chime in and say he plays all the time and that “actually I am going to go get his guitar now so he can play for you…” and started to get up. He didn’t get off the chair before going “nah just kidding”. Not going to lie, I wish he wasn’t.
Later in the evening, a fan asked about the best prank they had seen in their careers and…well I’ll let Biron and Girardi tell these stories:
Poor Dubi. Unfortunately that was the only video I got but I’m sure the Rangers will post more.
Miller probably had the line of the night when he mentioned his play. I can’t remember what led up to it but he put his head down and shyly admitted “apparently I’m not very good defensively”. Lundqvist and Girardi tried everything they could not to crack up laughing but Bickel lost it as his face turned red from trying to hold the laugh in. Miller then proceeded to say that when they went over tape from the Boston game “his number couldn’t have come up more” which was not a good thing. He had his head down the whole time but it did come off a little as if he didn’t think he was as bad as Torts did.
The second best story came towards the end of the evening when a fan asked what they do on roadtrips besides go to eat or watch a movie. No one wanted to answer at first so Girardi chimed in and said they haven’t done much with the season being so young. Lundqvist started to whisper something to him so he looks and asks if he wants to say something. Lundqvist whispers again and Girardi goes “okay, I can tell this secret”.
Apparently they went out for a team dinner before the first game of the year up in Boston. (Everyone booed Boston so Girardi goes “yeah Boston sucks!”.) Then he goes “a player, I’m not going to say who, but a player set up the dinner…” and before he could finish the sentence Biron goes “Number 19!” and then looks around as if to say “who said that?”. Everyone laughed and Girardi goes “okay…so we now know who but I’m not saying…”
As for the dinner, they were supposed to be going out for a nice Italian meal. Richards sent them a picture of the place where they would be and it looked like they were in the back of a kitchen. The guys thought he was kidding but apparently not. They had to walk through a pastry store to the back and sat in a kitchen area where, as Girardi said, “the chairs were high, tables were low and they had those plates with separate sections and nothing touched each other which was great”. He said the food was great but it definitely felt like they were in a backyard barbecue and were “roughing it”. I’m sure the Rangers will post this story so the video will do better than I could but everyone was hysterical throughout the entire thing.
All in all, it was a great evening as always. Maybe it’s me but I love seeing the boys off the ice and learning what type of personalities they have. We root for these guys every night and events like these make me want to root for them more.
If anyone was at the other subscriber event last night at Chelsea Piers which had Marc Staal, Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Michael Del Zotto and wants to write a recap of it, let me know in either the comments or by email/twitter (links on right side of page).