With training camp scheduled to begin in a couple of weeks, Rangers players have slowly been making their way back to NYC. Yesterday the boys got together for their first team event of the 2012-2013 season – Coach Tortorella’s Dog Walk.
As rumored, almost the entire team attended with some bringing their own dogs. Have to say the best picture of the day was Brian Boyle with his little chihuahua! The only ones missing were Marian Gaborik (injured, guessing rehab is in Europe) and Martin Biron and Mike Rupp (who had previous engagements). Although it hasn’t been confirmed, I’m pretty sure Michael Sauer wasn’t there either (more on him later).
It’s great to see the boys supporting their coach who took twitter to thank the team:
The smile on his face in this video when asked about the team attending – it’s rare you see a smile like that from him! Others within the organization including Adam Graves, Rod Gilbert, Dave Maloney, Jim Schoenfeld and even Glen Sather also attended as well as over 800 fans and 350 dogs. Add in the beautiful weather and I’d call the day a rousing success!
The best part is when the players get together, the media follows and we get some actual news. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of good news.
On Del Zotto’s contract situation, Sather had the following comment:
“He’ll come to his senses,” Sather said. “We’ve been down this road before with guys that just have come out of their entry-level contracts. We’ve offered him a fair contract. We just have to see if it changes in the new CBA.”
Rumor is that contract is around $2.5 million for 2-4 years (I haven’t seen a constant when it comes to the number of years). I like Del Zotto but if he thinks he’s worth more than that, he’s crazy. If that’s what the Rangers are indeed offering, he better sign that this week as it will definitely change in the new CBA. Let’s go DZ!
Next came news on another defenseman, Michael Sauer. Unfortunately this news was worse as while there had been some hope he was doing better, it sounds like another setback for the Minnesota native. According to Tortorella:
“I don’t think you’ll see Michael. Michael has not responded that well, I’ll be quite honest, and I do not think you’ll see him at the beginning of the season. That’s a big hole for us. Michael played very well for us, and we certainly missed him during the playoff run. I think it’s going to be a little bit of time before Michael resumes his career.”
Ugh. This news is the worst kind of news to me. I love Sauer as a player but from the couple of times I have met him, I love him even more as a person. No person deserves to go through this but especially not him. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – I don’t care if we don’t see him on the ice this season or ever again. I just want him to get better so he can live his day-to-day life. Get well soon Sauer!
And finally, of course the elephant in the room was discussed – the CBA. Everyone around the Rangers seems to be optimistic including Brad Richards saying he’s happy this time around the two sides are still talking. By this time in 2004, communication had ended. I thought Tortorella, though, had the best quote:
“I just hope we keep on learning that this needs to be a partnership for this league to continue to flourish as it has as it keeps on growing, it needs to be partnership”
The two sides work together? What a concept! I’m still keeping my optimism that a resolution comes soon, although I don’t expect one by the 15th. The interesting thing will be to see what happens when that date comes and goes. Guess we wait and see!