Guest Blogger: Joe Adler on Twitter
On Wednesday night, about 250 Rangers season ticket holders filled the lobby to the theater at MSG to hear from their captain and four of the newest Blueshirts. Donald Brashear, Marian Gaborik, Christopher Higgins, and Ales Kotalik joined Chris Drury in answering questions posed by Dave Maloney and a number of season ticket holders.
Here’s a recap of some of the moments that were most interesting and entertaining:
- Donald Brashear (who doesn’t look so intimidating in person) received some boos when he was first announced, but those boos turned to cheers and laughter after Brashear remarked to those who were booing, “I’ll take you one-by-one.”
- Ales Kotalik was slightly underdressed, sporting just a polo shirt. Dave Maloney provided the excuse, as Kotalik had just arrived in New York earlier in the day and had to dig through boxes to find something to wear.
- Chris Drury high-fived and shook hands with fans on his way to the stage.
- A fan no older than 10 years old asked Gaborik whether his center was on the team now or would be traded for. He responded by stating that he just wants to play and isn’t really worried about who’s centering him.
- Another fan addressed Kotalik: “Ales…you, my friend, have an amazing slap shot. Has Tortorella talked to you about playing the point on the power play?” Kotalik chuckled before acknowledging that Torts has spoken to him briefly about it, and added that it’s a role he’s comfortable with due to his past experience.
- Many fans asked what would become of the Rangers’ worst component last season, the power play. At one point when asked who would score all of the power play goals, Brashear just raised his hand and smiled.
- Brashear was asked by a very young fan who his favorite player was growing up. “Cam Neely. He was big, could score, and knew how to use his body.”
- A self-described fan since the ‘60s asked Brashear and Maloney about the future of fighting and the enforcer role. Brashear said he just has to do what he can to intimidate, while Maloney made it known that he doesn’t think fighting will ever be removed from the game. Christopher Higgins interjected that Brashear has hockey skills on top of his fighting skills. “…he scored 38 goals in the AHL one season. You can’t be a dummy and do that, he can play."
One fan made a comment tonight that I feel needs to be addressed…
An older gentleman stood at the mic and forcefully addressed the players, “When we say shoot the puck, SHOOT THE PUCK!”
RANGERS FANS: “Shoot the puck!” needs to stop. NHL teams will pay talented players some $40.8 to $56.8 million this season. Something tells me I should trust those players a bit more than fans in the seats who don’t see the angles the same and probably don’t have the experience. Oh, and please learn what a shooting lane is and keep in mind that if a player passes instead of shooting, he may not have one. I know a lot of fans don’t understand this because they yell “shoot” but complain when that shot they yelled for gets blocked.
On top of being just asinine to begin with, I’m sure screaming “SHOOT” at a player who isn’t confident enough to take that shot won’t do much to help his confidence.