Larry Brooks over at the NY Post this morning reports Ranger players are actively looking to rent rinks in the NYC metro area, to maintain their level of conditioning and to prepare for John Tortorella's infamous bag skating tests if/when the 2012-13 season begins. The players had been practicing every few days at the Rangers training facility since the middle of August, getting ready for the beginning of training camp which was set to begin this coming Friday.
“We’ve looked into different possibilities concerning rinks and will come up with a plan, just about everybody is staying here at least for the foreseeable future, so we’re going to come up with a plan where we can skate as a group three or four times a week... I think it’s going to be as tough to stay mentally sharp and focused as it’s going to be to stay in top physical condition, but we have the benefit of being in great shape because of all the preparation we’ve done in advance of the testing...”
"Torts has talked to Cally and me about keeping a structure in our workouts as much as we can for as long as we can, one of the positives of preparing for these tests is that we’re able to bag-skate two or three times a week, and that’s what we’ll do as long we can stay together... Because whenever we do start up, there’s going to be some kind of testing on the first day. That’s not going away.”
These stories are quite similar to what we read last summer when the NFL locked out its players, forcing teams to rent out local high school fields to maintain a sense of continuity while a deal was being negotiated. Still, you have to admire the amount of leadership the Rangers possess, when virtually the entire team is devoted to staying together in the near term while players from other teams can't wait to head over to eastern Europe or Russia as soon as possible.
Evgeni Malkin is already practicing with a team in Russia... wow.
Magnitogorsk coach Paul Maurice says Malkin and Gonchar still need a few practices to be in top condition; says not sure of the lines yet.— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) September 15, 2012
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how cool would it be if players got together for pickup games during the lockout? didn't NBA players host games in public parts during their stoppage last yeat?
@cb1 Unless I'm mistaken- If players are willing they could play in non-NHL arenas. Barclay's and IZOD(is that what its called still?) would be useful for this. I think that's what some NBA players did- or tried to do- or something. Idk... I'm no basketball fan.
@cb1 insurance issues typically get in the way of these things would love to see one though...