While raising funds and awareness for local dog shelters and the Westchester Humane Society during yesterday's New York Rangers dog walk was the number one priority of the event organized by John Tortorella. What I was most impressed with was the amount of Rangers players on hand to support their coach.
@thenyrblog also, directly from Jim Cerny - Richards rallied the entire team to come and show support for Torts for this dog walk.— PJ (@NYR1fanPJ) September 9, 2012
...now this may not seem like a huge deal, but for a team to be successful these days the locker room must be tight and I've got to say in all my years of rooting for this great franchise I'm not sure I've seen a closer group than this one.
Here's Torts on the players' participation...
"They're terrific and as I said in the question and answer, you wonder why we have a pretty good hockey club here. We've got such a great group of guys. We always talk about that locker room, what type of people are going to be in there. You saw what they are. They're all out here, I think they enjoyed themselves, just as much as the other people did. I like our team. And the reason why I like our team is I like the people."
...this Rangers club has all the ingredients of a Stanley Cup winner, now we just need a season.
#NYR Best part of the morning was Tortorella admitting he like dogs more than human beings. Not joking, either— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) September 9, 2012
For reader pics from the dog walk, keep reading after the break.
Vanessa sends me this pic of her daughter with Chris Kreider...
While Joe S. tweets me this great collage...
Finally, JP takes this pic with Adam Graves...
Hey Kevin! Thanks for posting my daughter's picture. She also snagged moments with Torts, Hags, Boyle and MDZ. She'll think it's so cool that she's up on the NYR blog. She might be small, but let me assure you, she can make a LOT of noise and is very enthusiastic in cheering on the Rangers (and she does a mean Maaaaaaaaaaarty chant). She was bummed that we couldn't find Cally, her fave. My son was bummed that we couldn't get Hank to sign his jersey. We got right up to him, next in line, when ABC swept him away for an interview and he was ghost after that. Overall, fun day. Torts was so cheerful, I thought I was in a parallel universe, until he finally let out two small curses in his Q&A.
thanks for the pictures and the great first hand info. it looks like a good time and for a good cause. it makes me genuinely happy to see so much of the team there (good job richie, btw).
I just want to second your post. I attended the event with my son and our dog, and it was an unbelievable experience. What made it so great was exactly what you said -- so many members of the team came out and were extremely generous of their time, signing autographs and chatting with the fans. Seeing the new guys, like Rick Nash and Taylor Pyatt, in addition to the "stars" like Hank, Cally (with his wife and baby!) and Ritchie, was a real treat and a testament to the relationship this team has built with each other. You could tell how happy it made Torts. He was on Cloud 9, and the feeling was infectious. Now, if we can only get this little CBA thing settled so we can get the season started!! A few items to report: 1. When asked if Henrik were a dog, what kind would he be, Coach quickly answered, "Pit Bull. No doubt about it." Then added, "Now, if you asked me about Ritchie, I'd have to give a different answer." (But he didn't divulge what it was.) 2. Odd couple -- Brian Boyle and his teeny chihuahua. 3. Cutest couple -- Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh (never more than a few yards apart from each other all morning) 4. My 13 year old is taller than Torts.
@TheNYRBlog - Rich dudes & dogs! Never fails! Send Fehr & Bettman a couple of puppies wouldya!! End this thing DeLury! Call Shake-a-Paw now!