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RUMOR MILL

Thursday - December 5th

Per Elliot Friedman of Sportsnet:

Prior to the December 1st deadline, the Oikers apparently tried again to move Jesse Pujljujarvi, and the Rangers were reportedly one of the teams interested.

The trade would have involved Lias Andersson going the other way, but ultimately they could work out a deal.



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 INJURY REPORT
Jesper Fast 8/1
Took a shoulder on the first shift of the game and left the ice soon after
 
Igor Shesterkin 8/1
Per Joe Micheletti, Sheshterkin is expected to be available Monday
 
Micheal Haley 2/14
Scheduled for surgery and could miss the remainder of the season
 
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SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
CAPTION THIS
Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

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Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  BIRTHDAYS

Neil Colville - 1914

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

DUNC MCCALLUM
(1965-1966)
  Born: Mar 29 - 1940  
  Pos: Defense  
  GP: 2  
  G: 0  
  A: 0  
  Pts: 0  
  PIMs: 2  
 

Youth Hockey in New York
Posted by Daniel Akeson ≡ - August 27, 2007

For the past three years, I have had the privilege of being a coach for the youth hockey camp at Dix Hills Ice Rink on Long Island. Each year we hold two one-week sessions to close out the summer that kids from ages 6 to 15 and all abilities attend.

I typically take the younger and beginner kids because as a younger coach myself, I haven't had the experience that some of the older kids need, but can still instill the foundations of good hockey to the younger generation. While the kids can certainly be a handful, they exhibit some of the greatest hope for hockey's future in New York.

Each morning they get up, many of them come to the rink already dressed, put on their tiny Bauers and wait eagerly to get on the ice just to skate, no pucks, just skate. Who would have thought power skating could be desired?

Many of these kids can barely tie their own skates, but they know their favorite teams (we have daily Rangers versus Islanders wars), favorite players, and all the locker room hockey jargon that would make an old salt cringe.

This passion and dedication is present regardless of their experience or ability.

The kids come from many different playing backgrounds, many play for travel and junior programs such as the Long Island Royals, Long Island Rebels, and Long Island Gulls. They attend looking to hone their skills and have professional training. At the same time, many are house and rec-league players looking to take the next step or just have some fun for the summer.

Despite the wide-range of skill sets, each year I have seen a greater turnout and dedication to the sport, something that has lacked in recent years.

Former NHL player and current Long Island Gulls Coach Andy Cozzi and I were talking one day while doing some off-ice fun with the kids and he explained that New York has some of the top youth hockey players in the country, and he's right. Championships both domestically and into Cananda have had strong showings by New York teams.

This has a lot to do with the dedication of the kids, but also the growth and availability of the sport at the youth level. The Gulls, for instance, have 25 teams, which is unheard of in most states. I have seen these programs grow and the kids have become stronger players that demand more and more.

However, while these kids are great at this level, what is unfortunate is the lack of opportunity into the middle school and high school years. As Cozzi pointed out, kids are more likely to go into a flailing high school league or just lose interest if they aren't top-notch players. If they do have those higher aspirations they have to look into prep schools and junior programs outside of New York or possibly into Canada because of how difficult it is to get exposure here.

How is it that a state that offers it's youth so much in the way of hockey, stops so abruptly?

Perhaps it is the lack of support by the public schools. In New York, high school hockey is considered club and most schools don't acknowledge it. Another facet could be the mere history of previously established clubs. Hockey is such a niche sport that it's tough to break in as a new program.

Despite the lack of older age programs in New York, American hockey has really come into it's own. This year's NHL Entry Draft was a crowning example of how U.S. hockey has become a legitimate source of talent, led by the USHL.

This year was the first year that the top two draft selections were both American, Patrick Kane and James vanRiemsdyk. Additionally, it tied a record for 10 Americans selected in the first round.

New York has to get on the ball. They are developing top-level youths, such as Chris Higgins and Mike Komisarek, but losing them to non-native programs. With additional opportunity who knows what the future could hold for the very kids that step on the ice with me every morning with a dream.


Profile of the Author:
An avid New York Rangers fan, season ticket holder, and New York critic! Feel free to contact me or visit my blog at PucksOnBroadway.blogspot.com!

 Additional stories from Daniel Akeson:


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