This week, Rangers news is sponsored by the letter "S."
First, the 2009 - 10 NHL schedule was released with the Rangers opening in Pittsburgh on October 2nd then playing their home opener October 3rd against Ottawa.
(I wonder what type of ovation Donald Brashear will get?)
The whole schedule can be found here.
Next, the Rangers named Mike Sullivan Assistant Coach. When John Tortorella was hired, this became an immediate point of contention as Sullivan had a clause in his contract that stated he could sign with whatever club Tortorella was coaching.
While he attempted to follow Tortorella last season, the Lightning axed that idea and the Rangers complied until after the season.
Sullivan, a former Ranger 4th round draft pick, was also Head Coach of the Boston Bruins leading them to a division title in 2003.
The official release can be found here.
A bit of intriguing "S" news has come by way of Philadelphia and New Jersey as multiple reports are stating that Brendan Shanahan has an open opportunity to re-join the Rangers after a one-year hiatus back to New Jersey.
Apparently, former Head Coach Tom Renney was the major factor in Shanahan not returning last season and with his exit, GM Glen Sather has reached out to Shanahan in hopes of luring the veteran winger back.
Shanahan, having never wanted to leave, is reportedly still contemplating staying in New Jersey, but has not ruled out a return to Broadway.
He may serve a positive purpose both in the locker room and on the power play. One of the bugaboos of last season was the lack of emotion that was seen in the Rangers dressing room. Lacking the presence of the departed Shanahan and Jaromir Jagr, at times the group seemed lax and disinterested. Shanahan would help Captain Chris Drury in remedying that.
Last season he signed for $800,000 and would likely command near the same this season. In two seasons with the Rangers, he tallied 52 goals and 56 assists for 108 points.
Finally, the Rangers made a minor swap with the Colorado Avalanche sending defenseman Brian Fahey in exchange for 21 year old Nigel Williams. Not much to say here except perhaps it is a depth move.
Nonetheless, here's the release:
New York, July 16, 2009 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Nigel Williams from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Brian Fahey.
Williams, 21, skated in 70 games with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season, registering seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points, along with 55 penalty minutes. The rookie defenseman ranked seventh on the team overall and second among Lake Erie defensemen in points. He also tied for the team lead among defensemen in goals scored. Williams posted a season-high, three-game point streak from January 10 against Hamilton to January 13 vs. Quad City, collecting three points (one goal and two assists) over the span. He also recorded his first career multi-point performance with two assists on March 28 at Syracuse. Williams notched a goal in his professional debut on October 11 against Grand Rapids.
The 6-4, 226-pounder skated in 113 career regular season contests with the Saginaw Spirit and Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) prior to turning pro, registering 32 goals and 50 assists for 82 points, along with 192 penalty minutes. In 2007-08, Williams split the season between Saginaw and Belleville, and established OHL career-highs in games played (67), assists (31) and points (46). As an OHL rookie in 2006-07, he set a career mark with 17 goals. In addition, Williams has collected 21 points (nine goals and 12 assists) in 27 career OHL playoff contests with Saginaw and Belleville. He tied for fourth on the Bulls in playoff assists (11) and points (18), and tied for fifth on the team in goals (seven) during the 2008 OHL Playoffs.
Williams also skated with the U.S. National Under-18 Development Team during the 2005-06 season, registering three goals and four assists for seven points, along with 23 penalty minutes in 19 games.
The Aurora, Illinois native was originally Colorado’s second round choice, 51st overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Fahey, 28, appeared in 66 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season, collecting four goals and 20 assists for 24 points, along with 67 penalty minutes.