I have heard that the Rangers are likely to announce their team for the alumni game on Saturday November 26th, before their game with the Flyers.
Multiple times I have asked readers for a list of players that people want to see/think will play in the game.
Besides Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter and Adam Graves, other players mentioned by readers were:
Wayne Gretzky, Pat LaFontaine, Jari Kurri, Anders Hedberg, Stephane Mattaeu, Ron Duguay, Mike Gartner, Nick Fotiu, Petr Nedved, Tomas Sandstrom,Jeff Beukeboom, Ron Greschner, James Patrick, Dave Maloney, Barry Beck, Steve Larmer, Sergei Zubov, Tony Amonte, Tie Domi, Jan Erixon, Sergei Nemchinov, Mike Allison, Mark Osbourne, Kelly Kissio, John Ogrodnick, Brian Mullen, Glenn Anderson, Nick Kypreos, Don Maloney, Brendan Shanahan, Pavel Bure, Markus Naslund, Michael Nylander, Martin Straka, Luc Robitaille, Niklas Sundstrom, Theo Fleury, Sandy McCarthy, Dale Purinton, Chris Drury, Eddie Olcyzk Doug Lidster, Jay Wells, Reijo Ruotsalainen, Ulf Samuelsson, Mark Pavelich, Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, Esa Tikkanen.
Mike Richter, John Vanbiesbrouck, Dan Cloutier, Dan Blackburn, Glen Hanlon, Glen Healy.
Older players mentioned were Rod Gilbert, Brad Park, Vic Hadfield, Phil Esposito and Jean Ratelle.
There are a lot of good choices. The Flyers are sending out the old Bobby Clarke, Reggie Leach, Bill Barber line and I wonder if the Rangers will counter with the famous GAG line of Hadfield, Ratelle and Gilbert.
To me, the given players, because they are always around, are Mess, Leetch, Graves, Dave Maloney, Duguay, Mullen, Matteau, Greschner, Fotiu, Gilbert and Hadfield. I think that Shanny is a nice bet to play since he is recently retired and still involved with the game. Olczyk and Kypreos will be there for TV, so I would think they are likely and Don Maloney was part of the organization up until a few years ago. Chris Drury may also show up if his knee allows him.
With the players listed above, or others, compile your own rosters and leave them in the comments or send them to Adamrotter@gmail.com
Update: 3:01PM: Pierre LeBrun writes about Gretzky today and even though he said he would consider it, LeBrun doesn’t think that Gretzky will change his mind.
It sounds like Sather and Mike Keenan reached out to Gretzky.
Original Post: 9:33PM: Thursday: Pierre LeBrun says at the end of TSN’s Insider Training segment that Glen Sather talked with Wayne Gretzky about playing in the Winter Classic Alumni game and that Gretzky is gonna “mull it over.”
Gretzky, according to LeBrun, thought it was “classy” of Sather and the Dolan family to reach out to Gretzky about playing.
I am trying not to get too excited about this since there isn’t confirmation that he will play, but I might be breaking out the old 99 jersey soon. Look for a post with a bunch of candidates for the game this weekend.
There have been 69 total players that have played for the Flyers and Rangers in their careers.
Nine players currently in the NHL have played for both teams:
Jaromir Jagr, Blair Betts, Martin Biron, Steve Eminger, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Knuble, Ian Laperriere, Vinny Prospal and Jody Shelley.
I would count Nikolai Zherdev as well since no one will want him on their team.
Tony Amonte, Donald Brashear, Alexandre Daigle, Rob Dimaio, Nick Fotiu, Jan Hlavac, Jody Hull, Kim Johnsson, Tim Kerr, Eric Lindros, Craig MacTavish, Vladimir Malakhov, Sandy McCarthy, Petr Nedved, Ulf Samuelsson, Kevin Stevens, P.J Stock, John Vanbiesbrouck, Jay Wells, Todd White and Mike York are players who played for both teams and are possible to play in the game.
I would say that Donald Brashear, Kim Johnsson, Tim Kerr and Lindros are locked in for the Flyers, or would choose the Flyers, especially in Brashear’s case.
Vanbiesbrouck has been around the team lately and Petr Nedved seems like a good bet to play for the Rangers. Craig MacTavish is coaching, but I would think he would pick the Rangers because of his Oiler buddies and winning the Cup with the Rangers. Fotiu is a lock for the Rangers.
Tony Amonte is the really interesting guy in the group. He scored 30 for the Rangers twice but that was 20 years ago. He only played 93 games for the Flyers, but that was within the last ten years. For some reason, while I think he should be a Ranger, I think Amonte would pick the Flyers in the game.
According to Anthony Sanfilippo of the Delaware County Times, the Rangers are planning to bring as many members of their 1994 Stanley Cup winning team as they can to the Winter Classic Alumni game.
He also says that some of the Flyers playing in the game are: Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Mark Recchi, Bobby Clarke,Bill Barber, Reggie Leach and Eric Desjardins.
The team had most of the 1994 guys at Mark Messier night, so there are still connections with many of them. Obviously Mess, Brian Leetch and Adam Graves are given. Mike Richter, Jeff Beukeboom, Glen Anderson, Stephane Matteau, Esa Tikkanen are all good bets. Eddie Olczyk, Glen Healy and Nick Kypreos will probably be there for TV and could play. Jay Wells, Steve Larmer, Kevin Lowe?
Gretzky said he was going to spend that time with his family.
At CBC, Elliotte Friedman says that it is likely that Mark Messier and Glen Sather will try to persuade Gretzky to play for the Rangers in the game.
Maybe he has already agreed to play but they are keeping it a secret for a little while. I just don’t get why he wouldn’t play. He gets to play with a bunch of old teammates, put on the Rangers jersey again, and try to beat the Flyers. Sounds like a winning proposition to me.