Tag: Winter Classic alumni game


Mike Richter will play in Winter Classic alumni game


Retro-inspired sweaters already add a nostalgic feel to Winter Classic games, but nothing brings the sentimentality quite like alumni games. Still, there’s always a sense of sadness when a fan favorite can’t make it (paging Wayne Gretzky). Luckily, Adam Rotter passes along comforting news: Mike Richter will play for the New York Rangers’ side in the upcoming 2012 Winter Classic alumni game.

There is a caveat, though: he won’t play as a goalie.

Sure, that’s a bummer, but his reasoning is sound. Richter had to hang up his pads because of concussion issues and has some concern about possible risks related to playing that position – even in a friendly contest. As Rotter says, “Any Mike Richter is better than no Mike Richter,” though.

Really, the saddest thing might be that Dan Blackburn will be one of the Rangers’ goalies (alongside John Vanbiesbrouck). In a fairer world, Blackburn would still be an active NHL goalie, instead.

Winter Classic alumni game rosters have plenty of stars

2012 Winter Classic

The 2012 Winter Classic alumni game is going to be loaded with stars from both the Rangers and Flyers as both teams announced the rosters they’ll be using for the game in Philadelphia.

We already knew about Eric Lindros and Bobby Clarke taking part in things for the Flyers, but they’ll also be joined by the likes of Rick Tocchet, Mark Recchi, Brian Propp, John LeClair, Mark Howe, and NBC’s own Jeremy Roenick among a host of other former Flyers from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Sadly, Mikael Renberg won’t be there to bring us the “Legion of Doom” line. Flyers fans can feel better though because the classic line from the Broad Street Bullies years of Clarke, Bill Barber, and Reggie Leach will be there.

For the Rangers, they’ll run out notable stars like Glenn Anderson, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, and Darius Kasparaitis. Some guys you won’t be seeing, however, are Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Mike Richter. While we knew Gretzky wouldn’t be playing, Messier and Richter have medical reasons for missing out right now. Messier is getting shoulder surgery but hopes to play while Richter is hoping to be cleared by his doctor.

Hey, maybe John Vanbiesbrouck and Dan Blackburn can help you feel better about the Rangers in goal. Either way, the Rangers are still bringing a bit more name presence to the net for the game as the Flyers will trot out Mark LaForest and Neil Little in goal.

No matter what, the game on December 31 will set the table nicely for the Winter Classic itself. If you want to check out the full roster, NHL.com has you taken care of there.

Report: Gretzky a no-go for Winter Classic alumni game

Wayne Gretzky

This time it seems like our hopes to see “The Great One” take the ice in Philadelphia for the Winter Classic alumni game are dashed again.

CSNPhilly’s John Boruk tweeted last night that Wayne Gretzky will not be participating in the alumni exhibition at Citizens Bank Park and has told folks with the Winter Classic as much. Boruk’s sources indicate that if the game was held in New York City he would have played in the game.

Considering that Yankee Stadium is hosting a college bowl game for the next couple of years, if we’re going to see Gretzky suit up for an alumni game we’re going to have to hope for St. Louis or Los Angeles to host one in the meantime. That’s… Not very likely to happen we’d assume.

While it’s disappointing to see that 99 won’t be playing, the number of other greats and Hall Of Famers that will be playing is off the charts. Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, and Eric Lindros playing for the Flyers and we’re likely to see a host of former 1994 Rangers suit up as well including Mark Messier and with Mike Keenan coaching the team, that will make the event a fun one.

Still, this has been the best opportunity to get Gretzky out there for an event like this and after seeing Mario Lemieux play for Pittsburgh last year, getting that megastar touch to the game would’ve made it nostalgia perfect.