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.

Hopes destroyed: Wayne Gretzky says he won’t be in alumni game in Philly

Wayne Gretzky

It’s your daily dose of Winter Classic alumni game chatter.

The other day we opined about how the alumni game would go from “fun and nostalgic” to “truly great” if Wayne Gretzky would join in on the festivities on December 31st.

Leave it to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun to go and talk to Gretzky himself and destroy all of our hopes and dreams.

As it turns out, Gretzky will be hanging out with his family for the holidays and for some bizarre reason, he thinks that no one wants to see him out on the ice.

“No, I’ll be with my family for the holidays,’’ Gretzky said. “Plus, they don’t need to see a 50-year-old slow guy out there!’’

It’s all right Wayne, seeing Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh last year playing with the Penguins alumni wasn’t one of the coolest things we got to see or anything. In all seriousness, it’s good for 99 to stick by his family and spending the holidays in Philly is something weirdos like us would want to do.

While it’s expected that guys like Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, and Mark Messier would likely take a shot at playing in this game, getting an assortment of other characters in Rangers history would be fun too. Let’s make it a mish-mash of old crowd favorites and free agent pick-ups that didn’t pay off.

Bring us Tie Domi, Marty McSorley, John Ogrodnick, John Vanbiesbrouck and Bobby Holik. Hell, bring us Jeff Beukeboom too.

Most of all, bring us Pavel Bure. Make it an event New York, you’ve got the host of names to pull it off.

Legion of D’oh: Mikael Renberg not likely to play in Winter Classic alumni game

John LeClair, Eric Lindros, Mikael Renberg
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It’s looking like the Legion of Doom won’t be riding again in the Winter Classic alumni game.

While we all got super geeked up hearing about how Eric Lindros would be playing in the Winter Classic event and was itching to get the band back together to break out the “Legion of Doom” one more time, Mikael Renberg is looking like he won’t be able to make it.

CSNPhilly.com’s Sarah Baicker reports that while Chris Therien will be joining in on the festivities, Flyers contributing writer Bill Meltzer finds out that Renberg will have TV duties covering the World Junior Championships in Edmonton in Calgary instead.

Well if that doesn’t just deflate your tires a little bit I don’t know what will.

The nostalgic turn of events that was going to bring out the kid in all of us who remembered seeing Lindros, Renberg, and John LeClair terrorize the NHL with their physical force and scoring prowess was making the alumni game a must-see event. Now it’s going to be toned down just a little bit.

Seeing an iconic line reassembled the way it was going to be for the alumni game would’ve made it a huge thrill, but Renberg having to do TV work and sticking to his commitment is one of the things that makes hockey players who they are. They have a job and they do it. In this case, we’ll miss out on something that would’ve been really cool to see one more time.

(Photo: Philadelphia Flyers)