Rangers Roundup: Sammy Blais scores again, Pride Night statement, and more
You can add another goal to Sammy Blais‘ totals with the Hartford Wolf Pack since joining the team on January 23 for a conditioning stint.
In the team’s 7-3 defeat to the Syracuse Crunch, Blais put home a rebound of a Blake Hillman shot on the power play giving him two power play goals in three games with the Pack. It’s worth noting that Blais slotted into Cuylle’s spot on the Pack power play unit.
Unfortunately, in Blais’ quest for offense he’s posted a -6 rating in those contests.
Sammy Blais scores again
Blais is expected to play in the Wolf Pack’s next three games and complete his assignment before returning back to the New York Rangers for their February 6 matchup against the Calgary Flames at home.
- Wed, 2/1 vs Providence (7 pm)
- Fri, 2/3 vs Utica (7 pm)
- Sat, 2/4 vs Wilkes-Barre Scranton (7 pm)
Blais, 26, has registered only 5 assists in 38 games and been recently scratched more often than this season. He has yet to record a goal with the Blueshirts since being part of the return from the St. Louis Blues in the Pavel Buchnevich trade over the span of 52 games dating back to last year.
Will Cuylle, who returned to action against Syracuse after a two-game audition with the big club was held scoreless. He and defenseman Zac Jones will represent the Wolf Pack in the All-Star festivities.
The AHL All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, February 5 through Monday, February 6 at Ball Place in Laval, Quebec.
Pride Night Statement
The New York Rangers hosted Pride Night on Friday at Madison Square Garden where they defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1. For the event, the building was lit inside and out in rainbow colors with prominent members of the LGBTQ+ community honored.
However, a promotional email was sent out earlier in the month to fans indicating they would be wearing pride-themed warm-up jersey and tape in support of inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community that evening. According to a report in the New York Post, there was a last minute change and the Rangers did their pre-game skate in their Reverse Retro jersey, which they wore for the final time this season.
Two players speaking under the condition of anonymity indicated that they were not told of the last minute change and expected to wear the pride warm-up and tape. The Post’s Larry Brooks checked with the league who said teams can proceed with the event as they wish. So this appears to be an executive level decision, likely in response to the fiasco in Philadelphia after Ivan Provorov opted not to participate in the Flyers’ Pride Night Event.
Choosing not to address the change as they should have before the game, the Rangers issued a statement on Saturday.
“Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night. In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”
It’s also worth noting that the Carolina Hurricanes, who hosted their Pride Night on the same evening did not wear a pride-themed warmup-up jersey. They did use pride-themed tape on their sticks.
Several teams will be hosting Pride Night events into February with many intrigued to see what they will do.
NHL News and Rumors
NHL Recaps. All the latest scores here.
Devils serious players for Timo Meier trade. Read more.
Ryan O’Reilly open to discount to stay with Blues. Read more.
Gary Bettman claims there’s no tanking in the NHL. Read more.