The New York Rangers had a couple of days off after their 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Nov. 3 before they suited up against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden (MSG) on Nov. 6. With a few days at home, the team headed out into the community to spread some early holiday cheer while offering some on ice pointers to the Junior Rangers crew. Plus, president and general manager (GM) Chris Drury signed a player that just might help come playoff time and more.
Trouba & the Boys Lending a Hand
According to their official website, the Garden of Dreams Foundation is a “partnership with MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports [that] provides young people in our communities with life-changing access to education and skills opportunities; mentoring programs, and memorable experiences that enhance their lives, help shape their futures and create lasting joy. The Foundation focuses on young people facing illness or financial challenges, as well as children of uniformed personnel who have been lost or injured while serving our communities.”
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On Nov. 4, the Rangers hosted a holiday lunch for children and families associated with Garden of Dreams. Rangers players and staff were there to serve lunch and spread holiday cheer to all participants.
The Rangers’ players, led by captain Jacob Trouba, showed up at Lavo, an Italian restaurant in NYC, with smiles all around. The players enjoyed being with their fans on a more personal level without the glass or hockey equipment dividing them.
Goodrow & Carpenter Skate With Junior Rangers
Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Carpenter shared some on-ice tips for Junior Rangers players, as the two Blueshirts coached the kids during practice and signed some autographs after. The evening was part of the Northwell Health Golden Ticket Event. Northwell Health is a partner of the Rangers, and the two have several collaborations over the course of each season.
Rangers Add Size, Sign Harpur
The Rangers added some size and a bit of playoff experience to their stable by signing Ben Harpur. Harpur was on a professional tryout (PTO) with American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack. Before that, he was on a PTO with the Columbus Blue Jackets but was released after he injured himself in a fight during training camp. He signed a PTO with the Wolf Pack a couple of weeks later, on Oct. 13, and played four games before signing his one-year NHL contract with the Rangers worth $750,000.
The 6-foot-6, 231-pound defenseman likely won’t be one of the first call-ups on the back end this season, but he does provide size and grit that might come in handy as the season wears on and during the playoffs. The Hamilton, ON, native was originally a fourth-round selection of the Ottawa Senators back in 2013. Harpur has played 156 NHL games, including 14 playoff games and 180 AHL games in his professional career. In 2017-18, he had 71 hits in 41 games with the Senators and could be used as a sixth or seventh defenseman to bring that style of play to the squad in the playoffs if and when injuries start to take their toll.
Kakko, Hajek & Others Pass the Joy
“Throughout the holiday season, the Rangers are committed to spreading cheer and brightening lives and homes around the community. Join the effort and help Pass the Joy this year.” That’s the mission statement of “Pass the Joy,” which the Rangers participate in along with Lexus and the United States Marine Corps.
The event took place on Nov. 4 in the Hulu Lobby Theater at MSG. Kaapo Kakko and Libor Hajek, among others, were on hand to help collect toys for the holidays.