Colton Orr, left, chats with a Rangers fan while signing an autograph at Saturday's Fan Fest. To his left is Dave Maloney, one of many alumni at the event.
On a sunny, beautiful day -- when both the skies and the mood were True Blue -- more than 2,000 Rangers Subscribers visited the Madison Square Garden Training Center for the 2007 Season Subscriber Summer Fan Fest.
As they entered the Training Center Grounds last Saturday, subscribers were greeted by a giant, inflatable hockey player, which welcomed them to hockey-related events at the unique, carnival-like setting.
The day-long event was the second such gathering in the past three summers, and it featured activities and fun for fans of all ages. Some of the most popular were a Toss & Win game, Alumni Autograph Sessions and a "State of the Team" Session with Rangers Head Coach Tom Renney.
Fans could also test their shooting accuracy at one of the Slapshot booths. Subscribers who ventured into an area called the "Blue Zone" also had an opportunity to take their photos with a No. 7 banner honoring Rod Gilbert, the No. 11 banner honoring Mark Messier, or a 1993-94 Stanley Cup championship banner.
Several Rangers alumni were on hand, including former Blueshirt Ron Duguay, who spent part of his day at the Bubble Boy rod-hockey tables, where he enjoyed a long unbeaten streak until one young Rangers fan finally ended his run.
Duguay and others took turns signing for fans at a special Alumni Autograph tent. Dave Maloney, Brian Mullen, and Duguay all signed, along with current Blueshirts Colton Orr and Stephen Valiquette.
At his "State of the Team" sessions, Renney fielded a variety of questions from subscribers and also reflected on the 2006-07 team's performance. He was candid and open, as he spoke about his expectations for the upcoming 2007-08 season and some of the organization's emerging young players.
The festive atmosphere included a barbecue and plenty of ice cream, which helped keep everyone cool on what proved to be a hot and humid day. Fans also had a chance to skate on the Training Center ice, and many of kids on hand participated in street hockey clinics with Rangers assistant coach Mike Pelino and former Rangers Adam Graves and Brian Mullen. Even the youngest Rangers fans had places to play in the Fan Fest's Infant Zone and Softee Kiddie Rink.
Those lucky enough to attend the 2007 Summer Fan Fest were treated to a dream day for any Rangers fan, one which helped set the tone for future exclusive Subscriber events during the 2007-08 season. Click on the link below to view photos from the event: