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The Official Site of the New York Rangers

Blueshirt Fans Excited for 2002-03 Season!

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

Thanks to all Rangers fans who submitted their thoughts on the upcoming 2002-03 NHL season. Due to the overwhelming response, we will be posting additional responses next week as well on

Here are a few randomly selected submissions from Blueshirt fans around the United States and their thoughts on the 2002-03 Rangers season.

Being that I was raised in N.Y.C. in the era of Rod Gilbert, Vic Hatfield, Jean Ratelle, Eddie Giacomin and Brad Park, I have to look upon this season with excitement. For the first time in a while we are loaded at center ice. If you look at the great dynasties of the past, the centers played a critical role. They equate much the same as the quarterback in football. I know that many are wondering about the
lack of snipers at the wings but I believe that it is time to let some of the young gunslingers we have in the minors come up with the parent club. We have in the organization a bunch of fast talented
young men who are hungry for the chance and having such a nucleus of veteran leadership I believe that the mixture could prove deadly for the rest of the league. As far as defense it looks like we should prove
to be rock steady. Defense is about attitude and we seemed to have given our team a massive infusion of it this off-season. Our goaltending should prove the benefactor. Lastly and of equal importance I must
applaud management on the coaching staff which has been assembled. These men, when they played in the NHL, personified the definition of the word ‘attitude’ in hockey. They are men who deserve respect, our trust and support. Well with all that said, I believe the future is bright so sit back and enjoy the ride. GO RANGERS!!!
Tony C.
New York City

I believe that all the off seasons player deals has bolstered the Rangers into and instant contender in the division.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Rangers in the playoffs and the Stanley Cup finals this year. I have been a loyal Ranger fan for many years and I feel just like I did before the 94 season, go blue shirts.
Wayne Fowler
Tulsa, Oklahoma

This Canadian would like to give a GREAT warm welcome from across the boarder and say that this is the Rangers year. With Bure working alongside Eric Lindros he should easily score 58 goals and let’s not forget about Lindros who will reach the 50-goal plateau for the first time in his career scoring 52 of them. Furthermore, the Rangers need to either move Nedved to the left wing of the BEST LINE IN HOCKEY (which includes Lindros and Bure). So don't forget where you heard it first … the Rangers are going to make the playoffs with 94 points and cause some noise in the playoffs! It's the BLUE & RED show this year. Lets here it for the Rangers and all you wonderful, strong people in New York city!! You truly do have the best city in the WORLD!!
Bryan Foster
Burlington, ON

I’ve been a die-hard Rangers fan since 1962. I don’t live in New York anymore. I’m down here in Florida and I do miss New York badly. I get to see all the games down here and with the internet, I feel like I’m right there with you guys! I am really excited about this coming year … more excited than when Mark Messier became a Ranger. To add the names of Lindros (and by the way, I think this man is going to have a great season), Bure, Holik --- we have added size, skill and toughness. You have to be excited and very proud to be a New York Rangers fan!!
Raymond D. Millwater
Tampa, Florida

I am extremely excited about the '02-'03 New York Rangers more than ever! The roster is packed with a lot of talent. In my opinion, the main ingredient is chemistry. If the Rangers find their compatible linemates early at the start of the season, they shall build momentum and establish confidence in themselves throughout the season. It will be the true hockey genius of Trottier and Sather that shall catapult their route to a very successful campaign.
Michael Byrne
Smithtown, New York

The start of the 2002-03 season is upon us, and as always, I am excited to get the show on the road. I think the
Rangers have made some good decision making in the off-season with the signing of a solid defenseman in
Kasparitis, and a solid, two-way center in Bobby Holik. Making Trottier the new coach was also a great move because he has a solid resume and I think the players will respect him. For pairings, I'd love to see Lindros and Bure on the same line again. At the end as last season, that pair
was on fire and I think they will be solid again this year. Team chemistry is a major concern, though. What
will it take to get all the players playing like a team, which seemed like a problem in years past?
Ken Buffum

If Bryan Trottier can come up with a good defensive plan, the Rangers can be the team to beat in the East. Our problem has never been goal scoring but defense. Lindros and Bure will have at least 40 goals apiece. Holik and
Kasparitus gives us a physical edge that we never had before. And Trottier's expertise on the power play and penalty kill will be invaluable.
Frank Starnella

I'm looking forward to this season with a bigger sense of pride than the past few. I've always been optimistic, but the past 5 years have been rough, so I'm a bit snakebitten. But the Holik and Kasparaitis signings made me want to don my NYR jerseys in the 100 degree heat/humidity of the summer!!! I am also happy Richter is still on board. No better a man to have Blackburn look up to. I feel Trottier & Co. will get this squad to where it should be. I would really like to see Tomas Kloucek and Dale Purinton see some ice this season (as long as it is earned). They are big, young guys who want to play and will intimidate and be feared throughout the NHL. Plus, they are homegrown Rangers. Hopefully the new coaching staff will see their value.
I hope Lundmark and some other young guys (Ekman, G. Murray, Kane, etc.) show enough to make the team. Great work on the Pavel Bure trade!
It's also nice to have one of my fav's of all time - NICK FOTIU - back within the system!! All in all, REALLY looking forward to the season. DROP THE PUCK!!!
Carl Winnicki
Howell, New Jersey

This upcoming season is going to generate incredible excitement for the fans. Sather has made lots of changes to give the team a tough offensive look with Bure, Lindros, Holik and Kasparaitis. If this team comes together early,
there is no telling how far they can go. Division champs, Conference champs, Stanley Cup champs?? The tools and the experience are there. All they have to do is make it happen. LET'S GO RANGERS !!
Miguel Baez

As a loyal and faithful Rangers fan I enter each October with the philosophy that this will be a good year for our team. Albeit, there are many years where emotion and enthusiasm overtake reality (especially the last five years), however, I am more optimistic this year than I have been for the last several. As I painfully watched the team over the last five years I couldn't help but wonder where was the accountability? Well, with the addition of Bobby Holik this team will final have some. One also couldn't help but be concerned about the specialty teams, and I am confident that Bryan Trottier, Terry O'Reilly and Jim Schoenfeld will take care of that problem, as well as the welcomed addition of Darius Kasparaitis to the penalty killing unit. I say kudos to Glen Sather for a job well done over the last few years (let's not forget the additions of Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure). This year’s Rangers team will be a fun and exiting team to watch.
Rob Marro
Wantagh, New York

I believe that the Rangers added some very important pieces to the puzzle during this off season. Last year's team was constantly being pushed around by the more physical teams in the NHL. Though that team did have talent, that talent was not able to flourish in this sort of atmosphere.
With the additions of Holik and Kasparaitis, this team will be more physical and less prone to being bullied. Eric Lindros will flourish because he will not have to constantly worry about being pounded by the other team. He will have a better year than last year. Bure is the wild card on this team. He could have any absolutely outrageous year- scoring 50+ goals- or he could become another casualty of the New York mystique. I think Pavel will have a great year! With the new energy on the team, veterans like Leetch and Richter will be re-energized. I do not expect this team to win the Stanley Cup, but I DO believe that they will not only make the playoffs, but that they will go deep into the playoffs. No finishing behind the Islanders this year.
Timothy Shizume

This season I believe the Rangers can and will make the playoffs. How far they go is up to them. Trottier was one of the best moves Sather has made so far. This man knows what it takes to win. He has won with every organization he has been involved with. People say ‘rookie coach.’ I say hard-nosed veteran NHL'er and Hall of Famer. Kaspar and Holik are just what the doctor ordered. How many times since Beuk and Ulfie have been gone have we seen defenders running over and backing into Richter? These two guys bring an added toughness and that 1, 2 punch that the Rangers, as a team, have been missing for the last few years. Richter will not be interfered with nearly as much and when he is, there will be a price to pay with Kaspar cleaning out the crease. Holik is a physical forward which means traffic in front of the opposition’s net … which causes deflections and garbage goals (which we love). Bure will be a huge asset as well. He is a scoring machine. No matter what team or conference he has played for he has proved he can score anywhere. On this Ranger team look for The Russian Rocket to net 50 goals. Lindros - I hated this trade last season, until the season started. He has heart, he was checking and he was scoring, just what we needed him to do. The trade in my eyes has already paid for itself. I think he will score at least 40 this season. Barnaby and McCarthy are my two favorite players. If anyone is looking for players with heart, these are your guys. They are the team enforcers and give 110% every game. Richter - what can you say? This man is in my eyes is one of the best ever. He has had his fair share of injuries but I wouldn't want anyone else in the nets but him. He is the definition of heart and he never gives up. If the team stops putting him in a position where he is facing over 40 shots a game he will shine once again next season. Blackburn - he is our future. He needs a little more playing time and experience but I am confident he will be a dependable starting goal tender in the NHL. There is a lot I left out but, you all get the point. I think with the moves Sather has made, this organization has taken a step in the right direction. He added a well respected coach and coaching staff, size, scoring, toughness, speed, defense and got our net minder back. This season should be a great one. Step One is making the playoffs which I cant wait to see again. Step Two - Lord Stanley’s Cup!
Somerset, New Jersey
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