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MSG to offer Winter Classic bonanza

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Video: Bonus Clip from Friday's "MSG Vault"

When the Rangers and Flyers take the ice for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on January 2, Rangers fans will be more than prepared for the big game. Leading up to the fifth annual outdoor contest, MSG Network will telecast a special programming lineup over the next 10 days, starting on Friday, December 23. Melrose Credit Union is the presenting sponsor for all of MSG Network’s 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic programming.

On Friday at 10 p.m., MSG Network’s award-winning original series “MSG’s Vault” will revisit the 1991 outdoor preseason game from the Caesar’s Palace parking lot in Las Vegas –- the first NHL game ever played outside -– which featured a game-time temperature of 85 degrees and numerous issues with the playing surface. Taped at the famous Wollman Rink in New York City’s Central Park, host Al Trautwig looks back at the unique game with special guest John Vanbiesbrouck, the Rangers goalie that season. The episode also includes interviews with former Ranger Doug Weight and former King Larry Robinson.

“We totally embraced the idea of playing in Las Vegas –- especially against the Kings and Gretzky –- and at Caesar’s Palace, home of all the big fights!” explains Vanbiesbrouck in the episode.

On Sunday, December 25 starting at 1:30 p.m., MSG Network will replay the previous four Winter Classic games -– 2011: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins from Heinz Field; 2010: Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins from Fenway Park; 2009: Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks from Wrigley Field; and 2008: Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres from Ralph Wilson Stadium. Interspersed throughout the games, MSG Network will air special interview segments featuring current Rangers talking about the previous Winter Classic games and about their upcoming game against the Flyers.

At 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 31, MSG Network will telecast the 2012 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game as some of the all-time greats from the Rangers, including Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, Glenn Anderson, Mike Gartner, Stephane Matteau and Nick Fotiu, face off against Flyers legends.

Immediately following the game will be a special 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic edition of “HOCKEY NIGHT LIVE.” The program will be telecast from both Philadelphia and New York; Trautwig, who will be joined by Alumni Game participant Dave Maloney, will host the show from Philadelphia, while Bill Pidto, Ken Daneyko and Bill Jaffe contribute from the MSG Network studios in New York. Ron Duguay, who is playing in the game and returning to New York immediately afterwards, will join the crew when he arrives back in the city.

MSG Network will welcome in the New Year on January 1 when it telecasts live coverage of the Rangers practice at 2:30 p.m., hosted by Trautwig. Prior to the big game on January 2, MSG Network will telecast a live pre-game show at noon, again hosted by Trautwig in Philadelphia, joined by Maloney, and Duguay, John Giannone and Joe Micheletti in New York.

For more information about MSG Network’s 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic programming and additional video content, go to
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