Just finished reading a great piece by Larry Brooks in the New York Post, where he asks Wayne Gretzky, who turns 50 on Wednesday, how his life is going and should the Winter Classic be in New York next season, would he play for them in the legends game. The Great One responded with an emphatic yes and an, “I’d be there in a minute if the Rangers had one.” If this doesn’t help sell the NHL that the Rangers should be hosting the WC next season, I don’t know what will. As someone alluded to on Yahoo, wouldn’t it be sweet to see a Rangers-Kings classic, where Gretzky suits up for Los Angeles for the first half of the game, then finishes in Ranger blue? But that does not appear to be the likely scenario, because it seems the Rangers and Flyers are the leading contenders for 2012.
This all begs me to ask the question, if Wayne is so eager to play for them in the legends game, would he play for the Rangers right now? With injuries to Dubinsky, Callahan, Christensen, Fedotenko, Boogaard, Frolov, Prospal, and now Girardi and Prust, Gretzky would be a top-flight player on this team who is featuring half of the Connecticut Whale on their roster. If you would have told me that by January, the Rangers would have peeks at Zuccarello, Weise, Dupont, Kolarik, Newbury, McDonaugh, and Williams, I would have thought you were crazy, but the Rangers have caught the injury bug this season, and no one has escaped it, including Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury who are healthy now but missed an extended period of time earlier in the season.
The Rangers four current centers are Brian Boyle, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, and Chris Drury…HELP! Where would Gretzky fit into all of this, even at fifty years old? I’d say pretty damn well if you ask me. The Rangers are one of the worst teams in the league on faceoffs…do you think Wayne has slipped up in that department. And how about for goals, a category the Rangers are strapped for considering half their team is watching in the press box? I think he still has a few biscuits left in his arsenal.
So Wayne, if you are reading this and still feel ties to New York, please come and help us out! If I see Captain Clutch miss one more open net or flub one more slap shot, or lose a faceoff, because apparently, that’s the only thing his $7 million salary is paying him to do, I’ll scream. You will always be welcome here Wayne, so how about a comeback attempt?