One of the forgotten parts of the Winter Classic is the Alumni Game. Players of the past will suit up for the Rangers and Flyers in an exhibition game. The biggest disappointment was Wayne Gretzky’s decision to not play in the game, claiming that he would have done so if the game was in New York. Nonetheless, it should be fun to watch. The Rangers released the roster today, and though Gretzky is missing there are a lot of memorable names who will be great to watch suit up once more for the Rangers. Keep reading to see the roster.
Coaches: Mike Keenan, Emile Francis, Colin Campbell
Forwards: Glenn Anderson, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Pat Hickey, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Darren Langdon, Stephane Matteau, Brian Mullen, Darren Turcotte
Defensemen: Ron Greschner, Darius Kasparaitis, Tom Laidlaw, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider
Goaltenders: Dan Blackburn, John Vanbiesbrouck
Ambassadors: Rod Gilbert, Ed Giacomin, Harry Howell
Mark Messier is not on the roster but hopes to play. He needs to see how his shoulder recovers from surgery before deciding, though. Mike Richter will visit doctors to see if they allow him to play.
Anderson, Graves, Kypreos, Matteau, and Leetch are all members of the 1994 Stanley Cup team, and Keenan was of course the coach. Gartner was traded that season. A lot of great names on this roster. I’m especially excited for Dan Blackburn, whose career was unfairly cut short. Disappointing that they couldn’t find anyone better than Dale Purinton, though. I was hoping we had seen the last of him in a Rangers jersey.
Here is the Flyers roster. Some big names there as well, including Bobby Clarke and John Leclair. Former Ranger Eric Lindros will play for them as well.