ALBANY -- Zach Parise has been a superstar at every rung of the hockey ladder, but tonight he gets his first opportunity to prove that he's ready for the ultimate test -- professional.
The 20-year-old Parise will be skating in his first game for the Albany River Rats when they open their 12th AHL season against Binghamton at Pepsi Arena, and while nearly half the skating roster will be different from last season's, most eyes will be on this rookie.
DELMAR -- You will need a program to tell the players when the Albany River Rats take the ice to begin their 12th season in the American Hockey League on Friday night, but that may be a good thing.
Ten players who appeared in 30 or more games last season no longer are River Rats, including the club's three top-scoring forwards and top-scoring All-Star defenseman Ray Giroux. With those players, the Rats hardly ever were in contention for an AHL playoff berth. They ultimately finished last in the East Division at 21-39-11-9.
You may have heard this before, but there's a fresh optimism in the locker room entering this season, with some tested veterans complemented by several players who figure to improve off their rookie seasons. And then there is Zach Parise, one of the most promising newcomers in the league this season.
Rats relying on trio of veterans to point the way out of mediocrity
DELMAR -- After the Albany River Rats missed the AHL playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello knew it was time to change the karma both in the locker room and on the ice.
He wasted little time once it became clear there would be no National Hockey League this season, signing a trio of veterans with winning track records to help guide the fortunes of this season's team.
It was a calculated risk letting the team's top three scorers from last season go, but the organization is confident that defenseman Ray Schultz and forwards Pascal Rheaume and Dean McAmmond can direct this team back on the road to credibility
ALBANY - Ready or not, the Zach Parise era in Albany begins in earnest
tonight. The highly touted rookie center likes the limelight and
welcomes any pressure.
Welcome to the big leagues.Parise will be in the lineup as the
Albany River Rats commence their 12th American Hockey League season when they host the Binghamton Senators at 7 p.m. at Pepsi Arena."Good," Parise said of any added pressure. "I'm glad and I expect probably more than people think, I expect more
If you can't beat him ... sign him: Rats add rugged Ray Schultz, a championship defender
ALBANY - Ray Schultz looks at this season as a fresh start.
The game the eight-year pro brings to Albany could be just what the River Rats
need - a tough defenseman with leadership and championship experience.
"You do what you have to do," said Schultz, who skated on Milwaukee's Calder Cup championship team last season. "When you're called upon, you do whatever you need to do. Part of being a team leader is whatever you need to do
Ratsgirl, will Shultz be in the lineup tonight? He will help the Rats this season since there is no NHL for the time being... :mad: I wish I could make it up for the opening night of the Rats tonight but cannot...
I hope Fosters shoulder injury is not too bad and he is in the lineup for tonight's game as well...