Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/21/12 at 06:53 PM ET
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
“He has been out of the game for personal reasons and sees an opportunity to get back into it and knows the environment we have created here and he feels this is an excellent opportunity for him,” said Dave Poulin, the Leafs’ vice-president of hockey operations. “This kid can play. I watched him skate yesterday and wow, he can fly. He had some personal challenges off the ice and he has met them and he feels he’s in a good position to come back with an organization that is going to support him in every way possible.”
Ranger basically disappeared after he walked away from the Lightning. One source told sportsnet.ca he was assured by the organization that it was not a substance abuse issue.
A sixth-round draft pick (183rd overall) by the Lightning in 2002, Ranger played four years in the Ontario Hockey League with the Oshawa Generals and one season with Springfield of the AHL before graduating to the NHL. He played four full seasons with Tampa Bay and managed 18 goals and 92 points in 270 games. While his sudden retirement caught some by surprise, not everyone was shocked.
“The fact of the matter is he really didn’t have a great passion for the game,” the source said. “In fact he said many times that he was thinking of going back to school to study to do something else.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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