Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/22/06 at 10:41 AM ET
A traveling squad of Rangers landed in Puerto Rico last night to prepare for tomorrow's game against the Florida Panthers - the first NHL-sanctioned event in the Caribbean. The steamy climate - high 80s and rainy at this time of year - is decidedly unfamiliar territory for a sport with roots in frosty ponds. Tom Renney, who was the coach of the Vancouver Canucks when the team opened the regular season in Japan 10 years ago, was looking forward to the trip as a way to engage new fans and build team unity with 22 players, about half of whom weren't with the Rangers last season. "It's an interesting venue for us, to say the least," Renney said, "given the cultural diversity in the dressing room," which is a blend of Europeans and North Americans.continued
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