Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sk8On Hockey

Wojtek Wolski is still on the NY Rangers roster. Talk of him being the odd man out, and possibly getting a buy out have subsided this week. It's good to know that Wojtek is staying busy this offseason. A story out of Toronto reports that Wojtek is again attending Jari Byrski's SK8ON (Skate On) Hockey School. Wojtek has been going to hockey guru Byrski's school since he was 7.

Here is Wojtek Wolski's testimonial about SK8ON:
SK8ON has been the hockey school of my choice since I started playing hockey at the age of 7. Jari has made hockey fun by providing a great environment, which boosted my confidence and helped me mature over the years both as a hockey player and as a person. From private lessons, summer camps, and weeknight skates, each time I step on the ice with Jari I seem to learn something I can use in game situations. SK8ON hockey school has allowed me to excel at every level of hockey and made me into the player I am today.”
Many other NHL players, such as Jason Spezza, Michael Cammalleri, and Steven Stamkos, have gone to see Jari Byrski. Here is Eric Staal's testimonial about SK8ON:
SK8ON Hockey Camp helped me improve on my stick handling and skating, I really enjoyed it and I am glad I had the opportunity to be part of Jari’s unique drills. The instructors are great and there is a lot to learn with SK8ON.”
The interesting thing about Byrski is that he gave up playing competitive hockey at age 13 or 14. He says it was because he “didn’t have the work habits” to become an elite player.

Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star does a nice profile of Jari Byrski and the SK8ON Hockey School, Stars align for local hockey guru:
Jason Spezza, the Mississauga-bred centre for the Ottawa Senators, walked into a dressing room recently. Before he sat down, he hopped over the equipment bag belonging to Mike Cammalleri, the Montreal Canadiens forward, and settled into a spot across from Jeff Skinner, the NHL rookie of the year, and Wojtek Wolski, the New York Rangers winger.

Why was the foursome of pros, slated to make a combined salary of about $20 million next season, spending a summer’s day at the decaying Vaughan Iceplex, where the goal nets, like the walls, have holes? They were there to see Jari Byrski, the noted skill development coach...

The 28-year-old Spezza, who has been attending Byrski’s on-ice classroom since before he was a teenager, has witnessed first-hand the growth of Sk8On (pronounced Skate On), Byrski’s thriving hockey school. When Byrski isn’t packing his summer camps to waiting-list-only capacity with boys and girls as young as 6, he is booking time with NHLers referred to him by longtime clients...

If Byrski has differentiated himself in a crowded marketplace — and he says it took five or six years to establish a viable business — it’s as a proponent of no end of unconventional methods.

He’ll ask players to stickhandle with everything from a golf ball to a puck that weighs twice the regulation six ounces. His most advanced charges toe-drag and zigzag through complicated gauntlets of pylons and pucks and stick shafts. Stamkos, who can currently make an argument that he’s the best player in the world, calls some of Byrski’s drills “almost impossible to do.” ...
Jari Byrski wearing the 2010 Olympic Gold Hockey Medal: "Congrats to Eric Stall and Rick Nash"
The Garden makeover is going 24x7. Checkout the circular Rangers locker room in the video.

Marc Berman / NY Post:
Tour shows new MSG will be unrecognizable --
About 1,200 construction workers are transforming the Garden round the clock on three separate shifts spanning the 24-hour day.

Even after just one summer and the first of three phases, the Garden will be an unrecognizable place in late October when the doors reopen for the first time, whether it be for a Rangers or Knicks preseason game. (Bet on the Rangers opening the place).

The three-summer project will cost Dolan at least $850 million. There’s no taxpayer money but that well-publicized 49-percent season-ticket hike...

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  • Down by the Seaside said...

    Perhaps MSG-TV needs a facelift too.

    Watching last night's 10 to 1 Greatest NY Defensemen. Brad Park was voted at #8?! Park, the 9-time all star, hall of fame career gets him no better than 8th. He was generally regarded as the second-best defenseman of his time (behind some guy in Boston named Orr!), and Ron Greschner, Ken Daneyko and others finish above him? That's comical bordering on embarrassing. Frankly, I'd take Park over Leetch in any situation: power play, penalty kill, even strength.

    This is almost as ridiculous as fans voting Jeter over DiMaggio, Mantle, Gehrig and Berra!

  • jb said...

    It's the old out-of-sight out-of-mind mentality. Guys who haven't played recently get short shrift. The old-timers are left in the dustbin of history. That's BS.

    MSG needs to hire the RangerPundit as a consultant before running these ridiculous shows.

    The RangerPundit's post from October 21, 2007, entitled "Brian Leetch — Brad Park" nicely summarized Mike's opinion on Park's place in Rangers history. Here were some of his thoughts:

    ...there is another great #2 who also should have his numbers raised to the rafters and that is the equally great #2, Brad Park.

    Defensively I would give the edge to Brad Park. He was just as smooth on defense as he was on offense with an edge over Leetch. He took the body more often and more effectively. Leetch was a good skater who could burst into the offensive zone as good as anyone and was a great offensive threat. Park was a great skater who often seemed to be gliding.

    So there you are. Offensively, the edge to Leetch with Park a step behind. On defense, the edge to Park, with Leetch a stride behind. My pick is Brad Park. But the point here is that while #2 Leetch is raised to the rafters so should #2 Brad Park. What do you think?

    Mike followed that story up with a poll asking the readers to vote.

    The RangerPundit story on Oct. 31, 2007, entitled "Brad Park Sweeps Fans' Polls", then went over the results:

    Brad Park was voted by you fans as a better all around player than Brian Leetch by a wide margin of 28%, the final tally being Park 64% and Leetch 36%. The poll ran for one week and drew 98 votes. An additional poll to determine if Park also warranted having his number 2 jersey raised to the rafters was much closer but also resulted in a win for Park by a 54% to 46 %, and 8 percent margin of victory. This poll drew 97 voters.

    Park's popularity over Leetch is somewhat surprising in lieu of the fact that Park spent only seven plus years with the Rangers to Leetch's seventeen years as a Ranger. Both were exciting impact players, crowd pleasers, fan favorites and Hall of Famers. Park is already there and Leetch will be also....