Have arrived in Syracuse and it's not snowing. Most of this Rangers' info is out there already but just wanted to post it collectively.
- The Rangers have agreed to terms with Dane Byers, who should have a very good chance of making the team out of training camp.
- Paul Mara has signed a one-year deal with Montreal. No contract figures available yet. Just a quick word on Mr. Mara. You're not supposed to root for these guys because being objective is the prime directive of journalism. But you're not human if you don't develop some affinity for the people who treat you well. So let it be on the record that Paul Mara is one of the truly good guys in hockey, both to us in the media and, more importantly, to his teammates. I actually think the Rangers are making a mistake here in letting him go and I'd say that even if he was a miserable SOB. The way he looked out for teammates, the way he cared about the other people in the room, well, that should be the norm but it's seldom that way. He had improved himself last offseason into a very solid defenseman, including very solid physically. He had a good shot when he took it. I have nothing concrete on this but this is the second team Mara has had to leave shortly after John Tortorella became the coach. Just saying.
- Speaking of Torts, tonight at 8:30 on MSG, Fans Most Wanted entry on the Rangers coach.
- The NHL has sent out a release saying it will make a "major announcement" Wednesday at Fenway Park. Just a guess here but since the event is at Fenway and Wednesday is the day the NHL schedule is to be released, odds are the Bruins are hosting the outdoor game this season. Regarding the schedule, some teams have started releasing their preseason schedules. Checked with the Rangers yesterday and was told there's no timetable yet for their announcement of their exhibition games.
Heading over now to my college housemates' house. They married and never left Syracuse. I have just confirmed they still have their pet pot-bellied pig, though I'm told the porker is 17 and on its last (short) legs. Still, should be interesting.