Originally written on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 11/16/14

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 01: Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators is pushed by Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers during their preseason game on October 1, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The Wisconsin Badgers have churned out a whole plethora of professional hockey players, including many at the NHL level. And so Wisconsin invites their alumni back during the summer to train and get ready for the upcoming season. And for the Wisconsin players, they get to train with the pros and learn a few things. Attending the alumni camp is, among other NHL players, Ryan McDonagh. Here is the list of other attendees:

Blake Geoffrion, Matthew Ford, Davis Drewiske, Craig Smith, Joe Piskula, Joe Pavelski, Ben Street, Jake Dowell, Tom Gilbert, Brian Elliott, Ryan McDonagh, John Mitchell Podge Turnbull, Patrick Eaves, Jack Skille, and Adam Burish.

It is also believed that Derek Stepan took part as well at some point. It's good that McDonagh (and possibly Stepan) are training with other pros. Even for something as simple as weightlifting or skating drills, these players are competitive by nature and so having others to train "against" gives them extra drive. The best quote in the article comes from Wisconsin junior forward Mark Zengerie, who unsurprisingly noticed that Ryan McDonagh "gets his stick on every puck" whenever a forward goes 1-on-1 against him. Sounds about right to me. 

H/T to reader Joseph Brickl for finding the Wisconsin article.

If you weren't satisfied with the first 500 quotes from Rangers management about the Rick Nash trade then I have good news for you. Jim Cerny over at Blueshirts United has quotes from Rangers Assistant GM Jeff Gorton on the trade. From the article: 

"We had worked for months to get Rick here, so when it finally happened and the trade was agreed on, we were extremely excited," Gorton shared with BlueshirtsUnited.com recently. "Glen (Sather), Schoeny (Jim Schoenfeld), and I had worked so long with so many others on this deal, but the feeling at the end was not relief that it was finally done, it was just pure excitement that we had added Rick to our team."

This helps to put perspective on the magnitude of such a deal. Gorton implies that Slats, Schoenfeld and he all were involved in negotiating with the Blue Jackets at some point. And that's not even getting into the number of scouts who were probably flown to Columbus numerous times as well as the number of people involved in the multiple meetings held to discuss the deal. Gorton goes on to comment that, after meeting with Nash in person, the organization's impressions of who he was and how he carried himself were validated.

And Tortorella again commented on losing Dubi and Artie:

"To get one of the top power forwards in the game we had to give up something, and it was not easy to part with Artie and Dubi and Timmy Erixon," explained the Rangers head coach. "I was very reluctant, and a little sad, to be losing Dubi---he and I had gone through a whole long process of learning about one another and trying to help one another---and Artie---a great kid, who, just like Dubi, is someone that went to war with us---and Timmy, who was a top prospect for us. But, again, to get a Rick Nash---and players like him just don't fall out of trees for you---we had to give up the talent that we did."

Despite all of the demotions and benchings, it seems that Tortorella might just have been his biggest supporter in the organization. Still, Torts knows very well the nature of the business. 

Follow Me On Twitter: @Herman_NYRBlog
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