Kaspar the Friendly… Dad
Sunday September 14th 2008, 4:59 pm

Back in July I posted that former Ranger Darius Kasparitis was writing a blog for the Russian web site Championat.ru.  At the time, Kaspar was awaiting the birth of twin daughters in early September.  Well, early September has come and gone and a little over a week ago Kaspar posted to share the news that he and his girlfriend had become proud parents of two baby girls, born on September 3rd in Stockholm.  “We came to the hospital at 8 o’clock in the morning,” Kasparitis explained.  “The deliveries began around one o’clock in the afternoon.  The first child was born at 8:26pm on the third of September, and the second came out seventeen minutes later.  I watched it all…  and participated.  So now I respect women who give birth very much!”  Kasparitis reports that, like many twins, the babies were born small.  “One 2.4kg [approximately 5lb 5oz], the second 2.1kg [approximately 4lbs 10oz].  Small, but not too bad.”

In the brief time he was able to spend with his new family in the hospital, Kaspar’s already gotten a taste of what life with twins will be like.  “It will be much work for us, I have already understood.  Because when one cries, the other sleeps, then the second starts to cry…  In short, its bedlam!”  The couple’s families are currently in Stockholm helping out, since Kasparitis, who’s missed SKA’s first five games, has returned to St. Petersburg.   The new family will be reunited in about a month, when his girlfriend and daughters, Lily and Liv, join him in St. Petersburg.

As for his return to the ice, that depends on his coach.  “Now everything depends on [head coach] Barry Smith.  I am completely ready,” Kasparitis shared.  “I hope that I will play next week.  I’ve already gotten bored!”  It would seem winning a place in the line up shouldn’t be too difficult on an SKA team languishing in 22nd place in the 24-team league, but Kaspar insists that nothing’s guaranteed.  “The situation for us is that everyone fights for a place in the lineup.  There are 10 defenseman in the team and no one’s place is reserved.  Each game is important for any defenseman,” Kasparitis explains.  “Therefore it is necessary to train seriously and be ready because at any moment you can find yourself on the reserve bench.  The competition, in short, is very strong.”

Aside: The NHL and its players really need to get on board with this whole blog thing.  Screw the celebrity blogs (does anyone actually read them?) and give us some insight from players and coaches.  Blogs like Kaspar’s, CSKA head coach Viacheslav Bykov’s, Ottawa prospect Alexander Nikulin’s (translated here) and Columbus draft pick Nikita Filatov’s have provided some of the best reading available online over the past year or so.

Baranka Back

Ranger property Ivan Baranka returned from injury on Friday to play his first game for Spartak Moscow, a 6-5 shootout win over city rivals CSKA.  Baranka didn’t factor on the scoresheet, but played 23:12 in 30 shifts, was an even player and had 5 shots on goal playing on Spartak’s second defense pairing.  Baranka fans (or anyone wanting to watch an exciting game between two clubs that hate each other) can watch the game on Sportbox, or check out the game highlights or shootout (Baranka wears number 23).

Hossa Named KHL Player of the Week

Former Ranger Marcel Hossa, who fled Pheonix for Dinamo Riga this summer, was voted the KHL’s player of the week by viewers of KHL broadcast partner “Sport” (the same kind folks who bring you games online at Sportbox.ru).  Hossa has four goals and two assists for six points in his first 6 games.  He also has 33 penalty minutes on the season, 29 of which came as the result of his involvement in a line brawl against Novosibirsk Sibir on September 5th (video below).  In addition to Hossa, Riga was represented in the brawl by a few other names that may be familiar to North American hockey fans: Ron Petrovicky, Matt Ellison, and Duvie Wescott.  The munchkin in blue? That’s 20-year old, 5′ 4 3/4″ Mikhail Anisin.

Prospect Tournament Underway

The Rangers prospect team kicked off the Traverse City Prospects Tournament last night by getting shutout 4-0 by the Detroit Red Wings’ prospects.  The Rangers web site has the story and line combinations, or you can peruse the score sheet from Pointstreak.  Four minor penalties to David Skokan, two of which resulted in Red Wing power play goals, are probably what stands out most.  Russian-born, AHL-signed Sergei Demagin lead the team with 5 shots.  More on the game, from a Detroit point of view, is available from the Macomb Daily.  Real-time scores and stats are also available for the rest of the tournament games at Pointstreak.

More news from the tournament is available on the Traverse City Prospect Tournament Blog on NHL.com.   This piece from Dan Rosen, who bumped into Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld during the game yesterday, is probably the most interesting to Rangers fans.

To follow up on an earlier post, it appears the information provided to Slap Shot by the NHL Network about them broadcasting the “entire” tournament was false.  The network, in fact, is only showing eight games, and only one of the games being played by the Rangers prospects is guaranteed to be shown, on Wednesday, September 17th at 8pm.  The full broadcast schedule is available as a sidebar in this preview article on NHL.com.  Games will be re-broadcast at various times, so check the NHL Network schedule if you miss one.

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Filed under: KHL, New York Rangers

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