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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Al Montoya's Rehab Nearly Complete

Wolf Pack goalie Al Montoya (Chris Rutsch photo)

There's been practically no news at all regarding Al Montoya's condition after he separated his left shoulder during the AHL playoffs last season, until just recently. Montoya has been practicing with other Rangers prospects at a tournament in Michigan for the past week, giving the first real on-ice test of how he has progressed since having surgery on his shoulder back in early May.

MSG Networks put together a 2:40-long video spot on Montoya from the prospects tournament that shows him moving around fairly well during some practice drills, and which also includes interviews with Montoya and some of the Rangers coaching staff. The video, which can be accessed through both Windows Media and RealPlayer, has been posted on, in the Rangers Multimedia section.

I've transcribed parts of the interviews from the video:

Al Montoya: "I'm happy where I'm at; I'm a little ahead of where I thought I would be, which is good. I was hearing when I first had (the surgery) done that I might not be ready for training camp, so I'm pretty excited, knowing that next week is training camp and that I feel good."

Don Maloney (Assistant GM): "Al's really right on track, medically. We didn't expect him to be able to play here; he is the third goalie practicing here. We expect him to be ready for camp next week; it may take him another week. He's been in New York working out for the last month, so really, there's no reason not to think that he's gonna be ready for camp, and maybe getting his chance in a Ranger game this year. He had a good strong season last year; unfortunately, he got hurt at the end, but just talking with Benoit Allaire-- who's been terrific with all our goalies-- he's excited with how Al is coming along physically.

"Al is still a young guy-- he's got to continue to play, and play a lot. He'll be in Hartford this year, and hopefully lead that team to a championship and then start knocking on the door."

Perry Pearn (Assistant Coach): "I don't think he'll play in the tournament. The shoulder isn't right at 100%-- it's almost there, and rather than take the chance and maybe have someone run into him here and set him back, the idea is to keep him practicing, to keep strengthening it so that (he's ready) when he steps into the main camp, which is really where he'll be evaluated...

"We already know what Montoya can do. He's played solidly in the American League. Now it's a matter of him continuing to build on the skills that he has."

Al Montoya (asked, "Do you feel that you're NHL ready?") "I think I can go out there and play games and, you know, give the team a chance-- yeah, definitely. But the rest is up to the coaches."

Al Montoya at the World Junior Championships

Click here to start the MSG Networks video clip using Windows Media Player.


Blogger Tapeleg said...

That was a crappy injury to watch. The good side of it was watching the crowd and team rally behind Holt, then watch him prove himself in to everyone there. Hell of a playoff series.

9/12/06, 12:23 AM


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