2012 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game: Blueshirt Banter Talks To Nick Fotiu

The New York Rangers alumni squad will be suiting up tomorrow night to take on the Philadelphia Flyers alumni squad in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game.

The game itself is littered with historic and great players, all of whom made an impact for their respective teams. One of those players for the Rangers is Nick Fotiu.

Fotiu says he's excited for the opportunity to play in the alumni game.

"It's going to be a pretty emotional game," he said. "Guys are getting ready for it and it's going to be a lot of fun. I think that's the main thing, getting out there and having fun. There's no pressure it's just about trying to put the puck into the net and giving a good show for the fans. I guess that's what it's all about, because without the fans we have nothing, so it's going to be a really nice event."

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Fotiu, who is known for his rough-and-tough style of hockey, doesn't think he'll be dropping the gloves during the alumni game.

"I know I'm going down there and having fun," he said. "I actually played with about 75% of those guys, so it's going to be a nice event. Everyone is asking me if it's going to be rough, I mean, come one, it's going to be a nice showing for the fans. It's a fun event for the Winter Classic, and you have to thank Mr. Bettman and the NHL office for putting on an event like this because it's kind of special."

Of all the excitement and anticipation the event is bringing for the participants, Fotiu is most excited for something that won't happen during the game itself.

"I think I'm more excited to throw the puck to the fans," he said. "My ritual that I always used to do was after warmups I would throw the puck to the fans. It's exciting to get back out there and put the equipment on, it's a pretty good feeling."

Fotiu, like Adam Graves, thinks the event isn't just fun but it's a good way to draw fans into the game, something he believes is very important for the sport.

"This is where I want to kick-start it," he said. "I started outdoors and looking out at the sky and the fans it's a different atmosphere. It brings the kid out in you again, I'm looking forward to it. You're going to generate a lot of inside enthusiasm and having lunch and dinner with [old friends] and in the locker room playing some jokes."

"To step on the ice and play with a lot of these players was an honor," Fotiu said. "It's going to be a real exciting time. Anytime you get to play, even if it's simulated, but you're back playing in the NHL there's still a lot of emotion there."