Bobby Sanguinetti was the Rangers first round draft pick in 2006 (#21 overall). He’s having a breakout rookie season and was named to the AHL All Star Classic to play for PlanetUSA along with teammate Artem Anisimov. A deflected puck wound up in his mouth doing quite a bit of damage to his teeth. As a result, he was forced to miss his chance to play in the game, but did take part in the Hardest Shot contest.
In the competition, the Trenton, New Jersey native’s first shot was 93.2 and his second 88.5mph.
Howlings caught up with the future Ranger blueliner.
HOWLINGS: First off Bobby, congratulations on being named an AHL All Star. Your mouth must be pretty sore. Can you share what you think happened and what the dentist’s have done for you?
SANGUINETTI: Thanks Mitch. It's still pretty tough to talk with all the stitches and lack of teeth. To answer your question it was a deflected shot in the slot that came up directly and hit me square on the chin knocking out three of the bottom teeth and the fourth one was completely bent back into my gums. The dentist immediately pried the tooth out of my gum and put that one and one of the others back into place for the time being. I went to the dentist the day after where they removed the remaining teeth that were stuck deep into my gums and reinserted the same teeth with stitches this time. As well they removed one of the other teeth that was cracked beyond help.
HOWLINGS: It’s probably safe to say that you’ll be wearing a face guard while your mouth heals? Any indication of how long that might be?
SANGUINETTI: I’m sure that I will have to wear a full visor/cage for at least the week of practice and most likely for the games this weekend. After that I will discuss with the trainers if I can get back into the action with the half visor.
HOWLINGS: Can you describe your feelings after being selected for the All-Star Game? Who was the one who told you?
SANGUINETTI: I found out I was selected to the All Star game when we were on the road trip to Manitoba. So after putting aside the fact that I was freezing I was very excited and honored to be selected. There are a lot of great players in the league and on our team so to be nominated to play in the game was a great feeling. Coach Gernander along with JJ and Pat Boller were the ones who broke the good news to me.
HOWLINGS: Did your parents made the trip up to Worcester from New Jersey? Can you tell me how they reacted when you told them?
SANGUINETTI: When I found out I was selected I called my parents and let them know and as any parents would be they were really happy for me. They have been great as far as being there for my career starting out when I was young. From driving me hours on end to hockey games to now showing up for almost 90% of our games their support has been awesome. Unfortunately with me not being able to participate in the game they did not make the trip and instead decided to watch it on TV.
HOWLINGS: You had a chance in to participate in the Hardest shot competition. Your first shot was 93.2 and then dropped off to 88.5 on the second go round. Were you satisfied with the result? Most all the guys were slower the second go-round. What causes the drop off?
SANGUINETTI: My results in the hardest shot were actually right around where I thought I would be. Last year in the OHL All Star event I registered a 96 MPH shot but I didnt lose four teeth two nights prior and had a nice meal beforehand. No excuses, but obviously without being able to eat for a couple days it might have affected me, but in the end I had a great time being around all the guys and experiencing the All Star Skills Competition. As for the drop off, it might of been caused by trying to put a little too much into the second shot. That’s kind of what happend to me. I put my second one over the net. Even the champion of the event (Derek) Joslin from Worcester struggled with his second shot, so obviously it was in our heads.
HOWLINGS: Can you sum up for me how you felt at the end of the night?
SANGUINETTI: I think it was more of how I felt the 3 days after the incident. Everyday seemed as if the pain was getting worse and the lack of eating took all of my energy away from me. I wanted to attend the skills competition because it was an honor to be chosen and that was the least I could do for the fans who were attending. After the skills contest I almost couldn’t stand up from lack of energy, so along with Schoeny (Wolf Pack General Manager Jim Schoenfeld) we decided it was in my best interest to take the game off and recover from this and make sure im ready for our first game back after the break.
HOWLINGS: It’s a shame that you didn’t get to play because of your injury. Any idea how long you might be out of commission for?
SANGUINETTI: I should be ready to come back for our first game on Friday night. Like I said I will probably have to wear some sort of facial guard but as long as I can play I’m happy. As for not playing, obviously it's pretty tough when you get chosen to play in such a fun game like the All Star game but hopefully at some point I’ll get to play in another one down the road.
HOWLINGS: Thanks for taking the time Bobby and we wish you nothing but the best…
SANGUINETTI: My pleasure and I want to thank the fans for all their support.
(Bobby Sanguinetti photo courtesy of blueshirtbulletin.com)