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Welcome back, Henny

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Welcome back, Henny Part II

By Phil Janack

Saturday, February 28, 2009



River Rats play-by-play man Owen Newkirk, himself recovering from a mild concussion and the subject of colleague Ken Schott's column today, is thrilled to be rejoined by his partner. (see reply following this one for that article)

Albany radio color analyst John Hennessy is expected to broadcast his first game Sunday afternoon at home against Norfolk, since being hurt in the team bus crash of Feb. 19.

"Henny adds so much to the broadcast," Newkirk said tonight, about an hour before the Rats and Crunch face off in Syracuse. "I wanted him to make sure to take care of himself first and not rush back on my account. We're real excited to have him back, and even moreso that he is getting back to full health."

In Henny's absence, defenseman Brett Carson was filling in as he recovered from minor injuries suffered in the crash. Carson did games in Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this week, but will be back in the lineup tonight against Syracuse.

"Brett has done a nice job, although we all want to see him on the ice instead of in the press box," Newkirk said.

Also joining the broadcast on Sunday is defenseman Casey Borer, who will miss the rest of the season with a broken bone in his neck. Borer, who is wearing a neck collar, is returning today from New Jersey, where he was visiting Devils all-star forward, leading scorer and ex-Rat Zach Parise.

"We're still looking for a third headset, but having a three-man crew will be a lot of fun," Newkirk said. "Casey will do well. As Carson would say, he's got a lot of wind."

Newkirk himself is recovering nicely from a mild concussion.

"I'm feeling a lot better now," he said. "I still have random moments where I'm like, 'I don't feel so good,' but I ran on the treadmill the last couple days and I feel like I'm almost back to 100 percent."

Faceoff for Sunday's game is 5 p.m. Be there.

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