LAS VEGAS, Nevada – When Las Vegas Wranglers Professional Hockey team owner Charles Davenport had to cancel his appearance at today’s press conference at the Orleans Arena to name Glen Gulutzan as the team’s new general manager and head coach, Wranglers vice president Billy Johnson simply asked for someone to play Davenport’s part.
Rick Schroder was 200 feet away.
With Schroder’s film crew having just broken for lunch during the filming of Black Cloud, an independent film written, produced and currently being directed by Schroder, Johnson asked Schroder if he could play Davenport in an upcoming press conference that was to begin in just moments.
“He looked at his watch and immediately smiled and told me about his kids,” Johnson said. “His kids are hockey players, and he joked that his kids didn’t know it yet but they were going to play in the NHL. It was evident Rick was very proud of his kids and that they play hockey. It was great to see that.”
In a room full of Las Vegas media moments later, Johnson announced that Davenport had a last-minute conflict in San Diego. “And so,” Johnson said, “playing the part of Charles Davenport is Rick Schroder.”
The former star of NYPD Blue star took center stage and introduced Gulutzan to his new post with the Wranglers, an new expansion team of the ECHL.
“(Schroder) spoke with me for about 10 minutes before the press conference began,” said Gulutzan. “He really wanted to do a good job in making the announcement.”
“After speaking with Glen for a while, he spoke as if he had actually hired Glen himself,” said Johnson. “He listed the qualities of commitment, knowledge and experience. It started as a fun, last-minute thing to try to do, but it was very cool that Rick seemed to really enjoy it.”
“I hope they don’t kill my character off like they did to (Schroder’s) character on NYPD Blue,” Davenport later joked.
Moments after the press conference ended, the Orleans Arena house lights went down, and the business of directing Black Cloud began again. Black Cloud is the story of a Native American boxer and is being filmed using the ongoing Golden Gloves competition at the Orleans Arena as its backdrop.
“We really appreciate Rick’s participation,” Johnson said. “It was different, and hopefully his kids will get a kick out of it when he asks them ‘guess what dad did today…'”