Ranger Rants analyzed the situation:
Sanguinetti's demotion leaves the Rangers will open the season with a defense corps of Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival, Matt Gilroy, Michael Del Zotto and Alexei Semenov. Del Zotto can't go to Hartford - he's either a Ranger or sent back to his junior club. My guess is the Rangers take the nine games allotted to further evaluate Del Zotto at the NHL level.I've been saying for a while that Semenov was going to get a contract offer, pretty much since seeing him play in the first two preseason games. This move pretty much guarantees that. He's played well enough through preseason to consider him for the 6/7 defenseman role for the team. I see Sather offering him a one year contract for something less than $800k.
My take on Semenov:
He's not brilliant, he's not flashy, he's not going to get more than 3 goals all year, he's not going to lead any offensive rushes -- but that's not his job. He's a role player, and a big body that the NYRs need on the blue line. Not everyone can be a flashy offensive dman. He'll clear the crease, take up a lot of room on the ice, play when needed and not make many stupid plays.To me the only question remaining about the defense is will Michael Del Zotto stay with the Rangers all season long, or will he play 9 games as an evaluation and then get get sent back down to the OHL.
He also has shown so far that he has a pretty hard shot that he can get on goal and if nothing else that cound leave rebounds (as evidence by the Higgins goal in the 1st game and another goal I believe in the 2nd game).