For the Ranger/Devil game on Thursday night, the NYR will carry a 20 man roster. It should consist of a nice veteran and rookie mix, don't be surprised if some of your favorite prospects don't make the cut for the first game. During preseason, the Rangers brass have different lineups for each game and shift guys in and out to see how they play on particular lines.
Maybe I'm looking too much into this, but I've been itching for hockey to start since that clown Olli Jokinen made that horrible move last April. Nonetheless, I am excited to see who will be playing with who and if some lines during training camp will crossover to preseason games.
Here's my opinion on who should be penciled in for the first preseason game roster, based on training camp success and chemistry thus far:
Frolov, Stepan, Gaborik
Dubi, White, Zuccarello
Fedotenko, Kennedy, J. Williams
Avery, Boyle, Weise
Yesterday, Torts stated that both Todd White and Mats ZA needed to have a strong exhibition season and prove that they deserve to make the team. He also said Kennedy has impressed with his speed and playmaking, and would get a long look during preseason. The D pairs are interesting and management has been high on Semenov sice last year, as well as saying that McDonaugh and McIlraith have had excellent showings so far. I like to see rookie D men mixed in with veterans. Even if they are here on tryouts, they know the game very well and have been around the block.
Even if these are not the correct guys in the lineup, I'm hoping that at least one of the preseason games will feature a roster similar to this one. As far as Lundqvist not playing; well its pretty certain that everyone knows he can play, so why not give the new backup a chance to showcase his stuff?
I'm sure I'm missing some younger guys who might play instead of Avery and Fedotenko, but I'm thinking that the lineups will be different every night and that this particular roster has a great balance of grit, skill and speed.
Either way, tomorrow night should be fun to watch. As always, let me know how much you disagree/agree with me!
UPDATE: No Wade Redden in for today's Blue/White scrimmage because his wife is due to have a baby.
UPDATE: According to Tortorella via Steve Zipay - Between 22 and 26 players will be trimmed from NYR roster after Thursday's game, then a few more after Saturday's game.