The New York Rangers today announced more roster cuts as they trim the training camp roster closer down to the size they'll have on opening night.
Johnson, Grachev, Redden, Weise, Zuccarello are being sent to Hartford and will not have to clear waivers. Williams, Byers and Newbury were also sent down to Hartford, but each of these three will have to clear waivers before reporting to the AHL. The Rangers also annoucned that Brandon Manning, Garnet Exelby and Alexei Semenov had been released from their tryouts with the team.
This leaves the following 27 players in camp:
Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Derek Boogaard, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko (tryout), Alex Frolov, Marian Gaborik, Tim Kennedy, Vinny Prospal, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan and Todd White
Defense: Staal, Girardi, Del Zotto, Rosival, Sauer, McDonagh, Eminger, Valentenko and Gilroy
Goalies: Lundqvist & Biron
If you've been reading my thoughts after each of the three pre-season games you'll know that I'm not surprised with any of these cuts. I thought Semenov might be signed to fill the 7th defenseman role but now if the team decides to go with a veteran for that role, it'll probably be left up to Eminger.I haven't seen anything special from Eminger but what probably worked in his favor in sticking with the team rather than Semenov is that he already has a contract.
MZA and Grachev were the two biggest disappointments in camp for me, I was expecting a lot and didn't see anything. I hope that all they need is some time in the AHL. Fedotenko is the only player left in camp who is there on a tryout and so far he's made a pretty good showing (especially in his 2nd game).
At this point in camp, in my opinion White should be sent to Hartford next. But, for some reason Tortorella keeps praising him which has me worried that they may still send Stepan down to Hartford and keep White around. The Rangers will likely start the season with seven defensemen, meaning that they still need to cut two more from the roster. I think that based on his play, Eminger should be the first one sent down, but because the Rangers will want a veteran to fill that role likely, I think that Sauer and the either Valentenko or McDonagh will be the remaining cuts on defense. I think Gilroy has shown enough improvement to stick around in New York and he might be able to man the Power Play from the point.
Sadly Christensen is still in the running for the #1 center position, but if I had my way he'd be on a bus to Hartford as well before the season starts.
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