Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Video: Avery Mic'd Up Threatening Giroux




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And Then There Were 33...

As expected after last night's pre-season game in Philadelphia the Rangers cut an additional two forwards from their roster before jumping on a plane to Europe.
Andre Deveaux and Andreas Thuresson who both got a last chance to play in Philly were the cuts made last night after the game.

As was discussed on here yesterday, the Rangers still have some tough decisions to make before their roster is finalzed to start the season.


NEW YORK RANGERS ACTIVE ROSTER:

Goal (3): Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer

Defense (11): Brendan Bell, Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Tim Erixon, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Blake Parlett, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal

Forward (19): Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Ryan Bourque, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Dale Weise, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello
 
 
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Video: Wayne Simmonds Clearly Calls Avery Homosexual Slur


video via Ryan Lambert
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Pavel Valentenko and Chad Kolarik Clear Waivers

According to Andrew Gross:
Pavel Valentenko and Chad Kolarik both clear waivers and are assigned to Connecticut (AHL).

I can only assume that Wade Redden also cleared waivers and will report to Connecticut.

Valentenko was seen as a disappointment by many Rangers fans on Friday night in his one pre-season game against the Devils. If you recall, last season Valentenko made it very tough on the New York Rangers and was the final demotion to Hartford when the team opted to instead keep Ryan McDonagh in New York. Many (including myself) were hoping that Valentenko would either make the lineup this year or at least make everyone else compete harder in order to keep him off the team.

However, that was apparently not the case because the Rangers right now are searching for a replacement for Marc Staal and instead of competing for a spot on the opening night roster, Valentenko was amongst the first round of cuts on Saturday.

Ranger Rants yesterday revealed a little more behind Valentenko's performance Friday, he has been injured with a groin problem. Valentenko also attempted to squash the rumors that he was heading to the KHL since he didn't make the Rangers by saying "I’m going to fight for the Rangers. I never quit.”

That's all the fans ask for and with an attitude like that he might be back in New York before we know it.



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Tough Moves Ahead For Rangers

Tim Erixon
Dbfoto on Flickr
Saturday the first round of cuts were made as the Rangers sent 28 players to either the AHL or back to their Junior team. Larry Brooks reports that prior to the team heading to Europe to finish up their pre-season and start the 2011-12 regular season they will likely be cutting two more forwards. This would leave the roster with three goalies, ten defensemen (Staal not traveling to Europe) and nineteen forwards.

As far as the decisions at forward go, Brooks had the following analysis:
With Mats Zuccarello all but certain to start the season with the team, the Rangers have spots open for a pair of spare forwards. Unless Carl Hagelin comes out of nowhere with far more impressive performances in Europe than he’s delivered in his two exhibition outings thus far or Ryan Bourque forces himself into the mix, the candidates are: Sean Avery, who clearly has the highest ceiling of anyone else in the equation; Erik Christensen, whose role has been marginalized by the addition of Brad Richards; and John Mitchell and Dale Weise, both of whom would require waivers in order to be assigned to the AHL Whale.
If you've read PuckCentral for anytime at all you'd know my feelings about Eric Christensen. If it were up to me he would've been sent packing during the first round of cuts. I'm still a big fan of Sean Avery and recognize what he is capable of bringing on a nightly basis if he plays to his potential AND is given the opportunity. Far too many times since his infamous suspension Avery has moved away from the game that keeps him in the lineup. But, just as many times John Torotrella has limited Avery's ice time for no apparent reason. If you're expecting Avery to score 20 goals then you are certainly setting him up for failure. But, Avery can be a very effective third liner, he's very good on the forecheck, can create scoring opportunities for others (when he stays onside) and when at his best can agitate the hell out of most 95% of opponents. 

The problem for Avery is that with Brandon Prust playing the way he does the Rangers have similar style players, known for their gritty style. Add to the mix Dale Weise who is still fighting for a roster spot and you have several players that play a similar type of game fighting for one, possibly two spots. Out of the three, Prust is the only one currently guaranteed a roster spot to start the season. Chirs Botta wrote about Avery possibly being waived depending on how he plays in the team's final pre-season games. If Avery were to clear waivers he would start the season in Connecticut.
At this point I'd be extremely surprised if Ryan Bourque made the team. This is no slight against Bourque but there is just too much competition for only one or two forward positions and I don't see the Rangers keeping a young player around to be a regular healthy scratch. Hagelin has a better shot at making the roster (the kid is a speed demon), but he too should be considered a long shot.

With Marc Staal sitting out with post-concussion symptoms only Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Mike Sauer are guaranteed regular spots on the blue line. Steve Eminger who was re-signed this summer will also stick with the Rangers, but he may be given a more prominent role unless other moves are made. It's still possible that the Rangers invite someone else to camp (which doesn't look likely at this point), sign a player or made a trade. The Rangers announced on Sunday that Marc Staal would not be traveling with the team to Europe for the pre-season games, but wouldn't rule him out of the opening night lineup. I'd have to guess at this point if Staal is still being held out of games that he's highly unlikely for at least the first few games of the regular season.

With the sudden need for defensemen, Dylan McIlrath who was expected to be returned to his Junior team  is left amongst the final group of players. Tortorella told the media on Sunday that McIlrath wasn't yet ready for the NHL. So, unless he does something remarkable in the next few exhibition games, he's likely just along for the ride.

A lot of the decisions on the defense end will hinge upon the health of Marc Staal. What many thought of as the Rangers strength heading into the summer now looks like it could be suspect. I mean, Brendan Bell has seemed like a decent substitute so far, but over the course of the the regular season is a team with Bell playing a prominent role going to be very successful? As for Michael Del Zotto, he was all talk prior to the pre-season about being ready to prove he's ready to play in the NHL and being humbled by his demotion to Hartford last season. But, is he going to be consistent enough to help the team more than harm it?

There are certainly a lot of questions left and not much time to get those answers.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rangers Make Cuts, McIlrath Still On Roster

Rangers training camp cuts were made today, sending 28 players to either the AHL or to their Junior team. Tortorella has said in the past that the Rangers plan on bringing 31 to 33 players with them to Europe to finish up the pre-season and to start the season. After today's cuts there are now 35 players on the Rangers roster, which means that after the next pre-season game there will be at least two more players cut from the roster prior to the team heading to Europe.

There aren't many spots left for grabs amongst the forwards but it will be interesting to see what decisions are made on the blue line for the Rangers. With Marc Staal sitting out with post-concussion symptoms only Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Mike Sauer are guaranteed spots on the blue line. Steve Eminger who was re-signed this summer will also stick with the Rangers, but he may be given a more prominent role unless other moves are made. It's still possible that the Rangers invite someone else to camp, sign a player or made a trade. With the sudden need for defensemen, Dylan McIlrath who was expected to be returned to his Junior team today is left battling for a spot on the roster opening night.

According to NYR.com:

PLAYERS STILL IN NEW YORK RANGERS TRAINING CAMP:

Goal (3):  Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer

Defense (11):  Brendan Bell, Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Tim Erixon, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Blake Parlett, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal

Forward (21):  Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Ryan Bourque, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Andre Deveaux, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Andreas Thuresson, Dale Weise, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello


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Video: Rupp vs Boulton



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Friday, September 23, 2011

Rangers Headlines Heading Into Pre-Season Game 2

  • MSGHD finally coming to Fios. If you're a New York sports fan and have Verizon you've been stuck watching all Rangers games in standard definition. For Cablevision subscribers like myself, it's been one of the main reasons why we've stuck with Cablevision. Well, the FCC has ruled that Cablevision must offer the high definition channel to their competitors. [Link]
  • Michael Barnett who was Rangers director of U.S. amateur scouting and a senior advisor to Glen Sather has resigned. [Link]
  • The NY Rangers Blog has a look at what is likely going to be the Rangers and Flyers logos for the Winter Classic.
  • If the Rangers expect Marc Staal to miss a significant amount of time does that mean that Dylan McIlrath actually has a shot of sticking with the Rangers? I highly doubt it, but Blue Seat Blogs takes a look at the scenario. One thing's for certain, Michael Del Zotto didn't do himself any favors in the first game against the Devils.
  • Larry Brooks reports that the "Rangers' plan is to bring 6 lines, 5 D pairs and 3 goalies on trip to Europe."
  • Did J.T. Miller land himself a spot on the roster heading to Europe to finish up the pre-season and start the season? [Bleeding All Blue]
  • Jim Cerny reports this is the lineup for tonight's second pre-season game against the Devils:

    Goalies: Martin Biron, Chad Johnson

    Defensemen:
    Brendan Bell, Michael Del Zotto, Tim Erixon, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, Pavel Valentenko
    Forwards:
    Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, Kris Newbury, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Dale Weise, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Video: McIlrath Fighting Bickel Tuesday At Training Camp


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Video: NHL Rememberance Video


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Monday, September 19, 2011

Marc Staal To Miss Training Camp & Possibly Longer

According to the NY Post:
Marc Staal will not participate in training camp scrimmages or in any of the Rangers' three exhibition games in North America because of lingering issues resulting from a crushing hit from his brother Eric in Carolina last Feb. 22, The Post has learned.
The Rangers alternate captain has been medically cleared for contact after developing post-concussionlike symptoms over the summer, but management is taking a conservative, cautious approach this preseason. He skated through the first two days of strenuous testing and did take part in Sunday morning's drills after the conclusion of the first scrimmage.
Hopefully Staal gets better quickly and is able to play the majority of the season. Scary to think what concussions can do to someone; symptom free for six months and then all of a sudden feeling the effects of a hit that occurred half a year ago.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

NHL Training Camp Invitees

Here is the complete list of players invited to NHL training camps:

Listed below is each player's name, position and team(s) that they played for last season.

Boston
Chris Clark RW (Columbus)
Kirk MacDonald RW (Providence, AHL)
Kevan Miller D (U. of Vermont, NCAA)

Buffalo
Joe Finley D (South Carolina, ECHL)

Calgary
John Armstrong C (Abbotsford, AHL)

Chicago
Ray Emery G (Anaheim/Syracuse, AHL)

Columbus

Trevor Ludwig D (Texas, AHL)
Adam Payerl C (Belleville, OHL)

Detroit
Fabian Brunnstrom LW (Texas AHL/Toronto AHL)
Ryan Johnson C (Chicago)
Ramis Sadikov G (Erie, OHL)
Artem Sergeev D (Val d'Or, QMJHL)
Adam Estoclet C (Darthmouth, NCAA)
Evan Mosher G (PEI, QMJHL)
Zach Franko LW (Kelowna, WHL)
Nick Oslund RW (St.Cloud, NCAA)

Friday, September 16, 2011

New York Rangers Training Camp Roster Released

According to Ranger Rants here is the official list of players at training camp this morning:
Group 1:
Sean Avery, Ruslan Fedotenko, Kris Newbury, Brandon Prust, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Mike Rupp, Steve Eminger, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Tommy Grant, Kale Kerbashian.

Group 2:
Brandon Dubinsky, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, Dylan McIlrath, Artem Anisimov, John Mitchell, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan, Ryan Bourque, Andre Deveaux, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello, Tim Erixon, Jordan Hickmott, Chad Kolarik, Dale Weise.
Group 3:
Lee Baldwin, Tomas Kundratek, J.T. Miller, Pavel Valentenko, Sam Klassen, Jyri Niemi, Jared Nightingale, Samuel Noreau, Brendan Bell, Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Michael Sauer, Andreas Thuresson.

Group 4:Peter Ceresnak, Blake Parlett, Christian Thomas, Jason Wilson, Tayler Jordan, Shane McColgan, Michael St. Croix, Collin Bowman, Chris McKelvie, Kelsey Tessier, Scott Tanski, Matt Rust, Andrew Yogan, Marty Biron, Chad Johnson, Henrik Lundqvist, Jason Missiaen, Scott Stajcer, Cameron Talbot.
 
 
Does the fact that Wolski is skating in the same group as Richards and Gaborik give us any indication as to which way Tortorella is leaning towards who will play on the top line?
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Redden Won't Be Invited To Rangers Training Camp

According to Blue Notes
The training camp roster has not yet been announced, but Newsday has confirmed that defenseman Wade Redden, 34, who was waived on Sept. 25 last year and then assigned to the AHL, will not be on it.
Can't say this is all that surprising and even if he had been invited realistically what would his chances of making the roster be? Honestly, if Redden were invited it would likely be more of a distraction than anything else. There's also the risk that if he were to get injured during camp that his salary would count against the camp.

I still think that Redden is still player that should still be in the NHL, however he's not worthy of that crazy contract. There are at least a handful of teams that Redden could at least be the bottom pairing defenseman on.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Rangers Name Ryan Callahan 26th NYR Captain

Last night the Rangers stated that today the next captain for the New York Rangers along with the two alternate captains would be named. So the speculation began and the front runner was clearly Ryan Callahan.

The only question I had was whether Brad Richards, the newly signed center, would be named as one of the alternates or whether that would go to Brandon Dubinsky. I got my answer a few minutes ago.

According to the NYR website:
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that forward Ryan Callahan has been named the 26th captain in franchise history. Brad Richards will join Marc Staal as the club's two alternate captains.

"Ryan Callahan embodies all the leadership qualities we seek from our Captain," Sather said.  "He leads by example with courage and a tireless work ethic on and off the ice, which is why he is so deserving of this honor."

Callahan, 26, has served as a Rangers Alternate Captain for the last two seasons after being named to the post on October 2, 2009.  He captured a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, and is a two-time Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner (2008-09 and 2009-10).

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Video: Dylan McIlrath Fight at Traverse City Prospects Tournament




H/T to Clutch from Hockey-Fights.com for the video

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