According to multiple sources both Garnet Exelby and Alexei Semenov have joined the New York Rangers in an informal skate today. Rusian Fedotenko has also agree to join the Rangers on a tryout basis at this year's training camp.
Let's start with the two defenders in Exelby and Semenov.
You all should remember Semenov from last year, in which he was brought in on a tryout basis and impressed in the pre-season and camp. John Tortorella and Glen Sather were impressed enough to offer him a one-year contract which he was going to accept, until his wife nixed the deal. Semenov was reportedly very upset that he could not join the Rangers last year, but it's still surprising to see him at camp.
Semenov brings that 'jam' that Tortorella keeps talking about, and he lived through Tortorella's training camp once already so there is no reason to assume he won't impress again this year. Wether or not he can impress his way past guys like Ryan McDonagh, Matt Gilroy and Steve Eminger has yet to be seen.
Exelby, the hard hitting 29-year-old defenseman who is coming off a 51 game season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, on the other hand is a big surprise to be seen at camp. Many Ranger fans have been begging for Exelby to get offered a contract by Sather because of his massive frame and his bone crushing hits. Exelby would definitely bring that 'jam' that Tortorella wants to see on defense, so it will be interesting to see what happens with him as well.
Either way the presence of two veteran defenseman can't be a good sign for Wade Redden, who's ticket is probably already punched for Hartford as it is.
Fedotenko--the 31-year old left wing--is coming off an 11 goal and 19 assist season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. His claim to fame was his 12 goals in 22 playoff games during the 2004 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs which his Tampa bay Lightning were victorious. Aside from playoff experience Fedotenko doesn't really bring too much to the table that the Rangers don't already have at camp. Plus he is much older than some of the other Ranger hopefuls. Maybe the Rangers are looking for more playoff experience? Regardless I'm not too sure that I see Fedotenko making this team out of camp and getting a contract.
For those of you that don't understand how this works let me explain. When players are not signed to contracts by the time that late summer rolls around teams will offer them "tryouts." What this basically means is that those players come to the teams pre-season events and participate in training camp to try and impress the team's brass enough to offer them a contract.
If they are offered a contract then they are obviously bound to the team for the entire contract. If they are not offered a contract then the players and the team part ways and never look back. Hope this helps!