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According to multiple sources the New York Rangers have waived Todd White and Tim Kennedy. White, who was acquired in the Donald Brashear trade, and Kennedy were pretty invisible all pre-season; and didn’t impress the coaching staff at all.
By my count the Rangers now have over $4 million in cap space to play with this season, which is a lot more than originally expected.
Although Ranger fans might be sad to see Kennedy go—mainly because of his youth—he was thoroughly outplayed by Ruslan Fedotenko and Derek Stepan. As for White, not too much to say here, just another player who wasn’t able to impress.
According to Jess Spector, the New York Rangers and tryout Ruslan Fedotenko have agreed to a one-year contract. Fedotenko was the Rangers' leading scorer in preseason, scoring one goal and adding six assists for seven points in five games.
“Fedotenko was our leading scorer in camp, and he’s had a really good camp,” John Tortorella said this morning, before the contract was finalized. “Hockey-wise, his play speaks for itself.”
Because his preseason performance was so strong, there were other teams interested in Fedotenko, but he agreed to stay to open the season on a line with Sean Avery and rookie Derek Stepan that has found instant chemistry.
“For some reason, me, Aves and Feds just seemed to click the first game we played together,” Stepan said. “I feel like this is a good spot, and I’m excited.”
This really doesn’t come as a surprise, especially since he and John Tortorella already have a ton of chemistry from their Stanley Cup Tampa Bay Lightning Team in 2004.
Spector is correct that Fedotenko did have a huge amount of success with Sean Avery and Derek Stepan, and their line was one of the more successful lines for the Rangers.
In Fedotenko the Rangers get a veteran guy who will likely put up around 15 goals and add 20 assists, along with bringing veteran leadership for a guy like Stepan.
This contract, of course, leaves even more questions about who will and won’t be on the team when Chris Drury (finger) and Vaclav Prospal (knee) get back from their injuries.
According to Andrew Gross the Rangers have made 11 more cuts, trimming the roster to 27.
Still on Rangers’ roster:
G: Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist
D: Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Matt Gilroy, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michal Rozsival, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal, Pavel Valentenko
F: Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Derek Boogaard, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Alex Frolov, Marian Gaborik, Tim Kennedy, Vinny Prospal, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan, Todd White
John Tortorella had said before yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings that cuts were coming, and they came today. Unlike the first volley of cuts, this list contains a few serious surprises.
Obviously Wade Redden wasn’t one of those surprises, as we reported his waiver status yesterday here. But to see Evgeny Grachev and Mats Zuccarello removed so soon is surprising. Although neither looked like they had a chance at cracking this year’s opening night roster, I thought that they would get a longer look.
The biggest surprises, however, came from the tryout list. If you are a player brought in on a tryout then you are playing for a contract, you don’t have one coming into camp. And if you get cut then you and the team part ways without any ties.
Semenov, who made the team out of camp last year and was offered a contract (which he had to deny because his wife thought he could get more elsewhere), played pretty well in his two pre-season games, and figured to fight for a seventh defenseman spot.
Exelby, who was supposed to bring serious ‘jam’ to this year’s defensive corps (if he made the team), was unimpressive and subsequently cut.
Obviously the real cuts start from this point forward. Make sure to visit Blueshirt Banter for more Rangers news and analysis.
NYP_Brooksie: Redden on waivers at noon.
So the biggest story of the New York Rangers offseason finally comes to an end. The Rangers — who have made it no secret that Redden was on thin ice with making the team — will waive him today at noon.
The team will automatically lose his $6.5 million cap hit, and he will be placed in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Unless, of course, another team picks him up from waivers; in which that team would assume his contract. Either way, the Rangers are off the hook for his contract.
Redden, 33, was entering his 14th NHL season, the last two of which he spent with the Rangers. He played in 75 games in 2009, with two goals and 12 assists.
WFAN posted a good explanation of the Redden move.
Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said that placing Redden on waivers, and thereby removing his salary from the Rangers’ salary-cap picture, was the right thing to do for the team and will help the organization pursue its goal of giving younger players an opportunity to make the roster out of training camp.
“I told him at the end of last year that if he didn’t have a great camp this was going to happen,” Sather said of Redden, a two-time All-Star during his years with the Ottawa Senators, whose scoring production slipped to career-lows of two goals and 12 assists in 2009-10.
Should Redden clear waivers, the Rangers would be able to assign him to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. He is in the third season of a six-year, $39 million contract.
In all honesty, Redden was a victim of circumstance. He was certainly not living up to his contract, but he was a serviceable defenseman making far too much money to survive. I bid him all the best, wish him congratulations on his new baby girl and hope that he has all the luck in the world in his future endeavors.
As per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have made their first cuts of this fresh pre-season. From Andrew's full story:
G: Scott Stajcer (Owen Sound, OHL)
D: Daniel Maggio (Sudbury, OHL), Dylan McIlrath (Moose Jaw, WHL)
F: Ryan Bourque (Quebec, QMJHL), Roman Horak (Chilliwack, WHL), Randy McNaught (Saskatoon, WHL), Christian Thomas (Oshawa, OHL), Ethan Werek (Kingston, OHL), Jason Wilson (Owen Sound, OHL), Andrew Yogan (Erie, OHL)
Nothing really pops out here. Fans may be upset that Ethan Werek, Ryan Bourque and Dylan McIlrath didn't get longer looks; but it is accepted that they needed more time to develop in their respective systems.
For more on these roster cuts and other training camp moves check out Blueshirt Banter.
Top-flight prospect Derek Stepan is feeling quite confident after a great first pre-season game yesterday against the New Jersey Devils. Stepan finished the game with an assist, four shots on net and countless fantastic passes in traffic.
In the end, he had a very impressive game. And as Andrew Gross reports, that game has translated into confidence.
And, when asked point blank, whether he thought he was ready for the NHL, Stepan said he was.
"I think I’m ready," Stepan said. "It comes to down to a situation and the right fit and we’ll see what the organization decides to do," Stepan said. "Obviously, I’d like to play in the NHL. But if they feel it’s the right fit in the A(HL), that’s fine, they’ve developed a lot of players."
Stepan said the important thing was his line was getting opportunities, saying his grandpa told him to only start worrying if the opportunities aren’t coming. Stepan also said he’s been taught the hockey philosophy of TWIG (Take What Is Given).
Stepan was impressive all over the ice, but one of the things that really stuck out to me was his defensive positioning. Stepan was paired against Ilya Kovalchuk more than once on the penalty kill, and he did a solid job handling him. He kept Kovalchuk to the outside, clogged up the shooting lanes and made sure that if he was beat his man was beating him towards the boards instead of the slot.
You also can’t say enough about his vision on the ice. He made a few brilliant passes in traffic, and was able to really create some space for himself.
I don’t know if he will make this team out of camp, but John Tortorella was true to his word about giving Stepan a long hard look. And if he keeps up this kind of play, it won’t be a hard decision for Tortorella at all.
Chris Drury broke his finger today blocking a shot, according to Andrew Gross:
Drury, 34, is expected to miss four weeks, meaning he will be absent for all six preseason games – which begin Thursday at Madison Square Garden against the Devils – and the season opener at Buffalo on Oct. 9. The Rangers play just three games the first two weeks of the season so Drury’s absence from the lineup – in a best-case scenario – could be minimal.
Drury scored 14 goals and 18 assists in 77 games last season, missing five games with a concussion after blocking a shot at Calgary on Nov. 7. Drury has a history of being able to play through some injuries, for instance, the broken hand which did not keep him out of the first-round playoff series against the Capitals in 2009.
This isn’t the worst news in the world for the Rangers, but it’s still not good. Although Drury isn’t contributing as many goals and points as his $7.1 million contract might make people expect from him, he is still a quality defensive presence on the ice and a leader on this team.
Drury, as outlined above, shouldn't miss more than three regular season games, which really makes this injury minimal. Thankfully, or unfortunately for Drury, he can still skate; so he is still subject to John Tortorella's training camp grind. Although this will help his transition back to playing, since he won't be out of shape.
The good news, as outlined by my colleague Dave Shapiro on Blueshirt Banter, is that highly touted prospect Derek Stepan will now get a longer look in camp. Stepan, who Tortorella has admitted will get a long look in camp, might get his chance right now to prove that he can compete on an NHL level. Since Drury will miss all six of the Rangers pre-season games, Stepan might get a chance to center the top line in some pre-season games.
In the end, let's hope for a swift recovery for Drury and hope that the injury doesn't linger.
In other injury news, Andrew Yogan (the Rangers 4th round pick—100th overall—in this year’s NHL entry draft) will be receiving surgery for a torn ligament in his shoulder.
The Rangers also announced today that left wing Andrew Yogan, their fourth round pick this June, will undergo left shoulder surgery this week to repair a tear. Yogan said he suffered the injury last season while playing (and fighting) for Erie (OHL) and the Rangers said the extent of the injury was determined during team medicals on Friday. Yogan said he tried to strengthen the shoulder through the summer without surgery. The 19-year-old expects to be ready for the second half of the OHL season.
"It’s nothing too bad," Yogan said. "It’s a little frustrating but I’m not too worried about it. I’m still young. I’ll back back halfway through my season."
Yogan is a prospect who scouts agree has a ton of talent to be very successful in the NHL, but has to work on his work ethic. It’s not a big deal for him to miss half of the season (he plays in the OHL), so long as he can get healthy.
New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather met with reporters today during training camp. He spoke about a wide array of topics, including his future, the salary cap and what he is looking for as the team structures its roster.
Here is his quote about the type of players he wants on the Rangers.
“Well I like 23 guys that are aggressive, come to play every night, they’re all hungry to win, determined to win, respectful, win every game. If anybody tells you at this time of year they know exactly the way the team is going to look, they’re just giving you some sense they know more than anybody else does. I think it’s really impossible to tell now. They’re so many good young kids that come in and take some veteran spots. At the same time, if the veteran is going to give his spot away, he doesn’t deserve to be. The more kids we have on this team, the better off we are. We want to keep the core the way it’s been growing the last couple of years. But that’s not to say some other young guy can’t take one of those guys job, then what you can do is trade him and find another asset to help you down the road. That’s the way your organization gets better.”
According to Jess Spector Marian Gaborik is skating, and look fine on the ice.
Good news for the Rangers, but again, there was really no suspense. The Rangers are always careful with Gaborik, and if he wasn't 100% he wouldn't be out there right now.
Marian Gaborik—who was held out of skating drills yesterday due to a shore back—is currently skating on his own to see if his back feels good enough to skate today.
AGrossRecord Marian Gaborik, in a #NYRangers sweatsuit, on the ice now testing his sore back to see if he’ll skate with the group.
Nothing to panic about here, Gaborik missed these skates last year as well, and as far as I can remember he did pretty well last year.
After a disappointing finish to last year's NHL season Glen Sather and the New York Rangers knew that they had some work to do.
With Brandon Prust, Vaclav Prospal, Erik Christensen, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal all re-signed, the New York Rangers camp is filled with tons of familiar faces. There are, however, some questions as to prospects that may or may not be gunning for a spot at camp.
I will take it from here, but make sure to go to Blueshirt Banter for more coverage:
The Rangers have a few prospects who might be in the running for a position with the Rangers this year. Defensive prospect Ryan McDonagh (who the Rangers acquired in the Scott Gomez trade) probably has the best chance to make the team out of camp. The Rangers were so impressed with him at their prospect camp back in June that they tried to sign him to a professional contract. There was speculation that McDonagh wanted to remain in Wisconsin, but he decided to sign with the Rangers. The assumption is that his spot on the defense is his to lose, and his success at making the team out of camp will finally spell the end of Wade Redden. But that has yet to be seen.
On the forward side of things there are a few guys who are expected to make a splash. Evgeny Grachev will be expected to impress, although it is widely agreed that he probably needs another year of development in the AHL this year. Derek Stepan--who the Rangers also signed away from the Wisconsin Badgers this off-season--will try to ride his unbelievable World Junior performance (he lead all scorers, including Taylor Hall and other top picks in the past two NHL entry drafts) to a roster spot. While he is hight touted, and very talented, the general consensus is that he needs a year of pro hockey before he finds his way to Garden ice as well.
You can also expect to see guys like Dane Byers and Dale Weiss, who have been seasoned for a few years in the Rangers system, fight for a 4th line spot on the team. But I just don't see those two beating out any of the competition this year, at least not for anything more than spot on the bottom line.
Alexander Frolov: The Rangers had one big problem last year, guys not named Marian Gaborik scoring goals. With Frolov, the Rangers will have another scoring outlet who should help alleviate the scoring pressures put on Gaborik. Frolov should also help the power play stay more constant, and his presence should crate more space for guys like Michael Del Zotto, brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan to utilize.
Martin Brion: Since he wrestled the starting goaltender job away from Kevin Weeks, Henrik Lundqvist has not had a reliable back-up goaltender to give him some breaks during the NHL season. As a result Lundqvist has been playing in 70 games a year, and has been dead tired towards the end of the season and the playoffs. With Biron the Rangers have a reliable back-up who can play in 20 games and keep Lundqvist fresh for the entire season. Biron was the best goalie on the market this year, and he was a great addition to the Rangers squad.
Derek Boogaard: Yes, you can complain about his contract. But the fact remains that Boogaard is one of the scariest players in the NHL and he will certainly help the Rangers become a tougher team to play against, literally.
Steve Eminger: Eminger fills another role that the Rangers haven't had for a few years, the 7th defenseman position. Although Eminger could very well impress the Rangers brass in camp and find his way into a starting role for the Rangers, Eminger seems like a depth player at this point. But, that's a vital role as well, because having a reliable defenseman at the back can help spell breaks for the Rangers younger defenseman who aren't used to the rigors and length of an NHL season. Guys like Del Zotto, McDonagh and Matt Gilroy can only benefit from a 7th defenseman.
Todd White: White, who was acquired in the Donald Brashear trade, figures to be a depth move by Sather; along with removing Brashear from the team. And although most Rangers fans didn't like White when his acquisition was first announced he brings a lot of versatility to the table. he is a center who can pivot at wing, he brings playoff experience to the table and he can be a mentor to some of the younger guys on the team. His position with the team isn't a lock, but I do expect him to make the Rangers out of camp.
Tim Kennedy: After being bought out by the Buffalo Sabres the New York Rangers targeted and acquired Kennedy. Kennedy is a young center/left wing (sound familiar?) and has a ton of upside. Although his 10 goals and 16 assists don't blow you away, you have to realize that it was his rookie year and he has tons of room for improvement. he also scored one goal and added two assists in six playoff games for the Sabres last year as well. It will be interesting to see if he makes the team out of camp, but you should expect him to be a favorite for a spot on the team on opening night.
Donald Brashear: After being waived last year it became apparent that the Rangers had no use for Brashear any longer. Signed to fill the shoes of Colton Orr as the enforcer of the Rangers Brashear hardly played and when he did he was much less than effective. He won't be missed.
Aaron Voros: Another guy that the Rangers brough in to add some snarl to the team. Although Voros was a great guy, and a fantastic presence in the locker room, he never really translated any of that into results on the ice. Although he was favored with Tom Renney he barley saw any ice time under Tortorella and his removal wasn't surprising.
Chris Higgins: Higgins was by far the biggest disappointment of last year. Expected to come in and help take some of the scoring pressures off of Gaborik, Higgins ended up having the worst year of his NHL career. His six goals and eight assists in 54 games were atrocious numbers, and his constantly missed scoring opportunities drove Rangers fans crazy. He did no better once he was traded to Calgary.
Ales Kotalik: What can really be said about Kotalik? Kotalik was suppose to come in and help the power play, and also become a scoring threat at even strength for the Rangers due to his heavy shot. He did neither, and ended up becoming a huge liability at both even strength and on the power play. He was traded with Higgins for Jokinen.
Olli Jokinen: Jokinen ended up being the Rangers biggest move during last year's season, but never really produced. His four goals and 11 assists in 24 games was less than expected, and his missed shoot-out attempt will forever leave a bad taste in Rangers fans' mouths.
Enver Lisin: Out of all of the players who won't be back next year, Lisin figures to be the most missed. The guy has a ton of talent and wasn't given a great opportunity to prove himself under Tortorella.
Jody Shelley: Shellye was another late-season acquisition last year. He was brought into try and fill the shoes that Brashear left when he was waived, and Shelley lived up to the task. he bought into the Rangers system, he protected his teammates and was good in fights. Sather decided not to re-sign him, however, and how he is on the Flyers.
Final Prediction: The Rangers missed the playoff by one point last year, and this team has basically the same complexion with a few major upgrades. Don't underestimate how much of an impact Biron will have on this team's win total, and Frolov will help immensely with both the power play consistency and the Rangers scoring problems. I think that this Rangers team made some really good moves and will make the playoffs (and surprise some people in my opinion).