After three days off, the Rangers are finally back in action tomorrow night as they host the Los Angeles Kings. Since their last game against Pittsburgh on Sunday various noteworthy events took place and other news came out. The Rangers have had time off to work on their game and tactics, and with the trading deadline coming closer as every day passes the talks are heating up more and more. Let’s look at what has happened in the last few days that concerns the Rangers:
Practice- The Rangers had practice today and spent a large majority of it working on the powerplay. In fact, that’s mainly what they’ve done the past three days. Good to see that the coaching staff isn’t feeling complacent after only one game with a successful powerplay. The Rangers need to keep doing what they did against Pittsburgh the rest of the season. One game isn’t nearly enough. The practice lines were the same as the ones Tortorella formed against Pittsburgh, so I’d assume he’ll be using them again tomorrow. Finally, after taking yesterday off, Wolski was on the ice today but still was having issues. Tortorella says he will be out. They called up Newbury for tomorrow’s game.
Chris Kreider- Boston College won the 2011 Beanpot Tournament, and Rangers prospect Chris Kreider was named the MVP. Kreider had two goals and assisted the game winner in the championship game against Northeastern. Kreider had a very slow start to the college season but has picked it up significantly since then. He also had a good string of games in the World Junior Championships earlier this year, where the USA picked up the bronze medal.
Kreider’s success at the Beanpot coincides with comments from John Tortorella. Tortorella informed us that the Rangers tried to sign Kreider out of college last year along with Stepan and McDonagh, but that he decided to stay at Boston College for his sophomore year. Tortorella acknowledged that the Rangers will try even harder this year to get him to turn pro and claims he wants Chris to get acclimated to “the pro game” as soon as possible. Kreider responded by saying that hearing Tortorella say that “give him confidence” but that he wants to wait until after the college season is over before even contemplating the move to professional hockey.
Ian White/Tomas Kaberle- Just some trade speculation notes. defenseman Ian White was held out of Hurricanes practice today and it does not look like it was for injury reasons. TSN’s Bob Mckenzie speculates that a move will be made soon, and Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice does nothing to halt the speculation by saying that “if something happens with White it will be in the next 24 hours.” I’m listing this because it is certainly plausible that he could be moved to the Rangers. White is a decent option at the point on the power play and he would hardly require Sather to give up anything significant. Again, that is nothing more than my personal speculation.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun believes that the Rangers are one of a handful of teams that Tomas Kaberle would be willing to waive his No-Trade Clause to go to. Rangers scouts have also been scouted at the last few Maple Leafs games. I think it’s all but confirmed that the Toronto GM Brian Burke and Sather have and will continue to have discussions about Kaberle, so he is definitely a possible target for the Rangers. However, the Bruins are currently the frontrunners for him, though Burke insists no deal is close with any team.
Aaron Voros- Finally, the Anaheim Ducks traded former Rangers winger Aaron Voros to the Maple Leafs for a conditional 7th round pick, the condition being that he resigns with Toronto. It’s almost guaranteed that he won’t be resigned, so essentially Anaheim is absolving themselves of his contract while Toronto adds AHL depth for the rest of the season. Eminger hasn’t been very good recently, but he’s been a solid defender in 35-40 games this season for the Rangers. The fact that they moved only Voros and an irrelevant prospect in Ryan Hiller for Eminger is pretty nice.