Second Cuts, Who’s Going To Stay? Not Blueshirt Baggins; DET @ NYR


Monday the Rangers’ website released a list of those cut over the weekend. Eleven players were either released from their Tryout Agreements or Assigned to Hartford. Here’s a list from the site:

Goal (1):Chad Johnson
Defense (1):Wade Redden
Forward (6):Dane Byers, Evgeny Grachev, Kris Newbury, Dale Weise, Jeremy Williams, Mats Zuccarello
Defense (3):Garnet Exelby, Brandon Manning, Alexei Semenov
Goal (2):Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist
Defense (9):Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Matt Gilroy, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michal Rozsival, Mike Sauer, Marc Staal, Pavel Valentenko
Forward (16):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

Evgeny Grachev has still yet to prove anything outstanding to the coaches. I do find it mildly hilarious that the two players Glen Sather singled out in the beginning of the offseason as players he’d like to see in Ranger blue are both being assigned to Hartford and cut from the team (Weise and Grachev). On the other hand, neither blew anyone away during the preseason nor camp.

Chad Johnson we all knew was the odd man out, but he’s guaranteed to be staying with the Rangers organization because he’s the only goalie not on the Rangers with a contract. Neither Cam Talbot nor Scott Stajcer have contracts with the organization.

Mats “Blueshirt Baggins” Zuccarello was also one of the casualties to be sent down to Hartford, but you also had to figure that was going to happen as well. As much as we’d all love to see him come up and play at one point (which you can almost bet on happening some point this year), he still has to get acquainted to the NHL sized rink. Give him some time in Hartford to season, get familiar with his surroundings and soon we’ll be seeing the body of a 14 year old boy in a Ranger uniform.
He showed some signs of being ready for NHL play, but also left clues behind that he had no idea where he was at times. He gave a lot of heart though, and tremendous effort, which always puts you in the good graces of Torts. No longer the Frodo of Modo, our Blueshirt Baggins is here to play.

So, who’s going to stay? Ruslan Fedotenko is the only invitee left standing as even the well played Alexei Semenov got the can. Fedotenko has been playing well, but it keeps creeping back into my mind, do we need him? I know he’s in Torts favor because of Tampa Bay, but does that mean he deserves a spot from our younger players?
I keep going back and forth on this subject and I’m torn. I mean this is the same guy who had a stacked team and finished with a -20 on the Penguins. No one was even close to that plus/minus. I mean being the best Ukrainian hockey player is like being the best log chucker of Iowa. At least we got rid of Garnet Exelby before that became serious.

Knowing Tortorella is not a huge fan of having 23 players up on his NHL team, who’s going to be left standing at the end. Sauer and Valentenko I believe are obvious choices to be sent down. Ryan McDonagh has played too well to be a clear candidate for demotion. You can assume they want him to get some AHL experience, but he’s showing everyone he just might be ready for the NHL off the bat. He almost completely makes you forget about Scott Gomez. Derek Stepan is doing the same thing as McDonuts. Stepan is playing phenomenally and looks like the best choice to play on the Frolov/Gaborik line. They’re going to keep trying Christensen in the top center position, as they’re hoping for a chemistry to bond between the three. I hope Stepan continues to show that he’s ready to play with the big boys.



Tonight’s lines against the Detroit Red Wings:

Alexander Frolov | Erik Christensen | Marian Gaborik
Tim Kennedy | Artem Anisimov | Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko | Derek Stepan | Sean Avery
Derek Boogaard | Todd White | Brandon Prust

Marc Staal | Michal Rozsival
Michael Del Zotto | Steve Eminger
Pavel Valentenko | Mike Sauer

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

After losing the first game to Detroit, I’d like to see how this new team comes back from a loss on the road, especially at one. Oh, that’s right, I will first hand. I’ll be at MSG tonight in Section 118 cheering on our Rangers hopefuls.

Keep a look out for Valentenko, Sauer, Todd White, Fedotenko, Kennedy, and Stepan to step it up because the coach’s eyes will be on them heavily going into this game and from now on to the last cuts. Counting this game, the team only has 3 games left in this preseaon before we’re regular season ready. Remember, only 10 more days til opening night.