Training Camp, also known as the beginning of the new season; it’s the time in which teams come together as a whole, with some off-season additions of course, and train for the coming season.
The Rangers front office will have a lot to think about during this coming training camp, with so much going on and so many possibilities for the roster turn-out.
Training camp opens the gates to preseason, which will be a very exciting one to say the least. With so many prospects and try-outs on the roster, it will be a fun preseason to watch.
But with training camp and preseason come questions, or “things” to watch out for.
Each team will run into major decisions during training camp and the Rangers will have a good amount of major, potential season changing, decisions to make.
I am just going to preview a few possibilities, or a few moves Glen Sather may decide to make.
So, without further ado:
4. Will Glen Sather make any roster clearing trades?
It’s no secret that the Rangers have much too many forwards and defenseman competing for spots during training camp, and while competition may be good for the players, too much competition may turn into trouble.
As I’ve said before, the Rangers have at least 17 NHL ready forwards and 11 NHL ready defensemen—that is way too many players and things could get a little groggy and confusing with so many players in attendance. If Glen Sather could find a way to move a few forwards and (or) defensemen for some draft picks or prospects, that could work well for the team.
Another scenario could be trading three or four players for less in return. I don’t mean trade away three or four good players for nobody’s, but maybe trade away a few unneeded roster players for a couple of asset players. Two spots that still need filling is the top-line center position and crease-clearing defenseman. If Sather could maneuver a trade or two to acquire such players, while keeping in mind that there is a cap and roster limit, it could work wonders for the Rangers this season.
3. Try-out galore! But will any of them make the team?
Last week, Glen Sather went on a shopping spree with a try-out contract discount, as he snatched up three big names to put in a Rangers jersey part time, for now: Forward Ruslan Fedotenko (Tank), defensemen Garnet Exelby (EX), and Alexei Semenov (Sems) will all attend training camp in hopes of winning a contract from Glen Sather.
What would these players do for the team? Before we analyze that, we have to realize that these players must play to the best of their abilities during training camp if they want any type of offer.
How they will make the team?
Tank: The veteran forward must come to training camp and prove that he still has what it takes to be a NHLer. He had a down season for Pittsburgh last season, but if he can come into camp and prove that he belongs, preferably showing that he still has some offensive punch to his game, he may be able to win a spot on the team (at a low price, of course).
EX: Garnet Exelby will bring his strong, physical nature into the Rangers training camp in hopes of winning a spot on the team. Yes, that is a spot the Rangers are missing; and yes it would come at an extremely low price but, he must prove that he can still play a good physical game or else he will not win a spot on this team. If he comes in playing as he did in Toronto last season, he can kiss his chances to be a New York Ranger goodbye!
Sems: I think Semenov makes the team, regardless of how he turns out in training camp. Now bear with me here, I am not saying he can come into training camp and play like worn-out crap (or Wade Redden), but if he plays the way he did last season during training camp, he will definitely be on the team. Plus, Glen Sather already announced that a deal is in place; all that he (Semenov) needs to do is play well during training camp.
2. Will the Rangers have any prospects on their team this coming season?
While the Rangers are supposed to be in a “re-building” stage, there doesn’t seem like there is much room on the roster to rebuild with.
This only proves my point that Glen Sather may have to move a few players around to make room for others to play on the roster (prospects or try-outs). If any prospect is to make the team this coming season, they will definitely have to play hard during training camp and preseason, and beat out other players already on the roster.
Names to watch out for include:
Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, Evgeny Grachev, Derek Stepan, Ethan Werek, Ryan McDonagh, Thomas Kundratek, and Jyri Niemi.
Those players will definitely be fighting for a roster spot during training camp.
1. Who will be WAIVEing bye-bye at the end of camp?
This whole summer has been surrounded by rumors that the Rangers would bid farewell to a few of their more robust contract players, such as Wade Redden and Michael Rozsival. It is no secret that those players, especially Wade Redden, may be counting down the number of days they have left as New York Rangers.
Both Glen Sather and John Tortorella have said it themselves: if they don’t play like they deserve a spot then they won’t have one. Tortorella even called Wade Redden out live on MSG a few nights ago, saying that his play was “slow” and “Uninspired;” if that isn’t a wake-up call than I don’t know what is. It will take miracles upon miracles for Wade Redden to make the Rangers out of training camp and he probably knows that himself.
Other notable players that could find themselves in Hartford by seasons start:
Todd White, Sean Avery, and Steve Eminger.
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