Well hockey fans, it is officially 2010-11, as training camps around the league, including the New York Rangers, are open for business.
Of course I'm not at the practice facility each day with the team, but I have been reading blog posts and tweets from several beat writers in attendance, and will bring you a bit of a collection of thoughts each day.
The story that garnered the most attention from several bloggers, including Steve Zipay at Newsday and Andrew Gross at the Record, involved Wade Redden and his seemingly imminent demotion to Hartford and the AHL. All signs point north to the Wolfpack, although Redden believes that he still has to prove himself and could potentially find himself in Buffalo on October 9 when the season begins.
“Obviously, I’ve got to come in and play well and show I belong,” Redden said. “I know there are a lot of defensemen in camp, a lot of young guys coming in. They’ve got some choices to make. I’ve got to feel good about what I do. The rest will take care of itself.”
I still believe, even after coach John Tortorella shared similar thoughts Thursday, that Redden has to play like Brian Leetch this training camp to find himself with a spot on the roster. Even if he does put up a performance Leetch 1994-like, they just do not have the space for him.
The other "big" story to come out of day one was the absence of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik, who were both held out of drills with injuries. Lundqvist had a "tender groin" according to Tortorella, while Gaborik had back pains. Of course this isn't news many Rangers fans want to hear, but it is only mid-September, and both were said to be precautionary.
Lastly, Gross had a great blog entry about Michael Del Zotto still dwelling on last season's shootout loss against the Flyers. He said that just one play here or there could have changed the season, especially on the powerplay where there was inconsistency from October to April. Del Zotto also doesn't predict a sophomore slump this season, and will be looked at to be the team's top powerplay quarterback.
Great to see that many players on the team are still beating themselves up over how last season ended, especially a young player like Del Zotto.