Found September 29, 2013 on Blue Seat Blogs:
How good can Ryan McDonagh be? Defensemen Aaron Johnson Best case: Johnson is an adequate depth defender and is significantly better than Stu Bickel in spot duty. Worst case: Johnson is no better than Bickel and the Rangers are back where they were last year if top-six blueliners get hurt. Anton Stralman Best case: Stralman continues to be an unsung hero for the Blueshirts and finally earns the attention he deserves with a standout campaign, including some gaudy power play numbers. Worst case: Stralman’s hold on the #6 job loosens and Justin Falk pushes him for playing time. Conor Allen Best case: Allen beats out all the veterans to win the #7 D-man job after a terrific camp and pushes Anton Stralman for playing time. Worst case: Allen spends the season in Hartford and challenges for a regular NHL job next season. Dan Girardi Best case: Girardi shows that he’s much more than John Tortorella’s shot-blocking crash dummy and returns to form after a down year. Worst case: Girardi struggles with Vigneault’s more up-tempo style and continues to be a little too reckless with his body. Dylan McIlrath Best case: McIlrath avoids injuries and puts together a very solid year of development on both ends of the ice in Hartford. Worst case: The injury bug strikes again and McIlrath’s development stalls after another setback. John Moore Best case: Moore proves to be the most important piece of the Marian Gaborik deal and surpasses Michael Del Zotto in the rearguard pecking order. Worst case: Moore experiences some hiccups after a seamless transition to New York last spring – Vigneault can’t trust his third pairing. Justin Falk Best case: Falk fills in admirably when a top-six defender inevitably goes down and the Rangers are still able to roll six defensemen. Worst case: Falk’s poor preseason play is a sign of things to come and he can’t be trusted to play meaningful minutes. Marc Staal Best case: Weaker vision doesn’t affect Staal and he puts two injury-filled years behind him as Staal returns to being the team’s top blueliner. Worst case: Staal struggles to adjust to the speed of regular season games with his deteriorated sight and isn’t the player he once was. Michael Del Zotto Best case: Del Zotto thrives under Vigneault and emerges as one of the league’s better offensive defensemen while improving in his own zone. Worst case: Del Zotto continues to take a step back for every step forward and isn’t an answer on the power play point. Ryan McDonagh Best case: McDonagh not only surpasses Girardi and Staal as the team’s consensus top blueliner, but he adds offense, is an All-Star, and draws some Norris Trophy consideration. Worst case: McDonagh is still unable to harness his considerable offensive potential and ends up on the second pair. Stu Bickel Best case: Bickel is never needed on Broadway. Worst case: More than two defenders are injured long-term and Bickel is again forced in over his head. Goalies Henrik Lundqvist Best case: Lundqvist wins his second Vezina Trophy and passes Mike Richter for first place on the all-time Rangers wins list. Worst case: Lundqvist is still one of the top-five goalies in the league but (gasp) isn’t a Vezina finalist. Martin Biron Best case: Biron shows everyone the Rangers made the right choice by cutting Johan Hedberg loose with 20 solid starts. Worst case: Whatever personal issue kept Biron out of camp the first few days lingers into the season and Biron isn’t able to focus on hockey. Tweet

Rangers announce final cuts

Jesper Fast and J.T. Miller made the roster, while Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg and Marek Hrivik were assigned to Hartford The Rangers announced their final roster cuts this morning, assigning Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg, Marek Hrivik, Darroll Powe, Brandon Mashinter, Stu Bickel and Conor Allen to the Hartford Wolfpack.  Powe, Mashinter and Bickel must all clear waivers. The...

Chris Kreider needs more seasoning

Kreider would be best served with big minutes in the AHL Depending on who you ask, Chris Kreider getting sent down to the AHL to begin the year is either the right thing to do or a terrible setback for both player and organisation. Everyone has an opinion on Kreider, indicating just how important his development is still deemed to be. Yes, the Rangers would prefer to have one of...

Rangers downed by Kings – Do. Not. Panic.

The Rangers preseason means nothing. Bring on Thursday. In another one sided preseason game, the Rangers were out of luck in Las Vegas as they lost 5-1 to the LA Kings including conceding the first goal inside 15 seconds. Jon Quick made 22 saves while the Kings scored two goals on the powerplay. On a night of few bright spots, JT Miller continued to play catch up after missing preseason...

Replacing Ryan Callahan & Carl Hagelin On The Roster

The Rangers start their season this upcoming Thursday, October 3rd, against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Blueshirts roster will be missing captain Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin both recovering from surgeries they had in the offseason. This gives an opportunity for two lucky guys to claim those last two spots on the roster. The preseason is […]

Balancing a prospects best interests against team results

Could Hrivik be well placed to become a Ranger despite being in the AHL? With the Rangers facing the reality of opening the year without Ryan Callahan for at least a game and Carl Hagelin for much longer – without even considering the lack of practice time for Derek Stepan – would the Rangers be best prepared leaning on the veterans to begin the year? With Jesper Fast and JT...

Bickel, Mashinter, and Powe all clear waivers

Per Bob McKenzie, defensman Stu Bickel and forwards Darroll Powe and Brandon Mashinter all cleared waivers yesterday. The trio will be assigned to the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL. All three were cut yesterday as part of the final round of cuts, but required waivers to be sent to the AHL. Tweet

New lines add to roster makeup questions

Photo: Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images After the Rangers announced their final cuts yesterday, they practiced and showcased some new lines. These lines are not quite set, as Ryan Callahan is not cleared to play in games (just cleared for contact). Rick Nash, who missed practice, would take Cally’s place on the top line: Brad Richards-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan Taylor Pyatt...

Brad Richards getting a look as winger on Rangers' top line

Over the summer the Rangers had a lot of deliberating to do about the future of Brad Richards and the prospect of using an amnesty buyout to get out from under his contract. GM Glen Sather elected not to go that route and instead hung on to Richards. Now he's playing on the Rangers' top line. Richards who was a healthy scratch in the playoffs last season part of an overall...

All That Has Transpired: New York Rangers

We’re going to take a look at each NHL team, breaking down every new addition and subtraction, as well as promising prospects. Today, we take a look at the New York Rangers. By: Nick Richter (@PensNation_Nick) 2013 Season: 26-18-4, 56 pts – (2nd in the Atlantic Division, 6th in Eastern Conference) Additions HC Alain Vigneault (VAN) C Dominic Moore (FA) W Benoit Pouliot (TBL...

St. Croix among 14 cut from Wolfpack camp

The Hartford Wolfpack have cut 14 players from AHL camp. They have assigned four players to the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors (these are guys that are signed to ELC’s by the Rangers), they loaned another four to Greenville (AHL contracts, sent to ECHL), released another three from  tryouts (and joining Greenville), and outright released another three. From the press release...

Recently signed Stepan joins Rangers camp

The Rangers roster began to take full shape on Sunday and for the first time since training camp opened that roster included Derek Stepan. The presumptive first-line center took part in a practice that lasted more than an hour days after signing his two-year $6.15 million deal. He centered a line with Brad Richards on the left — yes that Brad Richards who won a Conn Smythe trophy...

The Fantasy Blueline: Five Underrated Dmen to Target in 2013-14 by @PITmounD

Ryan McDonagh could be a trendy Norris pick in 2013-14 ... Defensemen are typically some of the hardest skaters to properly draft in fantasy hockey. Their value, on the whole, fluctuates so wildly from one season to the next that it is very difficult to properly determine where to select certain blueliners on draft day. Given the unreliability of the position, and Yahoo'...
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