Found September 18, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
New York Rangers
Marek Hrivik has an NHL-ready body
The battle for forward positions has been the talk of training camp thus far, and several of New York’s youngsters have made strong cases to be on the opening night roster. Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Danny Kristo and Marek Hrivik have all impressed, while 2011 first-round pick J.T. Miller hasn’t gotten the opportunity due to injuries. With Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan out for the first chunk of the season, one or more of these players will likely be thrust into significant roles come October 3rd.
Chris Kreider has been skating with Brad Richards and Rick Nash for much of camp and it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be locked into a top-six role at the start of the season. But after Kreider, the roster battle is still ongoing.
Lindberg was the breakout star of the Traverse City Tournament, Fast has demonstrated instant chemistry with Lindberg and was buzzing around the ice last night and Kristo was singled out by coach Alain Vigneault for his efforts in Monday’s game. The prospect that continues to fly a bit under the radar is Hrivik.
Hrivik comes with a little less hoopla than the others – he doesn’t have blazing speed, wasn’t drafted and missed much of last season with a concussion. What he does have is professional experience and success, as well as an NHL-ready body and a strong ability to protect the puck.
Fans are understandably anxious to see Lindberg win a spot following his sensational 2012-2013 campaign in the Swedish Elite League, but Lindberg is a natural center, and the Rangers are well stocked at that position. Lindberg is obviously a part of the team’s long-term plans, but does it make sense to leapfrog him over Dominic Moore (who has been tremendous in his own right this preseason) and Brian Boyle? Derek Stepan (yes, he’ll be signed), Derick Brassard and Brad Richards aren’t going anywhere, so where does Lindberg fit? It just doesn’t make any sense to force a 21-year-old into a fourth-line role when the Blueshirts already have other capable options. Lindberg has a bright future, but in the end it’s very likely that he’ll be given some AHL seasoning before a spot is made for him on Broadway.
As for Fast – the speedy Swedish winger has been very impressive, no doubt. But, like Lindberg, Fast is adapting to the smaller North American rink on the fly. That’s not always an easy transition, and even less so for a player that weighs 170 pounds after Thanksgiving dinner. Fast has shown a willingness to battle in the dirty areas, but can he really be expected to hold up when the opposition’s top defenders are treating the game for real? Kristo has the same problem. He’s a little older, but he is also built like a twig.
Given New York’s injuries, Fast or Kristo might indeed get a cameo. But the best, and perhaps most likely solution is Hrivik. He probably won’t wow us with scoring or speed the way New York’s other top prospects might in spurts, but Hrivik boasts a 6’1″, 197 lb. power forward’s frame that is tailor-made for the NHL. Hrivik doesn’t have the same ceiling as his competition, but given the circumstances, he’s probably the best solution to the forward conundrum among the prospects.
BEST OF MAXIM
Will Kreider finally shine under AV? (Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)
So hockey has actually begun. The preseason games are underway and we’ve seen the preseason roster already begin to dwindle. So, what’s next? The Musings is of course.
When hearing Alain Vigneault discuss the potential of Chris Kreider being used in front of the net it gave a small but significant insight...
Per Darren Dreger, grain of salt required, the Rangers and holdout center Derek Stepan are just $500k per year (over a two-year bridge deal) apart on contract negotiations. New York is taking a hardball approach, sticking to $3 million per year over the two-year deal. Stepan wants $3.5 million. I believe $3.5 million is closer to market value, since Nazem Kadri and his one full...
(Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
The Rangers were in Newark tonight, and lost the preseason opener 2-1 that showcased some solid goaltending and some decent prospect play. This was likely the only preseason action for some forwards, but others earned more preseason time to see what they can bring to the lineup on a regular basis. We aren’t going to go into full goal breakdowns...
The Hartford Wolfpack have announced their training camp roster, with camp set to begin tomorrow (on-ice on Friday). There are currently 30 players (18 forwards, 9 defensemen, 3 goalies) in camp for the Pack, but that number will change as players get cut by the Rangers and cut by the Pack. The training camp roster as of today:
Forwards: Sean Ambrosie, Scott Arnold, J.T. Barnett...
Brassard played very well tonight. (Photo: Andrew Theodorakis / New York Daily News)
The Rangers got their first win of the preseason tonight, besting the Flyers 3-2 in Philadelphia. Since there will be cuts announced relatively soon, this was likely the last time we will see a number of these guys this year (on Broadway at least). New York looked a lot better than they did in their...
Derek Stepan is out of sight out of coach Alain Vigneault’s mind and off the published roster as the Rangers head west for four days of practice followed by four exhibition matches in five days while the unsigned center remains locked in a contract dispute whose end is not in sight either.
“At this time now I’m functioning as if he’s not here” Vigneault said following...
New Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault spoke to RDS' Stéphane Leroux about adjusting to life in New York City (roughly translated by yours truly):
We're getting used to the big city. Before I had a five minute drive to work, maybe fifteen if I walked slowly. In New York, I'm 25 miles from our training site. But New York...it's New York." Said the new Rangers...
New city, same John Tortorella.
The Canucks coach took the podium on Monday morning to discuss what he’s looking for out of his young players when they take on the Sharks in their preseason opener. It was a seemingly calm event, but the mood quickly changed when a cameraman’s cell phone started ringing during the middle of the coach’s media availability.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
You don’t have to squint all that hard to read between the lines of the “Clean Slate…Grab it” motto the Rangers are wearing on their sleeves — and their training camp T-shirts — in order to deduce this fresh start everyone, but everyone, apparently craves is as close to an organizational repudiation of the John Tortorella Era...
Hedberg could have a shot at winning the backup role (Photo: AP)
This past offseason Glen Sather kept this roster pretty much intact in hopes that Alain Vineault and his new coaching staff would be the difference makers to get this team over the hump. With that said, any time a team changes coaches there’s always going to be some roster turnover that follows.
At this point we don’t...
Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist, and coach Alain Vigneault earned his first win with the Rangers as New York beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 Tuesday night in a preseason game.
Brassard made it 1-0 with a shot that beat Steve Mason high 1:10 into the second period. Max Talbot tied it at 13:26 with a snap shot from the left wing that got past goalie Cam Talbot's glove...
Since it’s going to be a slow day, I found myself over at ESPN looking at their player rankings. They did a vote of their internal writers, voting on the top defensemen and forwards for this coming season. Starting with the defensemen (top 50), Ryan McDonagh came in at #10, Dan Girardi at #14, and Michael Del Zotto at #38. At forward (top 100), Rick Nash came in at #28, Ryan...
New York Rangers center Dominic Moore returned to the ice Monday for the first NHL action since 2012, and the reason for his 17-month departure is enough to break your heart.
The 33-year-old Moore spent all of last season away from the game as he cared for his wife, Katie, who died in January at age 32 after a fight with a rare form of liver cancer.
Moore started the Katie Moore...
John Tortorella might have been introduced as the Vancouver Canucks head coach in June, but everyone knew the union wouldn’t feel complete until he had has first spat with the local media. Well everybody, that day has finally come.
Around 12 seconds into the video you can faintly hear a phone going off as Torts discusses the upcoming preseason games. Upon hearing the sound he...