It is all over. The Sundin mongering, the armchair GM proposals, the ridiculous "rumors. All of these are now faded back into the caverns of the Internet and the time for training camp has arrived. Teams around the NHL are starting training camp with a few having already started, one of those teams being the New York Rangers. The Phoenix Coyotes start tomorrow.
This will be the first time Tom Renney and the coaching staff will get a chance to play around with line combinations, defensive pairings, PP and PK units, and anything else they desire. New additions such as Nikolai Zherdev, Markus Naslund, and Wade Redden will be closely examined to see what they can bring to the Rangers. Chris Drury and Scott Gomez return for their second season in the Big Apple. Alot of familiar faces are on the ice as are many unfamiliar and it will take time for everyone to get used to each other both on and off the ice. The Rangers play their first preseason game tomorrow which I will breakdown at that point.
Phoenix starts their official training camp tomorrow but the rookies and prospects have been busy all week with rookie camp and a couple of exhibition games vs the LA Kings prospects. The Coyotes dropped the first one 2-1 and then won 3-0 the next day. Kurtis Mucha, who is in camp on a tryout, played very well in the first game but the Coyotes couldn't muster enough offense for him. Joel Gistedt played spectacularly along with a little luck from the red posts to shut out the Kings the next game. It was a good gauge for Don Maloney to see how his prospects played as a team against another team and certainly will go a long way in determining their chances at training camp. The roster for the Coyotes training camp is on their website which is on the right.
For news on Ranger training camp, check out all the beat writers for the most up to date observations and insights into the on ice practices and interviews. Check here as Mike and I will work around our school schedules and work to bring you articles and other things. Radio show is wednesdays at 1pm.....you know the drill.
It is almost here hockey fans....oh so close.
Image found on HFboards here