The New York Rangers released their training camp roster with many names on it. Obviously the guys who will definitely make the team are on it but so are prospects who are trying to find their place within the Ranger organization. Players like Artem Anisimov, Corey Potter, and Greg Moore are young guys looking to make the Rangers out of camp. If they do not make it, they will be among the first guys who will be called up to play for the Rangers if injuries or inconsistency arise.
Petr Nedved is on the list after being given a tryout by the Rangers and he certainly will be looking to make some noise and give the NHL one more shot. Maxim Kondratiev, who was apart of the trade that brought Sandis Ozolinsh to New York for his brief stay is being given a try out. He is looking to have a better go around and finally stick with an NHL team for the long run. Although, with a top 6 in terms of defense almost set, he will be competing for the 7th defenseman spot or for one in Hartford.
The entire Traverse City roster has been invited to the camp. While a few of them may have a shot at making the team, most will be looking to make a first impression with the Ranger organization and learn new things for the future.
The biggest area of concern is in the bottom six of the forwards. Players like Fredrik Sjostrom, Ryan Callahan, Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha, Patrick Rissmiller, Aaron Voros, Colton Orr, and Dan Fritsche are all fighting for 6 slots on the roster. Assuming that Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, and Brandon Dubinsky take the top 3 center spots, it really leaves 5. Obviously a couple of wing spots are open in the top 6, which may be limited to a few players for consideration but that doesn't help the logjam in the bottom of the forwards too much.
I still believe that a small move will be made to not only free up this logjam but also give a little bit of cap space back to the team just in case the team needs to get that small piece at the trade deadline. For the sake of cap space, it would make sense to trade Prucha considering his salary of $1.6 million isn't ideal for the cap. But I do not think Prucha is going anywhere nor should he. He can score. He has scored and he will. I don't care if he played with Jagr or scored those garbage goals, someone has to do it.
When looking at who could be traded, someone like Ryan Callahan would be a better candidate for trade. Don't get me wrong. Callahan is a good young player who is not afraid to do anything. He can score, he hits, and isn't afraid to get in opposing player's faces. But that kind of player is the type that can be easily replaced.
Overall, the roster is pretty strong and the amount of young players on it is astonishing considering 5 years ago most Ranger fans were looking at a roster of all older players with a future that was nothing but a mere twinkle. September 16th is the day Ranger fans. I have been wearing a New York Ranger jersey everyday I have been at school. Start getting them out!
Speaking of Ranger prospects, Alexei Cherepanov, the Rangers first round pick in 2007 had a bit of a shock put to him today. According to Beyond the Blueshirts (link at the side), Cherepanov has been sent down to Omsk's junior team. Thanks Jaromir.
On the Coyotes front, some very good news came to the team. Viktor Tikhonov, who was suspended by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) while they investigated whether or not he broke his contract with his Russian team, has been acquitted. Tikhonov is no longer suspended and fortunately will not have to worry and can focus on getting ready for the upcoming season.
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