Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rangers and Coyotes Make Final Trimmings


Both the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers made some more cuts today which has gotten them down to the amount of players needed to start the season.
Brett MacLean and David Schlemko were sent to the San Antonio Rampage by the Phoenix Coyotes to bring their roster number two 22 players while the New York Rangers sent Evgeny Grachev to Hartford and are now at 22 players.
Both teams are carrying seven defensemen and youngsters are apart of the mix on both teams. In the desert Kevin Porter will be looking to make an impact as he will try to stick with the team for the duration of the season. Porter started the year in Phoenix last season but was eventually sent to San Antonio to get more ice time.
In New York, the Rangers will have some young talent abound. Michael Del Zotto has earned his nine game tryout. Del Zotto can play nine NHL games and still be sent back to his major junior team, the London Knights. Because of his age Del Zotto cannot go to the Hartford Wolfpack.
Matt Gilroy has made a great case to stay in New York as he has been impressive on both ends of the ice. He will only get better as he learns more about the system and the rest of the NHL.
Technically each team can make one more cut as the minimum amount of players to be on your active roster is 21. Looking at the Phoenix Coyotes there is not really any one person who has stood out in a very bad way and should be cut. Keeping the roster as is gives Head Coach Dave Tippett plenty of options. This team has a very good mix of speed and skill that will be complemented by a very structured defensive system. Saturday night's preseason shutout over the San Jose Sharks was a good start but more will be learned and the Coyotes will be even better.
On the east coast there is one person who should be cut immediately. Michal Rozsival has been absolutely atrocious. During today's game against the Capitals Rozsival fumbled the puck right in front of Henrik Lundqvist and Brooks Laich took it and put it in. The entire preseason Rozsival has blown it in the defensive zone and has not looked that spectacular on the other side of the ice. He is not mobile enough for a high octane offensive system and is frequently caught making bad plays whether in the defensive or offensive zones. He is quickly becoming a turnover machine. Maybe no one noticed Rozsival was so bad because Marek Malik was worse.
If I was John Tortorella Rozsival would be on his way to Hartford regardless of how much he makes. The younger players have looked much better. Free up $5 million in cap space, sign a veteran defenseman like Alexei Semenov (He hasn't looked spectacular either but at least he would be cheaper) and get ready for Friday.
Whatever does end up happening over the next week should be very interesting. The Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers are making the finishing touches on their rosters and will now get into an intense week of learning new systems. The teams are now set roster wise but now is the time where they forge their identity on the ice. What do you think they will look like?

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