Sorry folks but had to take most of Sunday evening and Monday in order to observe the start of the Jewish New Year. To one and all may I wish everyone “Shanah Tovah” which translated means “A Good Year”. A good year for us will be watching the Rangers, their minor league players and the prospects do well.
On Monday as most of you already know the Rangers made cuts sending four directly to Hartford, asking waivers on one with the intent of sending him to Hartford and releasing defensemen Joe Morrow from his PTO. That left the team with twenty-two players (plus one as Michael Haley remains on his PTO).
The team is saying that this is the final roster that will take the ice on Thursday as they begin the 2019-2020 NHL regular season but I have my doubts. With several teams still to make their final cuts as well as nine teams that are still over the salary cap, an opportunity might arise for the team to fill that final roster spot with a trade or waiver pickup.
There are also a couple of teams that are missing players like Columbus who only list ten forwards and just 19 total players. They have plenty of space to add a player or two. As does the Ottawa Senators who are carrying three players on LTIR (Long Term Injured Reserve) and might need warm bodies who are still healthy enough to play.
As for the cuts themselves, sorry Filip Chytil played his way to Hartford. He went from David Quinn raving about the work he put in during the off-season to just a disappointment. You kind of knew the move was coming if you had read David Quinn’s words in the New York Post:
“I think that to send a 20-year-old to the AHL and have it [be] a big deal is alarming,” Quinn said. “He did play 75 games last year, but we’re talking about a 20-year-old. Not like he had 25 goals like [Elias] Pettersson in Vancouver. If you can’t send a 20-year-old to the AHL then why do we have the AHL?”
Thankfully this season the Rangers have some teaching coaches in Hartford who hopefully can turn Chytil around. As for Vitali Kravtsov, there is no issue sending him down to Hartford as it is better than asking him to play on the fourth line with next to no minutes.
Instead, he will get major minutes and be used in all situations in Hartford as he adapts and adjusts to the North American brand of hockey. Ryan Lindgren was in the same situation so let him play as a top-pair defender as he will be back sometime this season.
Igor Shesterkin needs to play plain and simple as he discovered the NHL is a faster game than the KHL. He and Adam Huska will split the goaltending duties in Hartford and one of them will possibly rotate with Alexandar Georgiev during the season.
Hartford after the Rangers made their roster moves then made several moves of their own. Felt bad for Ty Ronning being reassigned to Maine (along with Dawson Leedahl and Jake Elmer) but the numbers game hurt his cause.
The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Men’s Hockey Poll came out on Monday and some Ranger prospects saw their teams on it. The University of Massachusetts (with Dman Zac Jones) is third and Cornell (with Tri-Captain Morgan Barron) is fifth.
Wisconsin (K’Andre Miller), Minnesota (Captain Tyler Nanne) and Michigan (Eric Ciccolini) were all in the portion of the receiving vote of the poll.
On Sunday two prospects saw action:
Nico Gross (Oshawa OHL)- scoreless in his Oshawa Generals 4-1 win over the Kingston Frontenacs. The Generals are off to a 4-0-0 season start.
Matthew Robertson (Edmonton WHL)- scoreless as his Edmonton Oil Kings fell to the Lethbridge Hurricanes 5-2.