This comes as no surprise, since coach John Tortorella has been known for cutting players early to get his final team in sync. Coach Torts believes he can slim down the roster to 23 (including goaltenders), so both he and management could take a thorough look at the makeup of this year's team.
So who is on their way out?
As of now, the Rangers have 27 players left in camp. That means four players will be cut. However, since Chris Drury is on the IR, only three players might be cut for now.
With Drury on the IR, both Erik Christensen and Derek Stepan will most likely stay on the team. When Drury is back and healthy, expect one of the centers to be sent down. Boyle, Christensen, and Stepan are likely candidates.
The only center who will probably be cut is Todd White who carries a cap hit of $2.375 million this year. I also believe tryout winger Ruslan Fedotenko will not be signed as the Rangers have a backlog of forwards vying for a spot.
The Rangers currently have nine defenseman in camp. Torts isn't one to carry seven defenseman so I wouldn't be surprised if he cuts three defenseman and keeps an extra forward around. I'd say that Ryan McDonagh and Matt Gilroy make the team while Steve Eminger, Michael Sauer, and Pavel Valentenko are sent down. If Torts does decide to keep a seventh defenseman around, expect Valentenko to be the No. 1 candidate for that spot.
In my opinion, Fedotenko will not be signed and White, Sauer, and Eminger will be sent to the Hartford Whale. That leaves the Rangers with seven defenseman, 13 forwards (not including Drury), and two goaltenders. That brings the player count down to 23 if you include Drury.
This Rangers squad is definitely more skilled than last year's and could make a nice push for the playoffs. The team has gotten younger and deeper, which are two key factors for the Rangers this season.
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!
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