The Rangers made a whole bunch of cuts tonight after their 4-3 pre-season win against the Devils. Gone are the following players:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 27, 2015
No real surprises here. Luke Adam and Brian Gibbons have always been ticketed for organizational depth. Though Gibbons had a nice pre-season, there’s no spot for him. The battle at forward is between Oscar Lindberg, Jarret Stoll, Tanner Glass, and apparently Jayson Megna (?). Both players will need to clear waivers on their way to Hartford; hard to imagine either being claimed.
Mat Bodie and Brady Skjei both look like they’re be viable call ups this season. But both have two-way contracts and their flexibility to be sent to Hartford coupled with the inflexible one-way deals carried by Raphael Diaz and Dylan McIlrath mean they’ll be making their Rangers debuts some other time.
The roster now sits at 25 with two cuts to go. We’ll know what the final roster will be in less than a week, but I don’t care, I’m going to project what I think is likely anyways:
I’m pretty comfortable saying Tanner Glass won’t make the Rangers this season. It would be entirely too stupid – even by Alain Vigneault’s standards – to cut Lindberg. He has played well enough to force his way on the roster. That leaves the battle between Stoll and Glass. The Rangers have made it clear that they covet Stoll’s veteran leadership and face-off ability. Plus, he does add some flexibility on the fourth line; a lesser version of what the Rangers used to have with Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle. Vigneault has already said they will only carry 13 forwards, so that leaves Glass on the outside looking in.
What really is working against Glass though is what’s unfolding on defense. McIlrath has been surprisingly not bad in his pre-season games. Dare I say, that my eyes have been pleased by his play. Prior to that development, Diaz was pretty close to a lock to make the team. The organization is familiar with him, he’s right handed, and is on a one-way contract. Plus he has had a good pre-season in his own right. So that leaves open the possibility of carrying eight forwards initially out of camp, to sort out whatever it is they’re going to do on defense long-term. McIlrath and Diaz both needs to clear waivers if sent down and both would likely be claimed. If McIlrath was truly abysmal, that may not have been an issue. But there still appears to be legitimate hope that he could be an NHL player; which is a major development.
Considering the Rangers lack of salary cap space, it would be advantageous for one of Mcilrath or Diaz to emerge as a regular player and make one of the right handed defensemen, Kevin Klein or Dan Girardi (hopeful), expendable via trade.
Here’s the kicker, in order to keep Diaz and Mcilrath, the Rangers need to clear cap space. The obvious way to do so is to banish Glass to Hartford.
Hooray, I just solved one of the world’s major problems.