The Rangers had a day off yesterday, but were back at practice today albeit with a few exceptions. Sean Avery was officially assigned to the Connecticut Whale early this week, and reported for duty yesterday - Bergen Record. Although, not exactly. Avery has a shoulder injury - New York Post - and while the MRI was negative, he'll get treatment to see if it'll improve.
Also missing from practice were Wojtek Wolski and Mike Sauer, both of whom are nursing injuries - Pat Leonard of NY Daily News. Neither are considered serious, unlike Marc Staal who continues to receive treatment and now seemingly has his returned date pushed back even further - Bergen Record.
Despite suggestions that John Tortorella would stick with his line combinations - New York Post - the experiments continued. Derek Stepan joining the top line of Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards for a stint in practice per Pat Leonard on Twitter.
Captain Ryan Callahan left practice early, but no word yet on whether it was anything to be concerned about. Initial indications appeared to be that it wasn't serious - Steve Zipay on Twitter.
Whale go 1-1-0 on opening Weekend
The Connecticut Whale got their season under way last Saturday, with a 6-3 loss to the Adirondack Phantoms in which they raced to a 3-1 lead courtesy of a Kris Newbury hat trick, and then promptly gave it back up. Cam Talbot had a rough night, giving up five goals on twenty three shots.
They followed that up with a stellar performance by Chad Johnson on Sunday, stopping 41 of 41 shots and then 3 of 5 in the shootout to backstop the Whale to a 1-0 shootout win.
Road Warriors receive Four Players
Greenville's season kicks off on Friday at home against the Wheeling Nailers, and they will have four Ranger signed players on the roster. Jason Missiaen, Chris Chappell, Jason Wilson and Sam Klassen have all been assigned to the club and will be available for the opening night roster.
Scott Stajcer assigned to Owen Sound
Goaltender Scott Stajcer has been reassigned to the OHL by the Rangers, and will compete for time with Jason Binnington. Stajcer was a victim of too many goalies in the Rangers' system (they have six under contract), and he'll be one of four overage players for his club.
The OHL allows three 20 year olds to be dressed in any game, and with Binnington helping to lead them to the finals last year, you have to figure Stajcer is going to be a scratch on many nights - not a good situation for anyone involved, so don't be surprised if you see a trade.
Minor League Updates
Chris Kreider and Boston College got off to a quick start, winning the Ice Breaker tournament in North Dakota. Kreider had a goal in each game, and added an assist to help pace BC to the title.
In the WHL, Dylan McIlrath picked up his first point of the season last night in his fourth game of the season with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Andrew Yogan picked up his first goal this weekend, and has a goal and three assists in six appearances with the Petes.
Christian Thomas has gotten off to a cold start with no points in his four appearances, but picked up three goals in his last two games, while Shane McColgan is scoring more than a point a game, with 5 assists in 4 games. He is yet to register a goal. Fellow 2011 draft pick Michael St Croix is not performing as well, with one goal and two assists in six games to start the year.
Over in Europe, Jesper Fasth has gotten off to a quick start and has four goals and six assists in nine games with HV 71 of the Swedish Elite League. The numbers might be a little inflated - former Ranger Jason Krog has similar numbers - but it's a promising start for sure.
In Russia, Mikhail Pashnin is yet to register a point in ten appearances this season.