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OTG POLL

How impactful will the Lundkvist situation be on the Rangers?

None
Modest
Somewhat
Significant

Previous Polls
RUMOR MILL

Friday - September 16th

Multiple sources New York Post, Lohud and New York Newsday confirmed today that Nils Lundkvist will not report for Training Camp and has asked for a Trade.

In comments (comments ) yesterday, GM Chris Drury said he wasn't sure whether Lundkvist would report, but that has been thoroughly clarified today with Lundkvist's agent Claude Lemieux making their position clear.

The loss of Lundkvist likely impacts the depth options for the team, and is the third example in the last four years of a former first round pick falling out with team management.

  MORE RUMORS...
 INJURY REPORT
There are no significant injuries to report
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...

Question Of The Day

August 19th, 2021

Earlier this year the Rangers won by a margin of nine goals as they beat the Flyers 9-0. How many times has the margin been bigger?

Answer...
SEPTEMBER 13, 2022
CAPTION THIS
Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for Comments so far...
  BIRTHDAYS

Ryane Clowe - 1982
Anthony Greco - 1993

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

JOEY KOCUR
(1990-1996)
  Born: Dec 21 - 1964  
  Position: Right Wing  
  Games Played: 278  
  Goals: 14  
  Assists: 15  
  Points: 29  
  Penalty Minutes: 537  
 


Training Camp - Defense
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ - September 10, 2007
Going into camp this year, the Rangers blueline corps are largely unchanged from the same unit that finished out the season. Karel Rachunek (free agency) and Bryce Lampman (trade) were the only two blueliners with NHL experience who won't return, while the addition of Andrew Hutchinson (trade) appears to be for depth rather than impact.

Of the six starting spots, five appear to be locked up. Dan Girardi, Marek Malik, Paul Mara, Michal Rozsival and Fedor Tyutin look to be all but guaranteed starting positions for the upcoming season, with perhaps only Girardi (inexperience) and Malik (form) looking remotely like being unseated.

That leaves one spot up for grabs, and there are several players who will be looking to win that opportunity in camp. Primarily among them is rookie pro Marc Staal, who having completed his junior career with the Sudbury Wolves, is turning his attention to the NHL. Staal was a late camp cut last year, and many thought the Rangers might have done well to keep him around instead of sending him back to Juniors.

The lanky Staal showed great poise in the pre-season last year and has a good shot at winning a starting spot out of the gate. A two time gold medal winner with the Canadian Junior team, Staal is noted mostly for his defensive game, but also has the ability to skate the puck up the zone if called upon to do so, a trait that has been favored by the current Rangers staff.

The primary competition for Staal could well be Andrew Hutchinson. The 27 year old defenseman was acquired in the Matt Cullen trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, and was well liked by his former team. Entering his sixth pro-season, Hutchinson is coming off his most successful year with 11 assists, 14 points and 41 games all career highs.

Known more for his offensive abilities, Hutchinson will likely have to concentrate on his own end to begin with if he hopes to make the team. With Rozsival and Mara ahead of him in depth chart, the best opportunities likely will come with a potential to play on the second power play unit and the odd shift with the top two lines.

Thomas Pock also figures to be a victim of depth, and it's not out of the realm of reason that the Rangers will expose him on waivers. Pock has struggled with consistency and positioning in his four years within the Rangers organization, though his ability to play forward provides the type of utility play that is useful off the bench.

Another utility type player is veteran Jason Strudwick. Unlike Pock, Strudwick's contribution is more on the physical side of the game, though his speed and agility are perhaps not sufficient for him to be a regular in the line-up. Like Pock, Strudwick's ability to play both forward and back might be appealing, though like Pock he could also end up on waivers and ultimately in Hartford.

The final semi-serious contender for a spot on the roster is Darius Kasparaitis. The Lithuanian born defender struggled through a depressing 2006-07 season, losing his spot on the Rangers roster as a result of poor fitness levels (largely as a result of off-seasons surgery in the summer of 2006) and then struggling through personal crises that saw him divorce his wife and ultimately suffer through a breakdown down in Hartford.

Kasparaitis has been reportedly been rejeuvenated this off-season, working hard to shed some pounds and get back into playing shape, but the biggest thing counting against him is his almost $3 million in salary. Largely a third pair defenseman at this stage of his career, the Rangers would likely have to trade either Malik or Mara to accommodate the veteran.

Amongst the remaining defensemen within the organization, David Liffiton and Ivan Baranka would appear to have the best chances of seeing some action this year if there were injuries. Liffiton has already played in three games, and could well be looking at this year as his final opportunity to break into the NHL. Baranka has struggled with injuries in recent years and will need to play a good portion of the season if he hopes to make the jump.

Corey Potter appears to have signed an NHL contract and will return for his second pro year with the Wolf Pack, and will be joined by rookies Michael Sauer (draft pick) and Michael Busto (free agent). Jake Taylor will also return, but will play under an AHL contract after having failed to convince management of his NHL viability over his first three years as a pro.

Finally Hannu Pikkarainen has been rumored to have been released from his NHL contract and will at any rate play in his native Finland this winter, while 2006 first round pick, Bobby Sanguinetti (who is eligbileto play for the Rangers but not the Pack) will likely finish out his junior career with the Brampton Battalion.

Projected Line-up
Michal Rozsival - Starter
Marek Malik - Starter
Dan Girardi - Starter
Fedor Tyutin - Starter
Paul Mara - Starter
Marc Staal - Starter

Andrew Hutchinson - Bench
Jason Strudwick - Bench

Ivan Baranka - AHL
Michael Busto - AHL
David Liffiton - AHL
Thomas Pock - AHL
Corey Potter - AHL
Michael Sauer - AHL

Darius Kasparaitis - AHL Bench / Traded
Jake Taylor - AHL Bench

Bobby Sanguinetti - Juniors

More Camp Coverage
OTG Training Camp Coverage
Training Camp - Center
Training Camp - Goaltending


Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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