Day one of Rangers Training Camp started with 63 players on deck, but notably excluded from the list was veteran Wade Redden and prospects Randy McNaught and Chris Chappell. Redden will report directly to the Whale when they open up camp, while McNaught will return to the WHL. Chappell was not invited to camp last year either, and would seemingly have no future with the club at this stage.
In addition to Traverse City invitees Matt Rust, Kale Kerbashian, Tayler Joran and Jordan Hickmott, the Rangers invited 21 year old former Brampton Battalion right winger, Scott Tanski. The 6-1 Ontario native recorded 18 goals and 29 assists to go along with 32 penalty minutes in 67 appearances last year.
Along with the rookies, the Rangers also brought in Whale signees Kelsey Tessier, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Jared Nightingale and Chris McKelvie. All but Audy-Marchesault played games with Connecticut last year.
Camp started off with the team being split into four groups:
Group 1: Sean Avery, Ruslan Fedotenko, Kris Newbury, Brandon Prust, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Mike Rupp, Steve Eminger, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Tommy Grant, Kale Kerbashian.
Group 2: Brandon Dubinsky, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, Dylan McIlrath, Artem Anisimov, John Mitchell, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan, Ryan Bourque, Andre Deveaux, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello, Tim Erixon, Jordan Hickmott, Chad Kolarik, Dale Weise.
Group 3: Lee Baldwin, Tomas Kundratek, J.T. Miller, Pavel Valentenko, Sam Klassen, Jyri Niemi, Jared Nightingale, Samuel Noreau, Brendan Bell, Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Michael Sauer, Andreas Thuresson.
Group 4: Peter Ceresnak, Blake Parlett, Christian Thomas, Jason Wilson, Tayler Jordan, Shane McColgan, Michael St. Croix, Collin Bowman, Chris McKelvie, Kelsey Tessier, Scott Tanski, Matt Rust, Andrew Yogan, Marty Biron, Chad Johnson, Henrik Lundqvist, Jason Missiaen, Scott Stajcer, Cameron Talbot.
Each player went through physicals, and was then subjected to the usual endurance skate of six repetitions of three hard laps. The test is designed to make sure that players train hard during the off-season, and those observing reported no big failures. Later in the day, the players headed out to the track to do a two mile run, another gauge of fitness.
Of the 63 players, several players sat out the first day.
Artem Anisimov was sent for an MRI after his physical highlighted a potential issue with his knee. The MRI came back negative, though no word on whether he’ll suit up tomorrow.
Marian Gaborik returned late from attending a memorial for Pavol Demitra in his native Slovakia, and did not skate today.
Blake Parlett sat out nursing his own knee injury, aggravated in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss against Buffalo.
Mike Sauer is currently sitting out as a precautionary measure for what has been diagnosed as tendonitis in his knee.
Andrew Yogan is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered in Traverse City against the Dallas Stars. Yogan is expected to miss the next week or so.
The Rangers anticipate taking 30-32 players to Europe, which will mean at least 31 cuts over the next 10-12 days.