Martin Rucinsky

Rangers Turn To Youth To Help Wing It

by Dave Gokhstein

As the season sets to begin in less than 3 weeks, there are questions yet to be answered about the depth the Rangers have at the Wing position.  Rucinsky, who fit in well playing on the top line with Lindros and Bure at the end of last season, is still seeking a deal worth 3 million dollars a year, while Glen Sather is only willing to pay in the range of 1.7 million dollars a season.

From what I’m hearing, with Nedved switching from Center to Wing, it doesn’t look like Rucinsky will be back with the Rangers at all.  Then the Rangers have Dvorak, who is still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered at the end of last season.  The Rangers don’t expect Dvorak to be ready for the season opener against the Eastern Conference Champion Carolina Hurricanes. 

But that doesn’t seem to have Glen Sather or Rookie Head Coach Brian Trottier worried at all.  Both seem relaxed going into the season with Jamie Lundmark and Rico Fata filling in the holes at the Wing position for the time being.  And it’s hard to disagree.  Lundmark by far, has been the best player in Training Camp.

Skating on a line centered by Holik during training camp, Lundmark has shown that he’s ready to play at the NHL level.  Not only has he shown the coaching staff his offensive abilities, but he has been impressing the coaching staff defensively as well.  Which is why Lundmark is a sure lock to be in the Rangers lineup this season.

Rico Fata is also having a good training camp.  Fata, A speedy 21 year old, was claimed off waivers last season from the Flames and scored 35 goals in only 61 games last season playing for the Hartford Wolfpack last year.  The former first round pick has been playing with Bure during training camp feeding Bure with some beautiful highlight passes, while showing off his offensive and defensive abilities as well. 

Fata will have to get a real chance at some playing time this season, because the Rangers don’t have the option of sending him down to Hartford.  He’ll have to go through waivers, with a 99% chance of some team picking him up.

News and Notes

Kloucek has been steady in training camp and I expect him to make the team this season.

Garth Murray has also been very good in training camp, but he’d be better off playing for the Wolfpack this season.

The same goes for Fedor Tutin, who has not played well in training camp.  He looks a little lost at times.  I think he needs a season or two with the Wolfpack.

Don’t be surprised if the Rangers make a trade for Mike Grier from the Edmonton Oilers.

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