The countdown continues to October 9th, and we’ll see our first Ranger preseason action in just two days, when the Rangers take on the New Jersey Devils (7:00pm – MSG).
We won’t see the subject of today’s Ranger Countdown profile on the ice at any time this preseason however, because Matt McCue did not receive an invite to training camp.
When you talk about mystery men on the roster, then McCue is somewhat they guy. The bruising 6-5 220lb wing/defenseman turned pro last year, but missed a good portion of the season with a concussion he suffered while playing for the Manitoba Moose in the AHL.
Acquired July 19th from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for fading prospect Tomas Zaborsky, it’s not clear yet where McCue fits into the Rangers plans. Signed as a defenseman, the Ducks moved him up to wing in the hope of converting him into a more traditional enforcer. The transition should also help him adjust to the pro level, where he struggled at times with turnovers and positioning.
The goals this season for the Alberta neighbor, will simply be to get some playing time under his belt. Limited to just 10 AHL games and 19 in the ECHL, he needs to prove he can be a viable enforcer in the minor leagues first. It’s a well worn path that often overlooks a player’s other limitations – see Steve McIntyre, Dale Purinton and Darren Langdon as examples – that McCue can aspire to.
Team: Manitoba Moose (AHL)
Stats: 1 goal, 0 assists and 24 penalty minutes in 10 games
Team: Bakersfield Condors (ECHL)
Stats: 0 goals, 2 assists and 68 penalty minutes in 19 games
Team: Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL)
Stats: 3 goals, 6 assists and 215 penalty minutes in 60 games
McCue played his junior hockey for the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL, a team part owned by Rangers GM Glen Sather