Nick Holden

Roster Juggling

The Rangers were staring down the barrel of some tough roster decisions to reach the NHL’s 23 man roster and their own stated 22 man salary cap savings roster. Unfortunately for Josh Jooris he suffered a shoulder injury last night and looks to be headed for a extended injury reserve stay, alleviating Ranger management immediate decisions to reach the league maximum 23 man roster, when Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider‘s return. Brandon Pirri‘s name was mentioned along with Jooris as being on the bubble but Pirri probably cemented a permanent roster spot with last night’s 2 goal effort, leaving speculators to wonder why Pirri wasn’t playing with J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes instead of Michael Grabner, but that’s another story for another day.

On defense with a healthy eight skaters someone will be going at some point in time, as all indications are the Rangers want to only carry 22 players, to as mentioned maximize salary cap savings. Assuming Dylan McIlrath and Adam Clendening are ranked 7 and 8 in no particular order, it’s pretty obvious it’s going to be one of them. For now Nick Holden and his nightly blunders like last nights first Bruin goal appears safe.

The Rangers are not in a corner where they have to make a move immediately, and really need to take a step back and let this play out a bit. Clendening has had a good opportunity to show his game but has found himself without a spot when Dan Girardi returned to the lineup. Dylan McIlrath has had one game and earned a “I like the way he played” quote from Coach Vigneault yet continues to rot in the stands, leaving him to wonder, if the coach likes the way I played, yet I’m not playing, what am I supposed to do??? It appears to be an insurmountable hurdle for McIlrath, to be given a fair chance, let alone a playing spot. But at the end of the day if they don’t play McIlrath 52 games this year he becomes a unrestricted free agent and undoubtedly walks. So the smart money is he’s gone one way or another. He will likely be included in a trade to net some type of return and allow the Rangers to control his destination. I’m sure they don’t want him in Philadelphia on a waiver claim. 

I’m a believer in McIlrath and think he’s done fine as a 6th defenseman when called upon. For whatever reason Coach Vigneault has never shown much confidence in McIlrath, and instead of allowing him some latitude to play his game, Vigneault continues to bemoan he needs high end skilled dmen. But other teams find ice time for players like Gudas in Philadelphia and survive. Yet Vigneault can’t incorporate a more skilled McIlrath into that 6th spot on the Rangers. So be it if that’s the plan, but harken back to guy named Mark Tinordi who had a similar fling with the Rangers and got dumped in much the same manner. He also had not been given a real chance to play without being under the one mistake and out scrutiny. That dumping of Tinordi was a huge blunder, much like dumping McIlrath might be. Especially since other teams understand all the defenseman on a team don’t have to be sextuplets. There’s still lots of room on a NHL defense for a nasty back there.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x