Ryan Hollweg

Training Camp – Right Wing

There’s no doubt that Jaromir Jagr will line up on the first line right wing position, and unlike last year when he was unable to train through the Summer due to the after effects of shoulder surgery, we expect him to come right out of the gate and dominate from the get go.

On the second line Brendan Shanahan of course is the first choice. Perhaps the only doubt is to whether Shanahan actually plays on the right side, or reverts to the left where he played opposite Jagr on the PP.

In fact the Rangers have several players who can play either wing in the squad, and it will likely take a little experimenting during camp and the preseason to determine who fits best where.

Unlike the top two lines, the third right wing spot is far from set.¬†Ryan Callahan¬†played well at the end of last season and earned a spot in the line-up throughout the playoffs. Although he doesn’t yet have the full confidence of the ever cautious Renney, Callahan looks to be a good bet for this year’s opening night line-up as well.

If Callahan should stumble then the Rangers could well look at Alex Bourret who impressed during the recent rookie tournament in Traverse City, MI. Bourret was acquired late last season from the Atlanta Thrashers (in exchange for Pascal Dupuis and a third rounder) and has plaaymaking ability.

Other considerations for the right wing spot could include moving Petr Prucha or Marcel Hossa to play right instead of left wing, without losing anything in the transition.

Who will play with Blair Betts on the fourth line is also yet to be resolved. Colton Orr and Ryan Hollweg are role players who are not specifically right or left wingers (though Orr tends to play left) and it’s possible that Renney will consider a platoon approach, dressing the player he feels contributes most in a given situation. They could of course also elect to dress both at the same time, pushing one of the left wings to the bench.

Of the remaining players, Greg Moore was a late cut from camp last year, but didn’t exactly light up the AHL and perhaps will be hard pressed to stick around as long this time. Hugh Jessiman and Rick Kozak will be lucky to remain with Hartford, let alone the big club, and Jordan Owens is signed only to an AHL contract at this stage.

Projected Line-up:
Jaromir Jagr – Starter
Brendan Shanahan – Starter
Ryan Callahan – Starter
Ryan Hollweg – Starter

Jordan Owens – AHL
Alex Bourret – AHL
Hugh Jessiman – AHL

Rick Kozak – ECHL

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