Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. This will be a quick one after last night’s manifesto, as I just wanted to get something up before now and Game 5 of the preseason. (That game against the Devils takes place on 10/6 at M$G.)
(Of note, you can read that manifesto here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/10321/)
On Sunday, following the Rangers 4-3 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins from Saturday night, the Rangers trimmed their roster down to 27 players. As mentioned on this site previously, the Rangers can carry as little as 20 players and as many as 23 players on their roster. In other words, we have at least four more cuts coming.
The players cut on Sunday were Will Cuylle, Matthew Robertson, Braden Schneider, Lauri Pajuniemi, Tyler Wall and Adam Huska. Will Cuylle, who isn’t eligible for the AHL this season (check the front page of this site for more on this), was returned to his OHL junior team, the Windsor Spitfires. Everyone else cut on Sunday were assigned to the AHL/Hartford Wolfpack.
As talked about last night, it’s my opinion that Tyler Wall has looked the best among all Ranger goaltenders this preseason. Of course, that doesn’t mean Igor Shestyorkin’s job is in jeopardy or anything like that – it’s just to say that Wall has looked really good.
After praising Wall last blog, a minor league hockey player that I talk to reached out to me, where this player also wanted to share some praise about Wall.
This player (name withheld) told me that he played/practiced/skated with Tyler Wall during this past summer, where he was extremely impressed with Wall. This player also told me that he believes that Wall will be a full-time NHL goalie soon, because in his opinion, Wall is freaky good, very athletic, doesn’t “over-work” and rarely flops around. In addition, the word on the street is that Wall is well-liked and maturing quickly.
Of course, these comments come from someone, who as mentioned, played with Wall and knows him. However, I liked getting this perspective about Wall from someone who’s been on the ice with him. After all, it’s one thing to take things in as a fan when watching these games on TV, and it’s another thing to get feedback from someone playing with these guys at ice level.
In either event, I thought I’d share this with you, as it’s nice to hear other people raving about Wall too. Who knows, if Wall could get hot in Hartford, and with Georgiev becoming a free agent after this 2021-22 season, perhaps Georgiev could be moved before the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline.
After the roster cuts from Sunday, here are the players still in camp and as announced by the Rangers themselves over at https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-trim-roster-to-27-players/c-326551242 :
10 – Artemi Panarin
13 – Alexis Lafrenière
14 – Greg McKegg
15 – Julien Gauthier
16 – Ryan Strome
17 – Kevin Rooney
20 – Chris Kreider
21 – Barclay Goodrow
24 – Kaapo Kakko
29 – Dryden Hunt
47 – Morgan Barron
72 – Filip Chytil
74 – Vitali Kravtsov
75 – Ryan Reaves
91 – Sammy Blais
93 – Mika Zibanejad
As we all know, the players fighting for roster spots right now are Libor Hajek, Julien Gauthier, Zac Jones, Jarred Tinordi, Morgan Barron, Dryden Hunt and Greg McKegg. I don’t have Nils Lundkvist listed here, because after Saturday and knowing that the Rangers want him to make the roster – I see him playing in Washington come Wednesday, 10/13.
Who knows what the Rangers plans are right now and how many players they will carry? If the Rangers decide to carry a full 23-man roster, the Rangers have to cut four more players from the list of seven players named above.
In addition, keep in mind that this isn’t just a pure skill and “this guy is better than that guy” type of deal either. Zac Jones might be better than Jarred Tinordi, but Tinordi would be a better fit as a seventh defenseman than Jones would be. With Jones being a rookie, there’s no sense rotating him in-and-out of the line-up, as it would be better for him to get top two minutes in Hartford.
Going back to what I’ve said on this site for some time now, every successful NHL team needs a roster stew, a stew full of different ingredients. You have to complement your roster as best as possible. In the same vein, Julien Gauthier may be more talented than a Morgan Barron and/or a Greg McKegg, but Gauthier probably isn’t as useful as a 13th forward like a McKegg would be. Of course, if Vitali Kravtsov starts the season on the IR, this would help Gauthier out too.
In any event, all of this stuff will sort itself out soon enough.
Following the news of the roster cuts from Sunday, it was announced that the New Jersey Devils had claimed Mason Geertsen off of waivers. This isn’t really a big deal, as the Rangers are stockpiled with wingers and defensemen already.
In case you forgot, Geertsen, who actually played in the Rangers/Devils preseason game from Friday night, was the talk of the town following the Tom Wilson incident from last season. Many fans (and even Larry Brooks himself), were advocating for the Rangers to call up Geertsen for the rematch against the Capitals. The Rangers never honored these requests, as it was thought that Geertsen’s skating ability, or lack thereof, would’ve been a detriment to the team. That said, with the season already over by that point, no one would’ve cared had Geertsen just stepped on the ice while wearing a pair of Crocs.
Geertsen, an enforcer-type and a career minor-leaguer, just didn’t fit in with this current Rangers roster, especially with the team beefing up during the off-season in their trades for Ryan Reaves, Barclay Goodrow and Sammy Blais.
Somewhat like a Dylan McIlrath, Geertsen was born in the wrong era. If the NHL of today was like the NHL of 20, 30, 40, 50+ years ago, a guy like Geertsen would’ve had a better shot of fulfilling his dream as an everyday NHLer.
Whether Geertsen makes it with the Devils or remains in the AHL is unknown for now. Ironically, the Rangers host the Devils this Wednesday night, but it’s not like Geertsen has any real history with the Rangers either.
The Devils, like the Rangers themselves this off-season, felt like they needed toughness too. Geertsen and his contract comes cheap, so this is a no-risk signing for the Devils. Whatever the case, and without trying to sound cruel here – the Rangers won’t miss Geertsen at all.
Barring any breaking news, I’ll be back Wednesday night.
Until next time…
Stay FABULOUS my friends.
As always here, thanks for reading and…
LET’S GO RANGERS!
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