Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to a quick news update here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com.
If you missed last night’s blog, which covered all the latest in Rangerstown, USA, including the Rangers victory over the Devils from Wednesday night, click the link below:
BCBS For 10/7: Chris Kreider Puts The Rangers On His Back; Cements Case For The “C”, NYR/NJD Game Recap, Reaves Injured By Cowardly Subban; Social Media Doctors, The “Eye-Test”, Blais’ Highlight Reel Goal, Mr. Norris, Igor’s Strongest Start Yet, NYR Line-Up Set, Fischler Report & More
In an effort to keep you up-to-date, on Thursday 10/7, the Rangers announced that they have assigned Zac Jones to the Hartford Wolfpack.
Here’s the Rangers press release from https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-assign-zac-jones-to-hartford/c-326653538 :
The New York Rangers announced today that the team has assigned defenseman Zac Jones to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). In two preseason games, Jones registered an assist, six shots and a total of 41:07 minutes of ice time.
The Rangers have 25 players remaining in Training Camp. The roster breakdown is listed below:
10 – Artemi Panarin
13 – Alexis Lafrenière
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
The demotion of Zac Jones (or to be glass half-full here, the promotion of Nils Lundkvist), shouldn’t shock anyone. As written about already, and as you probably know by now too, it really didn’t make sense to carry Jones as just a seventh defenseman or even try to alternate him into the line-up. For Jones’ progression and development, he’ll be better served getting top two minutes in Hartford, where most likely, he’ll have Braden Schneider as his partner.
As Gerard Gallant had previously said, going into this camp, the Rangers roster was pretty much set. Now, with 25 players currently on the roster, the Rangers will have to make at least two more cuts in order to be NHL roster compliant.
When it comes to the final two cuts, the Rangers will have to decide what to do with Libor Hajek. It’s impossible to envision Hajek making the team. More likely, the Rangers try to trade him for a late round draft pick or gamble by seeing if Hajek can clear waivers. In the event that the Rangers can’t find a trading partner, it’s not the end of the world if Hajek doesn’t clear and another team picks him up. Not every trade is a winner and sometimes you just have to cut your losses for the greater good. There’s no use trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
Assuming Hajek doesn’t make the team, that means the Rangers will have to make at least more cut. (The Rangers could just carry 20 players, but it’s more than likely that they carry more than the minimum required.)
As stated last night, I think Jarred Tinordi makes the team, where he’ll be in the old Brendan Smith/seventh defenseman role. That then leaves you with Dryden Hunt, Morgan Barron and Julien Gauthier. Of those three players, I think Barron is most likely to be sent to Hartford – especially if Vitali Kravtsov isn’t ready.
The Rangers, like every NHL team, must have their final roster submitted to the NHL by Monday afternoon. Whatever happens with Hajek will determine when the Rangers submit their roster. If a trading partner can be found, I can see the Rangers having their final roster submitted early. If not, the Rangers may take it all the way to the deadline.
Obviously, this news has to be disappointing for Zac Jones, because he’s a victim of a numbers game – both roster numbers and salary cap dollar numbers. Jones isn’t being sent down for any negative reason. Jones is only being sent down because the starting six defensemen are set and because the Rangers can’t send Trouba to Hartford either.
Okay, okay, okay – I admit, the Trouba stuff is a joke, but what’s not a joke, is how Jones outplayed both Trouba and his partner K’Andre Miller during this preseason. However, both Miller and Trouba were safe going into this camp and there was just no way for Jones to bump either off of the roster.
The real competition was always between Zac Jones and Nils Lundkvist, but even then, this was never a fair fight either. Nothing against Nils Lundkvist, but it was always the Rangers plan to bring him up this season. After all, that’s why the Rangers went out and signed a Swedish veteran defenseman this off-season (Patrik Nemeth), in order to help acclimate Lundkvist during his rookie season.
For Jones, he will just have to bide his time in Hartford, where if any of the Rangers starting defensemen get injured/Covid/whatever (let’s hope they don’t slam penalty box doors!), he’s earned the right to be called-up first.
Congratulations to Nils Lundkvist and see you soon Zac Jones!
On Thursday, October 7th, the New York Post sponsored “Up in the Blue Seats” podcast returned for their first episode of this 2021-22 season, featuring a great news segment with contributor Larry Brooks and an exclusive interview with Barclay Goodrow.
To listen to the show, click the link below:
Up In The Blue Seats: A NY Rangers Hockey Podcast from NY Post Sports https://t.co/d04qTRKqIw
— Ron Duguay (@RonDuguay10) October 7, 2021
Of note, unlike last season, I don’t think I’ll be recapping these episodes on this site the way I used to, as I only did full-length recaps due to all the free time I had with COVID-19. That said, I will continue to plug these podcasts on this site (like I do with most Ranger endeavors and other podcasts), and if anything newsworthy goes down, I’ll give you all the details.
If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:
Unless anything else big breaks, I’ll be back Saturday night, looking at the Rangers final preseason game – against the nomadic Islanders.
Until next time…
Stay FABULOUS my friends.
As always here, thanks for reading and…
LET’S GO RANGERS!
@NYCTHEMIC on Tweeter