Tuesday, September 18, 2007
First Cut Is The Deepest
The Rangers made their first wave of camp cuts today, sending a the first wave of guys to Hartford. There were no surprises. Broken down by position and with some comments from lil ole me:
Goaltenders: Chris Holt and Matt Zaba -- No surprise they didn't stick with the Rangers, they are both likely to see significant time in the ECHL with Charlotte. This will likely be Holt's third season there and it will be make-or-break for the former U. of Nebraska-Omaha Maverick. Zaba is just out of Colorado College so he will have some time to mature, but don't count on it as he was already tossed aside by the L.A. Kings and lord knows they need goaltending help.
Defense: Clayton Barthel, Corey Potter and Jake Taylor -- Barthel was a last second camp invitee so no shock to see him go, but at least he is getting a shot in Hartford. Potsy actually may make the NHL someday, but definitely not this year. Taylor will likely fill the tough, rugged defenseman slot in Hartford of the departed Dale Purinton, hopefully without the insanity.
Forwards: Joe Barnes, Alex Bourret, Brodie Dupont, Mitch Fritz, Bruce Graham, Greg Moore and Jordan Owens -- Barnes is a career minor leaguer, he should be thankful he got a look in the first place. Bourret apparently has a bum shoulder (and distinct lack of work ethic); if both improve he will be scoring 40 goals for the Rangers. Dupont needs some seasoning but should see some time in New York sooner or later. I am very sad to see Mitch Fritz go - I wanted to see the huge tough guy beat the hell out of some Devils, Flyers and Islanders in preseason. Graham is still a project, who knows if he will ever turn into a NHL player. Greg Moore regressed last season and unless he picks things up again, he will ride the buses in the A for a long time. And Jordan Owens still has potential, but no place anywhere near the Rangers locker room for quite a while.
Renney said he plans on making more cuts by Friday, which makes no sense to do before they even play a preseason game. He must think he has a few players lacking in character and is hoping they find it while the team works out at West Point over the next two days. I doubt it. But we shall see ... Let's Go Rangers!