Thearon W. Henderson
The New York Rangers season opener is two days away! So here's some notes to help get you ready.
- No better place to start than the Brandon Mashinter trade. The Rangers shipped over Tommy Grant and a conditional 2014 pick for the 24-year-old. A lot of people scratched their heads at this deal, and took a "what's the point?" attitude. To me, it makes a lot of sense. Mashinter has limited NHL experience (13 games) and is an upgrade over Grant. The Rangers (and every team really) need depth in this shortened season. Like I tweeted last night, there simply is too much risk of injury not to carry around another depth forward. The Rangers have a couple with the Connecticut Whale, Mashinter is another one of those guys. Solid move if you ask me.
- It's obviously been a whirlwind with this six-day training camp, but here are the things I've picked up from the beat reporters who have been able to be there every day: Brad Richards -- despite missing three days of camp due to the flu -- is in game-shape from a ton of workouts during the lockout. John Tortorella praised Rick Nash and how he thinks Nash is ready for the next step. Tortorella also heaped praise on Michael Del Zotto after his contract was signed. And, finally, while telling the media Chris Kreider still needs to make this team out of camp, Tortorella has been thrilled with the way he's been handeling himself and working during these skates. All good stuff.
- Speaking of Kreider, I still expect him to start with the Rangers.
- Expect Wade Redden to get bought out today. I think we all know he's going to find a home, but the Detroit Red Wings? Apparently Detroit is very interested. The Ottawa Senators? Probably not so much.
- Boston also appears to be interested in Redden. Wouldn't it be interesting to see Redden suit up against the Rangers Saturday?
- Let's also take a minute to give a big clap on the back to Glen Sather, who got Del Zotto under contract before any other free agents or RFAs signed their deals. Travis Zajac landed a max deal (eight years) with the New Jersey Devils. That's one of those "our previous captain just left the team and we can't set a trend for losing youth" deal. And while the circumstances are different that deal does set a market trend.