New York Rangers Training Camp: Thoughts On The First Week

Bruce Bennett

Some thoughts on the first week of training camp.

- Training camp opened last Wednesday, and since then we've had two rounds of cuts (most recent list here) and two preseason games (most recent recap here). A few things of note have happened so let's jump into them.

- To this point, the biggest name being chopped from the list was goaltender Johan Hedberg, who was brought in on a PTO when Martin Biron missed the first day of training camp for personal reasons. I think a lot of people thought there was going to be a goalie battle for the backup position, since the Rangers didn't really need to bring in Hedberg, but it turned out to be nothing more than speculation. Biron was really solid against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

- Another factor in Hedberg's release might have been Cam Talbot. I say might because I'm not sure how realistic Hedberg's chances were with making the team, but there's no question Talbot has been one of the Rangers best players through the first two preseason games. He was spectacular in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

- Other standouts from guys expected to make the big club are Derick Brassard (a goal and an assist in Philadelphia), John Moore (a fantastic all around game in New Jersey), Dominic Moore (great in both preseason games), Mats Zuccarello and Marc Staal (looks completely healthy). The prospect standouts? Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast looked pretty good (although I would like to see the duo not playing together to see how they adapt), Danny Kristo was really good against the Devils and Marek Hrivik was another guy who looked solid in New Jersey.

- It's going to be interesting to see what the power play looks like when everyone is in the same lineup. Right now, all teams pretty much have two sets of teams as they cycle through hopefuls and regulars to try and see who deserves a roster spot. But Michael Del Zotto, Moore, Staal and Ryan McDonagh have all played the point on the power play, and it hasn't missed a beat with any of them. I will, however, say I think the power play looked its best when Moore was on the point.

- Brad Richards looks much more like he did two years ago than last year. It's only been one game, so you can't say anything for sure, but he looked so much better against the Devils.

- A lot of people demanded more depth from the Rangers this year after what happened last season. Well, you got it. Even John Tortorella would have a hard time not rolling four lines with this group.

- The above doesn't even include Derek Stepan, who has yet to sign with the team. Imagine what the lineup will look like with him, Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin back? I think we're finally seeing the top-to-bottom transformation the organization took once they handed Tortorella his pink slip.

Anyway, the Rangers practice this morning so more from that if needed.

For now, thoughts on any of this?

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