Just note that this is the first official Bantering Points of the year!
- Let's kick things off with Michael Del Zotto. I wrote a story Saturday night about how important it was that the two sides come to an agreement, and give Glen Sather a lot of credit here, he stuck to his guns and got a fair deal. Some reports suggested that Del Zotto was looking for $3-4 million a year. I doubt that's true, although I do think Del Zotto was looking for around $3 million. In the end, he signed a two-year deal that was at fair value. The added point here is that he won't miss any of the training camp, which is great for both his development and keeps him in good graces with the team.
- Speaking of defenseman who were signed, Matt Gilroy signed a one-year contract with the Rangers, giving the team a much-needed depth defenseman. Gilroy has been good in the AHL, and it was clear management was looking at him from the beginning of the summer (otherwise they wouldn't have signed him to the AH deal during the lockout). Gilroy fills a need, but I don't expect him to play a major role with this team unless an injury occurs. But, with this shortened season, that's a risk the Rangers need to plan for.
- Marian Gaborik got some good reps this weekend, and looked good according to reports. Gaborik will be tested physically this year, so what he does in camp (he's been really impressive) has to be taken with a grain of salt. I wouldn't worry about him getting injured, however, he had a lot of time to heal up and would have been fine around the middle of December (according to himself). So he got an extra month's worth of rest and rehab.
- I think there's no way Chris Kreider doesn't make this team. Not much of a note here, I'm just saying. I think some people want him to go back to the AHL. I don't see it.
- Brad Richards missed Sunday due to having the flu. Let's hope that doesn't spread around the locker room, but at least it hit a week before opening night if it does spread.
- Del Zotto claimed Ryan Callahan gave him advise during the contract negotiations. We see the type of captain Callahan is on the ice. 24/7 gave us a peek at what he's like in the locker room, but stories like this truly give you a look in that window. The Rangers expect big things from him (as they should) but the one of the most important aspects to his game has nothing to do with his play on the ice.
- Derek Stepan is going to have a lot on his plate this year. This isn't really a note so much as a thought. Richards and Stepan make up the top two centers, from there you go to Brian Boyle and Jeff Halpern. That's a big drop. Should be a big year for Stepan.
- More training today for the Rangers. We'll update from there!
For now, thoughts, guys?