The Rangers made everyone wait a little longer than they expected on Monday regarding the roster, but as the players placed on waivers were released, the group that will stay in New York as the season begins is now clear.
Waivers: SHANE O'BRIEN FLO CAM JANSSEN N.J PETER HARROLD N.J STEVE BERNIER N.J ZAC DALPE BUF CHRIS MUELLER NYR— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) October 6, 2014
The move brings the Rangers down to 14 forwards, not including Derek Stepan, as Mueller becomes the final player to be cut.
Also out of practice this morning comes line combinations, which one would have to assume are what we'll see Thursday night in St. Louis, or something very close to that.
Chris Kreider — Martin St. Louis — Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin — Derick Brassard — Mats Zuccarello
Anthony Duclair — J.T. Miller — Jesper Fast
Tanner Glass — Dominic Moore — Lee Stempniak
Meuller had been skating as an extra as well this morning, but is obviously now out of the picture. The Rangers have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to submit their final roster to the league, meaning they have under 28 hours to move a contract to ensure Duclair can stay in New York. If a team was to claim Mueller, that would do the trick. All four players the team sent down yesterday—Matthew Lombardi, Michael Kostka, Steven Kampfer, and Cedrick Desjardins—all passed through waivers. It's more likely a team would claim Mueller than any of those four, but the Rangers wouldn't find out that news until around noon tomorrow, meaning it would be riskier to bank on a team putting in a claim on Mueller.
Meanwhile, while we learned yesterday Duclair had in fact made the final cut, he revealed today that he spoke to Alain Vigneault this morning, and was informed he will start the season in New York.
Duclair said he spoke with AV this morning and was told he's starting with the team. Guess they're going to find a way to shed a contract— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 6, 2014
Moving a contract isn't a very difficult task, and if Vigneault did indicate that assuredness to Duclair, one would have to think the team is confident it can do so.
The only other news to update is that Kevin Hayes was held out of practice again due to shoulder soreness. Should Hayes be healthy enough to go on Thursday, it's unclear if someone in the bottom six is holding his spot for now. Vigneault has indicated all along that if young players are up with the NHL club, they're not there to watch, which would make it seem like he's there to play.