- For the first time since the Rangers handed him a three-year, $1.45-million per year contract I truly believe Tanner Glass won't be playing any more games on Broadway. I think Oscar Lindberg's continued dominance in the preseason has completely changed the dynamic of the team (more on this in a future article!) and his making the cut is really what's forcing Glass out.
- To be fair, I'm not sure why Glass played as much as he did last year. I've mused that it was because of Glen Sather but I have a feeling we'll never know since even if Alain Vigneault wanted to play him this year his hand was forced. I have my theories on this but at the end of the day they really don't matter at this point. I really do hope Glass the person succeeds anywhere he goes, but he's not going to help this team win a Stanley Cup as a player.
- That means the roster is set in terms of forwards -- Jayson Megna isn't making the team -- with the only question being who makes the starting 12 and who is dressing as the spare forward. To me, Jarret Soll hasn't exactly impressed much more than Emerson Etem this preseason, and since Etem has a much brighter future than Stoll I'm not so sure this decision isn't easy, either.
- If you asked me what my starting lineup is right now (for forwards) Etem makes the cut and Stoll is on the outside looking in. My bottom six would look like this:
Etem - Kevin Hayes - J.T. Miller
Jesper Fast - Dominic Moore - Lindberg
I've voiced this bottom six for a while and I've gotten a few complaints about three things: 1) Fast being on the fourth line, 2) Viktor Stalberg being in the top six, 3) Miller not being in the top six.
For me, though, I think that fourth line is better than the one that dragged the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final two years ago; they're just as good defensivley and they add far more offense. Fast can be moved up and down as needed (he would really help shore up the defensive issues on that third line if it gets dicey) but with him on the fourth line Vigneault can shelter the hell out of the third line and give them quality offensive chances. That bottom six can do some damage against anyone.
- As for Stalberg, Vigneault seems to be really impressed with his play, and for all this talk about how he's on his last chance in the NHL I don't buy it. He's a better hitter/agitator than anyone else the Rangers have employed in that role the past five years and he does have some really good offensive instincts. His speed makes him a weapon for Derek Stepan's vision and Chris Kreider and him would combine to have opposing defenses unable to know what to do with themselves. I don't hate that idea at all.
- The media (well, most of them anyway) are still banging the Kevin Klein drum pretty hard. I honestly think Dylan McIlrath has not only done enough to earn a roster spot in the starting six but can pretty effectively replace Klein for $2-million less a year. Klein's contract is an albatross for his role on this team; even though his contract isn't the worst one on the team.
- Boston is apparently looking for a defenseman to help shore up their defense. They've made a few really questionable moves and a few laughable moves so it's not out of the realm of possibility to see the Rangers get some quality back there if a deal is to be made. All of this is speculation, of course, but Alex Khokhlachev has raised a slew of red flags this summer with the way Boston has handled him and might be on the move. Wouldn't be the worst risk in the world.
Thoughts on this? More as it comes, of course, but I really like the way this team could shape up.