This sure has been a busy day for the New York Rangers organization. First, we heard that Sean Avery is going to be waived, having lost out in the battle for the 13th forward position to Erik Christensen. Shortly after, we heard that Dale Weise will indeed get a shot at the NHL, as he was claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks. Now, Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel have been waived, which means that the Rangers roster is set for the start of the year.
The fact that Bell and Bickel have been waived means that the coaching staff expects Mike Sauer to play in the regular season openers in Sweden. Sauer had been out with a sprained right shoulder, and didn’t play a single game in Europe. Although Sauer is back, the Rangers will need to dress at least one of Bickel or Bell in the first two regular season games, as they currently have just five healthy defensemen. This is not an uncommon scenario, the Rangers did this with Todd White a bunch of times last season.
The Rangers roster appears to be set:
Goal (3): Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer*
Defense (6): Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal
Forward (13): Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello
Just a note regarding Stajcer, any team opening the season in Europe is allowed to carry an extra goaltender for the duration of the trip. When the Rangers return, expect Stajcer to be returned to a CHL team for an overage season.