When healthy, Derek Dorsett has been everything the Rangers hoped for
Like many parts of the 2013-2014 roster, the bottom-six forwards have struggled through long stretches of the season thus far. Part of that can be attributed to players being used out of place and in unusual situations, but the team hasn’t gotten consistent play out of many of its depth forwards for most of the year. That seems to be changing over the last few weeks, and has been as instrumental to the team’s mini turnaround as anything else.
Boyle will forever be a polarizing player amongst Ranger fans because he has hands of stone and doesn’t drive opponents through the boards with his massive size. You can’t really judge Boyle fairly until you accept those two facts of life, which many refuse to do. But Boyle is a very useful player in many other areas. Though this hasn’t been his finest year, Boyle is still being relied on as the team’s top defensive forward, plays well on the penalty kill, is the best faceoff man on the team and drives possession. He is guilty of being a passenger at times this season the same as nearly every player on the roster, but for the most part, Boyle has been use usual steady self. Still, scoring just one goal all year is pretty hard to do.
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Kreider is earning his ice time.
With all the additional ice time, Chris Kreider is getting better with every game. But he isn’t scoring. JT Miller is beginning to impact games in a multitude of ways. But he isn’t scoring. Generally, the Rangers aren’t scoring. However, despite this team being in a depressing state offensively, the coaching staff needs to stick with the younger players.
While sending Jesper Fast back to the WolfPack was the right thing to do, Miller and Kreider are getting good minutes and they are now showing clear progression. The Rangers won’t derail their season by playing these two promising youngsters – now they are showing some NHL readiness – but they may damage their own long term potential beyond this season if they revert to leaning on the veterans with limited upside.
Despite some indifferent starts, the Rangers can still be excited at the long term potential of their top nine forwards. With Carl Hagelin’s return and with Kreider, Miller, Derick Brassard, Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan’s presence, the Rangers have an excellent young core to build around Rick Nash. It may not be the most overly skilled top nine but there is still a nice balance of skill, speed and work ethic. You live with the growing pains.
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Photo: Chris O’Meara/AP
As of today, Carl Hagelin is eligible to be activated off long-term injured reserve and rejoin the Rangers roster on Long Island. Hagelin, who had offseason shoulder surgery, was placed on LTIR at the start of the season. He had to sit out three weeks or ten games, whichever came first, and tonight’s game against the Islanders is the first game that he can be activated and return to the roster.
When Hagelin was placed on LTIR, the Rangers gained an additional roster spot and the salary cap space to fill his spot. With Jesper Fast’s demotion last night, the Rangers have made room on the roster for him to rejoin the team. The club will also need to clear $2.25 million in cap space. But it’s not just about sending someone down or clearing cap space, it’s clearing space among the 12 forwards to insert Hagelin back into the lineup.
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Per Larry Brooks, injured winger Carl Hagelin has been cleared for contact starting tomorrow. Hagelin was placed on LTIR at the start of the season due to offseason shoulder surgery. He is scheduled to return 10/29 against the Islanders.
It’s far too early in the season to make any fair assessment of the 2013-2014 Rangers, but already several things have become apparent – chief among them that the Blueshirts have impressive depth this season.
The return of the team’s heart and soul, Ryan Callahan, on Monday night provided a huge boost against the L.A. Kings and further solidified New York’s top-nine. The one key piece that remains out of the lineup is 25-year-old LW Carl Hagelin, who underwent surgery on a torn shoulder labrum last spring but is on a slightly slower recovery path than Callahan.
Of course, an extended injury to Rick Nash would put a big dent in the depth, but we are optimistic that it won’t be a lingering injury.
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As expected, the Rangers have made some formal roster moves to allow the roster to be at its current size. Captain Ryan Callahan has been placed on IR, where he must remain for seven days. Winger Carl Hagelin has been placed on LTIR, where he must remain for three weeks of ten games. Both moves are retroactive to September 30, meaning Cally will be able to return on October 6, in time for the game in Los Angeles. Hagelin must remain out until at least Tuesday 10/29, when the Rangers are on Long Island to take on the Islanders.
A bounce-back season from Brad Richards would be a huge boost for the Rangers
Best case: Asham continues to provide comedic relief on Twitter and plays in a handful of games with the Blueshirts.
Worst case: New York is unable to find a taker for Asham on waivers and he spends the final year of his contract in Hartford.
Best case: The former fourth-overall pick puts it all together as a Blueshirt and records a 20-goal season.
Worst case: The Rangers learn why Pouliot has already played for four teams in his young career and the big forward is invisible most nights. Read more »
What’s the status of Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin?
Both players underwent surgery on torn shoulder labrums following the 2013 season and their initial recovery timelines indicated they could each miss the first month of the 2013-2014 season. However, both Callahan and Hagelin have been skating with teammates in the weeks leading up to training camp and have reported no setbacks. Neither is ready for contact just yet, but they both seem to be progressing quickly. It’s still a good bet that neither player will be ready for the season-opener, but we should get a clearer picture of their status during camp. Read more »
What line Carl Hagelin resumes his Rangers career on is out of his hands
Despite being an increasingly integral piece of the Rangers puzzle, Carl Hagelin is facing a nervous few months as a Ranger. Despite being blessed with skating ability and able to play up and down the roster Hagelin’s role when he returns from injury will depend less on his own ability (and track record with the Rangers) than it will on those that take up spots on the opening night roster.
Hagelin has teased the Rangers and their fans with offense but he has been a streaky scorer and at times frustrating offensively. Despite this he has impressed with his ability to get to the puck and unnerve opposing defenders with his speed but opening night will see players such as Danny Kristo, Chris Kreider, Jesper Fast, JT Miller and veterans such as Benoit Pouliot try and make the top six for the opening road trip. With Hagelin and Ryan Callahan not expected to be ready until the season is underway, multiple players have an opportunity to stake a claim for significant roles.
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The Rangers have ticked off another item on their to-do list this summer, locking up RFA winger Carl Hagelin to a two-year deal with a $2.25 million cap hit per season. This is a significant raise on his $875,000 cap hit from last season, but still represents the standard bridge contract that Slats has been giving his RFAs following ELC expiry. The lone exceptions to the bridge contract rule have been Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal.
In 112 games with the Rangers over two seasons, putting together a line of 24-38-62 while being the club’s best puck possession driver. With Hagelin signed, the Rangers have $4.3 million in cap space to lock up Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello. However, the Rangers can spend up to $70 million with the summer cap, and the number includes the recently waived Arron Asham ($1 million) and Darroll Powe ($1.06 million).