Time to evaluate

The Rangers roster, as it stands right now, consists of the following:
Drury - Gomez - Naslund
Zherdev - Dubinsky - Dawes
Prucha - Korpikoski - Callahan
Voros - Betts - Orr
Alternates: Rissmiller, Fritsche, Sjostrom

Redden - Rozsival
Kalinin - Girardi
Staal - Mara

Before delving into what we like and don't like about the lineup, let's first look at the numbers. The Rangers have an excess of forwards, particularly third and fourth line forwards. Does it really make sense to carry only six defensemen and such an abundance of forwards? No. So, as Tom Renney mentioned, changes will be made before Friday.

What could those changes mean? Well, rumormongers, there are still rumblings of both Mats Sundin and Brendan Shanahan out there. As I understand it, it is more of a one or the other, but not both scenario.

Take that for what you will.

I think that in the next 48 hours you will see much of this put to rest as Shanahan is going to want to be on a roster before opening night and the Rangers are going to want Sundin in uniform for Friday. Consider this:

Could Dubinsky merely be playing on that line in preparation for Sundin? For example, Drury is adapting to wing because the Rangers know that another center is coming in. It isn't necessary to have Korpikoski at center, particularly after the poor faceoff performance on Sunday. So your lines would be:

Naslund - Sundin - Zherdev
Drury - Gomez - Dawes
Prucha - Dubinsky - Callahan

and however you want to assort the remaining forwards on the fourth line. Also figure that at least one of the bottom six or so players will be moved before Sundin can be signed.

Is it a stretch? Not really, but I would still consider it unlikely. What about Shanny?

I have had an abundance of emails, questions, text messages, etc. asking if I knew anything about Shanahan. And I do not know much more than what the media has said. Sam Weinman at the Journal News put it into fine perspective last night. Part of this is Shanahan's unwillingness to accept that the Rangers may not want him and part is that Glen Sather is leading on more than he really wants him.

Will it happen? Only if Sundin doesn't. My guess is he goes back to Detroit, but wouldn't be surprised to see him in New Jersey.

Also consider that the Rangers will most likely bring back a sixth or seventh defenseman in a trade (or sign one) before Friday. Heck, Marek Malik is still around. Or Bryan Berard. Or Sandis Ozolinsh.

Anyone? Anyone?

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  1. Anonymous Says:

    i think we should get rid of Rissmiller, Pru, Fritsche, and thats it. If a miracle happens sign shanny.

  2. Fotiu is God Says:

    as much as I love Shanny and respect his great contributions he's not wired for this quick transitioning, uptempo Ranger club.

    for his size and better than average hands Voros deserves regular ice time, especially against the larger core forwards in the Western conference. Fritsche showed great determination in the Victoria Cup series.

    Rissmiller hasn't found his stride as much as Pru hasn't found the net.

    please, let's end this Sundin flirtation. give Korpikoski a shot; he's earned it and looks great between Callahan and Pru.

    though the '08-09 Blueshirts kinda' evoke Herb Brooks's smurfs, they already look like they're gelling as a club. we find a d-man with some snarl we're right there with The Habs and Philly.