It is kind of funny to be asked what I think Glen Sather is
going to do next with the New York Rangers especially since there is plenty of
time before training camp begins. Personally I think Glen Sather is going to go
on vacation and enjoy himself for most of August before returning to work.
Other than signing John Moore, it is very hard to see the
New York Rangers doing anything until they see what happens first at Traverse
City and then from the main training camp. I have watched Sather since the 1980’s
when he was with the Edmonton Oilers and the biggest thing I have learned about
Glen Sather is to avoid his temper.
If there is one mistake people make when it comes to Sather
is that they think he doesn’t learn and change how he does things. During the
now 15 years with the Rangers, I have watched Sather change in many ways
especially since the 2004-2005 lockout.
If anything the only thing that I haven’t seen Glen Sather
change is that he won’t use a first round pick on a QMJHL player. It is
something that goes back to his days with the Oilers and why I really don’t
know considering his two main draft experts Gordie Clark and Jeff Gorton are
rooted in the New England area which is QMJHL territory.
That said then I think that the Rangers next move will
depend on three situations; the first is whether or not Glen Sather thinks he
can get Marc Staal to sign a contract for less money than Ryan McDonagh. If as
expected that Ryan McDonagh is named the next captain of the Rangers then his
salary will become limit for any future contracts for Ranger defensemen.
The second is can one of the Ranger prospect defensemen
(Conor Allen, Matthew Bodie or Dylan McIlrath) show that they are NHL ready. If
you want to place a wager on which defenseman would be the one the Rangers
expect to replace Staal with then bet on Allen.
Bodie would make John Moore expendable if Moore isn’t
careful with his salary demands. Bodie could give the Rangers offense from the
blueline that Moore hasn’t. McIlrath would be a third pair defender to use with
either Dan Boyle or Bodie.
The third is going to be the battle for the third line
center position between J.T. Miller and Oscar Lindberg. While many think the
job is Miller’s to lose, I don’t as I question whether Miller can win back
Ranger coach Alain Vigneault’s confidence and earn a roster spot. I say that
Oscar Lindberg should be seen as the favorite for the 3rd line
center position mainly because he plays a stronger two-way game than Miller
If neither Lindberg or Miller can’t win the job in training
camp then expect Glen Sather to dangle his best trading chip which is Marc
Staal even if he is in his last year of his contract. With the Rangers only
having 1.33 million left in open cap space then finding any kind of experienced
third line center (even off the remains of the UFAs) means that Sather is going to need to shed
some salary and Staal’s almost 4 million dollars in cap space is the Rangers
If you are going to offer up Anthony Duclair as an option
then let me break it to you, Duclair’s future is at wing as he was barely used
as a center last season with the Quebec Remparts. The Rangers really don’t have
any other options from the prospects that is legit NHL ready for next season.
Expect Marc Staal’s days as a Ranger to end sooner rather
than later if Glen Sather isn’t happy with how the Ranger training camp goes.
Team USA Summer Camp
It was Team Blue facing Team White in a scrimmage/game as
the two rosters played two 25 minute half’s. Keegan Iverson (2014 3rd)
was used as a 4th line right wing for Team White while goalie
Brandon Halverson (2014 2nd) was the 2nd goalie to play
for Team Blue.
Iverson was quiet with no shots or penalties as he was used
with fellow Portland Winterhawks player Dom Turgeon. Halverson gave up 2 goals
on the first 2 shots he faced but settled down and stopped 9 shots as Team Blue
Day 3 will see Iverson and Team White face Sweden while
Halverson and Team Blue faces Finland.