As we wait for the New York Rangers to announce the final cuts and produce the Opening Day roster, predicting what it will look like is all that’s left to do.
Putting together an Opening Night roster isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. Coaches and general managers have to take all sorts of things into account when making a decision. Which players need to clear waivers? Is this guy durable enough to make it through a rigorous 82-game schedule? Is that player better off getting regular playing time in the minors or back in juniors?
While it’s not easy, they get paid the big bucks to answer those questions. As fans and writers, we get to play around and have some fun.
Here’s how I think the Opening Night roster will shake out.
- Pavel Buchnevich
- Filip Chytil
- David Desharnais
- Michael Grabner
- Kevin Hayes
- Chris Kreider
- Vin Lettieri
- J.T. Miller
- Rick Nash
- Cristoval Nieves
- Jimmy Vesey
- Mika Zibenajad
- Mats Zuccarello
Lias Andersson will be sent back to his team in Sweden, HV71 Jonkoping. Jesper Fast will be placed on injured reserve until he is ready for action in late October. The team will take nine games to further evaluate Chytil, who they can send back to the Czech League if they’re not satisfied with his ability to adapt to the NHL game.
It doesn’t make sense to keep Neal Pionk up with the team if he isn’t going to play every day, so he’ll start the year in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack. If the Rangers have an injury or make a trade they can always recall him.
This works out to 13 forwards, seven defensemen, two goalies and one player on IR.
None of the cuts head coach Alain Vigneault has to make will be easy, as a number of players had strong camps. The Rangers risk losing Paul Carey, Steven Kampfer and Matt Puempel, who all have to clear waivers in order to be sent down to Hartford.
I feel that Lias Andersson needs another year before he is ready. He didn’t seem to play the same style of hockey as he did this past summer. It started to show at the prospect tournament and continued on in the preseason games.
Of course, this is my opinion of what will happen with the Rangers. Everyone else will have their own roster they think the team should go with. That the great part of the story. Please join in the fun too and comment below to let me know who you think will make the Opening Night roster.
Oct. 5 is right around the corner. Who is ready for some Rangers hockey?