They are: goaltenders Chris Holt and Matt Zaba; defensemen Clayton Barthel, Corey Potter and Jake Taylor; and forwards Joe Barnes, Alex Bourret, Brodie Dupont, Mitch Fritz, Bruce Graham, Greg Moore, and Jordan Owens.
The only real surprise in my eyes is Bourret, and I go back to my earlier suspicion that something isn’t right there. If it was merely a bruised shoulder keeping him from playing, I’d think they’d have kept him around.
Of smaller significance is the early demotion of Greg Moore, who had a strong camp last year and saw action in a few exhibition games.
What’s also telling is that while Bobby Sanguinetti is destined to head back to juniors, the Rangers have opted to keep him around a little longer.
Meanwhile, the questions have rolled in about how Marc Staal looks. Here’s the short answer: Solid but unspectacular. Here’s the long answer: A year ago, Staal said he may have been “guilty of trying to do too much on the ice”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/SPORTS01/709180368/1034/SPORTS, and he got away from his strengths.
Bear in mind this is not a flashy player but a classic stay-at-home, first-pass defenseman. Staal has some offensive ability but it seems like he’s going out of his way to temper that in order to not be caught out of position. He’s succeeded in that regard, but the result is he hasn’t really stood out, either.
Finally, congratulations are in order to Friend of the Blog Stan Fischler, who along with Brian Leetch, Cammi Granato and former Rangers PR man John Halligan, was named a recipient of the 2007 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
Well done, Stan, and well deserved.