There’s no point in reading too much into what took place on the ice on the first day of the Rangers development camp. Most of the players hadn’t been on the ice full-time in months, and many were just getting to know one another.
But for the record, yes, Michael Del Zotto and Bobby Sanguinetti, the two Rangers first round draft picks present today, stood out, and even spent some time as defensive partners. I asked Tom Renney to compare the two defensemen, and while Renney deferred to Sanguinetti’s age and experience, he said the two are cut from the same cloth.
“Bobby’s a bigger, stronger kid a year later (actually two years) and he’s been exposed to us and what we do,” Renney said. “But the instincts are similar, the intuition to jump and make things happen. You can see that Mike wants to get involved.”
As it happens another puck-moving Rangers defenseman was in the building today: Michal Rozsival. Rangers property for at least another week, the defenseman was said to be working out in the weight room after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his hip a few weeks ago. But who knows, maybe because his days in New York are numbered, he also wants to stock up on all the free sticks and tape while he still can.
And speaking of free agency, Renney didn’t want to go into great detail about what he hoped happened by July 1. He said bumping into Rozsival was the first contact he’s had with any of the Rangers free agents so far, but he sounded willing to jump into the fray if called upon.
“If the boss tells me to phone someone, I’m all over it,” Renney said.
The coach did say the team has had conversations with all of the UFAs, even if just touching base, and it’s safe to say some of those conversations will heat up this week.
Will the Rangers prevent anyone from hitting the open market at this point? I’m skeptical. That’s not to say they don’t want certain players back, and that includes Jaromir Jagr. But I have a hard time believing either side would let things reach this point if they didn’t want to see what lurked on the other side of July 1.
OK, I’m off to a dinner. More later…