The Rangers are easing their way back into a routine after their triumphant trip to Europe, getting a full day off yesterday before participating in off-ice workouts today.
It’s safe to say players and coaches are experiencing varying degrees of jet lag (the team arrived home around 3:30 a.m. Monday, so most players said yesterday was a struggle). Wade Redden looked chipper and said he felt fine. Paul Mara said he was still dragging, while Tom Renney admitted that he was bordering on incoherent.
“Oh really?” the coach said when the subject of jet lag came up. “Am I making any sense at all?”
He’ll need to soon enough. The big question surrounding the Rangers is whether their uneven roster of 15 forwards and six defensemen is addressed soon, and Renney admitted there are some decisions to be made. When I asked him what he thought the odds were of the roster remaining completely intact for Friday’s opener, Renney said it was possible, and also noted that with the team set to play six games in nine days beginning Friday, he may need extra bodies (of course, by that measure, don’t you think an extra defenseman could come in handy, too?)
Renney said Glen Sather is working on it, and I have to think a move is coming soon. Whether that means exposing a player to waivers, or trading someone outright remains to be seen, but you can imagine who the likely suspects are: Patrick Rissmiller, Fred Sjostrom, Dan Fritsche, and maybe even Petr Prucha. I don’t think any of those players are untouchable, but at least in a couple of instances, a move out of New York would be an admission of a mistake by the GM.
Update, 2:15 p.m.: Something to keep in mind on the seventh defenseman front: While Brian Fahey didn’t have to clear waivers on the way down to Hartford, he would have to clear on the way up. And should he be snagged by another team, the Rangers would be hit for half the cap charge.
In other words, count on seeing Corey Potter well before you see Fahey
â€œI think collectively these four points are just as important as four points in February and March. Thatâ€™s why we went over there. But the added bonus was coming together as we did. Yeah, everyone says itâ€™s a chance to come together and be a team and so on. Iâ€™ve been on trips where itâ€™s been said and it hasnâ€™t happend. It seemed like this like this time it was said and it happened. It just seemed all very natural. Nothing was forced. Glen or Tom didnâ€™t have to step in and say, â€˜This is what you guys are doing now. This is what youâ€™re doing later.â€™ We just got on the plane and it kind of happened.â€
Update, 2:50 p.m.: More evidence that the Rangers might be trying to resolve their roster situation by Friday:
Brendan Shanahan’s agent Rick Curran indicated just now that the player might have a place to play by the end of the week—or at least a stronger sense of where he could end up.
Whether that means Curran has talked to Glen Sather, the agent wouldn’t say. But think about it for a second. If Curran thinks he’ll have an answer soon, that means that Sather by Friday should be able to tell Shanahan that he definitely is coming back, or more likely, that he definitely isn’t.
Â I know. It’s confusing to me, too, and I’m not even jet-lagged…