On Monday, David Quinn said that he wants the Rangers top-nine forwards to be their top-nine forwards regardless of their position.
Quinn spoke about that in regards to a question about why Filip Chytil played a shifts on the wing on Saturday against the Islanders.
He said that the idea of moving Chytil, or Lias Andersson or Brett Howden, to the wing is a possibility if it's something that they think will help them.
Larry Brooks notes that the only way for the Rangers to have both Chytil and Andersson in the top-nine is to have one of them play the wing. (NY Post)
Brooks wonders if the Rangers lines to start the season could look like (NY Post):
- Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
- Filip Chytil, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello
- Ryan Spooner, Lias Andersson, Jesper Fast
He notes that Jesper Fast is a top-nine forward and seems like a "perfect linemate" for Lias Andersson and that neither Jimmy Vesey or Vlad Namestnikov have been"good enough" so far for a top-nine spot so far.
Brooks notes that a mix of Vesey, Namestnikov, Howden, Vinni Lettieri and Cody McLeod could all be options for the fourth line. (NY Post)
Jeff Gorton said that the Rangers plan is to keep all of their young centers in the middle.
Adam Rotter: The group of Ranger forwards that start the season is almost certainly not going to be the same as the group in January and after the trade deadline, so it's not a permanent sentence if someone like Brett Howden or Vinni Lettieri get put in Hartford for a time. The same can be said about Chytil and Andersson though they will almost certainly be there opening night.
The bottom six will be an interesting mix of forwards and some combination of Spooner, Namestnikov, Vesey, Lettieri, McLeod, Howden, Fast and maybe Matt Beleskey. That is a group of offensive players, young players and more physical players that David Quinn will need to mix and match. Andersson or Chytil will likely be in that mix as well and it will give the Rangers to put together different types of combinations that could feature speed, physicality, skill and the opportunity to create match up problems. At some point this year a few of these bottom six players will move up and get top-six minutes, but performance and the decisions management makes around certain players will decide that.