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Dec 29, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; iFlorida Panthers center Brandon Pirri (73) skates in the third period of a game against the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center. The Panthers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Dec 29, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; iFlorida Panthers center Brandon Pirri (73) skates in the third period of a game against the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center. The Panthers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

Alain Vigneault said that when he spoke with Brandon Pirri he mentioned that players only get "so many kicks at the can" in the NHL.

He said that he told him that and explained the kind of opportunity Pirri had with the Rangers.

Vigneault said that he senses that Pirri will be "highly motivated" to prove that he can "make our team and contribute."

He noted that if Pirri makes the Rangers it would likely be in an offensive role as part of the top-nine.

Vigneault said that Pirri is in a similar situation to what Benoit Pouliot was in a few years ago and that he has made that comparison with other players that have been brought in as well. (MSG)

Pirri said that training camp provides and opportunity for everyone and that you need to make an impression early and then stay consistent. (NYR)

For a lot more on Pirri, click HERE.

Adam Rotter: Pirri is pretty much the ultimate low risk, high reward type of player. He has proven that he score in the NHL but is cheap enough to put on waivers if things, for whatever reason, don't work out. The best thing, to me, about Pirri is that his number one priority on the ice is to shoot the puck. The Rangers need a shooter, especially on the PP, and that should provide opportunities not only for him but for everyone else.

Tags: Brandon Pirri

Apr 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) sweeps the puck from in front of the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) sweeps the puck from in front of the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Henrik Lundqvist was speaking with Larry Brooks and on the topic of the Rangers window to win being closed, Lundqvist asked the rhetorical question: "the window closed on me? On us?" (NY Post)

Lundqvist's response was "oh, I don't think so. I don't see it that way at all." (NY Post)

He followed up by saying that the Rangers might look a little different but the "mindset" the organization has is to always give the players the "best possible to chance to compete at the highest level and to win." (NY Post)

Lundqvist says that he feels good about this season for the Rangers and adds, "the window hasn't closed on anything." (NY Post)

For more, click HERE, HERE and HERE.

Adam Rotter: My feeling is that as long as Henrik Lundqvist is at the top of his game the Rangers will have a chance to contend for the Stanley Cup. That said, so much about the Rangers ability to win goes beyond Lundqvist. Puck management needs to be better, forwards need to get back on defense, the defense needs to be better and the Rangers need the players who can take another step to actually take that step. I don't think the Rangers window is closed but it's definitely not as wide open as it has been the past couple of years.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Apr 4, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Rangers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Apr 4, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Rangers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Dan Girardi said that he is feeling the best that he has in the last 3-4 years and feels good about himself and how he feels. (Newsday)

Girardi said that while he doesn't care what the "doubters" are saying about him, he wants to prove that he can still play and help the team. (Rangers Report)

Asked if he felt he could be the player he was in the past, Girardi said, "I have no doubt at all. I am ready for this year." (Newsday)

On his broken kneecap last season, Girardi called it a "freak thing" where it a "little wrist shot" hit his kneecap and he was bothered for the whole season. (Rangers Report)

He noted that losing in the first round isn't what anyone wants but adds that it gave everyone a chance to "rest and get mentally right." (Newsday)

Alain Vigneault said that Girardi was able to get a "mental and physical" break this summer and was able to "heal his body." (Rangers Report)

Vigneault said that everything that he has seen from Girardi so far indicates that he is feeling good and added "the warrior who put his body on the line for his teammates, I think that is the Dan Girardi we are going to see." (Rangers Report)

Jeff Gorton said over the summer that the organization believes Girardi will be better this season.

Adam Rotter: Everything sounds good and all the right things are said before the season, but it's the actions that Dan Girardi will take this season on the ice that will hopefully speak louder and confirm his optimistic words. I've often said that if Girardi can just be a little better this season it will make the Rangers a lot better. He didn't gain Conor McDavid's speed over the summer but if he can make smart decisions with the puck and hold his own positionally, along with taking rest when it's needed, the Rangers will have a better #5 and better defense this season.

Tags: Dan Girardi

Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)
Alain Vigneault gives instructions against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday and said the following (NYR):

  • On Marc Staal and Dan Girardi: "they are huge. It's no secret that one of the areas that we need to improve, yesterday we talked about the PK, but we all know that our overall defensive play needs to be better in all facets, whether it be in our zone to coming back to our zone. Those guys are such a big part of that, good gap, good sticks, being able to win some one on ones down low because our second guy is down there and gets the puck. We spend less time in our zone. I talked to both of them, Marc has told me that he feels strong and that his legs feel strong. Those battles that he used to win with a big body presence, I believe that will enable us to play a real fast pace defensively and offensively. We need those players on top of their game. Come tomorrow we start to practice and hopefully we see it in the near future."
  • On the fourth line center candidates: "there is quite a few. From [Josh Jooris] that we picked up during the summer to obviously [Oscar Lindberg], to [Marek Hrivik], to [Maxin Lapierre], to etc. There are quite a few possibilities. I just look throughout the NHL and the teams that seem able to win or have won, Pitt last year, three pretty good offensive lines and one line that was doing all of the defensive zone faceoffs. I don't like to talk about us in the past but in my first year we had three lines that could score and a fourth line that helped on the PK, etc. LA was built the same way, Boston was built the same way a few years back. It's something offensively, our depth, is going to permit us. We just need to find the right people on those three lines, that good internal competition, and then find the people for the fourth line."
  • On Rick Nash wanting to prove himself: "it's the right attitude to have. A player should want to come here and prove and earn the ice time. We talked about it yesterday, solid two-way player but there is no going away from the fact that we need his offense. We need him to be on the scoresheet, we need him to be a force offensively. We know that he is smart and understands the game and plays a smart two-way game, but that offense that he brings, he is one of elite offensive players and we need that from him."
  • On Dylan McIlrath: "he has some good internal competition on the right side. If Dylan plays on a regular basis in the NHL it will be first and foremost because defensively he is real dependable. When you talk about that you are talking about a good gap, good on one on ones. What we also see from Dylan is good puck decision. Doesn't need to be 2-3 guys going up the ice but he needs to make a good first pass to do that. You need to beat the first forechecker, if he can do that and make that first pass then he has some good internal competition there on the right side. With his size, I've been here for four years and I have seen him progress the four years. I'm expecting him to be better than he was at the end of last year. He has exhibition games to prove it, very well respected and liked by his teammates. Brings an element that all teams like to have. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks he will prove that he can make our team."
  • On Girardi, "I do believe that after a summer that he was able to get as far as mental break, physical break, being able to heal his body. Everything that I have seen so far, all the indications not just what I have seen on the ice and in the gym but how he is conducting himself, real positive attitude is giving me every indication. He has been so good for so long and the warrior who put his body on the line for his teammates, I think that is the Dan Girardi we are going to see." (Rangers Report)
  • McDonagh, Stepan and Miller will likely be off until Tuesday or Wednesday. All three players said that they don't want to take a lot of time off. (Rangers Report)
  •  

Feb 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the pre game warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Feb 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the pre game warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Marc Staal spoke with the media on Friday and said (NYR):

  • How are you feeling, "good. Good summer and trained hard. Probably as healthy and strong as I have been in a long time. Looking forward to camp."
  • On his conversation with AV, "I think that as much as you want to learn from the past, it's important for us to turn the page and get by last year and come into camp with a fresh, optimistic, approach. It's definitely a lot longer of an offseason than we are used to. Coming into camp I feel a good energy about our group and the way we feel going into camp."
  • On being able to train this summer, "it was nice to take 3/3 1/2 weeks off with nothing really holding me back and waiting for things to heal. That got me excited to get into the summer and training and hopefully it pays dividends coming into camp and the season."
  • On a chip on your shoulder, "I think so. We are a group that, me and a lot of other guys have a feeling that we need to prove ourselves over again. With the expectations of our group the last few years you have that feeling where you are supposed to be there at a high level and we were last year and everyone is excited to come to camp and have that chip where we know the way we can play and it's about performing and doing it on the ice more consistently this year and we are looking forward to it."
Tags: Marc Staal

Apr 16, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 16, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Alain Vigneault said that he "firmly believes" that Rick Nash's scoring touch is still there and that Nash is a "complete player." (Rangers Report)

Vigneault notes that Nash was out almost two months last season with a broken leg, though at the time it was called a deep bone bruise. (Rangers Report)

Nash has been skating in New York for a while and Vigneault said that he came to camp in "great shape." (Rangers Report)

Vigneault also added that the Rangers "need" Nash to be that two-way player and that part of being a two-way player is adding offense. (Rangers Report)

He said that Nash expects those things of himself and that he is "confident" that the Rangers will get that. (Rangers Report)

For more on Nash, click here.

Tags: Rick Nash

Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)
Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)

Alain Vigneault says that both Dan Girardi and Marc Staal have turned the page from last season and are focused on "right now." (Newsday)

Vigneualt said that the two defensemen seem to be in a "good space mentally" and that they are coming off their first chance in a long time to "recover" and get a "good summer of training." (Newsday)

He said that the duo seem "anxious" for the opportunity ahead, know they are "important parts" of the Rangers being successful and Vigneault gets the sense that "they want to prove that they're very good players." (Newsday)

For a lot more on Girardi, click here, and Staal, click here.

Adam Rotter: The Rangers are putting a lot of faith in the idea that a long summer allowed these two to fully rest, recover and train like they haven't in probably five years or so. There is a lot of faith being put into this duo having versions of a bounce back year and in some way re-solidifying what for a few years was a top NHL defense.

Tags: Dan Girardi , Marc Staal

Sep 22, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team USA defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and Team Czech Republic forward Milan Michalek (9) go after a puck during the second period of preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 22, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team USA defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and Team Czech Republic forward Milan Michalek (9) go after a puck during the second period of preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Ryan McDonagh scored a third-period shorthanded goal but Team USA lost 4-3 to the Czech Republic.

McDonagh was a minus one in the game, played 19:25, had two shots on goal, 5 shot attempts blocked, 1 shot that missed the net, 1 takeaway and 1 blocked shot.

He played 18:02 at even strength and 1:23 on the PK with 6:19 in the first, 7:04 in the second and 6:02 in the third.


Derek Stepan was a minus two, had four shots on goal, 1 shot attempt blocked, 4 shots that missed the net, 1 hit, 1 giveaway, 1 takeaway, 1 blocked shot and was 6 and 13 on faceoffs.

Stepan played 20:13 overall with 17:23 at even strength, 2:20 on the PP and 30 seconds on the PK with 5:03 in the first, 6:33 in the second and 8:37 in the third.

Team USA finished the World Cup 0-3 and Stepan and McDonagh will return to the Rangers in the coming days.

Tags: Derek Stepan , Ryan McDonagh

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday on the first day of training camp and said (NYR)

  • On the roster being younger, "We are at the golf tournament yesterday and fans and players that I have talked with since I have been back here, you feel the energy. You feel a refreshed group, not just the players, but the fans and the staff. Everyone is excited about the players that we brought in from the veterans to some of the younger players that everyone has been talking about that will get a great opportunity to make this team. We have a lot of good decisions to make moving forward. There will be some great internal competition for ice time and roles on the team. It should make for a great training camp."
  • On Buchnevich and Vesey, "both their first experience as far as a pro camp. Both had real good games in Traverse City, I think that will help them coming into this camp. They just gotta play to their strengths. Highly skilled players. Our staff and management really believe that we have two good young prospects there. It's up to us as coaches to help develop them and to put them in situations where they can be successful. They are both good offensive players and we need to put them in those situations and give them the opportunity to show us and their teammates what they can do. We will make the decisions that need to be made."
  • Have expectations changed for the RFAs signed, "I do expect more. Those are young players and if we are going to get better as a group those players have to get better individually. The organization has shown those guys a lot of confidence in them by giving them those contracts and we gave it to them because we know that there is upside there and those players want bigger roles and want more minutes and want to prove that they can be impactful players and play a role that helps a team win. There is not doubt that those three players want that and want to be counted on and want to help this organization and team win."
  • On JT Miller, "I really don't think that it has much to do with the coaching staff, it has to do with JT figuring it out. I mentioned that a few times, players at some point as they are developing and getting mature they need to figure out what it takes to be a pro and I think that JT as time has gone by has figured it out. He knows he has to have a great attitude and committed to his conditioning and that he needs to come in every day and try and get a little bit better skill wise and knowledge wise. He has done that and I am very happy for him making the team and having the success he is having right now. I've gotta see the same thing when he comes back with the Rangers."
  • On the World Cup players, "I've been excited about the opportunity that they are getting. They get to play against the best in the world. I am very confident that they are all going to learn from this experience and bring some positives back to our group and share them with their teammates. The only guys that I have talked to, the only player that I have talked to, I talked to Step yesterday and he wanted to know what the plan was as far as coming back because obviously they are not moving ahead. I will wait until we talk to Mac and obviously we will give players who have been in that event a couple of days off because they have been going at it for close to 3 weeks and if they go to the finals then close to a month and we will give them the time here that they need to recover physically and mentally and hopefully they come back and bring something positive to our group."
  • On the defense, "I see there is obviously ice time available, there are roles available as far as Keith and Dan were a little bit more offensive oriented. There is opportunity there...for veteran guys like Ryan McDonagh, to take a little bit more to a young guy like Brady Skjei to take a little bit more, to Dylan. There are opportunities for defensemen who are coming to our camp to show their skill sets and to grab the opportunity and earn a spot on our team. I think about bringing Jeff on board with our coaching staff, I see a gentleman who has paid his dues and went from a player who worked hard to be a respected coach and now he is getting an opportunity with our coaching staff at another level. We have been working a long time, we had meetings this summer in mid-August where we went through our prep and our system and Jeff was a big part of bringing contributions to our discussions about where we want to go and what we want to do. I feel real good about him on board. I feel real good about my staff, we have been together for some time and there is good chemistry and communication. With all of that and with Jeff coming on board with this D group where we all know that there are a few guys there who have something to prove. It's going to be real positive for this group." 
  • On # of games for Hank, "Part of our brainstorming in the summer was going through what some of the goalies who have won in past years and how many games they have played in the regular season and it seems like goalies who have won in the last few years are all between 50 and 58 games. I think when I first got here I wanted to keep Hank around 60 or something in an ideal world, in an ideal world it seems now that goalies who have won have played a little bit less than that. Is that feasible, can we do that? I think this year one of the challenges that all teams are going to have is the condensed schedule. The schedule for every team, with that 5-day break, makes it for a lot of days in a short amount of time. You are going to need two goalies that can play and does that go into Hank at 50 or 58. I'm talking to you and I haven't talked to Hank about it. I am just giving you the stats, all 30 head coaches will talk to their goalies and see how they feel. Stats wise it seems like it's running in that area. Is that something we will look for moving forward. Our biggest thing for Henrik, our number one, is asking how he feels, is he energized, etc. He will be coming back from the World Cup in the next little while and we will start with that first discussion and go from there."
  • On the battle for spots, "I would say that there is a battle for 5-6-7-8 on D. There are some guys there who are young players that need to prove that they belong and deserve the ice time. There is definitely, and I don't need to go through all of the good internal competition that we have, up front, but there is definitely some competition. We would like 3 lines that can score, have a fourth line where it could be maybe a little bit more defensive oriented or PKers. There is some battles there and I expect good battles in training camp and guys fighting for roles."
  • On Zibanejad, "Our scouts and management all felt that he was on the upswing. He has been in Ottawa for a few years, has been able to play PP, PK, 5 on 5, the speed is there, skill, youth. We believe that he is not fully developed yet and that with the right environment teammate and coaching wise that we can get more from Mika, Z as his teammates seem to be calling him now. We think we have a good young player we will be able to work with for a long time."
  • On Pirri, "Talking about a skilled player, noted for his offensive capabilities. Also talking about a player who has gone few quite a few teams in a short little while. Usually that grabs players attention, you only get so many kicks at the can. I've talked to him and explained to him the opportunity in front of him. I told him exactly what I am telling you, you only get so many kicks at the can in this league. I am sensing that we will have a highly motivated player to prove that he can make our team and contribute. Obviously his role would be more offensive, your looking at a player fighting to get into the top-nine and he has got training camp to prove he can play on our team."
  • On the PK, "we made a lot of our decisions...don't like going into the past but if you look at the players we have lost, a lot of those guys are guys who played on the PK. We need to develop some or our younger guys like Jesper, we need to develop a couple of other younger guys but we brought in some players like Grabner that we feel have the capabilities of playing on the PK and helping our team there. We all know that special teams are an important part of your team having success. We know we have to improve in that area and we are."
  • Expectations for this season, "our first goal doesn't change. First goal is always the same and that is to get into the playoffs. It's hard and it's demanding and we are probably playing in the toughest division in the NHL. Once you are in there, 16 teams all have the same opportunity. You look at last year, SJ and Pitt. At some point everyone was saying that Pitt was on the decline and then they won the Stanley Cup. SJ the year before doesn't even get into the playoffs, We have changed some pieces, some important pieces, added...I feel the energy. Everyone is looking forward to training camp, the demands of getting on the same page and opportunity to prove that they belong here."

Sep 21, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a pad save on Team North America left winger Johnny Gaudreau (13) in the first period during preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)
Sep 21, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a pad save on Team North America left winger Johnny Gaudreau (13) in the first period during preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)

In two tournament games for Sweden, Henrik Lundqvist has stopped 81 of 85 shots, is 1-0-1 with a .953 save percentage and 1.95 GAA.

In two preliminary games, Lundqvist stopped 28 of 36 shots, was 1-1 and had a .778 save percentage and 4.49 GAA.

Lundqvist missed the first tournament game against Russia, a Sweden win, with the flu.

Carl Hagelin said "I played with Hank enough to know that he will step up when it really matters. He has been MVP the past few games and I didn't expect anything else from that guy." (McDonald)

Victor Hedman said, "he's been lights out. Without him last night it could have been 3 or 4 nothing. It means a lot to have a goalie bail you out. We are not surprised but we want to give him some more help in the coming games." (McDonald)

Adam Rotter: He's been flat out awesome for Sweden so far. I wasn't sure he would start against North America after his Finland shutout and things didn't look great early, but he kept Sweden in the game and allowed them to go to OT where they clinched a spot in the next round. Nathan MacKinnon had to make an unreal move to just to beat Lundqvist in the extremely exciting 3 on 3 portion of the game.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Dec 30, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 30, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ryan McDonagh says that the Rangers have always taken pride with how they played in their own zone but that last year their defensive game was not one of their strengths. (NY Post)

McDonagh said that saying that is tough, but "it's true." (NY Post)

He said that as a defense they know they can get the job done but they need to "redevelop their confidence" and trust in one another. (NY Post)

McDonagh said that adding a "fresh voice" in Jeff Beukeboom will help. (NY Post)

For more, click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.


New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and Marc Staal (18) embrace after their 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar (Gene J. Puska/AP)
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) and Marc Staal (18) embrace after their 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar (Gene J. Puska/AP)

The Rangers will open their 2016 training camp today with all the players going through medical testing and head coach Alain Vigneault meeting with the media in the afternoon.

The first on-ice sessions are on Friday and the first preseason game is this coming Tuesday against the Islanders.

Rangers Report and the New York Post both list questions about Rick Nash, the defense, Dan Girardi and the new young players as things to watch for in training camp.

Adam Rotter: I said earlier this week on the Rangers Blue Line Podcast that my number one question heading into training camp was Girardi, Dan. I have far fewer worries about Marc Staal than Girardi and think that if Staal is healthy he is still a capable top-four defenseman. Girardi though has so many tough miles on him, is older and is seemingly always playing through something. If this extended rest has allowed Girardi a chance to recharge and return this season healthy then the Rangers will be much better off.

I'm not that concerned about Rick Nash. I think he's still the Rangers top forward, will play big two-way minutes and if he is healthy he will score 25-30 goals. How the rest of the lineup shakes out, especially where someone like Brandon Pirri fits in or whether Pavel Buchnevich starts in Hartford and much bigger questions or concerns to me than Nash is.


Brian Compton, Nick Licalzi, and Adam Rotter are back on Rangers Blue Line. This week the guys discuss the signing of Jimmy Vesey, and the acquisition of Mika Zibanejad. Later, Brian chats with broadcaster Billy Jaffe about the Blueshirts' offseason and whether he thinks they're a playoff team.


Sep 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Europe forward Mats Zuccarello (63) celebrates after scoring against Czech Republic goalie Petr Mrazek (34) in the third period of Team Europe's 3-2 overtime win during preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Sep 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Europe forward Mats Zuccarello (63) celebrates after scoring against Czech Republic goalie Petr Mrazek (34) in the third period of Team Europe's 3-2 overtime win during preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

In Team Europe's 4-1 loss to Canada, Mats Zuccarello had one shot, one takeaway and one hit in 13:56 of ice time.

Zuccarello played 12:59 at even strength, 44 seconds on the power play and 13 seconds on the penalty kill.

He played 4:20 in the first, 4:33 in the second and 5:03 in the third.

Zuccarello skated on a line with Frans Nielsen and Marian Gaborik.

Europe has already clinched a spot in the semifinal against Sweden.

Tags: Mats Zuccarello

Sep 21, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the pregame warm-up before preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)
Sep 21, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the pregame warm-up before preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 45 of 49 shots in Sweden's overtime loss to North America.

Lundqvist allowed three goals on the first 15 shots that he faced but stopped the next 29 in regulation.

He stopped 13 of 16 shots in the first period, 21 of 21 shots in the second period, seven of seven shots in the third period and four of five shots in OT.

Lundqvist was named the second star of the game.

With a point in OT Lundqvist and Sweden clinched a spot in the semifinal.


JT Miller made his World Cup debut and was a minus-one in 6:51 of ice time.

Miller had one shot attempt that missed the net, one hit, one takeaway and won each of his two faceoffs.

Miller played 1:53 in the first period, 2:26 in the second period, 2:32 in the third period, 5:13 at even strength and 1:38 on the penalty kill.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist , J.T. Miller

The Rangers have announced that 63 players will take part in training camp this year (NYR):

Forward: Nick Betz, Chris Brown, Pavel Buchnevich, Matt Carey, Adam Chapie, Reid Duke, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty, Gabriel Fontaine, Nathan Gerbe, Tim Gettinger, Ryan Gropp, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Michael Joly*, Josh Jooris, Robin Kovacs, Chris Kreider, Max Lapierre**, Oscar Lindberg, Philip Mcrae*, JT Miller, Rick Nash, Boo Nieves, Ahti Oksanen***, Brandon Pirri, Ty Ronning, Derek Stepan, Malte Stromwall, Adam Tambellini, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello.

Defensemen: Calle Andersson, Mat Bodie, Adam Clendening, Sean Day, Troy Donnay, John Gilmour, Dan Girardi, Spiro Goulakos, Ryan Graves, Nick Holden, Tommy Hughes, Kevin Klein, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Garrett Noonan, Michael Paliotta, Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Chris Summers, Sergey Zborovskiy.

Goalies: Brandon Halverson, Magnus Hellberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Jeff Malcolm, Antti Raanta, Joseph Raaymakers, Mackenzie Skapski

***AHL contract

**PTO


 (Sergei Grits)
(Sergei Grits)

10:57AM: Mike Morreale writes that Vesey was not intimidated during the tournament and "consistently drove the net" which indicates that he will "do anything" to create a scoring opportunity. (NHL.com)

9:15AM: In four games in Traverse City, Jimmy Vesey led the Rangers with five goals and two assists.

From the Rangers:

  • Vesey led all skaters in the tournament in goals (five) and shots on goal (20), and he tied for first among all skaters in the tournament in points (seven).
  • Vesey's five goals were tied for the most any player has registered in one year during the Traverse City Tournament since 2007.
  • Vesey's seven points were tied for the most any Ranger has posted in one year in the Traverse City Tournament.
  • Vesey notched a point in each of the four games of the tournament. In addition, he posted a multi-point game in each of the final three contests, including a multi-goal game in each of the final two contests.
  • Vesey tallied the game-deciding goal in the Rangers' 5-4 shootout win against the Dallas Stars on September 17, and he tallied the game-winning goal in the final minute of the Blueshirts' 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on September 19.

To see all of the goals that Vesey scored in Traverse City, CLICK HERE.

On the tournament, Vesey said that it was a good weekend and helped the players get into shape for training camp. (NYR)

He said that he got used to being the focus of the defense in college and he likes how it gets him into the game and prepares him for the NHL. (NYR)

Ken Gernander said that Vesey's character and makeup is to work hard and that his goal scoring is a reward for all of his hard work. (MSG)

Tags: Jimmy Vesey

Sep 20, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team USA forward Zach Parise (9) and forward Derek Stepan (21) and forward Patrick Kane (88) celebrate a goal against Team Canada by Team USA defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) againstduring the first period of preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 20, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team USA forward Zach Parise (9) and forward Derek Stepan (21) and forward Patrick Kane (88) celebrate a goal against Team Canada by Team USA defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) againstduring the first period of preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Ryan McDonagh had a goal, one shot on goal, one shot attempt blocked and one that missed the net in Team USA's loss to Canada on Tuesday.

McDonagh had 2 hits, 1 giveaway, 3 takeaways and 2 hits in 20:37.

McDonagh played 18:06 at even strength, 5 seconds on the PP, 2:26 on the PK, 7:42 in the first, 6:53 in the second and 6:02 in the third.

Canada's fourth goal went off of McDonagh and into the net.


Derek Stepan had an assist, 1 shot on goal, 2 shot attempts blocked, 1 shot that missed the net, 4 hits, 1 giveaway, 1 takeaway, 2 blocked shots and was 8 and 10 on faceoffs.

Stepan played 18:52 with 15:33 at even strength, 1:50 on the PP, 1:29 on the PK, 6:29 in the first, 6:06 in the second and 6:17 in the third.


The Rangers were defeated 6-4 by Columbus in the third place game for the Traverse City tournament (Pointstreak)

  • Jimmy Vesey: 2 goals, 5 shots
  • Steven Fogarty: plus two
  • John Gilmour: 2 assists, minus one, 2 shots
  • Ty Ronning: 1 shot, plus one
  • Adam Chapie: plus one
  • Sergey Zborovskiy: 1 shot
  • Boo Nieves: minus one, 1 shot
  • Robin Kovacs: minus three
  • Ryan Gropp: 1 assist, plus one, 1 shot, too man men on the ice penalty
  • Malte Stromwall: minus three
  • Sean Day: 2 goals, 4 shots
  • Pavel Buchnevich: 1 shot
  • Calle Andersson: minus one
  • Brandon Halverson: 13 saves on 18 shots
Tags: Jimmy Vesey

Sep 20, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against Team Finlandduring preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Sep 20, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against Team Finlandduring preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

7:30PM: Lundqvist spoke after the game and said:

  • He was excited to be out there and help the team win because he wasn't sure how long this illness would keep him out. (McDonald)
  • He felt rusty in the first period but the good Swedish structure allowed him to get comfortable. (McDonald)
  • He was much more comfortable in the second and third and overall had a lot of help with loose pucks. (McDonald)
  • It was important for him to get going quickly because there isn't a lot of time for him to build up his game. (Expressen)
  • It was a good game for his confidence. (Expressen)

Patrick Laine said that Lundqvist played "awesome" for Sweden and was able to shut down Finland. (McDonald)

Erik Karlsson said that Lundqvist was "flawless" today. (Whyno)

Lundqvist said that he hopes to play against North America on Wednesday. (ESPN)

Loui Eriksson said that Lundqvist was "just awesome out there," made some "really good saves" and looked like the "Hank we've seen before." (ESPN)

Finnish goalie Tuuka Rask said that Lundqvist is a great goalie and, like Lundqvist, hopes to be able to be "at the top" for many years. (ESPN)

5:40PM: Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 36 shots in Sweden's 2-0 shutout win over Finland.

Lundqvist stopped 11 shots in the first, 12 in the second and 13 in the third.

It was Lundqvist's 5th career best on best shutout.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

12:47PM: Sweden has confirmed that Lundqvist is starting in net today against Finland.

11AM: Henrik Lundqvist will start for Sweden today against Finland in the World Cup, according to Aftonbladet.

Lundqvist skated and practiced yesterday after missing Sunday's game with what has been described as the flu.

Lundqvist said yesterday that he hoped to play but that it was the coaches decision.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

1:08PM: Ken Gernander said after yesterday's game that he feels that Buchnevich is still getting his "sea legs" under him. (NYR)

10:18AM: In three games at the Traverse City tournament, Pavel Buchnevich 0 points, a plus two rating and 7 shots on goal.

Gordie Clark said that Buchnevich has been making plays on the PP and that the PP will be a big part of his game because he "always seems capable of making that pass to the open man." (NHL.com)

He noted, as he did during the summer, about the training element that players go through in North America compared to the KHL and said that while Buchnevich isstronger today than he was last year and trained hard, it was his first time doing so. (NHL.com)

Chris Drury said that Buchnevich will get "every shot" to make the Rangers and that he is "really committed" to being in the NHL. (NHL.com)

Clark, while talking about Russian players in general, said that it's a "process" for these players to adjust to the smaller rink and it's hard to just step in and "start ripping the game apart." (NHL.com)

For a lot more on Buchnevich, click HERE.

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich

Dec 30, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 30, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ryan McDonagh says that he "relishes" the opportunity to replace Keith Yandle on the PP and said that he wants to be "leaned on more" and "wants to be depended on." (NY Post)

McDonagh said that last season was frustrating for him as well as the team and that he is "amped up" for this season.  (NY Post)

McDonagh had 9 goals and 25 assists last season and averaged 22:21 per game in 73 games.

McDonagh averaged 1:55 on the PP last season, down from 2:52 in 2013-14 and 2:19 in 2014-15.

He said that the Rangers want to get back to being the team they were the prior two years and said "we're going to be ready. I'm going to be ready."  (NY Post)

McDonagh has said that he has spent the offseason working harder than ever to be ready for this season.

For more on McDonagh, click HERE.

Adam Rotter: Besides Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh is probably the most important and best player on the Rangers. He's their captain, supposed to anchor the defense and gobble up the most and hardest minutes night to night. I think that McDonagh has been good the past couple of years but he hasn't been as dominant on a consistent basis as some think he can be. If he can reach up to a level of being somewhat dominant on a night to night at both ends of the rink then McDonagh will not only be an All-Star and Norris candidate but someone who is single-handedly helping to keep the Rangers window to win open.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh

Feb 10, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) waits for a face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Feb 10, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) waits for a face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

9/19/16 | Miller is a healthy scratch again for North America. (Gulitti)

9/18/16 JT Miller will be a healthy scratch for Team North America today in their World Cup opener. (Custance)

Miller played in two of the three preliminary games for Team North America and skated the other day with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Drouin.

For more on Miller, click HERE.

Tags: J.T. Miller

Sep 11, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Team Europe forward Mats Zuccarello (63) checks Team North America forward Dylan Larkin (71) in the second period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Sep 11, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Team Europe forward Mats Zuccarello (63) checks Team North America forward Dylan Larkin (71) in the second period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Mats Zuccarello scored a goal and had the primary assist on the OT winner in Team Europe's 3-2 win over the Czech Republic.

Zuccarello scored early in the third period to give Europe a 2-1 lead and then in OT he fed Leon Draisaitl for a breakaway that won the game.

Zuccarello drew four penalties and was called for a tripping penalty.

He had 3 shots on goal, 1 giveaway and 1 takeaway in 16:52. He played 4:38 in the first, 6:35 in the second, 5:01 in the third, 38 seconds in OT, 12:42 at even strength and 4:10 on the PP.

Tags: Mats Zuccarello

The Rangers defeated Minnesota 2-1 today in Traverse City (Pointstreak):

  • Jimmy Vesey: 2 goals, plus two, 5 shots
  • Steven Fogarty: plus one
  • John Gilmour: 1 shot
  • Ty Ronning: 1 shot
  • Adam Chapie: interference and slashing penalties
  • Sergey Zborovskiy: plus one, 3 shots
  • Boo Nieves: 2 assists, plus one, 1 shot
  • Robin Kovacs: 1 shot
  • Malte Stromwall: 1 shot
  • Sean Day: plus one, 1 shot
  • Pavel Buchnevich: plus two
  • Calle Andersson: plus one, 1 shot
  • Tim Gettinger: 2 shots
  • Joseph Raaymakers: 31 saves on 32 shots
Tags: Jimmy Vesey

2:48PM: The Rangers lineup today against Minnesota in the Traverse City tournament is (Treff):

  • Jimmy Vesey, Boo Nieves, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Michael Joly, Reid Duke, Adam Shapie
  • Robin Kovacs, Tim Gettinger, Malte Stromwall
  • Nick Betz, Steven Fogarty, Ty Ronning

Defense:

  • John Gilmour, Calle Andersson
  • Sean Day, Sergey Zborovskiy
  • Turner Ottenbret, Dylan Di Perna

Joseph Raaymakers is scheduled to be in goal.

To watch the game, click HERE.

Tags: Traverse City

Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

12:15PM: Lundqvist said that he hasn't felt 100% in the last 2-3 days and that the decision not to play was made with the coach. (Expressen)

He woke up on Monday feeling better and said that playing goalie is something you do at 100% or not at all, adding "it's too much responsibility to not feel" 100%. (Expressen)

12:08PM: Lundqvist said that he was dealing with the flu yesterday and hopes to play against Finland tomorrow but it's up to the coach. (McDonald)

He said that he was not 100% to play and that doing so would have been selfish. (Roarke)

10:45AM: Lundqvist is on the ice at Sweden's practice today. (McDonald)

9:31AM: The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation says that Henrik Lundqvist is on the bus with his teammates heading to practice today after missing yesterday's game with what has been called the flu. (Expressen)

Lundqvist was at the rink two hours before the game yesterday but spoke with the doctors and it was determined that he wouldn't play. (Expressen)

He is described, via google translate, as feeling "ruffled and scrubby and a little feverish" but still hoped that he would play. (Expressen)

Sweden beat Russia 2-1 yesterday behind Jacob Markstrom.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

 (Carlos Osorio)
(Carlos Osorio)

While centering the Rangers top line through two games in Traverse City, Boo Nieves has one goal and four shots on goal.

Nieves, who the Rangers named as captain for the tournament after four-years at Michigan, was called "a monster" by Gordie Clark. (NHL)

Clark pointed out that Nieves has always been in shape but has added "proper weight in the upper body" and added that "it's also really awesome" to have a center who wins a lot of faceoffs. (NHL)

Nieves said that his skating improved this summer after working with a skating coach and that he changed his diet, gained strength and it's starting to show on the ice.

He said that staying in college for four years has allowed him to develop his game offensively and "more importantly, defensively."

Clark said that Nieves came to Traverse City in great shape and has shown off his speed and play making ability. (NYR)

Nieves was a second round pick in the 2012 draft and had 109 points in 144 games at Michigan. (NHL)

Leslie Treff writes that Nieves might be the most improved skater she has seen in her time around the team.

Corey Pronman says that Nieves has "ridiculous speed" for someone his size and "certainly looked" like an NHLer at times.

Tags: Boo Nieves

Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts after giving up a goal to Team Europe forward Leon Draisaitl (not pictured) in the first period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts after giving up a goal to Team Europe forward Leon Draisaitl (not pictured) in the first period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

7:57PM: The Swedish coach said that all he really knows about Lundqvist's status is that he wasn't healthy enough to play, was sick and went back to the hotel. (McDonald)

Sweden defeated Russia 2-1.

3:18PM: Lundqvist has the flu. (Brooks)

2:55PM: Lundqvist came to the rink with his teammates but went back to the hotel after reporting that he wasn't feeling good. (Brooks)

2:37PM: Henrik Lundqvist is reportedly sick and is not playing in Sweden's World Cup opener against Russia. (Brooks)

Peter Forsberg, a member of Team Sweden's management, said that he doesn't know what is wrong, just that Lundqvist isn't playing. (Expressen)

Jacob Markstrom will start instead for Sweden and Jhonas Enroth will back up. 

Lundqvist reportedly fell ill after eating. (Aftonbladet)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

Mats Zuccarello says that he doesn't set goals for a particular season and just tries to "have fun and play hockey." (NHL.com)

Asked if he could follow up his 26 goal season by scoring 30, Zuccarello said that he doesn't know if he has 30 in him and just hopes for 20 goals. (NHL.com)

On his 26 goal season last year, Zuccarello said that he "got lucky" and the puck went in the net." (NHL.com)

Projections from various outlets have Zuccarello putting up:

Zuccarello is in the second-year of a four-year deal that has a cap hit of $4.5 million.

Tags: Mats Zuccarello

Nicklas Jensen said over the summer that he believes he has a good chance to play with the Rangers this season. (NYR)

He said that his chance at making the Rangers will start in training camp and he is going to "make sure" that he is ready for that opportunity. (NYR)

Jensen said that he wants to "make the most" of his chance with the Rangers and that the concept of playing for the organization is "unbelievable." (NYR)

For a lot more on Jensen, click HERE.

Jensen would need to pass through waivers to be sent to Hartford.

The Rangers acquired Jensen last January for Emerson Etem.

Adam Rotter: There is a lot of talent in the 23-year old, former first round pick but there just may not be a spot. Prior to Jimmy Vesey, Nathan Gerbe, Brandon Pirri, Josh Jooris etc, I thought that Jensen would have an inside track on a bottom-six two-way role but it just seems like after all of the Rangers moves he is down the depth chart. That doesn't mean he can't be great in training camp and preseason and earn a role, it just seems that if everyone is healthy he will have to outplay a lot of guys in front of him.

Tags: Nicklas Jensen

Sep 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Europe D Zdeno Chara (33) battles with Team USA F Derek Stepan (21) during the first period of the preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Sep 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Europe D Zdeno Chara (33) battles with Team USA F Derek Stepan (21) during the first period of the preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

Mats Zuccarello and Team Europe defeated Team USA in the opening game of the World Cup of Hockey.

Zuccarello had an assist in 17:22 of ice time, with 1 shot on goal, 1 hit and 1 blocked shot.

Zuccarello played 13:40 at even strength, 3:31 on the PP and 11 seconds on the PK with 5:55 in the first, 6:10 in the second and 5:17 in the third.


Ryan McDonagh was a minus one in 20:21, had 2 shots on goal, 1 shot that was blocked, 1 hit, 1 giveaway and 1 takeaway.

McDonagh played 17:15 at even strength, 9 seconds on the PP, 2:57 on the PK, 7:42 in the first, 5:48 in the second and 6:51 in the third.

McDonagh went towards Mats Zuccarello and Zuccarello flipped the puck to Frans Nielsen who then fed Marian Gaborik to score the first goal.

Derek Stepan was a minus two in 15:59, with 2 shots on goal, 1 shot that missed the net, 1 takeaway and was 5 and 5 on faceoffs.

Stepan played 10:43 at even strength, 2:40 on the PP, 2:36 on the PK and 5:49 in the first, 4:15 in the second and 5:55 in the third.

Gaborik was Stepan's man on the back-check when he scored.


The Rangers lost to Carolina 4-3 in overtime of the first game of the Traverse City tournament:

  • Jimmy Vesey: 2 assists, plus one, 4 shots
  • Steven Fogarty: minus two
  • John Gilmour: 1 assist, 3 shots
  • Sergey Zborovskiy: minus one, 2 shots
  • Boo Nieves: 1 goal, plus one, 1 shot
  • Robin Kovacs: 1 goal, plus two, 3 shots, hooking penalty
  • Ryan Gropp: minus one
  • Malte Stromwall: 2 goals, plus one, 5 shots
  • Sean Day: 1 assist, minus one, 1 shot
  • Pavel Buchnevich: 6 shots
  • Calle Andersson: 1 assist, minus one, 2 shots, hooking penalty
  • Tim Gettinger: plus one
  • Brandon Halverson: 36 saves on 40 shots

Shootout:

  • Jimmy Vesey: Goal
  • Malte Stromwall: Goal

Nieves scored to tie the game at 4 with just over 30 seconds left and the net empty.

Tags: Traverse City

3:05PM: The Rangers lineup against Dallas in today's Traverse City game is (NYR):

  • Jimmy Vesey, Boo Nieves, Ty Ronning
  • Ryan Gropp, Reid Duke, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Robin Kovacs, Tim Gettinger, Male Stromwall
  • Michael Joly, Steven Fogarty, Zach Zborosky
  • John Gilmour, Calle Andersson
  • Sean Day, Sergey Zborovskiy
  • Colton Bobyk, Zachary Malatesta

Brandon Halverson is starting in net

The game can be seen on the Red Wings website.


Mats Zuccarello celebrates as he returns to the bench after scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)
Mats Zuccarello celebrates as he returns to the bench after scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (AP)

Mats Zuccarello says that while he is looking forward to the World Cup tournament he is "really excited" about the coming season for the Rangers. (NY Post)

Zuccarello said that things might be a little different for him this year but management added a lot of speed and he is "really excited to see what it's going to be all about." (NY Post)

Zuccarello has played in 6 games already, between Olympic qualifying and World Cup exhibitions, and said that he feels like it's the middle of the season. (NY Post)

Zuccarello had 2 goals and 3 assists in 3 Olympic qualifying games to help Norway Qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

He had 3 assists in 3 World Cup exhibition games with 4 shots on goal and a plus one rating.

 

Tags: Mats Zuccarello

Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Henrik Lundqvist said on the NHL Network last night that physically he feels good.

Lundqvist said, "I feel good. I got hit in the rib area and was a little sore there for a few days. I know it's going to hurt a little bit for a few weeks but it's fine and nothing that really bothers me on the ice, I just try to focus on stopping the puck."

Brian Boucher was asked on the NHL Network about Lundqvist's early struggles in the exhibition games and said "it's hard to judge a guy in two games and look at his stats and say that we all need to worry about Henrik, but there is no question he didn't have a very good pre-tournament."

"This is uncharacteristic of Lundqvist who is usually very sharp, he did not look sharp in the prelim games and it gets more difficult as you get older to come in and be sharp like you are in the middle of the season.

Boucher said that Lundqvist is the big question mark that he has for Team Sweden and one reason is because of all of the "hard miles" he has on him.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

The Rangers lost to Carolina 4-3 in overtime of the first game of the Traverse City tournament:

  • Jimmy Vesey: 1 goal, minus one, 6 shots
  • Steven Fogarty: 1 shot
  • John Gilmour: minus one, 2 shots, delay of game and holding penalty
  • Sergey Zborovskiy: 1 assist, plus one
  • Boo Nieves: minus one, 3 shots
  • Robin Kovacs: 1 goal, plus one, 4 shots
  • Ryan Gropp: 1 shot
  • Malte Stromwall: 1 assist, 2 shots, tripping penalty
  • Sean Day: minus one
  • Pavel Buchnevich: 1 shot
  • Calle Andersson: 3 shots, slashing penalty
  • Tim Gettinger: nothing on scoresheet
  • Brandon Halverson: 38 saves on 42 shots

The Rangers were out-shot 42 to 32 and 16-4 in the third period.

The Rangers were 0-4 on the PP.

The Rangers play the Stars tomorrow at 3:30PM

Tags: Traverse City

The Rangers open the Traverse City tournament at 4PM against the Carolina Hurricanes and will use the following as their lineup (NYR):

  • Jimmy Vesey, Boo Nieves, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Robin Kovacs, Steven Fogarty, Malte Stromwall
  • Nick Betz*, Tim Gettinger, Ty Ronning
  • Ryan Gropp, Brad Morrison, Adam Chapie

Defense:

  • John Gilmour, Calle Andersson
  • Colton Bobyk*, Sergey Zborovskiy
  • Turner Ottenbreit*, Dylan Di Perna*

Brandon Halverson will start in net.

Third round pick Sean Day is scratched. Day is playing.

Boo Nieves is the captain for the Rangers with Steven Fogarty as an alternate captain. (NYR)

Tags: Traverse City

1:54PM: During Team USA's practice today, Derek Stepan continued to center the second line and was skating with James van Riemsdyk and Patrick Kane. (LeBrun)

Stepan is also on the 2nd PP unit for Team USA with Ryan Suter, JVR, Max Pacioretty and Ryan Kesler. (Masters)

Team USA plays Team Europe at 3PM on Saturday.


For Team North America, JT Miller is skating on what appears to be a third line that features Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Drouin. (Custance)

Team North America plays Finland at 8PM on Sunday.


 


Apr 18, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derick Brassard (16) is congratulated by right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) after scoring a third period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during game 2 of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 18, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derick Brassard (16) is congratulated by right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) after scoring a third period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during game 2 of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mats Zuccarello said it's been "really sad" to lose his best friends Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard as teammates in consecutive summers. (NY Post)

He said that he knows that it's a business and that Rangers management is making moves that they think will help the team, but when he thinks outside of hockey he doesn't "appreciate it." (NY Post)

Hagelin was traded to Anaheim, and then Pittsburgh, at the draft in 2015 and Brassard was traded to Ottawa for Mika Zibanejad earlier this summer.

Zuccarello said that he and Brassard had a very emotional conversation over the phone after the trade and said that the duo had played some "really good hockey" together the past few years. (NY Post)

He joked that his teammates shouldn't be friends with him or they might be traded. (NY Post)

For more on what Zuccarello has said about the Brassard move, click HERE and HERE.

Tags: Mats Zuccarello

Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts after giving up a goal to Team Europe forward Leon Draisaitl (not pictured) in the first period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts after giving up a goal to Team Europe forward Leon Draisaitl (not pictured) in the first period during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Brandon Dubinsky says that Henrik Lundqvist has always bounced back quickly and put tough games behind him. (Expressen)

Lundqvist was pulled in Sweden's loss to Team Europe earlier in the week.

Dubinsky added that Lundqvist is "very special" and that he is confident his former teammate will play well in Sweden's next game. (Expressen)

Sweden's coach Rikard Gronborg said that he knows Henrik will "excel" when he is needed and that is why he is a "world class goalie." (The Star)

Victor Hedman said that Lundqvist is one of the best goalies and that the Swedish defense didn't do much to help him against Team Europe. (Expressen)

Erik Karlsson said that he thinks Lundqvist is "fine" and is just trying to find his rhythm as the whole team is. (The Star)

Karlsson said that against Team Europe the Swedes didn't play their system and left him in a tough position. (The Star)

Lundqvist said that he needs to analyze things the right way and that there is still time for him to pick things up in his game. (The Star & NY Post)

Lundqvist said that he did not really expect to feel great after playing two games after a four month break. He said that he hopes that as each game passes he will find his game. (Sydsvenskan)

Adam Rotter: Henrik Lundqvist has had bad stretches before. They usually come once or twice a season and each time they do they are followed by the spectacular goaltending that we know Lundqvist can provide. There was the brutal West Coast stretch in Alain Vigneault's first year, the back to back shellacking he took from Toronto and the Islanders two seasons ago and obviously the playoffs last year. The difference with the playoffs last year being that he never got the opportunity to right the ship behind a flawed and inconsistent team. For years I have said that Henrik Lundqvist is the player that I worry about the least and it will stay that way until there is enough evidence to prove I should change that thought process.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist

 (Petr David Jose/AP)
(Petr David Jose/AP)

9/16/16 | 1:04PM: Jeff Gorton said, "There has been a little more hype with the free agent frenzy, the ability to get him and add him to our group is exciting to us. We know him as a player real well and are comfortable with him as a person and where he will fit in." (NYR)

9/15/16 | 6:21PM: Jimmy Vesey spoke with the media on Thursday, prior to leaving for Traverse City, and said (NYR):

  • On the tournament, "it will be nice to get to know some of the guys and play four games against good competition. I think it will get us ready for the main camp and I am excited for the weekend."
  • How do you feel physically, "I feel good. I had a big summer in the weight room and skated a good amount and I think I committed myself even more for pro hockey so I am excited about what I can do."
  • Is it nice to just get back to playing, "it was hectic but now I am just focused on playing and helping the organization get to the heights they want to get."
  • Do you feel you have to earn a job, "nothing is given in sports and at the end of the day I still have to go and make the team. It's my first camp and I am definitely looking to turn some heads and earn a roster spot."
  • Do you feel there is a spot on the team for you, "in talking to the Rangers, they thought it was a great fit for me and that they needed me as part of the team. As I said, I won't go in with a mindset that it will be given to me. I still need to earn my spot and that is what I am going to do."
  • Can you contribute at the NHL level right now, "Yea, I think that I can."
  • On outside expectations, "I'm not sure. That stuff is what it is. I try not to read that stuff and worry what others think. I know myself and what I can do, so, just going to focus on myself and control what I can control which is putting out my best effort every night."

For more on Vesey, click HERE.

Tags: Jimmy Vesey

Pavel Buchnevich celebrates after scoring into an empty goal. (AP)
Pavel Buchnevich celebrates after scoring into an empty goal. (AP)

9/16/16 | 1:02PM: Jeff Gorton said, "He is right on track, looks good. Committed to staying the whole time this summer. He spent time with Ben Prentiss working out. He looks good physically, his English is better. He lived with a family that only spoke English which says a lot about him and what he wants to do." (NYR)

9/15/16 | 5:58PM: Pavel Buchnevich spoke today and said (NYR):

  • "I spent 7 weeks with Ben Prentiss training in CT, on and off the ice, twice a week on the ice and everyday, twice a day, off the ice. Then I took two weeks to gather my belongings and I came back on September 1. I have been here since."
  • Is it a big difference from your past training, "I'm tired of practicing. I have to start playing."
  • Are you getting more comfortable, "I understand a lot more in English now. The Rangers players are very good to me and speaking slowly knowing that I don't speak very well but I am understanding a lot more than I ever did when I first got here."
  • Do you have a tutor, "I have an app on my phone. (smile) I had a great host family for 7 weeks and lived with wonderful people and they helped me with my English and talked to me a lot and were very patient with me."
  • Do you feel you have to show something to win a job, "I just have to play my game and do what the team needs me to do."
  • What do you know about the Traverse City tournament, "The only thing that I know is what Chris Kreider told me, don't get into a fight because you never know who you are fighting."
  • Do you like what you have seen of North America, "I'm getting used to it, slowly."

Prentiss is most known as Martin St. Louis' trainer but in past years Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard, Nathan Gerbe and Brad Richards, among others, have trained with him in the offseason.

For a lot more on Buchnevich, click HERE.

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich

Apr 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) scores a shorthanded goal during the second period of game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 19, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) scores a shorthanded goal during the second period of game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

At 32, Rick Nash is slated to begin his fifth season with the Rangers following an injury-filled and disappointing season where had 15 goals and 21 assists in 60 games.

Prior to the start of last season, Alain Vigneault mentioned that when Nash was in Sochi for the Olympics in 2014 he had a conversation with Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman about the changes Yzerman had to make as his career progressed.

Nash was the subject of trade rumors in the early part of the offseason.

He stated after last season ended that he needs to find a level of consistency and wants to come into this season "better and even stronger."

He has two-years left on his contract with a limited no-trade clause and a cap hit of $7.8 million.

For more on Nash, click here.

Adam Rotter: Injuries, a low shooting percentage and close to one fewer shot on goal each game than his previous seasons with the Rangers took a toll on Nash's numbers last year. If Nash is healthy, it's not unreasonable to expect him to score 10-15 more goals than he did last season. Since joining the Rangers he has been kind of an every-other-year player and if the pattern is to continue this would be one of his "on" years. I still think that Nash has a lot of hockey left and can play an important role in all three-zones for the Rangers this season.

This could also be Nash's last year with the Rangers. He is unlikely to be protected in the expansion draft and, regardless, if he struggles again this season the over $5.4 million they would save by buying out the final year of his deal probably makes the $2.73 million cap charge the following season worth it.

Tags: Rick Nash

11:23AM: The Rangers are holding a skate Thursday featuring the players that will head up to Traverse City for the prospect tournament that starts Friday.

Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey are skating on the same line with Boo Nieves in the middle. (Cyrgalis)

Steven Fogarty is centering Swedish teammates Robin Kovacs and Malte Stromwall. (Zipay)

The Red Wings announced yesterday that all of the tournament games will be streamed on the Red Wings website as well as the Fox Sports Go app.

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