To make up for all the rumors and speculation that has passed through this blog the last couple of months, I thought I'd dedicate a post to actual hockey as numerous Rangers players including Henrik Lundqvist, Brad Richards, Michael Del Zotto, Brian Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derick Brassard, Marek Hrivik, Chris Kreider, Anton Stralman, and John Moore have already begun participating in informal workouts at the MSG practice facility.
Carl Hagelin has also been skating with his teammates but isn't participating in the scrimmages as he continues his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.
And here's a sight for sore eyes from yesterday (via Rangers Twitter)...
...i feel like a kid at Christmas time. The anticipation of training camp is killing me! I guess these pics will have to hold me over.
Meanwhile Dan Girardi showed off his new visor, which he's decided to wear for the first time in his NHL career in response to Marc Staal's eye injury (via Rangers Twitter)...
Here's Girardi on the new accessory (via Blueshirts United)...
"It's a little tough to adjust to, it fogs up a bit, so I have to get used to all of that, but I think it's a good thing for me to do. I think it's an individual decision, and by no means do I think visors should be mandatory at all, but if you want to wear one, then wear one. Especially after seeing what happened to Marc last year, that was not a pretty injury, I made my decision."
...don't like hearing that Girardi feels uncomfortable with the visor. If he struggles to start the season expect the visor to go by the wayside. Having said that, with all the shock blocking that Girardi does, definitely a smart idea to go with the shield.
So who's looked good at informals so far? I'll let Hrivik tell you...
NHL.com calls Brassard an X-factor for the Rangers this up-coming season.
...if the Rangers want to seriously contend for a Stanley Cup, Brassard is one of the guys who are going to be counted on to take their game to the next level. Would love to have Stepan and Brassard as the top two centers on the team.
...beyond Brassard's skill set, I absolutely love the intensity he brings to the rink every game which was a major problem with last year's squad before his acquisition.
Brassard wasn't the only subject Hrivik was talking about as he discussed pushing for a roster spot in camp this year...
Watch at Blueshirts United here.
...injuries destroyed Hrivik's season last year and likely a chance to get some NHL action. I still love his upside as he's a big body, with good hands. With Cally and Hagelin out for at least the first month he's one of the younger guys expected to seriously compete for a spot in camp.
So hank did some interview which sny posted up, just gonna leave this here....On last year, “it was okay but we hope for better. I think with a real training camp and a lot of guys were here last year, we can improve in a lot of areas. When it comes down to winning it’s about playing your absolute best in the playoffs. That’s what it comes down to.
Will AV make a difference, “I hope so. I really think he can help us take the next step. The last few years we have been moving in the right direction. Our first few years it was really tough to win, but the last 3 or 4 years we are moving in the right direction. I think this is the year.”
Hrivik's a good wild card.Could be a smart set up man with hands to finish.Brassard has found his game and I'm looking for him to have a dynamite season.
I don't care what the players think, visors should be mandatory, period! If they aren't, then there should be some language in the player's contracts that makes them forfeit money that they are owed if they receive upper facial injuries. It's just ludicrous. Yea, the visor fogs. Ask Mr. Staal what it's like when everything looks foggy, even when you're in street clothes!
Absolutely love seeing the list of players doing informal workouts...all starters except for Hrivik! And I love how Kreider is flying under the radar. I think that's just what he needs to get his game. Brassard looked great in the playoffs, but we won't know which Brassard we got until he goes through the ups and downs in season. I'd say probably by the Olympics we'll know the real Brassard. Guess McDonagh is still counting his money so he couldn't make the informal skates...LOL!
Richards should be setting up the nets and riding the zamboni...that fool needs as much ice time as possible.
Great post! I'm so psyched.
Agreed on Brassard and love getting the enthusiastic report from Hrivik. He could potentially answer some questions for this team moving forward. Arniel and he better let bygones be bygones and focus on winning.
@TheNYRBlog Whats the latest on Step?
@gravey94 McD is at US Olympic orientation camp this week.
Players should always be able to choose.
Also love seeing the guys get together informally. Very insightful point on Kreider. Also on brassard.
@ruffway He says he expects to be at camp. We'll see.
I think gravey was messing around based on the LoL.
Here's an interesting idea (that may or may not have been covered) for a post. A break down of the players and how the Olympic break/opportunity to play will affect each player. Hank? More headaches like in the past given that he has a contract issues looming? Or does it propel him to greatness in the second half of the season. Brassard? Would a break hurt a strong start made by him? Would a break help him in the second half if he had a slow start? Richards? Such an X factor.
@TheNYRBlog @ruffway I'm a huge fan of Step and believe he's not being treated fairly by Slats. After all, he was by far the best forward on the team last year and he hasn't even reached he's potential.
@IcyCup Good points about the Olympics. Gotta also wonder about Cally and Hags. The Olympics might actually help them get into better game shape for 2nd half as they'll miss a good chunk of the 1st.
I would say there's no way he gets disenchanted, etc., but we both no better ... what makes sense to us isn't always makes sense to an intense kid competing in the NHL ... still, he seems pretty poised compared to so many personalities out there ... yeah, we can only hope, Brother
I'm a huge Step fan too, but this is just the way these people do business, and I know you know that @scrangersfan ... "fairness" is almost besides the point. Sather definitely appreciates the kid and has big plans for him moving forward. Given the team's current state and what we know about Slats, it seems like they're going to work out a bridge deal and Stepan will hopefully make it even more clear this year that he is our #1 center moving forward.