The Rangers received some mixed news on the first day of on-ice workouts as, after missing all of the informal practices, JT Miller was a participant this morning, unfortunately, he suffered a mild hamstring pull that forced him to leave the ice early.
...not the best way to start camp for someone who is expected to compete for a roster spot. Hamstrings are always tricky so let's hope it's not a reoccurring issue for him.
In some definite good news, Alain Vigneault reported that Marty Biron was heading back to New York tonight and should be in camp tomorrow.
...very interested to see how Vigneault deals with Biron's workload. The goaltending situation in Vancouver was an absolute cluster eff under AV, so it will be keeping a close eye on how he handles it.
...Biron saw action in just SIX games last season, so he should be fresh for this season.
Meanwhile, Brad Richards discussed how he lost confidence in himself last season and couldn't recover, but is putting it behind him and looking forward to this season...
“ I'm happy I'm here, thrilled. Grateful I am still here and get a chance to be a part of this organization. I'll start new. ”
Here's Richards' full interview...
To watch at Blueshirts United, click here.
...i'm telling you, expect a comeback season for this guy.
Finally, AV discussed how he's hoping some of the young guys (ie Lindberg, Fast and Kristo) step up in camp (via Blueshirts United)...
“In training camp you need surprises, you need guys that...all of a sudden they step on the ice and you're like wow, they can contribute. We're like any team, we need guys that will push, and that's what I am expecting.”
...a solid camp from the youngsters could definitely light a fire under the asses of guys like Richards, Boyle and Pyatt and make the Rangers a much better team.
...the Rangers would probably rather give Lindberg and Fast some time in the AHL to adjust to the North American game, but the Cally and Hagelin injuries will likely force the Blueshirts to baptize these guys by fire.
...i also think this could be a coming out party for Kristo. He was a highly regarded prospect in Montreal, who, for whatever reason, wasn't allowed to prove that some of his character issues were a thing of the past. I really think Montreal is going to regret that trade when he's in the Rangers opening night line-up.
For AV's full interview, click here.
Lindberg also spoke about the opportunity he's being given...
To watch at Blueshirts United, click here.
You can also watch Kristo's interview here.
I just can't wait for this season to start. Also, the goaltending sit. in Vancouver was completely Mike Gillis' fault. AV deserves very minimal blame for it.
Man, if feels like with AV aboard the Rangers are a whole different frachise! I couldn't be more excited for the season to start so I can nit-pick what I don't like and scream about it nightly.
Watch the Marc Staal interview from camp. His right eye is almost fully dilated. I think I remember him saying it won't get any better than that. I hope he's ok going forward, not just for the Ranger's success, but his overall well-being.
Miller is getting unlucky, but I remember hearing he's a tough kid. I expect him back soon.
Breaking Good: Stepan willing to accept bridge deal. Money now the issue.
These reports must be on cloud 9. A coach that looks them in the eye when they're asking question, answers questions, crack jokes. They'll probably make their own tshirts for tomorrow.
I think the young guys on a long road trip with the team can only help with chemistry and development and camaraderie
Also Kevin I disagree with you big time on one point. AV doesnt want Lindberg sitting around in the AHL... if Traverse city didnt show you guys, he is our best prospect with Kristo a close second.
The fact that Taylor Pyatt is still a legitimate contender for a spot also disappoints me. Saw flashes from him in the playoffs, but i would much rather have Lindberg, Kristo or even Miller (btw what is up with him, not good to see him injured this often in his career).
Katie Strang says that Stepan has agreed to the idea of a bridge (seeing as he has no leverage), but the sides are still far apart on the money.
@KurtBalogh No, he said the opposite, that Torts lost his faith in Richards, that's why he benched him.
@PenaltySh0t How do you know that? Were you in Vancouver or have you ever read a Vancouver paper? The GM brings in the players, it's the coaches job to use them in a way that's best for the team. I don't blame Vineault for the GK controversy either but it's not the GM's fault. The media in Vancouver is what made it a controversy. Luongo was the starter and they paid him well to do so but Schnieder was younger and proved ready for an NHL job. When your backup is 15 years younger and $5 or $6 million a year cheaper the fans and media tend to want the younger, cheaper guy. The way that unfolded wasn't AV or Gillis' fault.
@FREE LINDBERG You can't just give kids NHL jobs because of what they did in Europe or a prospects tournament. If he outplays a veteran in camp and earns a spot then so be it. Every team that wins the Cup now seems to have a kid graduate to the NHL and this Ranger team will be no different. Torts did it every year too. Hagelin-Stepan-McDonagh-Sauer were all brought in because they proved themselves in the minors somewhere. Last year was different because of the short season but Kreider was rushed up and he failed. He played better at the end when he played some in Hartford. Also the Rangers are stacked at Center. There's no other Center he can over take on the team. Stepan-Richards-Brassard are pretty much locks and 4th line is a checking line. That's no place for a rookie Swede to get his feet wet in the NHL. He would have to play Wing and the Left side is pretty full too. He will have to earn a spot like AV said, "be a surprise".
Taylor Pyatt is 230lbs and plays real well along the boards. He's a perfect 4th line LW. Last year he was forced into positions he wasn't qualified to play due to injuries and lack of depth. Aside from that he did what he was signed to do. If you don't like Pyatt you don't know how a hockey team is built. He's not there to score goals. In fact if he plays 82 games and doesn't score a single goal, he may still have done his job. You like Lindberg doesn't mean he's best for the Rangers. I'm a Ranger fan! Not a specific player.
@FREE LINDBERG I don't think they want to have Lindberg start in the AHL, but a month to get his feet wet wouldn't have been the worse thing if Rangers were at full strength. See Hagelin two years ago.
Big difference between NHL and Traverse City. He's been playing against men in SEL for the last three years, he better have dominated in that tourney no matter what the ice size. Likely still has a lot to learn about North American game.
@FREE LINDBERG Actually she said he's "open" to the idea. Big difference.
I'm excited to see Lindberg play in the NHL, but he'll have a period of adjustment no matter what. Whether he starts with the big club or not, I gotta think the guy will need some time in Hartford.
I'd be glad to see somebody take a spot from Pyatt, but there really is no substitute for experience. Even if Pyatt wasn't exactly putting up numbers, he's in position most of the time, and that's one of the things the kids need to learn from experience. Kreider has had a lot of trouble being in position and that's not unusual for someone playing in the NHL for the first time.
Great bunch of kids though. Looking forward to a competitive camp!