To the surprise of virtually no one, New York Rangers recently waived defenseman Wade Redden has cleared waivers and will be sent to AHL camp with the Hartford Wolfpack. With that, Redden’s $6.5 million cap hit disappears to the AHL and the race for the spot on the Rangers blue line is on. With the other roster cuts announced, those players battling for that position also clears up.
Alexei Semenov and Garnet Exelby were released from their professional tryout agreement meaning that one of Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko, or Mike Sauer will be gunning for the seventh defenseman position with the Rangers. We checked out the race for that spot on the roster on Saturday when Redden was placed on waivers and it appears that head coach John Tortorella is going for youth over experience in doing so. A gutsy move and one that Rangers fans will at least initially support.
Valentenko has impressed so far through camp showcasing a big shot from the point and a bit of a mean streak. McDonagh is still very young yet and the Rangers might want to have him get some work in in the AHL before throwing him into the NHL fire.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.