Author: James O'Brien

2015 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional

Rangers cut camp roster to 25, including demoting Skjei


The New York Rangers assigned the following players to the Hartford Wolf Pack, their AHL affiliate, late on Saturday:

Luke Adam, Mat Bodie, Ryan Bourque, Brian Gibbons, Ryan Graves, Magnus Hellberg, Brady Skjei, and Chris Summers.

The names that likely stand out the most are Adam, Gibbons, Hellberg and Skjei (pictured). The Rangers are getting pretty close to cementing their final group heading into 2015-16, as their training camp roster is now down to 25 players.

New York Newsday’s Steve Zipay passed along a series of interesting observations regarding these cuts last night:

It certainly would be interesting if the Rangers subjected Emerson Etem to waivers.

Report: Defense (maybe Byfuglien?) is on Boston’s shopping list

Dustin Byfuglien

Imagine, for a moment, a blueline featuring two super-heavyweights in Zdeno Chara and Dustin Byfuglien.

(You may also imagine the ice cracking when they’re on it at the same time.)

It’s not a situation that is imminent, yet the rumor is at least being batted around regarding the Boston Bruins. First, here’s Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe:

 … The Bruins need help on defense with Dennis Seidenberg out for two months following back surgery. Byfuglien, the dynamic right-shot rover, would help. But the Jets are set in goal long term with Eric Comrie and ex-UMass Lowell puckstopper Connor Hellebuyck in the minors under Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson. The Jets would want one of the Bruins’ two 2016 first-rounders and help off the roster. Winnipeg has to budget cash for Andrew Ladd (unrestricted), Jacob Trouba (restricted), and Mark Scheifele (restricted), whose deals will expire after this season. As unique as Byfuglien is, the UFA-to-be is 30 and is seeking what could be his final big contract. Byfuglien would be a good addition for the Bruins as well as any other club, but one that would come at a cost.

There may be at least a tiny bit of fire to go with the smoke, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Bruins are looking for a blueliner … but not exclusively Byfuglien.

Byfuglien’s cap hit of $5.2 million is virtually assured to balloon in his next contract, so the Bruins would need to decide if a] they could (or would want to) re-sign Byfuglien or b] he’d be worth a key asset if he only plays with Boston as a “rental.”

Again, it doesn’t sound like GM Don Sweeney has his finger hovering over the trigger to make a deal moments from now.

It’s also worth noting that Byfuglien might not be Boston’s first choice as an upgrade, for a variety of reasons.

Still … it would be fascinating, wouldn’t it?

Chicago releases Jan Hejda from tryout

Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks

Saturday featured quite a few instances in which teams cut their training camp rosters down to size, and the Chicago Blackhawks were no exception.

The standout name was Jan Hejda, who was released from professional tryout contract. Forward Tanner Kero also couldn’t make the grade, yet he’ll just go the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Hejda, 37, enjoyed a better outlook when he initially received that PTO back on Sept. 12.

Since then, Chicago bolstered its lineup with full contracts (re-signing Michal Rozsival) and added a PTO defenseman with arguably more in the tank in Lubomir Visnovsky.

At his advanced age, it’s anyone’s guess if Hejda lands with another NHL team or if he’ll need to settle for a job in the AHL or overseas.

If nothing else, the thick resume he brought to Chicago helps his chances of finding work somewhere else.

As’s Tracey Myers notes, the Blackhawks’ training camp roster is now down to 36 players.