Rangers trim roster by eight

Heading into their third preseason game over in Europe--they play HC Slovan in Slovakia Sunday--the Rangers trimmed their roster by eight players.

Ryan Bourque, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Dale Weise, Kris Newbury, Tim Erixon and Blake Parlett have been assigned to the CT Whale of the American Hockey League. Defenseman Dylan McIlrath was sent back to his junior club, the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League.

Defensemen Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel remain with the team.

In a conference call with reporters, coach John Tortorella praised the camps of young players like Bourque, Hagelin, Newbury and Erixon but felt they need more seasoning in the AHL.

Also from the call:

-- Marc Staal (headaches) will skate again Saturday with the Whale in Hartford. The team will see how he feels following back-to-back practices and assess his status accordingly. Tortorella called it a "fluid situation."

-- The team needs to whittle the roster by one player; Sean Avery and Erik Christensen will battle for the 13th forward spot.

-- Michael Sauer (shoulder) will not play Sunday in Slovakia but is considered day-to-day