Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Rangers trim roster, cut Hobbit Wizard
By Mike Hume
The Rangers trimmed their roster by 11 players Monday, leaving just a handful of cuts before finalizing the locker room for the start of the regular season Oct. 9 in Buffalo.
Among the cuts was prime prospect Evgeny Grachev, as well as small-but-shifty forward Mats Zuccarello. The latter cut makes me particularly sad, mostly because it denies me the opportunity of using “Norwegian Hobbit Wizard” in headlines this season.
A bigger theme of the cutdown is how it relates to the organization’s immediate future. For all of the talk about a youth movement on Broadway, it sure seems like the team plans to lean on its veterans this season, at least at forward. Impressive center Derek Stepan is the only rookie among the 16 remaining forwards. There's a little more youth on defense, with Ryan McDonagh, Mike Sauer and Pavel Valentenko sticking around on the blue line at least a little longer. D Matt Gilroy and F Artem Anisimov, both entering their second NHL seasons, also survived the cuts.