The McDonagh cut may come as a surprise given the Rangers’ “youth movement,” and his prized prospect status. The reality though was that McDonagh needs ice time to continue his development and he didn’t look like a top-four defenseman in preseason action. The Rangers weren’t about to keep him around to skate him just eight minutes a night. Sauer, who made the team, also would have had to pass through waivers to reach Hartford, likely another factor in favor of demoting McDonagh.
Something else to consider as the youth movement has apparently stagnated (apart from Stepan of course): Just about every publication has mentioned that the seats of John Tortorella (ESPN.com) and Glenn Sather (Sports Illustrated) are getting a little toasty. They’ll want to get off to the best start they can. If the rookies are slow in catching on, the coach and GM might not be around to watch them bloom in full.