The Rangers were somewhat fortunate today as Tim Kennedy (and his bargain contract) and Todd White both cleared waivers. The Rangers now have the luxury of assigning either player to Hartford within the next 30 days at no risk of losing them. Both players will stay with the club for the time being and each player’s future with the Rangers is possibly closely linked to Vinny Prospal’s health. How long will Prospal be out? That is a very difficult question right now.
Only two players around the league were placed on waivers today which was somewhat surprising. Nathan Paetsch in Florida and epic disappointment, Toronto’s Matt Lashoff (once a top prospect) were the two put on waivers. A name missing from today (and yesterdays) list? Sheldon Souray. Souray hasn’t been placed on re-entry waivers so anyone who may get him in a trade (by 3pm eastern, today) will be on the hook for his full contract. Unless he comes up on re-entry waivers later in the season, for the time being you have to assume this rules the Rangers out of any Souray stakes. The Rangers simply can’t afford to be on the hook for 5.4m for the next 2 years. 2.7m would have been manageable (yet still not ideal) although in my humble opinion there’s nothing wrong with keeping cap space. If it has to be spent there are better places to spend it. Also, it may be better to let the team play a few games and see where the team is heading before spending the cap space. With the benefit of a few regular season games it may be that the defense is solid and more rugged than last year’s, while the team may need more offense.
Following on from today’s Prospect Watch post… Congratulations to Scott Stajcer who was today named the CHL’s ‘goalie of the week’. It’s good to see Scott Stajcer start the season so well in Owen Sound. The young goalie needs a good season – to remain relevant and to kick on – and a 1.00 GAA and a 3-0-0 record to kick off his season is a great reaction to a so-so camp. The Rangers are high on Stajcer and given the disappointment in their goalie development in recent years (Antoine Lafleur, Al Montoya anyone?) it would be good to see the Rangers bring along another goalie. If Stajcer can develop well he’ll have a good chance to get serious playing time in Hartford in two years time and get the opportunity to showcase his talent there, for the big league. With Marty Biron’s deal up in two years and Chad Johnson likely in NY or another organisation by then, Stajcer does indeed have an opportunity to progress within the organisation – it’s up to him to take it.