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Valentenko Among Those Cut

September 24, 2011, by

The Rangers have announced all of their cuts, and there may be a few surprises among these cuts.  The following players were sent to the CT Whale:

Forwards:  Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Tommy Grant, Jordan Hickmott, Tayler Jordan, Kale Kerbashian, Chad Kolarik, Chris McKelvie, Matt Rust, Scott Tanski, Kelsey Tessier, and Jason Wilson.

Defense: Lee Baldwin, Collin Bowman, Sam Klassen, Tomas Kundratek, Jyri Niemi, Jared Nightingale, and Pavel Valentenko.

Goalies: Chad Johnson, Jason Missiaen and Cameron Talbot.

I am a bit surprised to see that Scott Stajcer is still with the club, although that may be because he hasn’t played in a preseason game yet. The Rangers said they will be taking three goalies with them to Europe, and as of now, it looks like Stajcer is that lucky guy to be going.

As for the skaters, seeing Valentenko cut so quickly may be a surprise to some, but not to me.  As some have said, he lacks the ability to make quick decisions, which hurt him in last night’s preseason game with the Devils.  He still had footspeed issues, but the inability to make quick decisions is ultimately the reason why he was sent back.  Tomas Kundratek was also cut, which is a bit disappointing as he was my dark horse to make the roster.

In addition to those sent to the Whale, the following players were returned to their respective CHL teams:

Forwards: Shane McColgan (Kelowna, WHL), J.T. Miller (Plymouth, OHL), Michael St. Croix (Edmonton, WHL), Christian Thomas (Oshawa, OHL), and Andrew Yogan (Peterborough, OHL).

Defense: Peter Ceresnak (Peterborough, OHL) and Samuel Noreau (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL).

The only player that really surprises me out of the CHL players cut is Miller.  Miller had a very strong Traverse City tournament, and an equally strong preseason. There had been whispers that he might have earned a trip to Europe and a longer look with Rangers brass, but those whispers are now officially untrue.

This leaves the Rangers with 35 players in camp (21 forwards, 11 defense, 3 goalies):

Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Ryan Bourque, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Andre Deveaux, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Andreas Thuresson, Dale Weise, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello.

Defense: Brendan Bell, Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Tim Erixon, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Blake Parlett, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal.

Goalies: Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer.

The organization said they will take six forward line (18), five defense pairings (10) and three goalies to Europe, so expect one more forward and one more defenseman to get cut after Monday afternoon’s game with the Flyers.

Categories : Preseason, Prospects


  1. Dave says:

    Of those cut…Valentenko is the only one that needs to pass through waivers. He may be claimed.

  2. Dave says:

    Also, Redden on waivers…more paperwork than anything.

  3. Walt says:

    Here I am with pie in my face! I was thinking that Valentenko was going to be protected by making the team this year, and he goes and gets cut. What pissed me off most is that he said that because he isn’t making the team, he will return to Russia instaed of the Whale. V-Tank, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

  4. Matt J says:

    Tell me why newbury is still on the roster. He took 50 penalties in 2 games

  5. The Suit says:

    I’m just happy Erixon has been as good as advertised, that gives this organization some much needed breathing room for finding a blue liner who can bring the puck north.

    V-Tank indeed made some bad decisions and also feel twice last night on crucial plays all but cemented his status. It’s a shame, I liked the grit he brought, but the pivoting and the IQ isn’t there as you mentioned. Oh well, I thought he’d be trade bait, but he played himself out of that card as well.

    On to Philly!

  6. Jess says:

    Just because people were cut today does not mean changes still can not be made. I believe the main reason why Stajcer was kept is due to there not being any place for him in the OHL at the moment.

    Rangers still might take a 4th goalie to Europe.

    McIlrath still with NYR is part PR part because of Staal being out. If Staal can not start season then odds are Del Zotto winds up in the AHL to pay for McIlrath’s salary.

    Valentenko might find himself unable to play in Russia unless the NYR release him. The KHL has been looking for better relations with the NHL so they might not allow Valentenko to simply walk out on the Rangers

    • Dave says:

      Interesting. If he can’t go to Russia…then we may have another Nigel Williams situation on our hand, where he is just unhappy.

      I’d assume he still has some trade value. I don’t think he clears waivers either.

      • Jess says:

        When you have Valentenko reportedly going around saying it is either NHL or KHL for him then very hard to find anyone willing to give anything up for him.

        If the NYR put Valentenko on waivers then they could first sent him outright to the AHL then waive him a second time to grant him his release.

        Doing it that way avoids any kind of cap hit should Valentenko walk.

        Totally agree Gernander does not need another Nigel William on his roster.

        Not shocked at Niemi’s play either not been a fan but Kundratek I am disappointed in because he should been much better than he has been.