The big news that broke this past weekend was that Winnipeg Jets’ stud defenseman Jacob Trouba has requested a trade. Trouba, the ninth overall pick in 2012, is in the middle of a contract dispute with the Jets. The dispute is over more than money though, as Trouba has stated that he is buried on the depth chart behind Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers, both right-handed defensemen signed to long-term deals.
The 22-year-old defenseman has put up impressive numbers in his first three seasons, with his career highs coming in his rookie year (10-19-29). That may not seem like much, but remember that Trouba gets third pairing and minimal powerplay time. That is not a product of who he is as a player, but a product of commitments by the organization elsewhere, whether right or wrong (we will get to that).
Hockey is back, folks. The Rangers have released the lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener against the Isles:
The weather has cooled off. Training camp has started. Preseason hockey will begin tomorrow. It is almost that time of the year when we can see meaningful games for our beloved Rangers. The team was busy this offseason, retooling the bottom six with an emphasis on speed and puck possession. Add in a relative blockbuster trade, and the forward group is completely different.
Many pundits expect the Rangers to be a no-doubter for the playoffs. Others think the Rangers will be a bubble team. The reality is likely somewhere in the middle, as there are some major questions for this team.
The Rangers have announced the training camp roster, which includes 63 players:
There are a few AHL contract guys on the list, as well as a bunch of kids headed back to Juniors. The real battles will be for the bottom six forward spots and perhaps the last pairing on defense. The first preseason game is just six days away. Hockey –well, NHL hockey– is almost back.
There was so much promise when the World Cup of Hockey was announced. The first time in 12 years, and we’d get to see Team USA again, hopefully with a better ending than the 2010 Olympics. But then the little things started creeping up on Team USA.
First it was the announcement that no players under 23 would be on Team USA. No, they’d be on Team North America. A great idea, but one that cost Team USA players like Seth Jones, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Jacob Trouba on defense. Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau were lost at forward as well. You can make the argument that some weren’t going to make Team USA regardless, but a more new-age thinking shows it could have been different.
With all the focus on the World Cup of Hockey and Team USA’s dismal performance, it’s easy to forget that the Traverse City Tournament is underway. The Rangers have played twice, losing to Carolina in OT (4-3) and then beating Dallas in a shootout (5-4). As expected, the team is very efficient offensively, but is struggling to keep the puck out of their own net.
Against Carolina, goals were scored by Jimmy Vesey, Robin Kovacs, and Dylan Di Perna. Malte Stromall and Sergey Zborovskiy tallied assists. Brandon Halverson made 38 saves while managing a point. The Rangers were outshot 42-32 in this game.
The Rangers tweeted the lines for the first game of the Traverse City Tournament against Carolina:
The top two lines are certainly intriguing, looking forward to seeing they in action. As for the defense, well that leaves some room for improvement to say the least. John Gilmour and Calle Andersson make an intriguing top pair, but that’s about it for me. Surprised that Sean Day is a scratch as well.
Game time is 4pm, and will be streaming on the Detroit Red Wings site.
Following up with the great news yesterday that the Detroit Red Wings will be streaming all games for the tournament, be sure to check the schedule for the tournament to ensure you know when the Rangers will be playing. The Rangers have three games, starting tomorrow:
- Friday, 4pm versus Carolina
- Saturday, 3:30pm versus Dallas
- Monday, 3pm versus Minnesota
- Tuesday, game TBD
The Saturday game runs right up against Team USA’s opener against Europe, so there will be a lot of dual screens. The Rangers have a deep forward group, but are a little shaky on defense. It will be fun to watch the likes of Pavel Buchnevich, Sean Day, Robin Kovacs, Jimmy Vesey, and others though.
The Detroit Red Wings are coming through in the clutch for all those that want to watch the Traverse City Tournament. The Wings website (http://redwings.nhl.com/) will stream every single Traverse City Tournament game, regardless of team, for free. There are no geographical restrictions either. So if you want to watch, make sure you head on over there.
With all the World Cup of Hockey talk, the Traverse City Tournament has flown under the radar. The WCOH is the main culprit for this, but it’s also because before this year, there was no way to watch the games. The Red Wings are giving us all a treat. Well done, Detroit.
Well it’s almost time for the World Cup. It’s the first time the tournament has run since 2004 when Canada won it all. Team USA won the inaugural World Cup in 1996 on the back of Mike Richter, who was phenomenal in that tournament. The preseason games have been chippy, which is a welcome sight. Many were concerned that the players would gloss over this. That doesn’t appear to be the case. With real games starting soon, all eyes will be on this tournament.
- Team USA has surprised a few in the exhibition games, beating Canada (once in two games) and Finland, finishing the pre-tournament schedule with a 2-1 record. Most, including myself, expect Team USA to struggle due to a lack of scoring depth. That may still be the case, but for now, they are hanging in there.
- Team North America is fun to watch. They steamrolled Team Europe twice, and have one more exhibition game to go. They could surprise people in this tournament. Assuming they beat Finland in round robin play, a surprise win against Russia may not be that much of a surprise, launching them to the single elimination tournament.