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Update: 10:30pm: Redden has been bought out.

Update 1/17/13: Redden has cleared waivers. The Rangers will buy him out before the season starts on Saturday.

Original Post (1/16/13): As expected, the Rangers have placed Wade Redden on waivers, per Pierre LeBrun. This is step one in using their first amnesty buyout on the defenseman. Redden is expected to clear tomorrow, and will promptly be bought out by the Rangers.

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The Rangers have placed Sean Collins, Michael Haley, Chad Kolarik, Kris Newbury, Logan Pyett, Brendon Segal, Mike Vernace and Tommy Grant on waivers today. They will clear tomorrow, and some will join the club for the rest of minicamp before the NHL season starts. These moves likely address who will replace Arron Asham in the lineup on opening day, as he still needs to serve the final game of his four game suspension.

This was move #3 on the list of things to expect from the Rangers during minicamp. Move #4 may be adding a depth forward, as Suit discussed earlier this week.

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Per Renaud Lavoie, the Rangers have signed prospect Michael St. Croix to an entry level deal:

The deal is great for both sides. St. Croix has the potential to be a fantastic scorer in the league, especially considering how he has dominated the WHL. As Lavoie noted, the deal is for $575,000 annually with a $270,000 signing bonus, for a cap hit of $665,000. This also means that St. Croix can play in the AHL in the event of a lockout (if he doesn’t stick with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL).

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As predicted here, Sean Avery has been waived by the Rangers. This is a salary cap move, as Avery and his $1.9 million salary needs to be cleared, especially if he’s not even playing.

We covered this here, here, here, here, and here. I’m actually incredibly sick of this topic. Avery has become bigger than the team, which is impressive considering he’s a fourth liner. He barely played, and was a healthy scratch. Mike Rupp’s return made this inevitable.

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Andre Deveaux On Waivers

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In a relatively unsurprising news, Andrew Gross notes that the Rangers have placed Andre Deveaux on waivers. This move could be predicted a week ago, following Deveaux’s suspension and the call ups of Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell. Both have played extremely well, and the need for Deveaux was no longer there.

In nine games with the Rangers, Deveaux registered an assist, 29 PIMs, and finished with a +3 rating. He also earned himself a three game suspension for an elbow to the head of Florida Panthers winger Tomas Fleischmann.

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According to Larry Brooks via Twitter (his source was Bommer Esiason and Nick Kypreos), Sean Avery will be placed on re-entry waivers tomorrow, making him eligible for Thursday’s tilt against the Ducks.

Whether another team is interested in acquiring him is uncertain, but chances are Sather is giving the fans (well half of them anyway according to our polls) what they want for the time being.

For the other half of this fan base, all we can hope for now is that Torts and Sean can somehow get on the same page. Maybe Richards can be a middleman if issues arise? Who knows…

Sean has some skill no doubt, but his coach-ability has been questioned by every NHL coach he has ever played for. If this rumor is true, and he does end up back on the team, hopefully the relationship between Sean and Torts is somehow salvageable. I mean you would have to assume Torts gave the okay to Glen to make this move? Maybe, maybe not.

Either way, things are about to get interesting…

Get well soon Rupper 😉

A lot of the hooplah today was that the Rangers claimed Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.  They also made a few other minor moves to round out the rosters at the NHL and AHL levels:

  • To make room for Woywitka, the Rangers sent Stu Bickel to the Connecticut Whale. It is a bit ridiculous that Bickel had to return to the US, you would think that the NHL would consider this to be a special cicrumstance, considering he is in Europe.
  • The Whale signed forward Scott Tanski to an AHL contract.
  • The Whale signed forward Jordan Owens and defenseman T.J. Fast to Professional Try Outs.

In addition to the roster moves, some good news. The judge threw out all charges against Aaron Boogaard for felony drug possession.  Boogaard was originally charged in connection with his brother Derek’s tragic death, but it was revealed that Aaron was helping his brother with his addiction.  It is good that his charges were dropped.

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Rangers Claim Defenseman Jeff Woywitka Off Waivers

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The New York Rangers, desperate for defensive help after putting Marc Staal on IR, claimed defenseman Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. Woywitka, 28, played 63 games with the Dallas Stars last season, putting up 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in those 63 games and a +5 rating.  Woywitka then signed as a UFA with the Montreal Canadiens over the summer to a one-year, $650,000 contract.  The Rangers will assume full responsibility for the contract, and will have a $650,000 cap hit for Woywitka.

Looking deeper into Woywitka’s stats, he had a 1.9 GVT last season (.63 PVT). There are no GVT numbers available for Stu Bickel or Brendan Bell (did not play in the NHL last year), but we can look at Steve Eminger’s numbers (0.5 GVT, .17 PVT).  Based on GVT/PVT only, Woywitka is worth about half a point more in the standings than Eminger.  But, it’s not all about GVT/PVT.  We can look at other stats, like QUALCOMP and Offensize Zone Starts, to better quantify what Woywitka brings.

Woywitka’s QUALCOMP of -.078 suggests that he was not exactly facing the opposition’s top players while he was on the ice, which may have led to an inflated +/- rating.  His 54.3% offensive zone starts, when coupled with his less than impressive QUALCOMP, shows that Woywitka was the beneficiary of favorable matchups and situations.  He started over half of his shifts in the offensive zone, which put less pressure on him from a defensive standpoint.  His Corsi numbers look even less appealing, meaning opponents are taking a fair number of shots (either on goal, missed, or blocked) while he is on the ice.

Putting all that together, you have a player who was starting in the offensive zone and against weaker players.  Despite the weaker competition, they still managed to direct a fair numer of shots towards the net while Woywitka was on the ice, suggesting that Dallas didn’t have control of the puck often while Woywitka was on.  However, he did improve upon his 2009-2010 season, for what it’s worth.

That said, comparing those numbers to Eminger’s (-.073 QUALCOMP, 51.9% offensize zone starts, slightly better Corsi), it appears that there is no significant difference between Eminger and Woywitka.  Claiming Woywitka was a move made by the Rangers to address the fact that Bickel and/or Bell might not have been ready for the NHL, but were being kept on the roster because of Marc Staal’s injury.  In Woywitka, they get someone with NHL experience who can be interchangeably used with Eminger.

With the move, the Rangers will need to send at least one player to the AHL.  They may wind up sending both Bickel and Bell to the AHL, but no official announcement has been made.

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Quick Roster Notes

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There has been a flurry of activity the past 24 hours, so let’s quickly summarize everything in one post:

  • Sean Avery was placed on waivers yesterday and cleared. He has been assigned to the CT Whale. There is no known timetable for him to report or for him to seek other options.
  • Stu Bickel and Brendan Bell were placed on waivers yesterday as well.  Both cleared, but will remain with the roster until further notice. This is similar to what the Rangers did with Todd White last season.
  • Tim Erixon has been recalled. He will be at practice tomorrow and will play this weekend.
  • To make room for Erixon, Marc Staal has been placed on IR. This is also a move to save a little bit of cap space while he deals with his post concussion symptoms. There is no timetable for his return.

Also, the forward lines for Friday appear to be set:

Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan
Wojtek Wolski-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Mike Rupp-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust

The defense pairings are still relatively unknown, as Erixon has not arrived in Sweden yet.

This sure has been a busy day for the New York Rangers organization.  First, we heard that Sean Avery is going to be waived, having lost out in the battle for the 13th forward position to Erik Christensen.  Shortly after, we heard that Dale Weise will indeed get a shot at the NHL, as he was claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks.  Now, Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel have been waived, which means that the Rangers roster is set for the start of the year.

The fact that Bell and Bickel have been waived means that the coaching staff expects Mike Sauer to play in the regular season openers in Sweden.  Sauer had been out with a sprained right shoulder, and didn’t play a single game in Europe.  Although Sauer is back, the Rangers will need to dress at least one of Bickel or Bell in the first two regular season games, as they currently have just five healthy defensemen.  This is not an uncommon scenario, the Rangers did this with Todd White a bunch of times last season.

The Rangers roster appears to be set:

Goal (3): Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer*
Defense (6): Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal
Forward (13): Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello

Just a note regarding Stajcer, any team opening the season in Europe is allowed to carry an extra goaltender for the duration of the trip.  When the Rangers return, expect Stajcer to be returned to a CHL team for an overage season.

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