Archive for Todd White
In relatively unsurprising news, the Rangers have sent Todd White to the AHL this afternoon. White was waived yesterday, the third time he was waived this season, and cleared today at noon. In 18 games this season, White has seen extremely limited ice time, notching a goal and an assist with a -2 rating. White was acquired in the offseason from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Donald Brashear and Patrick Rissmiller. The trade was designed to get two dead weights, and locker room cancers in Hartford, off the Rangers roster. In essence, the Rangers did just that, even if White didn’t contribute much to the Rangers. White’s $2.375 million cap hit (roughly half that now) is also removed from the cap.
White is a character guy, and can hopefully take a mentoring role with the young forward prospects playing with the Whale. He is also set to be a UFA at the end of the season.
As per Arthur Staple, Chris Drury was practicing on the fourth line today between Sean Avery and Erik Christensen/Todd White. Should Drury return, one of Christensen/White will be the healthy scratch to make room. It doesn’t appear that the Rangers will demote White until Derek Boogaard returns from injury, so expect the Rangers to carry 14 forwards for the time being. Believe it or not, the Rangers actually have the cap space to carry Drury without dumping White.
As for the rest of the lines, they remained in tact:
As per Andrew Gross, Ryan Callahan will be out tonight, likely dealing with the effects of the boarding he took from Kimmo Timmonen last night. Both players were racing for the puck in the corner, and Timmonen let Callahan skate by, and gave him a little “help” in going head first into the boards. Naturally, there was no penalty call there.
Ruslan Fedotenko will be in tonight, despite getting leveled by a dirty Dan Carcillo hit. Luckily for Fedotenko, Carcillo is soft. Of course, there was no penalty there either, and it looks like there won’t be a suspension either.
Update 12:30pm: Todd White has been waived again, as per Nick Kypreos. I had a quick Twitter discussion with Jim Cerny, who shed some light on the matter. White can still play tonight in place of the injured Callahan, even if he is on waivers. White was waived at the beginning of the year, and reached the 30 day mark where he needed to be waived again. His salary does not come off the books unless he is claimed or sent to Hartford.
As per Andrew Gross, Evgeny Grachev and Derek Boogaard will skate tonight, with Todd White being the healthy scratch among the forwards. Boogaard is inserted into the lineup to add some much needed toughness to the Flyers, who have a plethora of tough guys. Grachev will continue to get playing time, hopefully more than six minutes a game, until some of the Rangers injury problems heal.
On defense, Matt Gilroy will be the healthy scratch tonight. Michael Sauer and Steve Eminger are the more physical of the three defensemen, so it isn’t a surprise to see Gilroy as the scratch. The Rangers are matching up tonight to the Flyers toughness, something they haven’t been able to do in a few seasons. It’s nice to have roster flexibility.
As per Andrew Gross, Ryan Callahan was not at practice today, nursing his injured right ankle, which needed stitches after blocking a shot in the second period on Monday’s 3-2 win over Chicago. Injuries are going to happen when the Rangers block shots at the pace they do. Todd White replaced Callahan on the RW with Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov. The other three lines remained the same at practice, and all seven defensemen were skating.
With White taking Callahan’s spot in practice, it likely means that White will not dress for tomorrow’s game against Philadelphia. Considering the number of enforcers the Flyers have, it is probable that Derek Boogaard will be dressed to balance the physicality during the game.
Update 11:40pm: As per Larry Brooks, goalie Henrik Lundqvist took a Brian Boyle slapshot offf his jaw/neck and was immediately left the ice. It doesn’t appear to be serious, shots up high like that are generally a shock to the system. Looks like Boyle will be buying Hank some dinner tonight after that.
Its far too early to draw any conclusions, let alone panic, but The Rangers need to find a place for Alex Frolov and given Gaborik’s absence, sooner rather than later.
Frolov hasnt yet looked particularly comfortable and didnt seem to mesh with his new line mates in the loss against Colorado despite scoring his first goal as a Ranger. Derek Stepan and Ruslan Fedotenko’s line that featured an excellent Sean Avery shouldnt have been split up and there’s a good chance it will be reunited for the rematch with Toronto on Thursday. The line showed chemistry and offensive ability, something that any line Frolov has been on thus far has failed to do consistently. Alex Frolov needs to be successful for the Rangers to be successful. He instantly became one of the higher skilled players on the team upon signing in the off season and along with Gaborik needs to be a regular contributor.
So what to do with Frolov? Its a difficult question to answer seeing as its hard to split up the better two lines thus far of Anisimov – Dubinsky – Callahan and Stepan’s line. Who can ignite Frolov? Frolov can make plays himself but would be best served with a distrbutor and given the lack of options due to injury one possibility would be pairing Frolov up with Todd White. White showed during his time in Atlanta that he can compliment and defer to a skilled winger (Kovalchuk) successfully and would be highly motivated to achieve some chemistry with Frolov given his daily fight to get in and stay in the line up. Even when Gaborik returns the no.1 center debate will still need answering so matching Frolov and White together now would, could start the process of forming a line that can have chemistry. Frolov and White both have a lot to play for, esentially both are playing for their NHL futures (to varying degrees) so they would surely be hungry to mesh.
The Rangers have a lot of issues and a lot of questions to answer and the Frolov situation bears watching. Right now, not many players (potentially) mean more to the success/failure of the Rangers early in the season.
When the Rangers waived centers Todd White and Tim Kennedy yesterday, many assumed that one or both would be claimed, especially Kennedy, who comes very cheap. However, both cleared waivers. Since both have cleared waivers, their salaries ($2.375 for White, $550,000 for Kennedy) are removed from the Rangers cap. The Rangers have 30 days to assign them to the AHL, or else their salaries will be added back to the cap, and they will both need to clear waivers again.
As expected, the Rangers have placed centers Vinny Prospal and Chris Drury on injured reserve. Their salaries will remain on the books, but the Rangers will be allowed to go over the salary cap ceiling, if necessary, by their combined salaries. The total amount the Rangers are allowed to be over the cap is the prorated amount of both players salaries for the number of days spent on IR. With two of the three on ice leaders out, it’s going to be interesting to see who gets the temporary A’s.
Derek Stepan won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg award, as voted on by the Rangers press, for the top rookie in camp. This was probably the easiest vote for the award in history.
The Rangers are in the midst of more change. Todd White and Tim Kennedy have today somewhat surprisingly been placed on waivers on a day which has seen a lot of teams place players on waivers. Several sources including beat writers Larry Brooks and Andrew Gross are speculating the roster moves could be a pre-curser to a trade for a defenceman and the usual rumours of Sheldon Souray have re-surfaced.
Souray has been a very effective player in the league and has a wicked shot but questions remain about his health, character and whether he has much left to give. The Souray rumours make sense given the players (read: cap) that have been put on waivers and the fact that the Rangers defense is missing an extra left handed player which Souray is.
Here’s my issue with all of this: Even at 2.7m Souray is a risk and a big one. First of all he is another roster block for McDonagh, Valentenko and co in Hartford when they are ready to come up and it’s not just for one year but two. Secondly, while the Rangers could benefit a lot from a healthy Souray the valuable cap space he would eat up would be better served (perhaps mid season) on acquiring more offense. Souray isn’t a critical need on the blue line given Del Zotto, Gilroy and Roszival on the power play and the addition of Sauer’s physicality. Again, even at 2.7m (half the salary should the Rangers get Souray on re-entry waivers) Souray is a luxury. Can the Rangers afford to have a roster luxury at this stage?
Just now, Larry Brooks has reported via twitter that Tortorella has indicated neither Kennedy nor White would immediately report to the AHL should they clear waivers. As Brooks himself points out, it would be a surprise if a minimal cap hit such as Kennedy clears waivers. With both players ‘staying on the roster’ in the event of clearing what does it mean for the trade rumours? Today has added a lot of intrigue and discussion in Rangerland.
UPDATE: this post was published prior to seeing Tim Kennedy and Todd White placed on waivers. One or both may clear waivers and stick with the team like Aaron Voros did in the past but this clearly isn’t a good situation for the two forwards. We’ll look at other players who will get opportunities to impress at a later date. If White and Kennedy do leave the roster it means more ice time to go round in the short term. Stay tuned….
Vinny Prospal being injured for a few weeks provides an intriguing opportunity for several Rangers players to begin the season. It firmly places the pressure even more so on the first line, however that should line up. John Tortorella had openly stated his preference was to pair Frolov and Gaborik together and did so to great effect during the pre season. With Prospal out injured the pair and their center will be counted on even more as Prospal’s experience, secondary scoring and enthusiasm will be sorely missed. So what players comes into focus with Prospal (and Drury) out to begin the year?
Much has been written about Dubinsky entering a cross-road like season in his career. He needs to take it to the next level, find consistency and become the player most Rangers fans believe he can be. Quite simply he needs to fulfil the promise he has teased the Rangers faithful with. With leaders such as Drury and Prospal out the offensive depth will be tested even more and Dubinsky has a chance to go out to begin the year and make himself invaluable. At this point of his career Dubinsky is no longer immune to being moved. Should he continue his up-down career form and the Rangers are deadline buyers Dubi will know, he and his expiring contract will be a potential trade chip. Dubi needs to start the year well, for both his own and the teams sake.
Has anyone ever been on a more public audition? White will know his 2.3m salary, age and lack of pre season form puts him firmly in line to be a prime cut candidate when Drury and Prospal come back. He knows he needs a fast start to force his stay on the roster beyond the injury returnees or at worst make sure he’s a viable trade asset and not another NHL veteran banished to the AHL. White has talent and can deliver offensively but hasn’t shown it yet in his brief exhibition time with the Rangers. White could appear on any line so is a real X factor during the first few weeks.
Frolov, if you place any importance on pre season form, has started impressively as a Ranger. Scorer of goals, provider of goals, solid defensive play and displaying instant chemistry on the top line; Frolov has almost done it all. Now, when the games count and given the injuries Frolov goes from low risk free agent to must-succeed acquisition. Everyone knows Gaborik can’t do it all alone and with Prospal out Gabby needs a running mate. Frolov’s offense will be crucial to how the Rangers start the year and a lot of focus will be on the Russian. Will Frolov show the Kings they were wrong to let him go? The reasons stand to benefit massively should Frolov be as motivated as he seems.
Kennedy is another player who should be motivated to prove his former employer wrong but like Todd White is another who is a bit of an X factor. Kennedy can play both center and wing so can potentially be a direct fill-in for either Prospal or Drury on the 2nd or 3rd lines. Kennedy has some offensive upside, is elusive and can skate well and has provided some occasional spark during pre season while never really convincing. While there won’t be the pressure of expectancy on a player who is playing for minimal cap space, Kennedy will still be expected to prove he’s worth his place on the roster given popular roster candidates such as Dale Weise and Mats Zuccarello-Aasen were sent down to accommodate him.
The Rangers have a lot of players facing various types of pressure. How the new recruits, underperforming returnees and ‘core’ players cope with expectation early on may dictate the Rangers season. A hot start can be crucial to a playoff berth, especially given the tight nature of the Eastern conference. It should be interesting to follow the individual fortunes of many Rangers this season.
Glen Sather woke up earlier this off season, after a stormy fishing trip with his pal Brian Burke up North, and felt a little light headed. He set off to his office in New York and proceeded to go about his business. Glen was struck by lightning on his trip. Something had changed. He had acquired the voice of reason. No doubts, Glen Sather has had an (unexpectedly?) excellent off season. The Rangers have improved and haven’t sacrificed any part of the future going forward. Include Todd White in the new Rangers, short term.
Sather seems to specialise in low risk high reward trades. Todd White cost the Rangers absolutely nothing and potentially gives the Rangers genuine depth amongst the top 9 forwards. Before getting excited however it’s worth noting there’s a chance White cannot regain his 08/09 form where he had 22 goals and 73 points. Remember also, that he had a certain Russian line mate who went by the name of Ilya so White’s numbers were likely skewed. However if White is physically fit (after his various operations) he has the ability to contribute 40-50 points so potentially he’ll make a nice addition…