Thoughts following the first round of cuts

The Rangers made their first round of cuts four days ago, again while we were still down, slicing the roster by seven players. Four of the cuts were not surprising. Three were, not because they got cut, but because of how soon they were cut.

Assigned to Hartford: Ryan Gropp, Ty Ronning, Ville Meskanen, Tom McCollum, Francois Brassard
Assigned to OHL: Nico Gross, Hunter Skinner

1. The big surprises were Gropp, Ronning, and Meskanen being cut so early. All three were, at some point, pegged as potential bottom-six forwards for the Rangers at some point. Of course, that assumed their development panned out. It is disappointing to see them as the first round of cuts.

2. Gropp, infamous for being a primary piece of the Carl Hagelin trade when the Rangers famously passed on Daniel Sprong, was always seen as a project pick. The former 2nd round pick is yet to even get a sniff of the NHL. he even had a stint in the ECHL last season. At 23 years old and on the final year of his ELC, it makes you wonder if he’s playing for his Rangers, or hockey, career.

3. Meskanen, an undrafted free agent from last year, had a solid year in Hartford. Pegged by many as one of the potential call ups last year, it never came to be. Players like Tim Gettinger and Steven Fogerty got call ups before Meskanen. Like Gropp, Meskanen is also 23 years old and on the final year of his ELC. He does have the benefit of being the 5th highest scorer on last year’s train wreck Wolf Pack. That might give him a leg up on Gropp.

4. Ronning was a 7th rounder three years ago, and was viewed as a possible sleeper pick. But then he didn’t even make Hartford out of camp last year, being sent to Maine in the ECHL as frustrations turned into possible attitude problems. He’s only 21 years old though, and he does have another year after this on his ELC. I don’t think he’s playing for his Rangers career, but it is certainly a big year for him.

5. McCollum and Brassard were both on AHL deals, so seeing them sent down early was no surprise.

6. Gross and Skinner were always destined to be returned to Juniors. Expect others to follow sooner rather than later.

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  • Gropp just never put on enough weight. 6kg below where he needs to be. On the fringe for Hartford as scary is that is.

    Ronning needs to be deprogrammed from his last year of junior: don’t put the team on your shoulders, learn the role that will get you to the NHL and stick to it. Be Hell on the forecheck, be tough to play against, watch Michael Grabner and be a short version of him. Gonna be tough to start in Hartford.

    Gross is a 3rd pair AHLer, which means he’ll be 2nd pair Swiss after next year.

    Skinner has a big year in London

    The goalies are ECHL fodder.

  • I was thinking about the ADA situation as he’s not in camp and wondering why they don’t work on a salary ($925,000)+ incentive type deal for him? I realize we already have potential bonus incentive penalties that may carry into next season with Kakko and others, but that seems like a middle ground that should work for player and team.

    • Performance bonuses can only be paid on ELCs and 1 year deals for the over 35 set (plus something about 1 year contracts for 400+ game players who have been on injured reserve for over 100 days).

  • Only surprise in my book was Meskanen. Gropp may be playing for his future this year, but it will be a future without another NHL contract. The only reason the Rangers are not terminating his contract is because he won’t let them. His next contract will bet for less money. Ronning is far from ready and no need to keep him in camp. The surprise for me was that Leedahl was not sent down with Gropp and Ronning (Maybe he is hurt).

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