With the final cuts announced and the opening night roster solidified, we’ve done our best here to curb both expectations and disappointments. The opening schedule, where the Rangers play just 3 games in the first 14 days, had an impact both on roster construction and the cap. Reading into the lines lately, we knew there was a chance that Filip Chytil, Vitali Kravtsov, and Brett Howden start the year in Hartford (two of them are).
Even without salary cap maneuvering, there is one important factor that is often overlooked by beats, bloggers, casual fans, and everyone in between. Just like your fantasy hockey roster, the Rangers lineup on opening night will not be the same lineup in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. But don’t worry, the Rangers will still be there for you.
Pause for laughs.
We are going to see changes in the lineup, regardless of who dresses on October 3. Injuries happen. Trades happen. Games go to hell. Someone winds up with the mumps or mono or gets a lingering left buttocks injury. The lineup is fluid.
Places in the lineup are fluid as well. Ryan Strome is beginning the season as the 2C, but if he finishes the season as the 2C (barring injury), I’ll eat my hat*. And if he does, then something has gone horribly wrong in the development of Chytil, Howden, and/or Andersson.
* Disclaimer: I don’t actually own a hat.
Chris Kreider’s future with the Rangers is still up in the air. Vlad Namestnikov is probably not long for a Rangers sweater. Tony DeAngelo has a complicated future and may not even be a Ranger by the end of the season. That’s two top-nine forwards and a top-four defenseman who might need replacing during the season.
So now that the roster for opening night is released, let’s all remember this. Everything is fluid. But since we are human, let’s set an agreed upon timeframe for hot takes, over reactions, and world is ending tweets. Does 24 hours sound good? Good.