Preseason

Rangers final cuts and opening night roster hot take: It’s Fine

All is fine after the NY Rangers final cuts and opening night roster announcement

If I could get that music kicking from “The Final Countdown” you better believe I would – Opening Night is this week, and the Rangers have made their last cuts to the roster. I know, I know, it’s perhaps not what we all would have hoped, but there are a few silver linings. There’s always something to be found that’s encouraging beneath any questionable decision-making, and I guess what I’m getting at is that things will be fine one way or another. Let’s start from the top.

  1. A basic premise that we all need to recognize is that the Rangers have a very sparse schedule to start the season. Not playing as many games is a significant consideration for a coach charged with developing young talent, and so that’s likely something that factored into David Quinn’s calculus in sending two of his most prized prospects down the minors, as silly as that may sound. It leads me to my next point however, and in confluence they ameliorate some of the agita that we might all be feeling about not seeing Vitali Kravtsov or Filip Chytil start the season in New York.
  2. They need a confidence boost. Both of them had good, but not great preseason campaigns, and while you might think for a team that’s strapped for forward depth a coach would be alright with that. However, it seems clear that both of them have a role to play specifically in the top six, and given the ways in which their stylistic tendencies were visibly frustrated by more experienced players it might be sensible to let them get a few games in while the Rangers are on their weirdly spaced semi-hiatus from … playing hockey during the regular season … and let them work their moves successfully on lower-level pros. Chytil clearly wanted to try some 2C-worthy swish and dish plays, but couldn’t make it happen. Kravtsov was trying to poach breakaway after breakaway, but it didn’t always work out. Let these kids feel the comfort that comes with successfully dancing around jokers on the opposing team, really get the mechanics of how they want to play down-pat, and then bring them up when the schedule is actually norma again.
  3. The front office knows, implicitly, that the defense needs to get younger. Sure, they’re likely not going to just bench Marc Staal straight away, but I wouldn’t be shocked if a trade is in the works, and Brendan Smith certainly is on his last stand as a Ranger. You wouldn’t keep two young, promising d-men – Adam Fox and Libor Hajek – around if you didn’t want to inject some young blood into the defensive corps, knowing full-well that you’ve got even more fresh faces in the pipeline. This is the beginning of the end of the shot-blocking, old-school defense, and while it’s subtle, things are going to start taking off sooner rather than later I think.

So there you go, it’s all really, actually, no-joke, just fine. The Rangers are doing what’s best for them and their future stars long-term, and that can only be a good thing. It’ll come together more quickly than we all think at this point in our frustrated feelings, and honestly, by Christmas at the absolute latest we’ll be seeing some new faces up and down this lineup.

I, for one, was pretty salty that Kravtsov and Chytil didn’t make the team, because I don’t think there’s much for them left to learn at the AHL level. Maybe it’s not about learning though, maybe it’s a consideration of where they’re at mentally and how to get them into a big-league mindset. That’s fine, and the additions of two very promising young d-men in recognition of what needs to start happening sweetens the deal as well. We’ll all just have to wait and see how this works out, and in the meantime there’s a Russian dude and a Finnish kid we can watch anyways.

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18 Comments

    1. Seriously so glad you voice your disapproval of one solid role player on this blog when this team is the most exiting we’ve seen in 20 years.

      1. The only roll playing Fast should be doing is cheering on the team as he watches at home. I have a nice spot next to me on the sofa. We could analyze the games together, but I don’t know if he speaks English?
        There is a place for talent-less people in Philly right next to Hays. You want to give Fast a place on the team on the 3rd line to git 15 points throughout the season and anchor or weigh down the line because he is a roll player?

        1. Fast is appreciated by his coaches and his fellow players. Don’t you think that you might be missing something, or do you believe that everyone on the team is wrong and you know the answers?

          1. One more thing! If they were winning, I would have to keep my brain shut. Shouldn’t that be the same in reverse? How am I wrong when they are losing?

  1. Chytil and Kravtsov need to both still learn what it takes to win battles in the NHL.
    Can’t razzle dazzle if you cant win the battle.

  2. It is NOT fine. two of our future stars, one with 75 games of NHL experience cannot make the team, that did not make the playoffs last year? We added 1 free agent forward and 1 top draft pick. That shouldn’t be enough to allow McKegg and Haley make the club over Chytil abd Kraftsov.

    Sure they are young, but as you said, little to prove at the AHL level. DQ just crushed the spirits of these two promising kids. We will never see Chytil on the Garden ice again. He is done.

    1. McKegg and Haley are fourth line wear em down cannon fodder. They did not take Chytil and Kavstov’s spots, Breadman and Kakko did, and neither Chytil and Kravstov showed enough to even beat anyone for the 2C job to start the season. Plus the rangers need to be able to get significant ice time for Strome and Names so they can try and get some assets back, even tho I love Names game (not stats!!) since he was benched last year (just need him at a MUCH lower price tag)
      If they are not good enough for their role on the team, play, practice and get better in the AHL and if their spirit is crushed by going to the AHL then they will NEVER have the fortitude to make it in the NHL.

      1. The way DQ shuffles lines, Chytil and Kraftsov (if on the roster) could have been cycled into top 9 roles without a problem. He better know that this showing of “tough love” can be handled by these kids, otherwise he ruined them.

        I still do not get why both Haley and McKegg made the squad. DQ needs to get players who can play and are tough, not goons, which these 2 guys are. Lemieux, McKegg and Haley, one third of the roster and will pot maybe 15 goals all combined. A recipe for failure.

    2. how do you know they have little to prove at the AHL level… they could barely handle preseason hockey. kreider and jt miller were bouncing on and off the metro north for a few years .. I know its a new concept around here but its called … DEVELOPMENT. like gasp! Hartford may actually have talent this year?

  3. Fast lovers hear this! Chytil could have been a third-line winger but the Rangers love Tanner Fast! Why did Fast beat Kratsov for a 3rd line player. What did Fast do in the preseason to win a spot over talent! Did he score anything?
    DQ=PU

    1. Sure he ruined them by having them play the first weeks in the AHL. He clearly said they needed confidence in their games which they will gain by ruling 2/3 of the top 3 in HFD. They will be called up by thanksgiving as we all know their play will dictate. While the two placeholders will sit as 13th and the other will head to the AHL. I could care less about Chytil playing 3rd line wing for the first 20 games this year. He needs to get reps as a CENTER because that is what the team needs LONG TERM.
      It’s not about October.

  4. One last thing! Why can’t DQ select players that compliment each other? Why does he put a line together that has 2 talented players and a third who can’t tie his shoes?
    Last year we had an example of his coaching. Pure bolder-dash! He got players to play hard which I will give to him is a good thing but the players he combined on a line produced zip. Then we can blame the players like Chytil because he had to play on the 4th line and Fast is on the 2nd line?
    John Davidson OPEN YOUR EYES! Some college coaches should stay in college.

  5. Pat nice thoughts and I agree for the most part.
    I didn’t watch every minute of preseason but the 2 going down did less not more. I agree dangling some AHL re Does nothing for them. Maybe it was a little message to get out of their comfort zone. The two guys that stayed played hard. Let’s see if they can stay. I see more moves made . let Quinn do his thing
    Too much criticism. We didn’t play a real game yet

  6. I always figured chytil and krav were a package deal in this (since both were on the bubble with their preseason play). if you philosophically send one to the A, you send both.

  7. The real problem is that North American guys who didn’t do anything to earn a spot over Chytil and Kravtsov made the team. Howden sucked out loud and he makes the team when he clearly deserves the bus ticket to Hartford more than anyone.

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