By my count today, the Rangers have their 23-man roster up as the Summer, but it is a little ways from being complete because of salary cap issues. Again, a lot of the speculation that surrounds this team, like most others, depends on how players do in camp. Wade Redden, the number one target for excessive cap hits, should get a chance to show why he is getting paid so much and he'll have to come up trumps, if he wants to stick around when the puck drops on the season.
Otherwise, if we were going to pick some bubble players, I would guess that Erik Christensen isn't safe, nor is Brian Boyle or Steve Eminger. There is plenty of talent trying out for the Rangers and lots in their youth system that could easily jump in and take a job, so these guys will likely have to step up their game if they want to be around as well.
|Marian Gaborik||Michael Del Zotto||Henrik Lundqvist|
|Vaclav Prospal||Marc Staal||Martin Biron|
|Alexander Frolov||Dan Girardi|
|Brandon Dubinsky||Michal Rozsival|
|Ryan Callahan||Steve Eminger|
|Chris Drury||Matt Gilroy|
|Sean Avery||Wade Redden|
|Ryan Bourque||Lee Baldwin||Chad Johnson|
|Dane Byers||Garnet Exelby||Jordan Parise|
|Brodie Dupont||Sam Klassen||Scott Stajcer|
|Ruslan Fedotenko||Tomas Kundratek||Cam Talbot|
|Ryan Garlock||Dan Maggio|
|Evgeny Grachev||Brandon Manning|
|Roman Horak||Dylan McIlrath|
|Chris McKelvie||Ryan McDonagh|
|Randy McNaught||Jyri Niemi|
|Kris Newbury||Blake Parlett|
|Justin Soryal||Mike Sauer|
|Derek Stepan||Alexei Semenov|
|Kelsey Tessler||Pavel Valentenko|
|Christian Thomas||Nigel Williams|
As I explored in the Staal signing yesterday, the Rangers are in a boatload of cap troubles with their current Summer roster. I have them listed at a projected cap hit of $63.9 million, but their cap troubles could be wiped away with the swift demotion of Redden, who is counting $6.5 million against the cap for the entire season. Sure, he will still get paid all that money in the minors, but at least the Rangers management wouldn't have to dismantle the core to get under the cap ceiling.
There are a few guys like that I like on this roster and will probably target when we get to the draft. I've always been a fan of Gaborik and since he had a good year in New York, I wouldn't mind having him back on my team for 2011. Ryan Callahan, Michael Del Zotto and Marc Staal are all on my list, possibly ranked a little higher than some projections, while Henrik Lundqvist would be an adequate 1st round pick and Tim Kennedy could be a decent late round forward. I think I'll save the remaining bit of judgement for closer to the draft date.