Thursday, September 22, 2011

Did J.T. Miller Play His Way Onto Europe Roster Last Night

Originally when the New York Rangers left for Europe follow Monday’s preseason game with the Flyers there were going to be 31 players (18F, 10D, 3G) making the trip.   Those plans have changed.  Jesse Spector tweeted that coach John Tortorella has decided to add an extra forward along with one more defender to the trip.  The addition of more players to the trip is not huge news, but what created the buzz was Tortorella saying that the additional forward earned their way on the plane with last night’s game.

The best forwards for the Rangers last night that were not already on the NHL roster were Dale Weise, John Mitchell and J.T. Miller.  My gut reaction to the additional forward was that it was Weise now going, but as others have pointed out Weise and Mitchell were likely already making the trip so Miller could be the guy.  If Miller does make the trip it will be a nice cap to an impressive couple weeks for the 2011 first round pick.  Miller struggled at the beginning of Traverse City, but has been getting better with each passing game and the more the games are against pro level talent, the better he has played.  His strength and playmaking instincts have been on display and the glimpses of what Miller can become in a few seasons are exciting for Rangers fans.

The defender being added to the list is as cover for Marc Staal as he continues his recovery from concussion issues.  Speaking of Staal, there was concern earlier today when he was not at practice, but it was a scheduled absence to see a concussion specialist.