Sunday, July 24, 2011

Video: Whale At Prospect Camp Part 2 Featuring McIlrath, Hagelin, Grant, Kerbashian

In the second part of Connecticut Whale’s behind the scenes look at Rangers prospect camp they focus on Dylan McIlrath, Tommy Grant, Carl Hagelin, and Kale Kerbashian.  Once again Brian Ring and Liz Bontempo do a very good job of giving a feel for the players while mixing in highlights of what they have done in the past.  Of the four, Carl Hagelin is the only one truly expected to challenge for a roster spot with the Rangers this season.  If Hagelin does not he will be a key player for the Connecticut Whale while Grant and Kerbashian have lower expectations on them heading into the season.

Video courtesy of Brian Ring:

Rangers Prospect Summer Rankings.

Over at Sportsology Russ Cohen posted his 2011 New York Rangers Summer Prospect Rankings on Friday.  His rankings have some similarities to many that are out there, but also a few surprises.

Russ’ List:
Chris Kreider, Tim Erixon, Cal Hagelin, Jesper Fasth, Christian Thomas, Ryan Bourque, Dylan McIlrath, J.T. Miller, Steven Fogarty, Oscar Lindberg, Pavel Valentenko

For thoughts on his list and my own list continue after the jump.

Rumor: Wojtek Wolski Unlikely To Be Bought Out By Rangers

According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post the New York Rangers are not planning on buying out Wojtek Wolski as a way to gain additional cap relief this season.  Brooks goes on to say that Columbus is waiting to see what happens with Wolski, but that fails to track with the fact they signed Vinny Prospal yesterday to help replace the injured Kristian Huselius.  A buyout for Wolski would save the Rangers $3.33 million against a cap that is tighter than it appeared it would be a few weeks ago. 

According to the Rangers have just under $5.78 million in cap space remaining to sign Ryan Callahan and likely Steve Eminger.  Those numbers factor in $1.75 million for Tim Erixon this season, but do not count Michael Del Zotto’s $1.0875 against the cap.  If we assume that both Erixon and Del Zotto make the team this fall they really have $4.69 million to sign Callahan and Eminger, which is not enough.  There will be a forward move either via trade or to the minors and right now if Wolski stays Mats Zucarello’s $1.75 million against the cap would seem a likely candidate.

Keeping Wolski for his final year at $3.8 million is a gamble on his talent, but also should indicate that they are intending on at least giving him a chance to make it on the top line with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards.  When you have a player than could be bought out extremely cheap, as is the case with Wolski, and you keep them at their significant salary it is not so they can be a bottom six forward or scratched from the lineup.  The experiment of him playing with Gaborik and Richards could fail, but keeping him for his salary leads to the assumption it will at least be tested.