Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Avery Clears Waivers, Sent To Minors; Staal To IR

Sean Avery, Stu Bickel and Brendan Bell all cleared waivers today after the New York Rangers put them out there for any other NHL franchise to take them. Avery was assigned to the Connecticut Whale, while Bickel and Bell will remain on the active roster for the time being. 

To make room, on the active roster to keep Bickel and Bell while also recalling Tim Erixon the team officially placed Marc Staal on injured reserve.

Erixon To Be Recalled; With Staal Out Significant Time Rangers Scrambling On D

The New York Rangers seem to be in a bit of a scramble mode on defense right now.  Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported this morning that the team could be without All-Star defenseman Marc Staal for upwards of a month and the organization is looking into lots of options to get through that time.  Talks with veteran Paul Mara have apparently been restarted and rookie defender Tim Erixon is going to be recalled this afternoon and will rejoin the team in Stockholm tomorrow.

The move with Erixon is somewhat surprising given that he was cut last week to get some more experience in the AHL, but with how badly both Bell and Bickel struggled against Zug on Monday the Rangers have decided to go with Erixon for the start the year.  Erixon will pair with Steve Eminger on the team's third pair while Ryan McDonagh is going to play with Dan Girardi and Del Zotto moves up to play with Michael Sauer.

Tortorella Giving Dubinsky Opening Assignment on Rangers Top Line With Richards, Gaborik

The question as to whom would be the left wing on the New York Rangers top line has been answered this morning as the team announced via their official twitter that coach John Tortorella Brandon Dubinsky will be the top line left wing whent he Rangers open Friday against Los Angeles. 

From a talent standpoint this is an easy move for Tortorella to make, but still somewhat surprising due to the production of the Dubinsky, Anisimov, Callahan trio.  Torts recognizes the issue in talking about the move:
"I understand it's robbing Peter to pay Paul because I really like Dubi with Cally and my mind I am trying to settle this"

According to Dan Rosen at Dan Rosen at the other lines will be as follows:

The third line is somewhat intriguing because Wolski appeared to be set for the top line assignment for much of camp until his groin issues.  However, putting him with Stepan and Zuccarello is a move that makes sense because the trio had some success when together last year. 
These lines represent Tortorella going away from his two best lines last season in hopes of finding something at mnew, which is certainly a risk.  The Anisimov and Boyle lines were his most consistent performers, but Rupp in Fedotenko's spot should make for a similar line.  Fedotenko can play a physical game and will be excellent on the forecheck, but obviously doesn't have the scoring upside that Dubinsky had on the second line.