Rangers roster opens up

By Evan Andriopoulos

Glen Sather pulled off a masterful move this past weekend by sending injured toughguy Darren Langdon and short term Ranger Rob Dimaio to Carolina for Sandy McCarthy and a conditional 4th round selection in 2001. On paper the move seems just by subtracting Langdon 6-0 205 and Dimaio 5 something and 1 something for McCarthy a 6-3 225 winger…but there is more to this move, a lot more. That “more” being the opening of a roster spot. McCarthy brings an element of toughness that the Rangers have lacked in recent years and an element of “pure mean” size that they have lacked since Barry Beck, Nick Fotiu and Ed Hospodar patroled the ice in the early 80`s. A conditional 4th rounder is some icing on the cake…but with protection for the masses, an open roster spot means new hope for the Ranger baby blue.

With talks surrounding the signing of Claude Lemeiux which will again cloud things we must enjoy the moments of hope that maybe, just maybe a Pavel Brendl, Jamie Lundmark or Chris Kenady will be able to play in New York next year… and maybe extra ice for Eric Lacroix, maybe can return to his 20 goal level of some years back.

Top Pre Season Candidates for Promotion:

Pavel Brendl: Brings loads of offensive ability…but also questions on his work ethic that he has worked this summer in dry land workouts to lose…

Jamie Lundmark: Brings the touch of Barry Pederson and wrists of Rick Middleton…but is the odd man out with Messier, York, Nedved and Taylor in camp…as well as Manny “may play wing” Malhotra and rumors of Todd Marchant returning to NY.

Brad Smyth: How many times will he get a one game chance…? 99-00 he had none… maybe 2000-01 he will… a nice touch as a sniper not a fourth line checker like Muckler had him envisioned…

Johan Witehall: Best player in the Ranger out of NHL system… may just be the biggest suprise…

Derek Armstrong, Todd Hall… all have a shot…

DEFENSE:
Short and quick list… Dale Purinton, Alex Vasiliev, Tomas Kloucek, Mike Mottau, Wes Jarvis and Burke Henry as well as Martin Richter.

Of this group… the most interesting are Purinton for his toughness and size… Kloucek for his defensive ability…Mottau and Richter for their entire package. Jarvis and Henry need another year for evaluation.

NOTES:

The Rangers recently lost a player of tremendous international acclaim in Milan Hnilicka. Hnilicka was never given a proper shot and the Rangers lost a player of tremendous ability and upside to Atlanta where he may just get a shot to show North America what he can do… Next in line seems to be JF Labbe… with McLean around as long as Richter`s knee is in question… Labbe will sit in Hartford-AHL and be dealt to make room for Yeremeyev and Holmqvist.