Rangers: Waiver Time, News and Notes

By pbadmin

The New York Rangers made available their list of available players for today`s Waiver Draft. General Manager Neil Smith expects not to sign or lose anyone. However the most intriquing player is Swedish Import, Johan Witehall. Witehall may go the way Maxim Galanov and Vladimir Vorobiev did….via the waiver wire. Witehall has the skills to compete at the NHL level but is mired behind too many NHL level wingers in NY. Derek Armstrong and Brad Smyth are interesting players that could fill roles elsewhere in the NHL. J.F.Labbe had a strong camp and is also interesting but will likely remain in Hartford(AHL).

Camp news, Tim Taylor played with tight legs in his first game as a Ranger, yesterday at the Hartford Civic Center before 9108 and a Rangers 1-0 win over Boston on a goal by Kevin Stevens early in the first. The game was less than a sellout but drew nearly three times as many as the former Whalers now Hurricanes drew and double as many as season tickets as the `Canes have sold for their innaugral season in Raleigh. With chants of Let`s go Rangers, chants from the ghosts of Let`s go nobody and Let`s go Whalers filled the arena as the fine people of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts expressed their displeasure with the NHL`s handling of the Hartford Whalers in 1996-97. Hartford is now home to the rival New York Rangers AHL club, the Hartford Wolfpack whom have also outdrawn the Hurricanes on a nightly basis.

It looks as though Pavel Brendl will join Jamie Lundmark with a trip back to Juniors. Brendl has been less than impressive and Lundmark would be best suited for some additional CHL time and strength training.

Kim Johnsson continues to sparkle and his play has ignited the rumors that Mathieu Schneider may be dealt for a no.2 center such as Keith Primeau in a package. Johnsson basically stole all the powerplay ice time from Schneider whose lacsidasical style has dogged him under John Muckler. Muckler loves the talent of Schneider but after a closed door meeting the other day…hates his lazy style. Primeau has been sitting out of Carolina Camp in a contract dispute and Peter Karamanos is out of money and can ill afford to take on another salary while his SURE FIRE SUCCESS IN THE CAROLINAS struggles at the gate. Schneider would be part of a package for Primeau and would make the Rangers an instant force in the NHL Eastern Conference. Schneider`s departure would open the gates for expat, Ulf Samuelsson to return to NY as no.7 Jason Doig struggles to make the NHL jump. Rumun Ndur appears to have lost any value with NY other than the exception of being protected, Ndur may never play again in the league after sitting out.
Available Players

Armstrong, Derek F
Beukeboom, Jeff D
Gernander, Ken F
Hall, Todd D
Kenady, Chris F
Namestnikov, John D
Smyth, Brad F
Virtue, Terry D
Witehall, Johan F
Labbe, Jean-Francois G