News and Notes: Pavel Bure will undergo arthriscopic surgery on his ailing knee. A tear in his meniscus was found. His time off the ice is unknown.
Mike Mottau was again assigned to Hartford along with camp suprise Bryce Lampman and Joel Bouchard. Mottau played well in camp but the Rangers are far too veteran deep (regardless of talent) at the blue line. Look for Mottau to be dealt, ask to be dealt or brought up when Vladimir Malakhov is injured in game 2, 3 or 4. Joel Bouchard gives the Rangers a bit of NHL exeprience at the blue line when needed. Bouchard is a step or six ahead of last years alternative Terry Virtue. Johan Holmqvist basically assured himself of the no.1 job in Hartford after a solid showing with the Rangers. He will be backed up by Jason Labarbera and Scott Meyer. Ted Donato remains in New York fighting for 4th line time. With the injury to Bure Donato`s chance of sticking increase slightly. Donato a journeyman NHL veteran returned to New York via Hartford after an absence due to a death in his family.
Garth Murray, Jamie Lundmark and Richard Lintner all remain in New York. Look for Lintner to make way for Hartford also. Murray may earn some limited ice time in NY at the start of the season especially if Bure is out. Sound familiar? Lundmark has been solid and looks like he has earned atleast a regular shift for now! Have you heard that Martin Rucinsky?
Rico Fata? only a matter of time before he is sent down especially when he does not light the lamp in 4 mins of ice time. Realistically this may be Fata`s last chance at making it with the Rangers. If he falters look for him to gain a great deal of ice time in Hartford and maybe dealt to a suitor like Tampa or Nashville where he will have a shot at the “big time”. Fata must clear waivers 1st and like last season this is likely.
The WolfPack are looking like an interesting bunch this season. The jury is out on where they will finish especially after losing most of their offense to free agency in the off season! Count on veteran Ken Gernander and Mike Mottau to lead the troops with younger players contributing. They will have to implore a defense first style with fast puck moving defenders starting the play. Holmqvist will see many pucks this season!
Thanks and stay tuned for more info!