First, the news. As I posted this morning, Michael Del Zotto did re-sign with the Rangers for 2 yrs at $2.55 million per year. It’s a little more than I would’ve liked and next summer is going to be a disaster for the team (big names that will need contracts include Callahan, Girardi, Lundqvist, Gaborik, Kreider and now Del Zotto) but I’m glad we got him back in the fold. I know some people are against him but his upside is still there, his defense got much better last season and I still insist the Rangers would be in a lot of trouble without him.
The Rangers also signed Matt Gilroy to a reportedly one year, $650k deal. This one makes no sense to me at all. Especially if it’s a one-way deal (although not sure how that works since he does have the AHL contract – Update: Per AHL transaction list, Gilroy was released from his AHL contract so this is straight NHL contract). I honestly don’t understand what Torts is going to do with eight defensemen unless he plans on turning one of them into a forward. (Bickel has been used as a forward and I believe so has Eminger. I’ve also always felt Gilroy would make a better forward than defenseman so maybe they signed him as the 13th forward.)
Torts had this to say about his time in Connecticut:
“He wasn’t bad, I don’t think he was great. He wasn’t bad at times. I didn’t see every game he played when we were out but he’s played in the NHL we need depth on our blueline. Quite honestly when he left us, he was really beginning to understand what we want out of him, he was beginning to understand the coaching staff. I guess he didn’t really like it too much and took off for a while. I’m happy he’s back because it’s certainly an easier transition. He knows how we go about our business.”
That isn’t exactly a glowing review if you ask me. As I said, I don’t understand this move. Guess we wait and see.
As for the training camp roster, it is small as expected with no additional players being brought up or in other than those who have been on the ice all week. The only guy missing? Brad Richards who apparently has the flu. Not the way to start the season. He better rest up and get better soon. Oh, and stay away from the rest of the team. The boys can’t afford that to be spreading around the room now.
And in a move that caught everyone off guard, the players were on the ice this afternoon with sticks and pucks. Yes, you read that correctly. First day of camp and straight to hockey rather than have conditioning tests. Even the players were surprised by this move. No word on when the conditioning tests will take place but I can’t imagine Torts has scrapped them for the year. If he did, that’s almost worst than running them since the players have been preparing all week. He did mention to the media that he knows he can’t run a normal training camp so anything is possible.
Otherwise it sounds like business as usual. To me, that’s the best news of the day. Welcome back NHL!