WHALE GET HEAVIER

More decisions are in store for Connecticut Whale head coach Ken Gernander as the New York Ranges have made what is expected to be all but their last cut.

According to the New York media tweeting this morning the Blueshirts have sent forwards Ryan Bourque, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, and Dale Weise, along with defenseman Tim Erixon and Blake Parlett to the team. Dylan McIlrath was sent back to Moose Jaw of WHL.

The reporters are also stating that the final slot on the roster will go to  either Eric Christensen or Sean Avery.

The surprise then of this year’s training camp is that defenseman Stu Bickel has made it to the NHL. Bickel, as you may recall, came to the organization last November in a trade for the incredibly unpopular Nigel Williams, in a trade that should Bickel have even a decent year, will go down as one of the best that this organization has made to date. Williams had become a big locker room distraction and Bickel came in, played very well and now his hard work has paid off.

From last year’s Whale team, today’s cuts mean that Mats Zuccarello and Michael Del Zotto are on the team.

There are 25 on the current Rangers roster. On the defense there’s eight including Marc Staal and Michael Sauer. In addition to Bickel and Del Zotto, Brendan Bell has made the cut as have Steve Eminger, Dan Girardi, and Ryan McDonagh.

Up front there are currently 14 on the roster, Wojtek Wolski, Brad Richards, Marion Gaborik, Artem Anisimov, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust, Zuccarello, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan as well as Avery and Christensen.

Three goalies are on the roster for the moment, Henrik Lundqvist, Marty Biron and Scott Stajer, who is likely to be sent back to juniors shortly.

The most difficult cut for the Rangers had to be Dale Weise. The young forward must pass through waivers in order to get through to Hartford in the AHL. Among the comments that have been tweeted this morning is that Head Coach John Tortorella said that Weise, “Will play in the NHL,” and that the team hopes that he clears waivers, but that “it is what it is.”

As for some of the others who were cut, Tortorella feels that the youngsters, Hagelin, Bourque and Erixon need to come to Hartford and play a lot of minutes.

Also on the plan is that the organization is hoping that Head Coach Ken Gernander and Assistant Coach J.J. Daigneault will be able to work the same magic with Erixon this season the way they did last year with McDonagh.

Calling Wade Redden…you’re being paged to educate another young Rangers defenseman… (By the way, given the situation this team is in, Redden should be named Captain of the team…just a brief editorial comment…)

Here’s the official release on the cuts from the Rangers:

RANGERS TRIM ROSTER BY EIGHT
25 Active Players Remain with the Club

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has assigned forwards Ryan Bourque, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury and Dale Weise, and defensemen Tim Erixon and Blake Parlett to Connecticut of the American Hockey League (AHL). Dylan McIlrath has also been assigned to Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

The Rangers now have 25 players remaining on their active roster, including three goaltenders, eight defensemen and 14 forwards.  The Blueshirts will continue their European exhibition schedule tomorrow, October 2 vs. HC Slovan Bratislava in Bratislava, Slovakia (11:00 a.m. ET), before opening their 2011-12 regular season schedule on Friday, October 7 vs. the Los Angeles Kings at Stockholm, Sweden (1:00 p.m. ET), as part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere.

PLAYERS ASSIGNED TO CONNECTICUT (AHL) ON 10/1/11:
Defense
(2): Tim Erixon, Blake Parlett
Forward (5): Ryan Bourque, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, Dale Weise

PLAYERS RETURNED TO JUNIORS ON 9/24/11:
Defense (1): Dylan McIlrath (Moose Jaw, WHL)

NEW YORK RANGERS ACTIVE ROSTER:
Goal (3): Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer
Defense (8): Brendan Bell, Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal
Forward (14): Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello

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