Waiver moves offer team flexibility
Notebook: Roster deadline fast approaching; players get military inspiration
• Complete Training Camp Coverage
By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com
Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather said on Tuesday that the club’s decision to place forwards Todd White and Tim Kennedy on waivers was a strategic move just in case the Rangers decide to pursue another player, either by trade or waiver claim, before opening night.
“It just gives us some options in case somebody becomes available in the next day or two that we think we can use,” said Sather. “We’ve thought about this for quite a while. It just leaves us with some options.”
|By placing Todd White (above) and Tim Kennedy on waivers on Tuesday, the Blueshirts gave themselves some flexibility if other moves need to be made before the roster is set on Wednesday.|
Rangers head coach John Tortorella had said that he expected both players to be on the ice at practice Wednesday morning.
Even though neither player was lost, Sather is confident that the Rangers had enough quality reinforcements within the organization to fill in.
“There’s always that possibility (that a player is claimed off waivers), but at the same time you have to remember that there are some kids in Hartford that can play here, as well,” said Sather.
Each team’s opening night roster must be set and submitted to the league by 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
“We’re always looking for help, and this gives us some options if there is someone out there,” said Sather. “But you can’t really predict who’s going to be available.”
Soldiers address the Blueshirts
Tortorella invited several members of the military, including retired Four-Star General Doug Brown, to address the team before practice on Tuesday morning. Although Tortorella chose not to divulge everything that was part of the morning presentation, preferring to keep certain things solely amongst the team, he was excited about the potential effect it could have on the players.
Last year, during his first training camp as head coach of the Rangers, Tortorella had several Green Berets address the team. Today’s version not only included speeches, but a PowerPoint presentation, as well.
“I have done it for a number of years to try and make a correlation on a couple points of emphasis,” said Tortorella. “These are good people and it’s good for the players to hear from them.”
Needless to say, General Brown and the others had the players’ full attention during their presentation.
“It was impressive and inspiring,” said center Brian Boyle. “The discipline they have is phenomenal and inspiring. Their commitment to each other is incredible. It’s all things we can relate to, certainly on a much smaller scale. What they do is just amazing.”
Rookie center Derek Stepan, who made the Rangers opening-night roster out of training camp, will be wearing No. 21 when the puck drops on the 2010-11 season on Saturday night.
Stepan wore that number for the past two seasons at the University of Wisconsin, helping lead the Badgers to the 2010 NCAA title game. He also wore No. 21 as captain of the U.S. team that won the 2010 World Junior Championship gold medal.