The Hungry and the Hopeful — A Look at Forwards in Training Camp

New York Rangers 2017 Training Camp began today with player physical tests and head coach Alain Vigneault’s media availability. This season’s edition of training camp brings some interesting storylines in the form of roster openings due to the moves made during the offseason. Most notably, the Rangers traded center Derek Stepan to the Arizona Coyotes forcing the Rangers to bump Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes up the center depth chart. Oscar Lindberg was claimed by the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft. Jesper Fast underwent hip surgery in June that is expected to keep him out until late October. And, just as training camp began, J.T. Miller was confirmed to start the season as a center, filling the third line center role.

Rangers Invite Andrew Desjardins To Camp on PTO

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported Wednesday morning that the Rangers invited center Andrew Desjardins to training camp on a PTO:

Weighing an Andreas Athanasiou Offer Sheet

Since Artem Anisimov was traded, the New York Rangers have had an alliterative alphabetical hole at the top of their lineup. Now, with Andreas Athanasiou’s contract with the Red Wings in limbo and rumors swirling that he’s headed to the KHL, the idea of signing him to an offer sheet and sending a pick to Detroit is being kicked around. However, whether or not Rangers GM Jeff Gorton should pursue him is debatable, despite Athanasiou’s upside.

Jesper Fast Will Wear Number 17 This Season

Yay, more news! As the Rangers just confirmed, Jesper Fast will be wearing the number 17 this season:

Brian Leetch, Brad Richards Named Hockey Ops Advisors

In a bit of early September hockey news that’s sure to pique your interest, the New York Rangers officially announced that Brian Leetch and Brad Richards have both been named Hockey Operations Advisors:

Measuring Shattenkirk's Power Play Impact

McCabe. Del Zotto. Boyle. Yandle. Shattenkirk.

The Rangers’ have failed over and over since Jaromir Jagr to find a power play maven, and Kevin Shattenkirk is the newest experiment. We won’t know until probably November how Alain Vigneault plans to use the newly signed Shattenkirk entirely, though we can make a strong assumption that he’ll slot right in as captain Ryan McDonagh’s right-side partner. But, immediately, we’ll see what impact he can have on the Rangers’ power play.

The Case for Keeping Rick Nash

Former All-Star, 79-point scorer (once), power forward.

Current underperformer, overpaid, aging forward.

At 34-years old, Rick Nash is in a position that several other borderline superstars have been in over the past few years. He is now a player who was once an offensive threat who entered his thirties and began to fizzle out. See: Simon Gagne, Brad Richards, Scott Gomez, et al. The latter two saw their time with the New York Rangers begin and end in similar fashion to Nash. They were defined by the expectations placed upon them which they all failed to reach. While Richards and Gomez were acquired via free agency, with Nash, the Rangers inherited the remaining six years of an eight-year $62.4 million dollar contract from the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of a multi-player trade.

Rangers Release Traverse City Tournament Roster

There are no real surprises on the list of players the Rangers will take with them to the Traverse City Tournament hosted by the Detroit Red Wings. The team also released the schedule on their website.

10 Most Painful Goals Against the New York Rangers in the Salary Cap Era

This one is going to sting, fellow Rangers’ fans. So if you are enjoying one of the last few nice summer days, no one is going to fault you for turning off your phone or closing the browser tab right now. But it is summer, there’s not much going on in the hockey world, much less for the Rangers and I am tasked with racking up some page views here at Cleared for Contact. What better way, then, for an increasingly dark trip down the rabbit hole of some of the most painful seconds in Rangers’ history since the 2004/2005 season was lost to a lockout and the new modern era of NHL hockey began?

That is enough lead up, I think. You get the picture and you’ve been warned. Let’s get right to it then. To start us off on our count down, we have…

Rangers Officially To Retire Jean Ratelle's Number on February 25, 2018

The Rangers officially announced today that they will be retiring Rangers legend Jean Ratelle’s number 19 in a ceremony before the February 25, 2018 game vs. the Detroit Red Wings.