The Rangers announced this afternoon that nine players were reassigned to Hartford, including forwards Michael Haley, Michael Kantor, Danny Kristo, and Andrew Yogan. Defensemen Dylan McIlrath, Tommy Hughes, Aaron Johnson, and Danny Syvret were also assigned to the AHL. Finally, netminder Cam Talbot was sent back.
So, lets be honest here and say there was only one surprise among the group–Danny Kristo. Kristo was expected to be one of the last cuts, certainly after Marek Hrivik and most likely Jesper Fast. But, over the last week, it became clear that he was not ready. He was unable to finish or to show his flashy evasive moves with the puck. He needs to get used to the pro game. The top line in Hartford will be perfect for him.
The other big name on the list is Dylan McIlrath, who the Rangers were really hoping would be the seventh defenseman this season. But he just was not ready. He says his knee is 100%, but frankly, his pivoting was not the best. Neither was his defensive positioning. His game is just not there.
Both Kristo and McIlrath could be ready during the season, but sending them back early to get an AHL pre-season game in this weekend in Cromwell is a good idea. The Wolf Pack need the skill of both players right now.
As for Cam Talbot, the idea that he was in the running for NHL backup was never to be taken seriously. If he does get that spot this season, it will be because one of Henrik Lundqvist or Marty Biron is injured. He should be ready next season though, and that’s when the Rangers will be ready to make the choice of whether or not he will be backup to Henrik (of course, I am assuming that Lundqvist re-signs).
Expect the Rangers to make further cuts this weekend.