The Sports Daily > NY Rangers Blog
So Who’s the 6th & 7th Defensemen?

In a look back at Steve Eminger’s season, Jesse Spector at the Blueshirts Blog looks at the candidates for the sixth and seventh defensive spots assuming Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer and Michael Del Zotto are back…

“That’s five defensemen, with the Rangers facing a decision on whether to make a $2.1 million qualifying offer to retain Matt Gilroy’s rights as a restricted free agent – a decision made harder by Gilroy’s solid finish, but $2.1 million still is a lot for a third-pair defenseman on a team trying to free up cap space. Will Pavel Valentenko, Tomas Kundratek, Jyri Niemi or 2010 first-round pick Dylan McIlrath be ready for the big time next season?”

…not so sure Del Zotto is a definite to make the team out of camp. I’ll be rooting for him because I think he has the tools to turn the Rangers dreadful power play around I’m just not confident he’s found his game yet. Hope I’m wrong.

…i think the Rangers need to make a decision on Gilroy or Eminger. Can’t bring both back. And whoever they choose will need to take a serious pay cut.

…as far as the prospects who may surprise in camp, I’m really looking forward to getting another chance to see Valentenko. He just barely missed making the team last year. May have made it if Sauer didn’t need to go through waivers to be sent down. So he could end up splitting the 6th/7th spot with either Eminger or Gilroy. For the second year in a row it should be an interesting battle.

…one thing I’d be against is bringing someone in. I think they have very deverse options within the organization so they won’t have to look elsewhere.


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