Rangers Roundup: Anton Blidh, Maxim Barbashev, and updated camp schedule
The New York Rangers will be right back at it on Monday at the MSG Training Center after a disappointing result in Boston last night. It was a 3-0 shutout thanks to the stunning goaltending of prospect Brandon Bussi, but there were some positives per head coach Peter Laviolette.
“I thought the chances we gave up wasn’t a quantity thing but a quality thing,” he said. “I think there’s some things that are real teachable inside the game and there were positives. So we’ll show those as well.”
One of those would be the play of bruising forward Anton Blidh, who led the Rangers with six hits, but was also buzzing in the offensive zone.
Rangers Roundup: Anton Blidh
Blidh, 28, was a trade deadline acquisition from the Colorado Avalanche that sent Gustav Rydahl the other way. The move was to bolster the Hartford Wolf Pack as they pushed for a playoff spot last season.
As soon as he got into the Pack lineup the impact was immediate. Besides the obvious physical presence, Blidh picked up 11 points in 17 games to help Hartford secure their first playoff spot since 2015.
In the Calder Cup playoffs, the 6-1′ and 197 lbs winger recorded 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points in 9 matches. The Wolf Pack won two rounds before falling to the Hershey Bears. His play earned him a two-year, two-way deal with an AAV of $775,000 at the NHL level and $350,000 in the AHL.
Against the Bruins on Sunday, he registered 13:27 of ice time and managed 4 shots on goal. While his physical play was a known commodity coming into the matchup, it was nice to see Blidh assert himself offensivley.
The battle for the 13th forward spot is going to be heated with Alex Belzile looking like an early front-runner, unless Will Cuylle makes the team out of camp as the third-line LW. However, Blidh certainly put his best foot forward and deserves some consideration if he continues to perform in preseason action.
Blidh was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the sixth-round of the 2013 Draft, and has amassed 12 points in 84 games with 41 penalty minutes split between Boston and Colorado.
New York Rangers Training camp schedule
Here’s the latest schedule per the Rangers:
September 25, 2023:
- 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Group 1 Practice
- 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Group 2 Practice
September 26, 2023:
- 9:30 AM – 11:45 AM – Non-Game Group Practice
The Rangers will face the New York Islanders with a 7 PM puck drop at Madison Square Garden.
On Sunday, the Rangers made their first round of training camp cuts. As expected, many of those players were young prospects which you can read more about here.
Among them is 19 year-old forward Maxim Barbashev, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NHL Draft. The reason why his name intrigues me is because the Rangers assigned him to their AHL affiliate and not back to his junior team.
It’s likely the 6-1, 176 lbs Moscow native could be signing his entry-level contract soon.
Barbashev recorded 32 goals and 65 points in 67 games for Moncton in the QMJHL last season.