Rangers Roundup: Barclay Goodrow to 1st line, Brennan Othmann scores twice, and more
The New York Rangers are heading to their annual bonding trip before the season starts and Barclay Goodrow might be the next first line right wing.
Also in Blueshirts news, Brennan Othmann scored two goals for the Flint Firebirds in his first game back after being cut on Thursday. The Rangers also trimmed the roster on Saturday to 29 players in preparation for the last two preseason games before final cuts.
Let’s dive into the latest.
Barclay Goodrow first line wing?
At practice on Saturday, Gerard Gallant made another switch by bumping up Goodrow to skate with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. The spot previously was being held by Sammy Blais.
“We’ll see where it goes but you look at some obvious spots and you want to give people opportunities,” Gallant said. “Blais just played one hockey game in 10 months, so we’ll give him an opportunity to play and see how things shake down. I can’t honestly say that’s going to be a line right now.”
Goodrow, 29, scored 13 goals and 33 points in 79 games last season. Before the Rangers acquired Frank Vatrano and Andrew Copp at the trade deadline, he was bouncing in between the top two lines on the right side making him familiar with how Mika and Chris play.
Blais, 26, is coming back from ACL surgery after only playing in 14 games last season and recording 4 assists. He’s only played one game in the preseason, and looked strong physically throwing his body around.
“I was thinking about that first game for a long time,” Blais said after a 5-2 loss to NJ. “I think I did pretty good and I’m going to try and improve every day.”
The biggest issue for Blais was timing, which is expected after not playing a hockey game for 10 months. With two games left to play to decide not only the few open spots, I’d expect to see Blais get one more crack on the top line.
Brennan Othmann scores twice
Othmann, 19, suited up for the Flint Firebirds after being a casualty cut due to his age. Thanks to an outdated CHL agreement with the NHL, he is ineligible to be sent down to the AHL which takes a lot of flexibility away from the Rangers.
Just to be clear on the rule, a player must be at least 20 years-old or competed in four season of junior hockey before they can be assigned to any NHL minor league affiliate.
That’s why Will Cuylle, who is 20, was assigned to the Wolf Pack yesterday and the reason Othmann is back in the OHL.
Last season, he scored 50 goals and 97 points. Being a year older and stronger he’ll probably flirt with 60.
“I kept in contact all summer with the boys,” said Othmann, the Firebirds captain. “Kudos to the leadership group here to get things in order.”
The first round pick in 2021 also spoke briefly about his time at Rangers training camp.
“It was great. I learned a lot valuable pro tips that I can bring back here to junior hockey,” he said. “I kept up with the speed, it’s just the little details. I wanted to go in there and make the team but I knew I wasn’t going to because of their roster right now.”
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