Rangers Roundup: Camp scrimmages begin, Kid Line reunited, and more

The New York Rangers have decided to reunite the Kid Line as camp officially opened on Wednesday to get all medicals completed for their 66 invites. However, the real action begins today with their first of several scrimmages broken up by groups.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s planned for today:

  • 9/22 Team A & B Scrimmage (10:00-10:45 AM)
  • 9/22 Team C Practice (12:45-2:30 PM)

It should be noted that Barclay Goodrow will not partake in any scrimmages as he mends from a fractured foot suffered in the playoff.

Select players will be made available to the media after the sessions are finished.

New York Rangers training camp scrimmages

Although the group rosters have yet to be announced, the expectation is that many of the projected starters will be on Teams A and B.

That means we should get our first look at the Rangers top 9 which will include the following set up per Gerard Gallant:

LEFT WINGCENTERRIGHT WING
Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadSammy Blais
Artemi PanarinVincent TrocheckVitali Kravtsov
Alexis LafrenièreFilip ChytilKaapo Kakko
NYR top 9 to start camp

Although the prevailing thought was for Lafrenière to play right wing on the first line, Gallant wants to keep the Kid Line together from last year’s playoffs.

UPDATE: Zibanejad’s line is on Team A, Trocheck’s line is on B. The Kid Line is on C. Zac Jones likely to get first crack at partnering with Braden Schneider for 3LD.

Gallant on Blais: “Sammy is 100%. We got good news on him about a month ago. He looks lean. He’s skated, worked out, he’s tired of doing that and he’s ready to play hockey. He’s more excited than we are about getting started.”

Blais, 26, recorded 4 assists in 14 games last season before going down for the season with an ACL tear. He signed a one-year deal in the summer and will be a UFA next summer.

Gallant on Kravtsov: “He came [to New York] in early July and started working out. He made a big effort to come here and work hard and do the things we wanted. I talked to him about a month ago and said to him, ‘there’s an opportunity here but you’ve got to take it.’”

Kravtsov, 22, had a strong 2021-22 campaign in the KHL. In 19 regular season contests, he potted 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points. During the playoffs, he added 7 goals and a total of 10 points in 15 games.

Keeping the Kid Line together

new york rangers
May 11, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafrenière (13) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The third line based off of Gallant’s comments will reunite Lafrenière with Chytil and Kakko. All three are first round draft picks with a ton of offensive skill and upside.

During the playoffs, the unit was often one of the Rangers best at controlling play in the offensive zone. Lafrenière was the most noticeable with his physical play and posting 9 points in 20 playoff games. Chytil found his goal scoring touch in the postseason potting 7 goals, one shy of his regular-season total of 8. And Kakko recorded 5 points in his 19 games.

While it’s great to see the trio reunited, Gallant did break them up by scratching Kakko in the final contest of the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the Rangers in six games with no Kid Line in the lineup.

So how long will this last?

My expectation is not very long. I believe that Lafrenière will be put on the first line sooner rather than later.

As for Kakko moving up over Kravtsov? That’s an interesting question.

New York Rangers Spanish Heritage Month

Via MSG Networks:

MSG Networks just announced a month-long lineup of special programming to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and recognize the important contributions of the Hispanic community. 

As part of the commemorative coverage, the network will provide a Spanish-language audio broadcast of the Rangers game versus San Jose on Thursday, October 20th, which will be Rangers Hispanic Heritage Night at the Garden. The additional audio will be available by selecting the SAP setting on the broadcast, marking the first time the network has ever offered a Spanish audio call of an NHL game.

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