Rangers Roundup: Reaves ready for opener; Lundkvist jersey number change; and Gallant on Kravtsov

The New York Rangers held practice today and kept Ryan Strome out for “maintenance”. In the Blueshirts last preseason game against the Islanders, Strome injured his hand in a collision. He was removed from the contest as a precaution and avoided serious injury.

“It’s a maintenance day,” Gallant said. “We fully expect him to play.”

However, the big news today was Vitali Kravtsov not reporting to the Wolf Pack and being granted permission to seek a trade.

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Gallant on why he sent Kravtsov down

“There was no reason why, it was about picking your team that you’re moving forward with, trying to win hockey games,” Gallant said after practice. “We said there was battles for those spots all training camp long and the other guys played well, some of the guys that stayed up – Gauthier and Hunt because they played really well in camp and they earned this position.”

vitali kravtsov trade
Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov and other Rangers prospects practice at the Rangers training facility in Greenburgh Sept. 5, 2019.

“We like [Kravtsov], he’s a good talented player,” he continued. “Hopefully he goes down to Hartford and plays really well. Our job is to put the best 23 guys out there to give us a chance to win.”

As to whether or not Kravtsov did enough to earn a spot, Gallant basically said that Gauthier and Hunt outplayed him.

“I thought Kravy he came to camp, he missed some time with the injury there,” Gallant acknowledged. “I liked his last game, but you’ve got to keep doing it day in and day out. Things change in the NHL all the time, we’ll see how it goes.”

Nils Lundkvist switches to 27

Lundkvist was sporting a 64 throughout the preseason. Now that he’s made the team, he will wear #27 as he did in Sweden.

Yesterday, he New York Rangers announced that Nils Lundkvist is the recipient of the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award. This is given out annually by the media to the top rookie in Training Camp.

Ryan Reaves ready for opener

Reaves, 34, is no stranger to the physical aspects of the game. In 686 games he has accumulated 937 penalty minutes. He can also chip in with some occasional offense as he’s picked up 101 points over that time. The big forward also likes to throw the body with 2,322 hits in his career to go with 75 major penalties.

There was some concern that he may miss the season opener against the Caps and showdown with Tom Wilson tomorrow after a painful looking leg injury. Reaves put that rest with some humor.

“I prepare for it all summer, this body is a temple,” he said. “I prepare for 250 lbs coming down on my knee and ankle while my toes are touching my ears – no problem.”

Reaves was also asked if he thought the hit from PK Subban was clean to which he said, “not really.”

“We play them a lot,” Reaves remarked, almost issuing a warning.

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What can the Rangers get for Kravtsov? Read that and more here.