Rangers Stanley Cup playoff quest to begin on July 30th

Larry Brooks of the NY Post is breaking news that the NHL will begin Phase 4 of the Return to Play Plan on July 30th. This information is flowing from a recent GM meeting that has training camps being finalized to just two weeks.

NHL Return to Play Phases 3 and 4

We noted that Phase 3 is scheduled to start on July 10th and will conclude with travel to hub cities on or around July 24th. As I recently noted, Las Vegas has unofficially been chosen as the East Hub City with Toronto the leading candidate for the West. Prior to launching into Phase 4, each team will play one exhibition game. Opponents to be determined.

New York Rangers Expanded Rosters

Also being reported by Brooks is the roster limits for training camps being 30 skaters and unlimited goalies. Teams will then be required to get that number to 28 skaters and unlimited goalies before the first Exhibition game.

The Rangers are going to have to determine whom to include on their expanded playoff roster. David Quinn has plenty of candidates to chose from and now will have plenty of choices among the 30 players they will invite to camp.

Will Libor Hajek make the roster?

Some players to include on the roster seem obvious like Steven Fogarty, Vinni Lettieri, Boo Nieves, and Tim Gettinger. However, the Rangers will need to see them in a controlled training camp environment to see where they are fitness wise. Same goes for key battles like Micheal Haley and Matt Beleskey who are essentially the same type of player. Or what about prospects like Vitali Kravtsov? You have to assume injuries will happen and each one of these spots is precious.

On defense, where there is a higher probability that injuries set in who will Quinn insert? We can’t simply assume Libor Hajek will make it. Plus how many will they carry? Battles for those spots amongst Brandon Crawley, Yegor Rykov, Darren Raddyish, and Tarmo Reunanen should be intense. The battles begin is just over 2 weeks.