Rangers Roundup: Wheeler feels at home, Laviolette on camp lines, and more

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Toronto Maple Leafs
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers will have one more day of practice at training camp on Saturday before getting some game action on the road against the Boston Bruins tomorrow.

Head coach Peter Laviolette rolled out what many feel are hius starting 12 forwards on Friday, featuring Mika Zibanejad with usual linemate Chris Kreider on his left and new right wing Alexis Lafreniere. However, Laviolette already indicated that Mika was not playing in Boston, so today’s practice lines are more likely what you are going to see when they’re revealed.

Here’s the schedule for September 23, 2023:

  • 8:30 AM – 10:45 AM – Group A Practice
  • 12:00 PM – 2:20 PM – Group C Practice
  • 1:00 PM – 3:10 PM – Group B Practice


New York Rangers prep for Boston Bruins

Aside from the top line, Artemi Panarin was actually centered by Filip Chytil while Vincent Trocheck had Kaapo Kakko on one of his wings. The defense also had some new pairings with K’Andre Miller and Ryan Lindgren swapping away from their usual partners in Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox respectively.

“The lines are going to switch and we’re going to move things around,” Laviolette noted. “There are times where you can switch even inside of a game. And I understand the philopsphy of having a good anchoring defenseman with an offensive defenseman to push the offense, but I think there’s times where you have your top line in the offensive zone and you want to put out two guys that think more offense. Conversely, you might be in the defensive zone and want a couple of guys who think more defense.”

It’s pretty early on in camp and Sunday is the first of six exhibition games for the Rangers this preseason. Fans should prepare themselves for a lot of different looks.

Sun, Sep 24
(5 PM ET)
(@ TD Garden)

Balke Wheeler feels right at home

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets
James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Wheeler, 37, signed with the Rangers on July 1st in what can only be called an extemely team-friendly deal at 1-year and an $800,000 AAV. After spending 12 years in Winnipeg, it wouldn’t be surprising if he found making the adjustment to a new city difficult., but that hasn’t been the case.

“I came early (to New York) and I feel like I’ve known some of these guys for a little while,” Wheeler explained. “This goups been great about getting together outside of the rink. it feels like I’ve been here a long time. I feel at home.”

The veteran notched 16 goals and 39 assists for 55 points in 72 games including 7 power play goals. For his career, he’s amassed 312 goals and 610 assists for 922 points in 1,118 matches. In the playoffs, the Minnesota native has added 45 points in 65 games.

By adding Wheeler, the Blueshirts now have a middle six winger witha proven track record for scoring with seven 20+ goal seasons and two 91 point campaigns to his name. At 6-5′ and 225 lbs, he’s also now the biggest forward on the Rangers roster, which he’ll use to get into the dirty areas to give opposing defenses headaches.

Something Peter Laviolette will love.

Rangers ink Adam Clendening to PTO

Per the New York Rangers:

The Rangers have signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a PTO. The Niagara Falls, NY native split the 2022-23 season with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack and Rockford IceHogs, compiling 33 pts (4G-29A) in 68 games.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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