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Well, folks. Thursday is the day the Blueshirts officially open the doors to training camp, though reports are circulating that many players have in fact already begun "informal" workouts, both on and off the ice.

Players who have already been spotted on the ice include: Brendan Shanahan, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Martin Straka, Henrik Lundqvist, Petr Prucha, Sean Avery, Fedor Tyutin, Ryan Callahan, Michael Rozsival, Marek Malik, Nigel Dawes, Daniel Girardi, Blair Betts, Colton Orr, Thomas Pock, Paul Mara, Mitch Fritz, Marcel Hossa, Ryan Hollweg, Jason Strudwick, Chris Holt, and yes, Darius Kasparaitis. According to Sam Weinman, the rumours that Kaspar looks better than ever are indeed true, though due to his almost $3mil cap hit it's unlikely the Rangers will be able to keep him, even if they wanted to. JJ hasn't yet been spotted, and probably won't be there until Thursday.

Some big questions that surround the Blueshirts this season:

- Who will center Jaromir Jagr this season?

- Who will backup Henrik Lundqvist in net?

- Who will win the vacant 3rd line center position?

- Will the Rangers defense-by-committee be able to get the job done come April?

- Will Henrik Lundqvist sign a contract extension come January?

- Will Sean Avery be able to put a nasty arbitration hearing behind him and live up to expectations?

- Will Fedor Tyutin take it to the next level to become the player he's capable of being?

- Will Petr Prucha become solid 30+ goal scorer?

- Who among the youngins will have a breakout year?

- Is Marc Staal ready for the NHL, and can he do what his brothers have done before him by having breakouts in their rookie years?

Feel free to dicuss.
September 12, 2007 9:50 AM ET | Delete
Good article but pretty much the same thing I read on Blueshirt Bulletin. To answer your questions. I think Gomez and Jagr might have some compatability problems b/c both players like to control the puck even though Gomez is a pass before shoot player like Nylander but I think that their personalities might conflict a little. So I think You will see a combo of Drury, Jagr, Straka and a 2nd line of Gomez, Shannahan,Avery. I think that Valiquette will back up Lundquist to start the season, but if anything happens to Lundqvist(God help us) we always have Montoya in the wings or we can dump a player and pick up Cujo or Esche as an experienced void filler. In regards to the 3rd line center dilemma, I think it is between Dubinsky and Anisimov. After hearing about how well everyone was commenting on Anisimov during the Canada Russia Super Series, I would love to see this guy donning the ranger blue centering Prucha and Hossa(how exciting would that combo be). As far as D goes, why not dump some salary and get rid of our garbage. We could dump Malik and Kasper(no offense he is not garbage I love him to death but 3million is a killer)or perhaps Mara and a prospect and ship them off to our buddy in Don Maloney in Phoenix to help them get over the minimum cap requirement and pick up Jovocop?He would be a great stud on the powerplay and be a great mentor for our young up and coming D-corp. Or we could dump Malik and call up Staal and have all this money situation straight. I think Tyutin will come into his own this season (master of the hip check after Kasper) w/ more responsibilities facing him. Prucha will be good for 25 goals this year barring he gets some powerplay time. If Marc Staal makes the roster, look for him to break out this year w/ he and Anisimov battling for rookie of the year.
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