Defenseman Michael Del Zotto will be the youngest Rangers defenseman to take the ice since Brian Leetch. The 19-year old was the Rangers first round draft pick in 2008. He can still be returned to his OHL London Knights.
Head Coach John Tortorella told Steve Zipay of Newsday this morning, "Right now, he has made the club. Based on his play, he has made the club." Del Zotto will likely play in the third pairing. Could the defensive pairs be split to place the rookies with a veteran? I would like to see:
Marc Staal - Dan Girardi
Wade Redden - Matt Gilroy
Michal Rozsival - Michael Del Zotto
I think Gilroy is fast enough where Redden wouldn't be the focus on the ice. This would give him a little more freedom with the puck and the comfort that his partner could backcheck if he takes a risk.
Staal and Girardi seem like they are going to stick. Rozsival would be able to focus more on his own zone if paired with the offensive Del Zotto.
No news on Alexei Semenov though there are some rumblings that he could continue to start the season on a tryout. Not sure if that's possible or not.
In other news, our friends at Ranger Nation will be on the radio tomorrow night doing their season preview. Hosted by Jonathan Ragus and Randy Sobel, the call in show will start at 9 pm. at http://radio.nyrnation.com . The call in is (347) 884 - 8692.