... and Grachev would have had a fourth into an empty net, but gave it up to Derek Stepan for the final tally in a 6-4 win for the Red Team on Day 2 of prospect camp here in Westchester. Roman Horak's hat trick came with White.

Thought: Maybe Grachev just needs a legit playmaking center to succeed: he played with several pivots: Tyler Arnson, Paul Crowder, Corey Locke and others in Hartford last season. Looked good with Anisimov in the past as well....

Jyri Niemi and Tomas Kundratek (leg) were held out. The 40-minute scrimmage was mostly four-on-four....Mikhail Pashnin was stopped on a penalty shot after scoring yesterday....

More in a bit...


Grachev certainly had some chemistry with Stepan, who he called "smart with the puck... He doesn't just dump it, he can move it well, he's a good playmaker and he can score. You guys saw...it was a highlight goal. Really enjoyable, I'd like to play with him one year with the Blueshirts."   Stepan's three-year entry level contract should be registered with the NHL today and formally announced tonight or tomorrow.          

Overall, Grachev is much more at ease with the media. When told that Tortorella talked about his potential and wanted him to make the club, he said "Nothing is given. You earn it. That gives me more responsibility to not let him down if he has a high expectation for me....to show him and everybody I should be here with the team."

"I can't tell what would have happened if I went back to juniors. I'm not sure I would have gained anything. I found weak points in my game (sooner)...

"Numbers-wise (in Hartford), it was not great at all. I started pretty good, I had 15 points or so in first 30 games, then just lost maybe the edge. And when you're not confident, maybe you don't score as much. You're in a different place, but you've got to find a way to get out of the hole you're in when things are not going good."

He said that in his exit interview with Jim Schoenfeld, the assistant GM said, "You learned some stuff, you have a summer to think about it and change your game again."


No inside info,  but still thinking that Ryan McDonagh will opt to return to Wisconsin for senior year. I'm told the Badgers lost a ton of players and may not be ready for an NCAA championship run. But finishing college, with all its campus allure, friendships and eventual degree, may be the way McDonagh goes. Who can blame him? And he may not want to play in a big market (the word is that he wasn't wild about being drafted by Montreal) He'll still be an NHL commodity next summer.


Calgary waives ex-Ranger Nigel Dawes....Follow me at twitter.com/stevezipay. Plenty of free agent coverage, comments tomorrow and perhaps another FWC (Fabulous Weekly Chat) live on Friday...          


Beyond the backup goaltender: (Biron, Hedberg, Niittymaki), some potential UFA signings, depending on $$$$ and maybe not tomorrow, but SOMETIME this month.

First two, of course, are centers Matt Lombardi, Saku Koivu;  Colby Armstrong, Raffi Torres, then D, Andy Sutton, Zbynek Michalek, Henrik Tallinder, Kurtis Foster. And don't count out a trade....Again, maybe not tomorrow, but...

More Rangers

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