After breaking their camp roster into two separate groups, and having those two groups scrimmage against each other each of the first two days of on-ice workouts, coach David Quinn reconfigured the groups Wednesday, with one of the groups looking like a version of the potential final roster.
Except that roster, which featured 13 forwards, eight defensemen and the top two goalies, Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev, did not include Mika Zibanejad or Artemi Panarin.
Zibanejad missed his third straight day, as did goalie Keith Kinkaid and prospect forward Justin Richards, for undisclosed reasons. All three continue to be listed as "day-to-day’’ by the Rangers. Panarin and defenseman Libor Hajek were absent for what the team called "procedural situations.’’ Both will be back Thursday, the team said.
"It was a one-day thing,’’ coach David Quinn said of Panarin and Hajek’s absence.
As for Zibanejad, the team’s No. 1 center, Quinn was asked if he is in danger of missing the season opener Jan. 14 against the Islanders.
"I don't think so,’’ he said. "He's day to day, and all indications are he should be ready for opening night. We're expecting him back soon.’’
Quinn said the fact that the main group looked a lot like the "varsity’’ group doesn’t mean the guys who were in the other group are out of the mix to make the team’s final roster.
"I know it's a hard day for those guys when they see the changes and they see how the practices have been put together,’’ he said. "We're gonna need everybody. This year, this is a unique situation, and we've got some good players… there will be guys that were in that second group that without question will play for us this year.’’
Island Park native Anthony Bitetto was listed as the third-pair right D on the 23-man roster. K’Andre Miller, who Quinn called "a serious contender’’ to make the final roster, was listed as the fourth-pair left D.
Scrimmages are on Thursday
The team will play the first of two night-time, game scrimmages on Thursday. The scrimmage is scheduled to face off at 7 p.m.