Believe I was leaving on vacation when Todd White was acquired for Donald Brashear and Patrick Rissmiller, so did not catch up with him until today after the second informal group workouts here at the training center.
White, 35, has been in Westchester since last week, settling in with his wife and three children (oldest is 8), looking at schools and houses. "I also wanted to meet with the trainers and players, so I pretty much have been skating every day. I had the shoulder surgery the day after the season ended. I'm not cleared for contact yet; saw the doctor three weeks ago, and now it's just a matter of strengthening. But I feel pretty good on the ice now, the puck feels good and the most important thing this time of year is to work on the skating."
I sense that White, a Kanata native who played with Marian Gaborik in Minnesota, has a chance to center on any of the top three lines and kill penalties. Not sure Rangers will want to have a $2.3 mil cap hit on the fourth line, though.
"Two years ago, I had a great year (22 goals, 73 points) and I still think I can play on a high level like that," he told me today. "Last year was a tough year (7-19-26, averaging 15:14 per game) and I just want to put it in the past. I just want the opportunity." The Rangers are counting on a rebound from White. Or they might not want to carry the cap hit.
Faceoff percentages from 09-10: White, 53.8; Drury, 52.9; Prospal, 51.2, Christensen, 49.4, Anisimov, 44.9, Boyle 38.7, Kennedy, 33.5.
On ice today, Anisimov displayed some impressive stick-handling and finish by wiring a shot high on Henrik Lundqvist's stick side....Boyle, who has added some upper body muscle, spun off a few nice passes and scored high on Lundqvist, who was very sharp again. But he did bang his stick in annoyance on the crossbar after Boyle's goal...Lundqvist left before the line-to-line skating drills to make a promotional appearance in Manhattan for Grey Line buses...
Today's blue group: Anisimov, Grachev, Dubi, Gilroy, Valentenko. In red: White, Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Wade Redden, Steve Eminger. Grachev and Valentenko dress in a secondary locker room....Missing from Monday were Chris Drury, Vinny Prospal and Mats Zuccarello Aasen, who is in Toronto with Ryan McDonagh and 21 other NHL rookies for memorabilia signings. He will be back for Friday workouts. Gaborik not expected here until after Labor Day. Michael Del Zotto and Tim Kennedy should be here tomorrow or Thursday. And Derek Boogaard? He'll be hard to miss when he arrives.