NEWARK, N.J. — Only 38 players remained in training camp before Saturday’s game, as eight were trimmed from the roster and assigned to the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack.
And more cuts are expected. Coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday morning that he wanted to be down to around 30 players for the final two preseason games against the Flyers on Monday and Tuesday. “We have a pretty good feel in three games,” he said.
The afternoon cuts included three defensemen, Alexei Bereglazov, John Gilmour and Vince Pedrie; three forwards, Ryan Gropp, Malte Stromwall and Adam Tambellini, and two goaltenders, Alexandar Georgiev and Chris Nell.
Goalie Brandon Halverson, who backed up Henrik Lundqvist against the Devils, is expected to be re-assigned soon, with Lundqvist and Ondrej Pavelec each scheduled to play a game against the Flyers. The Wolf Pack camp is about to open, with players on ice Monday.
Chytil sits out
First-round draft pick Filip Chytil, 18, didn’t practice Saturday. “He overcompensated in other areas because of (the groin sprain), and the trainers just felt it was a good idea to give him today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) off.”
Forward Andrew Desjardins, the veteran in camp on a tryout, was ejected on a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Miles Wood at 8:06 of the first period. Former Ranger defenseman John Moore sped down the ice and tackled Desjardins. The Devils did not score on the ensuing power play, but the Rangers played with 11 forwards the rest of the game.
Matt Puempel, who practices during the summer in Windsor, Ontario, with NHL and AHL players from that area, said he hopes to start an off-season, 4-on-4 league with ticket and merchandise revenues donated to charity. It would be modeled on the successful Da Beauty League, based in Edina, Minnesota, where both Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei and dozens of NHLers have skated for two years.