Rangers' No. 1 center Derek Stepan limped off the ice after being struck in the left foot and ankle with a hard shot during a scrimmage in his second informal skate with teammates Tuesday at the MSG Training Center.
Play stopped as Stepan stayed down on his knees for a minute or two, then skated off without putting weight on the foot and limped into the locker room. He did not return, but the sense is, a team spokesman said, that he is fine. It is unclear if he'll skate Wednesday.
Stepan had been training in Minnesota, so he could decide to take a break to be sure he is ready for camp, which begins Sept. 18.
The 23 prospects who will travel to the annual Traverse City round-robin tournament in Michigan will practice at the training center Thursday at 11 a.m. Their first game is Friday against Dallas at 7 p.m. They face the Sabres on Saturday at 7 p.m. and the Hurricanes on Sunday at 6:30. A placement game is scheduled for Monday at a time to be determined. Live game updates will be provided on @NYRangers and BlueshirtsUnited.com will post highlights and interviews.
Shaping the salary cap
If Ryan Malone and John Moore sign contracts before camp opens next week, here's how one possible roster (with options) could shake out with the $69-million salary cap:
Henrik Lundqvist: $8,500,000
Cam Talbot: $562,000
Dan Girardi: $5,500,000
Ryan McDonagh: $4,700,000
Dan Boyle: $4,500,000
Marc Staal: $3,975,000
Kevin Klein: $2,900,000
John Moore $900,000 (estimated)
Michael Kostka $650,000
Moore, a restricted free agent, was given a qualifying offer of $850,000. Seventh defensemen possibilities Kostka is a righty, and Matt Hunwick, a lefty, is due $600,000. Kostka, 28, played for Tampa last season and has 63 games of NHL experience. Hunwick, 29, has far more NHL experience, though, with 292 games for the Bruins and Avalanche.
Total: $23,125,000 (with Kostka over Hunwick)
Rick Nash: $7,800,000
Martin St. Louis: $5,625,000
Derick Brassard: $5,000,000
Derek Stepan: $3,075,000
Mats Zuccarello: $3,500,000
Chris Kreider: $2,475,00
Carl Hagelin: $2,250,000
Dominic Moore: $1,500,000
Lee Stempniak: $900,000
J.T. Miller: $894,167
Tanner Glass: $1,450,000
Ryan Malone $700,000* (estimated)
Add a 13th forward -- either Matthew Lombardi ($800,000) or Jesper Fast ($805,000) -- and the Rangers would be about $850,000 under the cap. If it's Kevin Hayes, ($900,000), it would be $700,000 under the cap. If Oscar Lindberg ($675,000) makes the club as a center, that's a plus.
Note: If defenseman John Moore or Malone get larger deals, add another $100,000. And $50,000 could be saved with Hunwick instead of Kostka. So no matter how you shape it, it's a very tight squeeze, but doable.
In a translation of a Swedish interview with hockeysverige.se, free agent Anton Stralman seemed quite unhappy with the outcome of his talks with the Rangers. He signed a five-year, $22.5-million deal with Tampa. "I wanted to be there and it seemed that the Rangers wanted to keep me," Stralman said. "I was fully set . . . and the dream was also to be allowed to stay there. We, both me and the family, had moved around enough. We lived in New York and we wanted to stay there. New York came up with an offer and we came up with a counteroffer and after that, we were prepared to negotiate, but there was nothing. They do not even come back to me. I'm extremely disappointed with what happened. The Rangers [signed] Dan Boyle, and then I understood what they were doing. Of course, you then get very frustrated and angry. I think you could have the respect to tell me earlier that you wanted to go a different route. It had made the decision a little easier for us, to know where we would go . . . We've been down here for a month now. We just bought a house and got the key to it, so it feels good." . . . Nash and Glass made their first appearances in the informal skates . . . As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Bovada.com had the over-under on Rangers points this season at 95 1/2.