Corey Masisak of NHL.com took his best shot at predicting the New York Rangers’ forward lines and defense pairings for the 2012-2013 season. In his predicitions, he leaves out Marian Gaborik, who will be recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and Mike Sauer, still recovering from a concussion.
Haley (extra forward)
- These are identical to the lines I predicted a few weeks back, with the only change being Thomas in place of Bourque. If Thomas does make the team, I’m hoping his strength and hockey I.Q. make up for the lack of size he’ll need to play on a checking line.
Here’s Masisak’s reasoning for why Christian Thomas, not J.T. Miller, gets the nod in his lineup.
Aside from Kreider, who stepped into the lineup during the playoffs but has never played a regular-season game, Thomas and J.T. Miller are probably the Rangers’ most exciting prospects — but Kris Newbury, Ryan Bourque and Chad Kolarik are among the other possibilities. Give Thomas the edge over Miller if it is a short-term move, because Miller can go back to the Ontario Hockey League and the Rangers won’t burn a year off his entry-level contract.
Collins (extra defenseman)
- I’m sure everyone said the same thing when I looked at this list: who the heck is Sean Collins? An under-the-radar signing the Rangers made a few weeks ago. Not sure if Tortorella would like having an all lefty pair and an all righty pair. I still believe Sather will bring in another defenseman at some point.