Players Trickling In for Informals

To make up for all the rumors and speculation that has passed through this blog the last couple of months, I thought I'd dedicate a post to actual hockey as numerous Rangers players including Henrik Lundqvist, Brad Richards, Michael Del Zotto, Brian Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derick Brassard, Marek Hrivik, Chris Kreider, Anton Stralman, and John Moore have already begun participating in informal workouts at the MSG practice facility.

Carl Hagelin has also been skating with his teammates but isn't participating in the scrimmages as he continues his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.

And here's a sight for sore eyes from yesterday (via Rangers Twitter)…

…i feel like a kid at Christmas time. The anticipation of training camp is killing me! I guess these pics will have to hold me over.

Meanwhile Dan Girardi showed off his new visor, which he's decided to wear for the first time in his NHL career in response to Marc Staal's eye injury (via Rangers Twitter)…

Here's Girardi on the new accessory (via Blueshirts United)…

"It's a little tough to adjust to, it fogs up a bit, so I have to get used to all of that, but I think it's a good thing for me to do. I think it's an individual decision, and by no means do I think visors should be mandatory at all, but if you want to wear one, then wear one. Especially after seeing what happened to Marc last year, that was not a pretty injury, I made my decision."

…don't like hearing that Girardi feels uncomfortable with the visor. If he struggles to start the season expect the visor to go by the wayside. Having said that, with all the shock blocking that Girardi does, definitely a smart idea to go with the shield.

So who's looked good at informals so far? I'll let Hrivik tell you…

NHL.com calls Brassard an X-factor for the Rangers this up-coming season.

…if the Rangers want to seriously contend for a Stanley Cup, Brassard is one of the guys who are going to be counted on to take their game to the next level. Would love to have Stepan and Brassard as the top two centers on the team.

…beyond Brassard's skill set, I absolutely love the intensity he brings to the rink every game which was a major problem with last year's squad before his acquisition.

Brassard wasn't the only subject Hrivik was talking about as he discussed pushing for a roster spot in camp this year…

Watch at Blueshirts United here.

…injuries destroyed Hrivik's season last year and likely a chance to get some NHL action. I still love his upside as he's a big body, with good hands. With Cally and Hagelin out for at least the first month he's one of the younger guys expected to seriously compete for a spot in camp.

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