Stepan Taken Off Active Roster; Kreider = Kesler?; Goalie Schedule

According to Pat Leonard at the Daily News, after leaving Derek Stepan's name on the active roster following the team's first cuts, they have now removed it in advance of their preseason trip to Western Canada leaving the team with 39 filled roster spots.

Alain Vigneault would like his opening night roster break down to be 13 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies.

…taking Stepan's name off the active roster technically doesn't mean anything because he's obviously not with the team, but at the same time it says a lot about the status of the contract negotiations. To me this is a huge statement by Sather.

…i'd understand if the Rangers did this to make room on the roster for a young guy they wanted to get more preseason action, but that's not the case. Not good.

…big difference in roster break down under AV than Torts, who, for most of his tenure, kept just six defensemen on the roster.

…if AV does go with eight defensemen, I think a dark horse to make the roster could be Allen, who I think has outplayed Falk and Johnson.

Vigneault also noted during his press conference that he's considering having Chris Kreider become an in-front-of-the-net guy, sort of like what he asked Ryan Kesler to do with the Canucks.

…nothing wrong with having a big, strong kid in front of the net. Especially if it translates into Kreider putting up Kesler-like numbers.

AV adds that while he's not plotting lines just yet, he will give Brad Richards/Rick Nash as well as Derick Brassard/Beniot Pouliot a chance together.

…AV should include Zuccarello with the Brass/Pouliot duo as the trio looked to have a ton of chemistry last night.

…got to figure Kreider will continue to be the third with Richards and Nash.

Finally, here's the goaltending schedule for the rest of the preseason games (via Bergen Record):

Lundqvist Monday vs. Flames & Thursday vs. Canucks
Biron Tuesday vs. Oilers
TBA Friday vs. Las Vegas

…guess Talbot is just going on the trip to practice.

Here's AV's entire presser…

To watch at Blueshirts United, click here.

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