Rangers set roster, cut McDonagh

The New York Rangers announced what will likely be their final cuts of the preseason, with Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko sent to Hartford on Sunday, meaning the Rangers will keep Mike Sauer in New York.

The McDonagh cut may come as a surprise given the Rangers’ “youth movement,” and his prized prospect status. The reality though was that McDonagh needs ice time to continue his development and he didn’t look like a top-four defenseman in preseason action. The Rangers weren’t about to keep him around to skate him just eight minutes a night. Sauer, who made the team, also would have had to pass through waivers to reach Hartford, likely another factor in favor of demoting McDonagh.

The forward picture will need some retouching after the start of the season. With both Chris Drury and Vinny Prospal starting the season injured, the Rangers are carrying 16 forwards, with camp invitee Ruslan Fedotenko making the grade, along with Todd White, Erik Christensen, Derek Stepan, Tim Kennedy and Brian Boyle. When Drury and Prospal return, two of those players will likely need to step aside, however.

Something else to consider as the youth movement has apparently stagnated (apart from Stepan of course): Just about every publication has mentioned that the seats of John Tortorella (ESPN.com) and Glenn Sather (Sports Illustrated) are getting a little toasty. They’ll want to get off to the best start they can. If the rookies are slow in catching on, the coach and GM might not be around to watch them bloom in full.

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Here's a look at the roster as it stands now:

G: Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist

D: Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Matt Gilroy, Dan Girardi, Michal Rozsival, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal

F: Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Derek Boogaard, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Alex Frolov, Marian Gaborik, Tim Kennedy, Vinny Prospal, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan, Todd White