The New York Rangers forward group remains an issue; will Morgan Barron be the next cut?

morgan barron

October 2, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers goalkeeper Tyler Wall (80) celebrates with center Morgan Barron (47) after defeating the Boston Bruins in TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers cleared the picture in defense for the opening night by sending Zac Jones to the Wolf Pack yesterday. That left them with 8 defenders, provided they want to keep both Libor Hajek and Jarred Tinordi on the 23-man list until a Hajek deal can be eased.

Gerard Gallant’s starting defense will be:

  • Adam Fox – Ryan Lindgren
  • Jacob Trouba – K’Andre Miller
  • Nils Lundkvist – Patrik Nemeth

So where do we stand with the forward-looking group? Let’s dive down.

New York Rangers leading group

Blueshirts has 15 strikers left in the camp. If they choose to keep both Hajek and Tinordi because of the possibility of losing them on dispensation, it means that two of the following forward-looking ones will have to go.

Forward on the bubble: Morgan Barron, Julien Gauthier, Dryden Hunt and Vitali Kravtsov.

Of the four strikers fighting for a place on RW third line and the 13th forward, only Barron and Kravtsov are exempt from exemptions.

Let us immediately remove the notion that Kravtsov, who returned to training after missing a few days with an injury to his lower body, is in the mix to be cut. “It’s not just from training camp,” Gallant said of the decision whether he would line up. “He’s been here a while and the organization knows him really well.”

That means the real bubble is probably Barron, Gauthier, and Hunt. Which of these three will get the 23-person list? My money’s on Gauthier.

new york rangers captain

Morgan Barron and Dryden Hunt will be the next cuts

New York Rangers list
May 6, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers center Morgan Barron (47) before their game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Julien Gauthier is not exempt from dispensations, and would most likely be snatched if they try to send him down. If Kravtsov, the expected third line RW is not ready to go on opening night, Gauthier has separated and earned that spot.

The 23-year-old has 11 points in 47 career games with the Hurricanes and Rangers. He signed a one-year two-year deal this summer. His NHL salary is $ 775,000 and his minor league contract is $ 300,000. Therefore, he can not reach Hartford.

Meanwhile, Hunt is better suited for a 4th line role. Sammy Blais can probably move up if needed, but Hunt would probably go without a claim if they send him down.

Why not keep Morgan Barron? The Rangers made it clear they wanted him to play center, and he did not beat Filip Chytil or Kevin Rooney for that position. Plus he is exempt from dispensation and he can continue to develop with big minutes in the AHL. Which is better than sitting in a press box.

At 6-4, 220 lbs and 22 years old, Barron can play a physical and heavy game. There is also an element of offense as he scored 21 points in 21 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack last season.

In his short 5-game period with the big club at the end of last year, he scored a goal in 13:41 in average ice time. The sixth round from 2017 is likely to be a leading candidate for a call if Blueshirts suffer an injury in the middle.

NHL rumors

A Barkov extension; an Eichel trade in conditions; and more here.

Leave a Comment