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Posted On Thursday, 10.01.2015 / 2:00 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Rangers forward Miller has potential for bigger role

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- J.T. Miller said himself that nothing is guaranteed in the NHL, especially on a team with lofty goals like the New York Rangers. However, getting the opportunity to earn a bigger role with the Rangers is not something Miller takes for granted.

"You want one," Miller said. "I don't expect anything around here, but it's something you work for and if it presents itself you have to make the most of it."

It's still unclear if he has made the most of it. Miller's results during his preseason audition to be a top-six right wing for the Rangers this season, to fill the spot vacated by the since retired Martin St. Louis, are hazy at best.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault pulled Miller out of the top six for the game Wednesday against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden because he didn't think Miller, in his three previous preseason games, had developed enough scoring chances.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.30.2015 / 10:12 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Sept. 30, 2015

Here is the Sept. 30 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday in the Over the Boards blog during the 2015-16 NHL season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Do you think the New York Rangers will re-sign Keith Yandle? If so, what does the new contract look like? -- @EbenezerZane

I'm 50-50 on this. A lot will depend on how the Rangers play this season, where they stand at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline, the maturation of Brady Skjei, and the cap. The Rangers should be a contender, so they should be in buying mode come the deadline, so it stands to reason Yandle would be safe if he is still unsigned at that point. The maturation of Skjei matters more than anything here because he's a left-handed defenseman, like Yandle, and he would be a lot cheaper to have on the roster in Yandle's spot than Yandle would be. Yandle is making $5.75 million this season, according to He's only 29 years old, won't turn 30 until just before training camp starts next year. Negotiations for his next contract could start with an average annual value of $5.75 million, give or take a small amount. That might be too rich for the Rangers, who already have Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Kevin Klein locked in for $18.9 million total in salary cap charges next season. Skjei might be Yandle's replacement, unless the Rangers try to trade Staal or Girardi, who is a righty.

Posted On Monday, 09.28.2015 / 11:14 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Capitals' moves about fulfilling promise to Ovechkin

WASHINGTON -- The notable changes made by the Washington Capitals during the offseason, such as adding forwards Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie and letting defenseman Mike Green leave via free agency, are the latest in a long line of organizational juggling geared toward getting the Capitals closer to winning the Stanley Cup.

Reaching that goal, according to chairman and majority owner Ted Leonsis, also would mean achieving fulfilment of a promise made to captain Alex Ovechkin, who is entering the eighth year of his 13-year, $124 million contract but has not played beyond the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Leonsis doesn't put that lack of playoff success on Ovechkin; he puts that on everyone around the star captain.

"I feel we haven't done what we've promised Alex, not that Alex hasn't done his part," Leonsis told "We have to keep trying, keep investing, keep trying to find that magic. We get so close. But we have to organizationally fight through for the fans, for all the executives, for all the players. Alex deserves it. He puts in the time. He puts in the work. He's a historic player. And he hasn't slowed down."

Posted On Friday, 09.25.2015 / 3:11 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Rangers' Girardi, Staal expected to play vs. Devils

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defensemen Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are scheduled to make their preseason debuts Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, NHLN).

Girardi and Staal did not play in the Rangers' first three preseason games. They were held back out of precaution at the start of training camp; each had ankle surgery after the Rangers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.

Girardi (22:41) and Staal (21:08) were second and third, respectively, in average ice time per game for the Rangers last season.

Posted On Thursday, 09.24.2015 / 10:41 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Hurricanes captain Staal understands predicament

WASHINGTON -- As Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal prepares to start his 12th NHL season, all in Raleigh, he is at least comforted by the fact he knows he's not alone in the department of high-profile players who have only played for one team and still don't have a contract for next season.

"There are a few other guys in the League in the same boat," Staal said after a recent preseason game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. "I'm definitely not alone."

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar know what Staal is feeling and thinking. They're hopeful of getting new contracts done with their current teams, but questions remain because nothing is done yet.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.23.2015 / 8:50 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Sept. 23, 2015

Here is the Sept. 23 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday in the Over the Boards blog during the 2015-16 NHL season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Over/under for John Tavares: 40 goals, 30 assists? -- @Medicbluesfan09

I'd go under 40 goals, well over 30 assists. Tavares, if healthy all season, should again score upwards of 80 or 90 points. The New York Islanders captain had 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in 82 games last season. There's no reason why he can't replicate those numbers. It's just too hard to predict he'll score 40 goals, even though he came close last season. If I'm pushed to make bold predictions, I'd say Tavares scores 37 goals and dishes out 51 assists, provided he plays 82 games. Come back to me in April to see if I'm right.

Posted On Monday, 09.21.2015 / 10:43 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Getting out of town beneficial to Red Wings' Green

Training camp without the comforts of his own home is new to Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green. It's also particularly necessary for him going into this season, his 11th in the NHL and first in Detroit after 10 seasons with the Washington Capitals.

Camping with the Red Wings in Traverse City, Mich., has given Green the opportunity to get to know his new teammates on a more personal basis without worrying about one of them rushing out of the rink to pick the kids up from school, or something similar.

Considering Green knew just about nobody on the team when he signed with the Red Wings, Traverse City has been a blessing for him.

Posted On Friday, 09.18.2015 / 4:32 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Rangers face potential dilemma with McIlrath

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault isn't asking too much of defenseman Dylan McIlrath when he says he wants him to finally show that he can be an NHL player.

McIlrath, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2010 (No. 10), ought to be able to be one by now.

"We all know the toughness part, we need to see if he can play at this level," Vigneault said Friday. "Can he play against the third and fourth lines of other teams and be a dependable, physical, safe defenseman? That's what we need to find out during training camp."

McIlrath is entering his fourth professional season and has played three games in the NHL, but 182 in the American Hockey League with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Vigneault said last season, McIlrath was Hartford's top defenseman and penalty killer from Christmas through the end of season, according to Hartford coach Ken Gernander and assistant Jeff Beukeboom.

Posted On Friday, 09.18.2015 / 10:47 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Schneider banking on growth from Devils' young 'D'

NEWARK, N.J. -- It's no secret the New Jersey Devils are going to thrive or dive this season with their young group of defensemen wrapped around veteran leader Andy Greene and new additions John Moore and David Schlemko.

That's all well and good with goalie Cory Schneider as long as Adam Larsson, Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas and Damon Severson realize how important they are to the team, act like it, and grow into impact players because of it.

Schneider, 29, is banking on that happening, because he's not banking on having another losing season, regardless of what the outside expectations are for the team.

Posted On Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 5:16 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Devils' Boucher progressing after concussion

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils right wing Reid Boucher is progressing from his concussion, which he sustained during a rookie tournament last week in Buffalo, and could return to the ice soon, coach John Hynes said Thursday.

"He's still out at this point, but things look like they're progressing the right way," Hynes said. "I think sometimes with injuries you're not sure, but he has taken a step forward."

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[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin
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