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Posted On Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 10:31 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers to recall Erixon as sixth defenseman

STOCKHOLM -- Rangers coach John Tortorella admitted Tuesday night that he had reservations about using either Brendan Bell or Stu Bickel as his No. 6 defenseman to start the season.

His voice was most definitely heard, because the club will recall rookie defenseman Tim Erixon from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL on Wednesday.

After practicing with the Whale on Wednesday, Erixon will fly to Stockholm to join the team for Thursday's practice in preparation for Friday's season-opener against Los Angeles in the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere.

It's been a whirlwind adventure for the native Swede.

Erixon was in Europe with the Rangers until he was cut on Saturday. He returned to Connecticut on Sunday, but now he's ticketed for his third trans-Atlantic flight in a matter of 10 days.

Tortorella wanted Erixon to play in the AHL so he could get used to playing on the smaller ice sheet and work on parts of his game, including closing out players and overall being more physical.

However, with Marc Staal not here due to post-concussion symptoms and Tortorella clearly not comfortable with using Bell or Bickel, especially in back-to-back games, Erixon is on his way back.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 12:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers waive Avery, lose Weise to Canucks

STOCKHOLM -- Who knew that an arrival to a new city would be met with breaking news.

Not long after we touched down in Stockholm, Larry Brooks of the New York Post tweeted that Sean Avery was going to be placed on waivers at noon ET today. The news spread quickly, and a Rangers representative confirmed it to me shortly after it happened officially.

I wrote all about Avery and waivers in this story, but the gist of it is that he will be on waivers for 24 hours and can be claimed. If he is, the Rangers will be off the hook from paying him the $1,937,500 they owe him for the season.

If Avery goes unclaimed, the Rangers likely will assign him to Connecticut of the AHL. They would still have to pay him, but they would no longer have his salary cap hit.

Avery's agent, Pat Morris, told ESPN.com and The Sporting News that the 31-year-old left wing's future could be in Europe.

We'll see on that.

If that wasn't enough, Dale Weise, who had a strong camp but was cut and placed on waivers Saturday, was claimed by Vancouver on Tuesday. Weise could get an opportunity to play with the Canucks early this season due to injuries to Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler.

Weise is a tough loss for the Rangers in terms of depth. He would have started the season in Connecticut, but also could have been one of the first forwards called up. Kris Newbury, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Bourque and John Mitchell also were cut Saturday.

Also, defensemen Stu Bickel and Brendan Bell were also put on waivers today.

That's a good sign that Michael Sauer is healthy and ready to go Friday, but if Bickel and Bell get claimed, the Rangers will have to bring in a new defensemen because Marc Staal is not coming and the only other healthy blueliners here are Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Steve Eminger.

Coach John Tortorella is expected to address the media in the Rangers' hotel lobby sometime this evening. I'll have more later.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 8:29 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers know how much practice means

ZUG, Switzerland -- John Tortorella said originally the Rangers were supposed to play in Budapest on Monday night, but that game got cancelled. Instead of keeping Monday as an open date, the Rangers worked with the NHL to schedule their game against EV Zug at Bossard Arena.

From an atmosphere and money-making standpoint, packing the arena and selling all kinds of merchandise made the night a success. From a coaching standpoint, Tortorella now wishes the game were never scheduled only because he would have loved to use it as a practice day.

The Rangers lost the game, 8-4.

"We played four games in five nights and you tell me how many countries we've been in … I don't know," Tortorella said. "When we were doing the schedule, we added this one and I wish we had this as a practice day. I think we need to practice. We haven't practiced."

The Rangers last good, long, hard practice came last Wednesday in Prague. They played Thursday against Sparta Prague and Friday in Gothenburg against Frolunda. They were given Saturday off and then played Sunday in Bratislava against HC Slovan and Monday here against EV Zug.

They will travel to Stockholm on Tuesday and will not skate, but Tortorella has grand plans for practice sessions Wednesday and Thursday at Ericsson Globe Arena.

"It's going to be good to recharge our batteries and refocus our energy and efforts into some practices on Wednesday and Thursday before the weekend comes," Brandon Dubinsky said.

The Rangers have some work to do with their power play and keeping their sticks on the ice so they stop taking some unnecessary penalties. They've got to figure out exactly who is going to play left wing on the line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

Wojtek Wolski likely has the edge in that race, but he's been dealing with a sore groin, so he needs to get back on the ice and practice. The same goes for defenseman Michael Sauer, who has worked out only once since spraining his shoulder last week in Philadelphia.

Tortorella expects Wolski and Sauer to practice with the team on Wednesday.

"Every city that we've been in has been very hospitable," Dubinsky said. "The hotels have been great, the service great and obviously the crowds in the game have been an excellent experience. It's been great, but I can't wait to get ready, get our season under way, to play for points. We're just excited to get to Stockholm."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Zug scores two more, leads 7-4 in third

ZUG, Switzerland --Esa Pirnes scored his second goal of the night, this time on a partial breakaway, to give EV Zug a 6-4 lead just 2:40 into the third period.

Less than a minute and a half later, Damien Brunner, who leads the Swiss league in scoring, cashed in off a feed from Fabian Sutter to give Zug a three-goal lead for the first time in the game.

What made the Brunner goal worse was that Steve Eminger was all turned around and Michael Del Zotto was late coming back to help.

Rangers coach John Tortorella was seen talking to Del Zotto, his hands on the youngster's shoulders, shortly after Brunner and EV Zug were finished celebrating.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:37 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers get one back, close second down 5-4

ZUG, Switzerland -- Artem Anisimov's shot went off the end boards and bounced right in front of the goal where Ruslan Fedotenko banged it in with 1:12 left to cut the EV Zug lead to 5-4. That's where it stands heading into the third period.

The Rangers applied pressure in the final minute, but they couldn't get the equalizer before time expired.

Rangers coach John Tortorella shuffled his lines in the second period, putting Brandon Dubinsky with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. He's still looking for the correct left wing to play with the two high-paid superstars.

Fedotenko, who played with Gaborik and Richards in the first period, dropped into Dubinsky's spot on the second line with Anisimov and captain Ryan Callahan.

Brian Boyle, who started the game as the fourth-line left wing, moved to center and played between Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust.

Erik Christensen, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello made up the other line.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Zug scores twice in 41 seconds, leads 5-3

ZUG, Switzerland -- A pair of former NHL players just burned the Rangers.

Glen Metropolit scored off a pretty passing sequence with Corsin Casutt to give EV Zug a 4-3 lead with 5:58 to play in the second period.

Just 41 seconds later, Josh Holden scored his second of the game, off a feed from Fabian Luthi, to make it 5-3 for EV Zug.

That's where we stand now with 3:44 to play in the second period.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers get 'em back, tied 3-3 after first

ZUG, Switzerland -- Mike Rupp and Artem Anisimov scored goals 13 seconds apart to send the Rangers and EV Zug into the dressing rooms tied at 3-3.

Rupp scored at 18:47 off a deflection of Michael Del Zotto's point shot. Anisimov scored an unassisted goal at 19 minutes off a great individual effort.
 
Anisimov lost the puck at his feet during a center drive, but he used his strength to find it between two Zug players and get a good shot off on Zug goalie Jussi Markkanen to tie the game at 3-3.

The Rangers were flat out bad in the first 10 minutes of the game, but they picked it up. Save for a great move by former NHLer Josh Holden to undress Brad Richards and score a shorthanded goal, the final 10 minutes was all Rangers.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 2:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Teams trade goals, Rangers trail Zug 3-1

ZUG, Switzerland -- The Rangers have picked up their speed since the 10-minute mark of the first period and it paid off as Brandon Dubinsky set up Ryan Callahan with a goal from the slot off the rush at 15:40 to slice EV Zug's lead to 2-1.

Dubinsky used his speed down the left-wing boards to get room and find a streaking Callahan in front. Callahan's initial attempt was stopped by Zug goalie Jussi Markkanen, but Callahan tapped the rebound in before skating around the goal.

However, nine seconds into a power play, the Rangers coughed up the puck and former NHL player Josh Holden undressed Brad Richards before firing the puck over Martin Biron's right shoulder to give Zug a 3-1 lead with 3:36 to play in the first period.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 2:27 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Make that 2-0 Zug

ZUG, Switzerland -- There are goals Martin Biron never will forget, and while this only is a preseason game in Switzerland, he just gave one up that likely forever will be in his memory bank.

Biron flat-out fumbled a long shot by Duri Camichel. The puck fell to the ice and dribbled into the net 5:32 into the first period, giving EV Zug a 2-0 lead over the Rangers.

That was the kind of goal that just makes you cringe. Now Biron has to pick it up to help his team get back in the game.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 2:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Zug takes early 1-0 lead

ZUG, Switzerland -- Brandon Dubinsky got an extra penalty for roughing after a post-whistle skirmish with Timo Helbling and EV Zug made the Rangers pay. Esa Pirnes, who played for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2003-04 season, rifled a one-timer from the right circle over Martin Biron's shoulder and into the near corner just 1:18 into the game.

The Rangers now have trailed 1-0 in their last three preseason games here in Europe. They came back to win the other two.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic