After the first set of cuts today, 26 players still remain in camp. 15 forwards (Dawes, Dubinsky, Zherdev, Callahan, Korpikoski, Voros, Rissmiller, Betts, Orr, Sjostrom, Prucha and Fritsche), 8 defensemen (Mara, Kalinin, Fahey, Staal, Girardi, Redden, Potter, and Rozsival) and 3 goaltenders (Lundqvist, Valiquette, and Wiikman). The Rangers must cut this to 23 players by the time they get back from Europe.
Obviously, Wiikman is on his way back to Hartford after the trip to Europe (Renney wants three goalies on the trip and the Rangers are allowed to carry 24 players in Prague) which leaves two cuts left.
On defense it will come down to Fahey or Potter. Both of these players have pluses and minuses, and as a seventh defenseman I'm not going to go crazy over who makes the team.
The big decision will be the last forward cut. I think the five players most vulnerable are Voros, Fritsche, Korpikoski, Rissmiller, and Sjostrom.
In my opinion Voros has shown enough toughness and skill to stick, while last night's performances from Fritsche (1 goal and 1 assist) and Korpikoski (1 goal) should have cemented their spot on the team.
So the final forward cut will most likely come down to Sjostrom or Rissmiller. I always like to go with the guy more familiar with the organization, so would lean towards Sjostrom sticking. I haven't seen enough or anything from Rissmiller that would allow me to argue for him to be on this team.
The next three games are the biggest in the lives Fahey, Potter, Sjostrom and Rissmiller. Really looking forward to seeing which of these players step-up.