Grachev and Zuccarello Sent Down
Join 7 others including Wade Redden in Hartford
Grachev and Zuccarrello Sent to the AHL
By Gerry Cantlon
CROMWELL,CT- New York Rangers camp cuts continue as the NHL preseason moves on and the AHL training camps are in full swing as well.
Among the 7 cuts made on Monday, the most notable was that of NHL veteran 32 year old Wade Redden, the Canadian defenseman was sent down to Hartford with his $6.5 million dollar contract making him the highest paid AHL’er since Alexander Mogilny wa s assigned to Albany several years back by the Devils.
The combination of poor play in the first two years of a six year deal as well as he was a salary cap issue made the move inevitable. Europe thought o be an option was negated by his wifes’s recent birth of their first child.
Redden is expected to report on Wednesday.
The other charges sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack including second year pro 20 year old Russian Evgeny Grachev and rookie Norwegian Mats Zuccarrello who led the Swedish Elite league in scoring last year and was the playoff MVP.
Grachev struggled mightily in the second half of last year getting switched from left wing 2nd line to the right wing and the third line checking line.
Was it a mistake to not send him to juniors (London-OHL) last season ?
“Not necessarily, “ remarked Hartford GM Jim Schoenfeld. “he would have certaintly done well there, he’s a big kid and would have been able to push people around and gotten points,but he wouldn’t have learned what he needs to go to the next level. He had to learn to do things differently and we expect a good year from him this season.”
Zuccarello and the soft touch hands certainly needs to adjust himself as all Europeans do to the smaller ice surface of North America. Finnish defenseman rookie Jyrki Nemi found that out in scrimmage in missing a big hit he wanted to make, missing the winger altogether and eating a lot of the sideboards.
Joining them was the team captain Dane Byers, team MVP last year Dale Weise, veteran center who signed a one year deal in the off season Kris Newbury and second year goalie Chad Johnson.
The first exhibition game is Wednesday at Trinity College Koepell Rink in Hartford where they will have a fundraiser for a third year for the Ryan Gordon foundation and unveil their new team logo for the name change to take place by mid-season of the Connecticut Whale.
Notes: Along with Redden C/LW Brodie Dupont cleared waivers… Many former Wolf Pack changed hands this week as Jed Ortmeyer and Swedish defenseman Anders Eriksson signed training camp invites with the N.Y. Islanders. Mike Mottau signed a two year deal with the Islanders as Swiss defenseman Mart Streit suffered a serious shoulder injury and will be out significant time possibly the season… The other former players assigned the past few days are; Jake Taylor (Oklahoma City), Ryan Hollwegg, Al Montoya (San Antonio), Greg Moore (Adirondack), Mitch Fritz (Norfolk), Hugh Jessiman (Rockford), Corey Potter (Wilkes Barre) and Chad Wiseman (Albany). …Defenseman Mathieu Dandenault who played in just 19 games last year ,but missed three plus months with a serious abdominal injury announced his retirement via the NHLPLA and will continue to do charity work in his native Montreal and Quebec City.
Story added on 29th September 2010 at 18:30 GMT
Story submitted by: Gerry Cantlon.