Read: Looking At The Final Defense Spot

Alain VigneaultWith the Rangers cuts today, the team has nine defensemen remaining and two fighting for the potential eighth defense spot.

Anton Stralman, Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, John Moore, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi are the top six while Justin Falk appears to be the seventh defenseman.

Stu Bickel and Conor Allen are the two players battling for the eighth spot.

  • Bickel has played:
    • 17:46, minus 1, 9 PIM, 3 shots blocked, 3 hits, 1 giveaway against the Flames
    • 20:35 with 1 shot that missed the net, 1 hit and 1 blocked shot against Devils.
  • Allen has played:
    • 20:36 with 2 shots, 1 blocked, 1 that missed the net, 2 hits and a takeaway against Edmonton
    • 20:27 with an assist, 1 shot blocked, 2 that missed the net and one blocked shot against the Flyers.

Bickel is in the final year of a two-year deal and has a cap hit of $750,000.

Allen is a rookie, signed to a two-year deal, and has a cap hit of $1.775 million.

Adam Rotter: Allen costs over $1 million more against the salary cap than Bickel and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to keep him as the eighth defenseman when he could go to Hartford and play big minutes. At this point we know what Stu Bickel brings, shaky defense but a willingness to fight, while Allen is mostly unknown but has shown to be solid so far in the preseason. I think Bickel ends up holding the eighth spot for the first month of the year, especially because he has some experience playing forward. It isn’t always pretty when he plays forward, but with the Rangers in a cap crunch it always helps to have versatile guys.