If you said Scott Gomez, Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev, Blair Betts, Ryan Callahan, Nigel Dawes, Chris Drury, Aaron Voros, Patrick Rissmiller, Dan Fritsche, Brandon Dubinsky, Colton Orr, and Petr Prucha, you win a cookie.*
You also might have said Lauri Korpikoski, Dane Byers, P.A. Parenteau, Artem Anisimov, and/or Greg Moore.
Restricted free agent Freddy Sjostrom might also have made your list.
That's 19 forwards for a 12-man roster. With healthy scratches and injuries, figure 14 forwards on the roster and one (Moore) making the trip from Hartford to MSG for 5 games this year.
Oh, what's that? Brendan Shanahan still might sign?
I don't think Anisimov will make the team, nor do I think Byers will see more than 3 or so games in the NHL this year. Parenteau has the talent - as Anisimov does - but might not be ready. Then again, he might be a better choice in the line-up then Fritsche or Rissmiller. However, you have to think Korpikoski, a 2004 1st round pick, will make the team from training camp.
That's not the point of this blog.
The point of this blog post is that I doubt the Rangers are done. We assume Sjostrom is going to sign, making him the 14th NHL-ready forward on the roster. Then there are youngsters ready to make the jump and play their menial minutes on the 4th line. And then Shanahan might be the dark horse here. He wants to play, he believes he still has it in him, and he believes GM Glen Sather wants him back.
There's no way they go into training camp with this many forwards. Expect a 7th defenseman or a few draft picks to be picked up after the Mats Sundin domino falls.** The 2009 NHL Entry Draft is going to be very deep, and a few extra picks couldn't hurt the Rangers.
* No actual treats will be awarded by the blog owners, although they will recommend the fantastic chocolate creme stuffed Oreos.
** In no may am I hinting that Mats Sundin will become a Ranger. I'm just saying that his self-imposed August 1st deadline for making a decision on what his future holds will be another domino to fall. Remember on July 1 when Brian Campbell signed, then defensemen starting signing left and right, including but not limited to Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival.