Training camp hasn’t even officially started yet and the Rangers have already made their first cut. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports (Twitter link) that New York plans to sent winger Matt Beleskey directly to training camp with AHL Hartford and will not have him at camp with the big club when it opens up later this week.
While uncommon, this type of move isn’t entirely unprecedented as Buffalo did the same with winger Matt Moulson last season. However, the Rangers will officially have to wait for the waiver period to open up before they can make the move official. That will occur when it gets to twelve days before the start of the season which is September 20th.
Beleskey spent the majority of last season with the Wolf Pack so the fact they intend to send him there should come as little surprise. In 53 games at that level, he had just five goals along with 17 assists while he picked up a goal in four games with New York. As a result, it’s quite likely that he’ll pass through unclaimed once again.
The eventual move will free up some extra cap room for the Rangers. Teams can bury someone making up to $1.075MM in the minors without any cap penalty; any amount after that will still count on their cap. Beleskey’s cap hit with New York is $1.9MM (Boston is also on the hook for that amount) so he will only count on their books for $825K. With winger Brendan Lemieux and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo still sitting as restricted free agents, that extra space will go a long way towards helping to get those players under contract in the coming days and weeks.