As per the AHL Transaction Log, the Rangers have called up Kris Newbury to serve another stint with the NHL. In his previous 11 NHL games, Newbury registered an assist and 35 PIMs, to go with a -1 rating. Although Newbury’s numbers aren’t flashy, he provides a physical presence and a level of grit that the Rangers have been missing for the past few games. Also, Newbury’s presence may also push some of the regulars in the lineup, as the fear of being scratched is generally a good motivator.
Some may find it a little odd that Mats Zuccarello wasn’t the player recalled, but his skill set doesn’t really match what the Rangers need right now. The next three opponents for the Rangers play a very physical game, and Newbury just matches up better than Zuccarello in that regard. Zuccarello also needs significant minutes to continue developing, while Newbury would be playing fourth line minutes with the Rangers. It makes sense for the short and long term.