With the holiday roster freeze approaching at midnight tonight, the Rangers made a trio of roster moves to set themselves up for the next week. They returned forward Arron Asham and defenseman Dylan McIlrath to the AHL. They also recalled forward J.T. Miller for the third time this season. Hopefully the third time is a charm for Miller and the Rangers, who desperately need some form of consistency in the lineup.
In some surprising news, the Rangers have recalled defenseman Dylan McIlrath. McIlrath is everything the Rangers need at the moment: a right handed physical defenseman. This is a move that a lot of people wanted, but we at BSB speculated might be a bit of a rush move since most reports are that McIlrath may not be ready at the moment.
The move signals a few things. First is that a style change is coming, as AV has recognized the vanilla nature of this team and a need for serious grit and toughness on the blue line. McIlrath has made major strides this year, and while many expected he would get his cuppa this season, no one expected it would be this soon. This is the first step for AV in adjusting his philosophy to the team that exists around him.
The biggest concern with recalling McIlrath is his skating ability and his defensive presence. He had a very unimpressive training camp, but has improved steadily while in Hartford. If he can continue his development on the big stage, then this is a solid move. If not, then it could be a sign of desperation. Regardless, McIlrath was getting his shot at some point this season. It just so happened to be sooner than we expected.
In a relatively unsurprising move, considering the discussions today about a need for some grit, the Rangers recalled winger Arron Asham from the Hartford Wolf Pack today, and returned rookie J.T. Miller back to Hartford. Asham is someone who can be a viable replacement while Derek Dorsett nurses his wrist injury, bringing some necessary grit and anti-vanilla to the lineup that this team desperately needs. He will make this team tougher to play against.
As for Miller, his time will come. He still needs work, as his game away from the puck leaves much to be desired.
The yo-yoing of Michael St. Croix continued today, as the organization returned him to the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. St. Croix remains scoreless with the Wolf Pack in nine games. In the ECHL, St. Croix has a line of 2-4-6 in 10 games. St. Croix’s biggest issue is lack of consistency in all three zones.
The Rangers have recalled forward J.T. Miller from the Hartford Wolf Pack. In six games with the Pack this year, Miller has a line of 5-1-6 with 6 PIMs and a +4 rating. Miller has spent most of his time with the Rangers this season, dressing for 15 games and a 1-1-2 line with a -4 rating and 8 PIMs.
In a bit of a surprising move, the Rangers have traded forward Brandon Mashinter to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Kyle Beach. Mashinter. In ten total games with the Rangers over two seasons, Mashinter was held off the score sheet with ten PIMS. With Hartford this year, Mash had a line of 1-6-7 in 11 games with 15 PIMs.
Beach, currently with the Rockford Icedogs of the AHL, has a line of 4-0-4 in 7 games. Beach has no NHL experience.
This is a very minor move, as neither had much NHL experience. It is worth noting that Beach is a right handed shot. He will report to Hartford.
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Henrik Lundqvist has signed a 7 year extension worth $8.5M per year. This should put any doubts about who the number 1 goalie is to rest, as Hank now becomes the highest paid goalie in the NHL. The raise is a modest $1.75 million from his current contract, so the cap hit, while large, is manageable.
Lundqvist, who turns 32 in March, has a contract that will pay him $1.5 million more than the previously highest paid goalies Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask. This is also the largest contract ever given to a goalie, and will likely remain the largest contract ever given to a goalie. Hank had the rare scenario of All-World talent, a team that desperately needs him, and a team with the means necessary to keep him. Plus, no goalie will be topping $8.5 million any time soon.
This season, Lundqvist has posted a 2.51 GAA and a .917 SV%, a far cry from his career numbers of 2.26 GAA and .920 SV%. But those numbers are misleading thanks to two games in California. Hank’s November stats: 2.27 GAA and .924 SV%. Much more in line with his career numbers.
The Hartford Wolf Pack have recalled forwards Michael St. Croix and Josh Nicholls from the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. In 10 games in the ECHL, St. Croix has a line of 2-4-6, tied for fourth on the team in scoring. Nicholls has a line of 2-2-4 in 16 games.
In a move that is probably a week late, the Rangers have sent J.T. Miller to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. Miller had been a healthy scratch since the 11/17 game against LA, a 1-0 loss. In his time with New York, Miller was placed on the fourth line, rarely given offensive minutes. The reason the Rangers kept him around was as an extra body in case of injury on the road trip.
With Miller’s demotion it is expected that Taylor Pyatt will be ready to return by Friday’s game in Boston. Pyatt has been out with a concussion, and Friday would be the earliest the club would need him.
The Hartford Wolf Pack made a move today to hopefully address some of their goaltending isues, recalled Jeff Malcolm from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors and demoting Scott Stajcer to the ECHL. Malcolm has been one of the top goalies in the ECHL, posting a 1.96 GAA and a .940 SV%. Meanwhile, Stajcer has been struggling with Hartford, putting up a 2.27 GAA and a .904 SV%.