There are two bits of news today, which is rare for late July. The first is that the Rangers have traded forward Casey Wellman to the Florida Panthers for a fifth round pick in the 2014 draft. Wellman was initially acquired with a conditional seventh round pick from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Erik Christensen. In the end, the Rangers essentially dealt Christensen for two draft picks, which is a solid return for a waiver-wire pickup.
Also, the bigger news of the day is that Shane Doan is indeed in New York visiting the team. He is meeting with management to work on a deal that could potentially bring the winger to Broadway, assuming he doesn’t stay in Phoenix. This is likely just another step in the process of Doan exploring all of his options. He won’t make a decision any time soon, but it’s good to know the Rangers are at least doing what they need to do to woo him.
Yesterday the Rangers announced that they had recalled
nine six players from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. The Whale were eliminated from Calder Cup contention last week, and the nine six players called up will serve as the “taxi squad.” As per Andrew Gross, they will practice separately from the current roster.
The players called up include:
G – Cameron Talbot
D – Tim Erixon, Dylan McIlrath
F – J.T. Miller, Casey Wellman, Kris Newbury
, Chad Kolarik, Marek Hrivik, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault
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It looks like the Rangers have at least temporarily solved their surplus forward problem, as they have dealt Erik Christensen and a 7th round pick in 2012 to the Wild for Casey Wellman.
Christensen had been a spare part for the Rangers for a long time, and hadn’t played in a NHL game since December 17. The enigmatic and inconsistent center had once shown some chemsitry with Marian Gaborik, but that was short lived. His inconsistent effort quickly made him an afterthought in the Rangers organization.
Wellman is a 24 year old center who has played 41 games at the NHL level over the past three seasons, totaling four goals and nine assists for 13 points. Wellman was an undrafted free agent signed by the Wild after his senior season at UMass-Amherst, where he was a point-per-game player. Per Hockey Wilderness, it doesn’t appear that Wellman got a legitimate shot at the top six in Minnesota, and spent most of his time playing with Brad Staubitz on the third and fourth line.
Christensen was in his last year of a two year contract that paid him $925,000 per season. Wellman is in the final year of a two-way contract that pays him $850,500 at the NHL level. Wellman will be a RFA at the end of his contract.