Chris Drury, who has missed the entire preseason and the first two games of the regular season with a broken pinky, will likely make his return on Friday when the Rangers have their home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His return comes just in time, as it looks like Erik Christensen will be missing time due to a lower body (hamstring or groin) injury sustained in yesterday’s 6-4 loss to the Islanders. Christensen was limited to 32 seconds in the third period due to the injury. The severity of the injury has yet to be determined, but there is a chance Christensen will miss significant time.
If Christensen (cap hit – $800,000) is placed in injured reserve, the Rangers would not need to make any roster moves to accommodate the return of Drury to the lineup. If the injury is less serious, and IR time is not required, then one of Todd White (cap hit – $2.375 million) or Tim Kennedy (cap hit – $550,000) will need to be assigned to Hartford. Both have cleared waivers, and will need to be assigned within the next eight games (the rule is 10 games or 30 days, whichever comes first) before needing to clear waivers again. It’s going to be a tough decision for the Rangers to make, as keeping each one around has its pluses and minuses. It still is not known how the line combos will be affected once Drury returns. Considering the top line of Christensen centering Alex Frolov and Marian Gaborik has produced one of the Rangers ten goals, change might be good for the top line. More news will come, but for now, expect Drury to play and Christensen to sit on Friday night.