According to Andrew Gross, the Rangers are going to use the NHL All-Star break as a chance to allow many of the recent recalled players to go back to the Connecticut Whale and continue playing. Here is what he had to say during his recap of last night’s loss:
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto and forwards Evgeny Grachev, Brodie Dupont, Chad Kolarik and Kris Newbury will be rejoining Connecticut tomorrow. Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are expected back for the Rangers home game against the Penguins Tuesday but there will likely be some forwards brought back to the NHL club.
This move is the right one for the present and future of all the individual players and the organization. Players like Del Zotto and Grachev are at a stage where they need to play as many games and minutes as possible. Both of these players looked better than they did the last time they were up with the Rangers, but there is still significant work ahead for them to be here regularly. Del Zotto is certainly closer than Grachev to reaching that marker, but the defense also has significantly less injuries at the moment and all six that are here have clearly outperformed him.
Along with the moves to send these five back to the AHL, the New York Rangers also activated Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal from IR. The news on Callahan is that he is expected to be back for the game against the Penguins, which will be a huge lift to the club. Dan Girardi is also expected to be back after missing the last two games with a rib injury.
The news on Propsal is less clear as it has seemed to be all season. The reason for the activation seems to be the Rangers needing a 20th player on the active roster in order to send all five players back to Connecticut and not because he is that close to returning. The news on Prospal is encouraging, but do not expect him to be in the lineup on Tuesday as many originally surmised from the news he was being activated.
As Gross said, some of these players will likely be back before the team plays its next game on Tuesday against the Penguins, but do not expect them all to return. If Callahan is the only Rangers forward to return to the lineup after this break than I would expect Newbury to definitely return with the other spot likely going to Kolarik. I do not see the need to carry an extra young player as a scratch consistently when they can play in the AHL and continue their development.
Any players that are going to be recalled will likely happen either on Sunday or Monday.
This morning Chris took a look what to do with Mats Zuccarello once the injuries end and those players return.
I took a slightly different approach than Chris did in looking at the roster announcements made and how the fact that Zuccarello not being among them said, even if unofficially, Zuke was here to stay.