With the injuries mounting, the Rangers had to recall a defenseman just to have enough bodies on the blue line. That defenseman is Stu Bickel, who has been recalled by the Rangers. In 27 games with the CT Whale, Bickel has a goal, three assists, and 80 PIMs. He has been one of the more steady defensemen on the Whale’s blue line.
The decision to call up Bickel as opposed to Tim Erixon or Brendan Bell was made for two reasons. First, the Rangers have minimal cap space available, as Mike Rupp is no longer on LTIR. That essentially eliminated Erixon and his $1.75 million cap hit. Second, the Rangers need someone who is not subject to re-entry waivers, as the holiday roster freeze is tomorrow. That eliminated Bell, who needs re-entry waivers to be recalled.
Bickel was the last defenseman cut in camp, and has put together a solid season thus far for the Whale. He has certainly earned his shot, and as long as he plays well, will be with the team for the foreseeable future.
The press release is after the jump.
NEW YORK RANGERS TRANSACTION UPDATE
Stu Bickel Recalled from Connecticut
New York, December 18, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Stu Bickel has been recalled from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL) on an emergency basis.
Bickel, 25, has recorded two points (one goal and one assist) and a plus-two rating in the last four games. In 27 games with Connecticut this season, he has registered one goal and three assists, along with 80 penalty minutes and a plus-four rating. His plus-four rating is tied for third on the team. Bickel recorded his first shorthanded point of the season with an assist on Friday vs. Bridgeport.
The Chanhassen, Minnesota native was acquired by the Rangers from Anaheim in exchange for Nigel Williams on November 23, 2010. He was originally signed by the Ducks as an undrafted free agent on July 2, 2008.
The Rangers’ practice schedule for tomorrow, December 19, is 11:30 a.m. at the MSG Training Center.