Yesterday, Larry Brooks made some noise in the Ranger community when he mentioned that the Rangers are looking to sign Marek Hrivik, an undrafted free agent who signed an ATO with the Connecticut Whale. In the AHL postseason, Hrivik had four goals in the Whale’s sweep of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Hrivik is certainly intriguing, and his success in the playoffs is worth noting.
However, all this talk about calling him up is, well, stupid. Hrivik isn’t even signed, he’s on an ATO. If he signs, he would be signed for next year, not this year. You can’t call up someone on an ATO to a professional club. He wasn’t on the reserve list either, meaning there’s no way he can play. The reason why Chris Kreider was able to play was because the Rangers placed him on the reserve list, thus giving them an opportunity to sign him for the current season.
Long story short: Hrivik simply cannot play for the New York Rangers. Case closed.
But, this “news” brings me to a different point. Do the Rangers really need to call someone up right now?
Sure, the Rangers struggled against the Senators. As we said, that was a tough match up for the Blueshirts, and they were honestly very lucky to get by the Senators, especially without Carl Hagelin for three games. People point to the 14 shots on goal on Saturday as another reason why the Rangers need to call up someone.
Let’s remember that the Rangers won on Saturday. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, and you may argue that the Caps should have won because they hit three posts (all three were saves that wound up hitting the post after deflecting off Henrik Lundqvist, but posts are posts). Let’s also remember that the Whale are currently in the middle of their own playoff push.
Barring injury, a call up simply isn’t needed. The players that people seem to want out of the lineup –John Mitchell and Ruslan Fedotenko– are depth forwards that likely will see press box time if Brandon Dubinsky and Brian Boyle come back. Boyle looks to be coming back shortly, and Dubinsky likely won’t be out for much longer (my own assumption here).
When they come back in the lineup, the injury replacements/depth forwards shift from just John Scott to Scott, Mitchell, and Fedotenko. That’s decent quality depth.