After Arron Asham and Martin Biron were placed on waivers yesterday, there was a lot of discussion about what moves the Rangers would be making. I heard everything from a trade (no specifics, just “they are going to make a trade”) to a much more rational call up. In my humble opinion, the Rangers aren’t going to make a trade and blow things up after five games, two of which they weren’t really outplayed. Waiving a backup goaltender and a fourth line player qualifies as minor moves, and minor moves will be made to replace them.
The first move is the easiest to assume: Cam Talbot will be called up from the Hartford Wolfpack. Talbot was one of the second round of cuts in preseason, and really surprised everyone with his strong play. People tossed around the idea of having Johan Hedberg come back, since he was brought in on a PTO during camp, but he would be contract #50 of the 50-contract limit. That move doesn’t really make sense.
As for the forwards, that is a little tougher to gauge. Rick Nash was just placed on IR, which opens an additional forward spot. With two spots open, it depends on how coach Alain Vigneault wants to fill the spots.
If only one top-nine spot is open, you would assume it would be filled by J.T. Miller. He’s been playing very well in Hartford, even if he is the benefactor of some extreme shot percentages. Coach Alain Vigneault is high on the kid, and his strong play has warranted another look in the appropriate situation. If the coach wants to fill both openings with top-nine forwards, then Chris Kreider would likely be the other.
If a fourth line role is what AV is looking for, then expect Brandon Mashinter to be recalled.
At a bare minimum, we are looking at Talbot and at least one forward being recalled from Hartford sometime before Wednesday. The Rangers did go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen in St. Louis, so calling up a second forward may not be on the radar.