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Rangers place Jeff Halpern on waivers

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In a bit of shocking news, the Rangers have placed center Jeff Halpern on waivers (per Darren Dreger). In 30 games with the Rangers, Halpern notched just one assist with a -5 rating. Halpern is currently the Rangers one of the Rangers top faceoff guys, winning 56.7% of his draws. Halpern’s ice time had diminished a lot lately, getting just three minutes of ice time in last night’s loss to Florida.

The move likely signals that Arron Asham is ready to return to the lineup. But the interesting thing here is that with Halpern out, the Rangers are going to need to do some line shuffling. Expect J.T. Miller to move to center on the third line, and Brian Boyle to be shifted to the fourth line center role (where he belongs). Also look for Taylor Pyatt to be moved to the third line, with the returning Asham to slide into a fourth line role.

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Rangers claim Roman Hamrlik off waivers

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Per Bob McKenzie, the Rangers have claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik off waivers from the Washington Capitals. It is unknown whether the Rangers claimed him before or after the Marc Staal injury, as they definitely had a need for a depth defenseman before Staal’s freak injury.

Hamrlik, 38, skated in just four games with the Caps, notching an assist. Last season, Hamrlik skated in 68 contests with Washington, finishing with a scoring line of 2-11-13.  Using his 2011-2012 metrics, he is still functional in his own end, with a 4.5 GVT (4.7 DGVT). He also finished last season with a -.061 QoC, 7.8 RCorsi (0.26 CorsiON), and 46.8% OZone start. These metrics all suggest competence in his own end, which is what the Rangers need at the moment.

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Update: 10:30pm: Redden has been bought out.

Update 1/17/13: Redden has cleared waivers. The Rangers will buy him out before the season starts on Saturday.

Original Post (1/16/13): As expected, the Rangers have placed Wade Redden on waivers, per Pierre LeBrun. This is step one in using their first amnesty buyout on the defenseman. Redden is expected to clear tomorrow, and will promptly be bought out by the Rangers.

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The Rangers have placed Sean Collins, Michael Haley, Chad Kolarik, Kris Newbury, Logan Pyett, Brendon Segal, Mike Vernace and Tommy Grant on waivers today. They will clear tomorrow, and some will join the club for the rest of minicamp before the NHL season starts. These moves likely address who will replace Arron Asham in the lineup on opening day, as he still needs to serve the final game of his four game suspension.

This was move #3 on the list of things to expect from the Rangers during minicamp. Move #4 may be adding a depth forward, as Suit discussed earlier this week.

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Per Renaud Lavoie, the Rangers have signed prospect Michael St. Croix to an entry level deal:

The deal is great for both sides. St. Croix has the potential to be a fantastic scorer in the league, especially considering how he has dominated the WHL. As Lavoie noted, the deal is for $575,000 annually with a $270,000 signing bonus, for a cap hit of $665,000. This also means that St. Croix can play in the AHL in the event of a lockout (if he doesn’t stick with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL).

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As predicted here, Sean Avery has been waived by the Rangers. This is a salary cap move, as Avery and his $1.9 million salary needs to be cleared, especially if he’s not even playing.

We covered this here, here, here, here, and here. I’m actually incredibly sick of this topic. Avery has become bigger than the team, which is impressive considering he’s a fourth liner. He barely played, and was a healthy scratch. Mike Rupp’s return made this inevitable.

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Andre Deveaux On Waivers

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In a relatively unsurprising news, Andrew Gross notes that the Rangers have placed Andre Deveaux on waivers. This move could be predicted a week ago, following Deveaux’s suspension and the call ups of Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell. Both have played extremely well, and the need for Deveaux was no longer there.

In nine games with the Rangers, Deveaux registered an assist, 29 PIMs, and finished with a +3 rating. He also earned himself a three game suspension for an elbow to the head of Florida Panthers winger Tomas Fleischmann.

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According to Larry Brooks via Twitter (his source was Bommer Esiason and Nick Kypreos), Sean Avery will be placed on re-entry waivers tomorrow, making him eligible for Thursday’s tilt against the Ducks.

Whether another team is interested in acquiring him is uncertain, but chances are Sather is giving the fans (well half of them anyway according to our polls) what they want for the time being.

For the other half of this fan base, all we can hope for now is that Torts and Sean can somehow get on the same page. Maybe Richards can be a middleman if issues arise? Who knows…

Sean has some skill no doubt, but his coach-ability has been questioned by every NHL coach he has ever played for. If this rumor is true, and he does end up back on the team, hopefully the relationship between Sean and Torts is somehow salvageable. I mean you would have to assume Torts gave the okay to Glen to make this move? Maybe, maybe not.

Either way, things are about to get interesting…

Get well soon Rupper 😉

A lot of the hooplah today was that the Rangers claimed Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.  They also made a few other minor moves to round out the rosters at the NHL and AHL levels:

  • To make room for Woywitka, the Rangers sent Stu Bickel to the Connecticut Whale. It is a bit ridiculous that Bickel had to return to the US, you would think that the NHL would consider this to be a special cicrumstance, considering he is in Europe.
  • The Whale signed forward Scott Tanski to an AHL contract.
  • The Whale signed forward Jordan Owens and defenseman T.J. Fast to Professional Try Outs.

In addition to the roster moves, some good news. The judge threw out all charges against Aaron Boogaard for felony drug possession.  Boogaard was originally charged in connection with his brother Derek’s tragic death, but it was revealed that Aaron was helping his brother with his addiction.  It is good that his charges were dropped.

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Rangers Claim Defenseman Jeff Woywitka Off Waivers

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The New York Rangers, desperate for defensive help after putting Marc Staal on IR, claimed defenseman Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. Woywitka, 28, played 63 games with the Dallas Stars last season, putting up 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in those 63 games and a +5 rating.  Woywitka then signed as a UFA with the Montreal Canadiens over the summer to a one-year, $650,000 contract.  The Rangers will assume full responsibility for the contract, and will have a $650,000 cap hit for Woywitka.

Looking deeper into Woywitka’s stats, he had a 1.9 GVT last season (.63 PVT). There are no GVT numbers available for Stu Bickel or Brendan Bell (did not play in the NHL last year), but we can look at Steve Eminger’s numbers (0.5 GVT, .17 PVT).  Based on GVT/PVT only, Woywitka is worth about half a point more in the standings than Eminger.  But, it’s not all about GVT/PVT.  We can look at other stats, like QUALCOMP and Offensize Zone Starts, to better quantify what Woywitka brings.

Woywitka’s QUALCOMP of -.078 suggests that he was not exactly facing the opposition’s top players while he was on the ice, which may have led to an inflated +/- rating.  His 54.3% offensive zone starts, when coupled with his less than impressive QUALCOMP, shows that Woywitka was the beneficiary of favorable matchups and situations.  He started over half of his shifts in the offensive zone, which put less pressure on him from a defensive standpoint.  His Corsi numbers look even less appealing, meaning opponents are taking a fair number of shots (either on goal, missed, or blocked) while he is on the ice.

Putting all that together, you have a player who was starting in the offensive zone and against weaker players.  Despite the weaker competition, they still managed to direct a fair numer of shots towards the net while Woywitka was on the ice, suggesting that Dallas didn’t have control of the puck often while Woywitka was on.  However, he did improve upon his 2009-2010 season, for what it’s worth.

That said, comparing those numbers to Eminger’s (-.073 QUALCOMP, 51.9% offensize zone starts, slightly better Corsi), it appears that there is no significant difference between Eminger and Woywitka.  Claiming Woywitka was a move made by the Rangers to address the fact that Bickel and/or Bell might not have been ready for the NHL, but were being kept on the roster because of Marc Staal’s injury.  In Woywitka, they get someone with NHL experience who can be interchangeably used with Eminger.

With the move, the Rangers will need to send at least one player to the AHL.  They may wind up sending both Bickel and Bell to the AHL, but no official announcement has been made.

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