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Posts tagged: Tim Erixon

Tim Erixon is a Ranger because of Al Montoya

When I get bored, I like to research how specific players came to the Rangers organization. One of the first ones I researched was how Matthew Barnaby’s acquisition led to Brandon Dubinsky becoming a Ranger. Another I did was how Vladamir Malakhov’s signing led to Marc Staal becoming a Ranger. Now in some more research, feast your eyes on how Tim Erixon became a Ranger:

  • 2004: New York Rangers draft Al Montoya with the sixth overall pick.
  • 2/26/2008: Rangers trade Montoya and Marcel Hossa to the Phoenix Coyotes for Frederick Sjostrom, John Gratton, David LeNeveu, and a conditional fifth round pick. The conditions of the pick were that LeNeveu did not re-sign with the Rangers (he did not) and that Montoya played at least 15 games with the Coyotes (he did).
  • As a result of these conditions being met, the Rangers were award the fifth round pick in 2009, which they used on Roman Horak.
  • 6/1/11: Rangers deal Roman Horak, and two second round picks to the Calgary Flames for Tim Erixon and a fifth round pick (Shane McColgan).

Your mind has been blown. Stop hating on drafting Montoya already.

McIlrath, Miller, Erixon, and six others called up

Yesterday the Rangers announced that they had recalled nine six players from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. The Whale were eliminated from Calder Cup contention last week, and the nine six players called up will serve as the “taxi squad.” As per Andrew Gross, they will practice separately from the current roster.

The players called up include:

G – Cameron Talbot

D – Tim Erixon, Dylan McIlrath

F – J.T. Miller, Casey Wellman, Kris Newbury, Chad Kolarik, Marek Hrivik, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault

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Rangers return Tim Erixon to Connecticut

The Rangers have returned defenseman Tim Erixon to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. Erixon was initially called up two weeks ago to serve as another option for the Rangers to look at on defense. In his five game call up, Erixon earned his first two points as a NHL player, both assists, a -2 rating, and six hits. Erixon averaged roughly ten minutes of ice time while playing on the third pair.

Erixon had been a healthy scratch for the previous two games. The return of Erixon to the Whale likely means that Steve Eminger is ready to return from his sprained ankle.

The competition for the last spot on defense is now between Eminger, Anton Stralman, and Jeff Woywitka.

Tim Erixon called up?

Update: This is now official.

Per Paul Doyle of The Hartford Courant, it appears that Tim Erixon has been called up from the Connecticut Whale. This will be Erixon’s fourth stint with the Rangers this year. Erixon has been held pointless in his previous 13 NHL contests, but has 33 points (3-30-33) in 43 games in the AHL. Erixon is currently the most NHL ready Rangers defensive prospect in the system.

The Erixon call up likely means that the combination of Anton Stralman/Steve Eminger isn’t producing results the way coach John Tortorella expects them to. Stralman has been serviceable all year, so it is likely that Eminger will be seeing the press box.

Note that the move has not been announced officially, nor is it on the AHL Transaction Log.

The Latest on Rick Nash

12:47pm: Via Mark Spector, talks between the Rangers and Blue Jackets regarding Rick Nash have “advanced.” The reported package includes one of Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto, a prospect (apparently Tim Erixon), and a first round pick. The Rangers believe this offer gives them the edge over the Maple Leafs, and I would sure hope it would. That’s a serious haul.

As Dave said on Twitter, any deal bringing Nash to New York would have to involve Brandon Dubinsky going elsewhere for salary purposes. Columbus apparently doesn’t want him, which complicated things. It’s worth noting that Wojtek Wolski was not placed on waivers today according to Bob McKenzie, so his rather pricey salary will still count against the cap on Monday, trade deadline day.

I’m of the belief that the Rangers should look for an upgrade over the Stu Bickel/Steve Eminger/Jeff Woywitka trio, not subtract potentially two defensemen. We’ve seen the d-men get beat with speed quite a bit lately, and I don’t think that’s an accident. Dan Girardi, McDonagh, and MDZ have logged a ton of ice time this season, so adding another guy to soak up some minutes down the stretch makes sense. Anyway, I’ll update this post with any Nash-related rumors throughout the day.

Update (2:24pm): Per David Pagnotta, the Blue Jackets badly want Derek Stepan but will settle for Carl Hagelin. He mentions a package of Dubinsky, Stepan/Hagelin, Chris Kreider, plus a pick (not necessarily a first rounder), though it’s unclear if that’s on the table or if he’s speculating. Meanwhile, Larry Brooks hears that there’s nothing to the MDZ talk, but Erixon is in play. After the Wolski trade, the Rangers can add close to $11 million in cap hits at the deadline according to CapGeek. The money’s there if they want to do something big, or even two something bigs.

Halfway There Report Card: The Defense

With the halfway point of the season upon us (for the most part), and the Rangers in first place, it’s as good of a time as any to begin with the mid-point report cards. We are going to do these in a series of posts, with Chris covering the top six forwards, Suit covering the bottom six forwards, Justin covering the goalies, and myself covering the defense.

The Rangers have used a whopping 11 defensemen since the season started. This is mostly due to the Marc Staal injury, but other injuries along the way have forced the Rangers’ hand. Despite the obvious disadvantage, the Rangers have allowed just 82 goals against, good for second in the league. The Bruins top this, but let’s be honest: The Bruins are in a class above everyone else right now.  Let’s get to those grades:

Marc Staal: He’s played just a handful of games. Everyone knows he’s the rock on defense, and the Rangers just upgraded tremendously with him coming back. Grade: INC.

Dan Girardi: With Staal out indefinitely, the blue line was put in Girardi’s hands…and boy did he deliver. Girardi has been flawless in his own end. He plays the most minutes in the entire league, he plays against top competition, he consistently shuts down that top opposition, he has been contributing offensively, and he has been a leader for this young Rangers team. Grade: A+.

Ryan McDonagh: Staal’s injury opened up a spot for McDonagh on the top pairing, and he has been sensational in that role. He and Girardi have clicked, and aside from a few poor games, McDonagh has been a monster. Rick Carpiniello of LoHud calls him McMonster, and that’s exactly what he is. Throw in his growing offensive skills, and this sophomore defenseman has been a tremendous pickup. Thank you Mr. Gomez. Grade: A.

Michael Del Zotto: Another player that was forced to play up a pairing due to injury, Del Zotto has also been phenomenal. He leads the defensemen in scoring, and is fifth on the team in that same category with 23 points (5-18-23). He leads the team in assists, plus/minus, fan girls, and haters. Seriously, what else does this kid need to do? Sure, he makes a bad pass every now and then, but he’s 22 years old. I’ll take this from a 22 year old any day. Grade: A.

Mike Sauer: Currently out with a concussion, Sauer was the rock on the blue line that most thought was the reason for Del Zotto’s re-emergence.  Although Del Zotto has succeeded without Sauer in the lineup, Sauer is still an integral part of the Rangers blue line. He doesn’t put up the fancy numbers that Del Zotto does, he doesn’t garner the All Star consideration that Girardi does, but he just does his job. The best thing you can say about a defensive defenseman is that you don’t notice him, and rarely does Sauer go noticed. Grade: A.

Steve Eminger: Eminger had an atrocious start to the year. He just couldn’t do anything right, and was a bit of a whipping boy ’round these parts. However, when Sauer went down with his concussion, Emmy stepped up. Much like last year with the Michal Rozsival injury, Eminger assumed top four minutes and played like a champ. His start hurts his grade, but he gets significant bonus points for his ability to play up to his role, no matter what. His injury was supposed to be the one that crippled the Rangers, who were already without Staal and Sauer, but it didn’t. Grade: B.

Jeff Woywitka:Serviceable, reliable, tough, and surprisingly reliable. Much like Eminger, Woywitka was a whipping boy here after his poor start to the season. However, unlike Eminger, he played better as he got used to the John Tortorella way of life, and has been a great bottom pairing guy since. Maybe he has received too much ice time because of injuries, but the Rangers sure haven’t noticed. Kudos to Woywitka for persevering, and earning his continued stay with the Blueshirts. Grade: B.

Anton Stralman: Signed as a free agent a few weeks into the season, no one knew what to expect from Stalman. After a few weeks with the team, it was clear that Tortorella wasn’t a big fan, a point confirmed on HBO’s 24/7 last week. However as he has played, he has grown into a player that is not only reliable, but someone that Tortorella can play top-four minutes without hesitation. Stralman has been paired with Del Zotto, and both have flourished. Martin Biron might be the best offseason acquisition in a while, but the signing of Stralman might be the most underappreciated. Grade: A-.

Stu Bickel: The last man cut from the blue line in the preseason, Bickel earned a call up following Eminger’s separated shoulder and Woywitka’s bruised foot forced the Rangers’ hand. Bickel has been a physical presence on the blue line that has rarely made a mistake. He’s still a rookie, and yes his mistakes have and will come, but the Rangers couldn’t have asked for more from him. With Sauer out, Bickel has replaced that physicality that was sorely missing. Grade: B+.

Tim Erixon: He played in the beginning of the year when Sauer was out, and most recently while Woywitka was out. It’s clear he’s still not ready for the big show, but he’s a promising young defenseman that has done many things right. He’s only played 13 games, but it’s apparent the Rangers have a serious NHL player on their hands. Grade: INC.

Brendan Bell: Played one game. Grade: INC.

*Here is Justin’s mid-season report for the goalies & Suit’s report for our bottom six forwards. Stay tuned for reports on our top 6 forwards and our coaches.

Tim Erixon Returned To Connecticut

As expected, the Rangers returned Tim Erixon to the Connecticut Whale immediately following last night’s loss to the Caps. Erixon was out of the lineup last night, but was kept with the team as an emergency replacement in the event that one of the six remaining defensemen got injured during the game. Thankfully, that was not the case, as all six survived the game.

Erixon did not receive a big chunk of ice time, but was definitely serviceable. His cap hit may prevent another call up this year, but that’s not to worry. He will benefit from big minutes in all situations in the AHL.

Erixon did not record a point in his second stint –four games– with the team, but he recorded two PIMs, four hits, and seven blocked shots.

Lineup Changes Begin: Woywitka In, Erixon Out

The post-holiday roster freeze lineup changes for the Rangers have begun. Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News (who took over for Jesse Spector) tweets that Jeff Woywitka will be returning to the lineup tonight in place of rookie Tim Erixon. Woywitka was out for a few games after blocking a shot with his foot in Phoenix. It is likely that Tim Erixon, who was at the morning skate, will be returned to the Connecticut Whale following the optional skate (Update: Torts said, per Leonard, that Erixon will be with the team for a while longer because the team is on the road).

Another Update: Andrew Gross says that as long as Woywitka and Stu Bickel survive the Washington game tonight, Erixon will be returned to Connecticut.

Also, Martin Biron will get the start in net tonight (also per Leonard). This means that Henrik Lundqvist will get the Florida game before the Winter Classic.

Blueline Changes This Summer?

The Rangers blue line could look a lot different in the summer of 2012. There’s a chance that next season the Rangers will start six defensemen that have seen the ice this in New York season but don’t expect that six to include Steve Eminger, Anton Stralman and Jeff Woywitka.

All three journeyman pros have expiring contracts and are likely to be let go; at most one may be retained. Also with an expiring deal is Mike Del Zotto but barring something totally unexpected the talented youngster will get a new deal thanks to his rebound season, especially the way he is improving with each game this season.

Complicating what is beginning to look like an audition process for a depth spot on defense is the sudden emergence of Stu Bickel. It may be highly premature to call it an ‘emergence’ but Bickel has shown a willingness to scrap, has chipped in offensively, kept it simple and for the most part has stepped up and looked capable at the NHL level. With every additional game Bickel impresses and with the injuries to guys like Eminger it really does make it a four horse race for a contract next summer; and that is if one is kept at all at the NHL level.

With Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Mike Sauer, Ryan McDonagh and Mike Del Zotto all very much part of the Rangers, the sixth defenseman promises to be Tim Erixon. As well as his outstanding potential, in Erixon’s favour (assuming he is full time, NHL ready) is that, with Ryan McDonagh and Mike Sauer, all three represent cap bargains next season as Sauer is the most expensive in 12/13 at $1.25m. Despite an injury earlier this season Erixon has looked very good in the AHL for the Whale and is close to a point/game player on the farm.

So where is the change coming? In all likelihood the change is likely to be via the aforementioned subtractions rather than substantial additions however there does promise to be further talent challenging for NHL roster spots. Dylan McIlrath and Pavel Valentenko (assuming the club retain him) will look to break the roster while Mikhail Pashnin might be in the mix, coming over from the KHL.

The Rangers have a stack of young established NHL defensemen, a couple of almost NHL ready prospects and a couple of juniors in the pipeline. Whether they add or subtract from the big club this summer, it continues to look good on the back end for the Rangers.

Tim Erixon Recalled On Emergency Basis; Woywitka Banged Up

The injuries to the Rangers blue line continue to mount. Jeff Woywitka left practice early today, and as a result the Rangers called up rookie defenseman Tim Erixon, per Chris Botta. The move hasn’t formally been announced yet, nor does the AHL Transaction Log have anything on it, but it is expected to be announced shortly.

One delay in the announcement could be because of salary cap restraints, which is believed to be the reason why Erixon wasn’t called up to replace Steve Eminger (and why Stu Bickel was). In any case, Erixon is with the Rangers, but unlikely to play unless Woywitka can’t go (bruised foot from blocking a shot). The Rangers blue line is a mess, and with no changes coming in the next week, this could be a long four games.