The Rangers made a flurry of moves on Friday morning, which came in response to Kevin Shattenkirk’s injury and Michael Grabner’s illness. Tony DeAngelo was called up and will likely be in New York until –at the very least– Shattenkirk returns. Daniel Catenacci will likely only be with the club through the west coast road trip.
There was one other move that flew under the radar. It was the Rangers assigning Lias Andersson to Hartford, following his recovery from a shoulder injury suffered in the World Juniors. Andersson was sent back to Frolunda in Sweden after training camp, so the move, while not surprising at the time, wasn’t expected in October.
With Andersson and Filip Chytil in Hartford and DeAngelo on the main roster, the Rangers have their three key youngsters acquired over the summer in prime position to make a difference on the big club. The big question is when the other two will join DeAngelo in New York.
These moves, to me, signify a potential shift by the Rangers in future planning. Already down a top line winger, the Blueshirts lost their prized defenseman for an extended period of time. The team wasn’t exactly playing well before the injuries, and have looked even worse since.
It is possible –either that or I’m just trying to talk myself into believing this– that the front office recognizes that their hold on a playoff spot isn’t as firm as it once was. If the Blueshirts continue their slide and poor play, it might force them into selling mode. If that does happen, then they have some kids primed to take roster spots to finish out the season.
Again, this could just be me talking myself into the front office recognizing they should sell. I’m a forever optimist, which is pretty rough when you’re a Ranger (and Jet) fan. But hey, crazier things have happened. What we do know is the Blueshirts have some kids in Hartford who could take NHL spots if open after the deadline.