InjuriesRoster Moves

Rangers recall Ryan Sproul; Steven Kampfer out with broken hand

The Rangers have recalled defenseman Ryan Sproul from the Hartford Wolf Pack. Sproul, acquired this season in exchange for Matt Puempel, has a line of 10-12-22 in 41 games with Hartford and Grand Rapids. The 25 year old defenseman will replace Steven Kampfer, who is out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand.

Sproul, a former second round pick from Detroit, is likely a temporary fill in until Kampfer, Marc Staal, or Ryan McDonagh can return. Since Staal is, at least in my opinion, likely out for the year –I have no evidence to support this other than Staal’s concussion history and the nature of his injury– I’d expect Sproul to be here until McDonagh returns.

For those counting, the blue line now has four guys who played significant time in the AHL this year. Also worth noting that, once again, Ryan Graves was passed over. If he were NHL ready, or deserving of a chance to show he might be, he would’ve been recalled by now.

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  • I figured that on Graves. He is an underacheiver and not a NHL player in any scouts’ eye. So we now know he is a waste of a roster spot. Oh well looks like skjei is going to play 30 minutes a night! lol

  • Anyone that seen Graves play, what’s your take of his potential, strengths and weaknesses?

      • Sproul play for a bit for the wings. What I remember is he has some size and played ok. Not flashy but has been putting up impressive numbers lately down on the farm.

        Of course the fancy stats will differ.

    • Graves has a bit of skill, a hammer from the point, can actually both skate the puck out of his own end and make the stretch pass. Is willing to drop the gloves, cleans out the crease pretty effectively.

      His footspeed is NHL quality, but compared to other callups a step slower.

      • I’ve been to 4 Pack games this season and i do not see any reason why he has not gotten the call yet. His shot is deadly and his Defense and ability to separate man from puck has been demonstrated. One thing is that the Pack play the same style of Defense played by the Rangers, which means we play alot in our end and give up plenty of shots.
        Definitely agree that this callup has more to do with Handedness than talent.
        One thing people also forget is that the kid is only 22. He is not old or a bust by any means at this point, and bigger Dmen generally take longer to develop. Unless you are a superstar (which none of us ever thought he was) he still has time to develop into a 4/5 Dman in the NHL.

  • From what I’ve seen of Graves, especially in camp the last 2 years, I respectfully disagree. He should be given a look, but it makes sense that the Rangers would look at guys 24-25 years old first to see how they might fit into our future plans. Graves is 2 years younger than Gilmour, 3 years younger than Sproul.

  • Dave

    “Not to pick on Marc, but his vision is impaired, has concussion history, never was a fast skater, it’s time to see the light, and let him go. I’d not be surprised if they don’t keep Staal on the LTIR, he gets 100% of his money, and the team gets cap relief, win-win as I see it!!!!!!”

    This is a part of my post from this morning. I along with you don’t see Marc coming back any time soon, if at all. Let’s hope it’s not a career ending injury, hate to see anyone be forced out of the game that way.

    As for Graves, all I read about him, and hoped he would develop, was that he was a big kid, booming shot, and had long range with his stick. Some of these really big guys take longer than others to develop, see Chara as an example!

    • With a cervical injury(their description,) it could be anything from a neck strain to whiplash to a fractured vertebra. Neck strain could be 10 days to 2 weeks, whiplash(what one of Crosby’s concussions turned out to be) can be indefinite and a fractured vertebra can be anything from a month (transverse bone) to career ending.

      There is no reason to put Staal on LTIR before the trade deadline unless a team wants to unload an albatross contract that doesn’t expire until 2019 to make another deal. At the deadline, could take on $9mm in salary

  • I have not seen Graves play, so I have no opinion on his ability. However it seems that it takes bigger defensemen longer to be NHL ready. It seems that the rangers have no patience when it comes to waiting for its larger defensemen to develop. Prior to them being ready we tend to get rid of them. Some examples are mark tinordi, terry carkner, chris kotsoupolous, jay wells …..the list goes on and on….
    Had we had zdeno chara he too would have been a goner before he could develop! He has always been a slow, plodding player but he certainly has been a force for the bruins for many years.

    • Rich, I’ve disagreed with you plenty of late, but I heartily agree with you here—Mark Tinordi and Chris Kotsopolous were both very good NHL defensemen who NYR gave up on too quickly. Tinordi was a #1 dman and Captain for the North Stars for years, while Kotsopolous was smart and a nasty player for Hartford. As far as Jay Wells though, he was an LA Kings draft pick and player for years before coming to the Rangers. Also a tough, tough dude.

      With Graves, it’s gotta be a skating issue. That type of player is definitely out of fashion in the NHL at the moment.

      • OK ….who is this and what have you done with MC?????

        You’re right about wells i meant mattias nordstrom……me memory sometimes shaky……

        • We are both Ranger fans, Rich. I figure at the end of the day that’s gotta be some common ground, eh? Or to put it another way: we may differ, but at least we’re not Devils fans. Or worse—Islander fans.

          • well put MC,
            however I despise the canadians the most….specifically because they cost us a cup in 79 when referees called the bruins for too many men penalty……shock to everyone…….never gets called at that point in game……
            rangers would have matched up perfectly against the bruins, not so much against montreal!!!!! And then the league CHANGES the finals schedule to give canadians extra rest, because of the grueling 7 game series against the bruins. More BULLS#$%T.
            And second the flyers ……we all know why those cheap shot bullies!!!!! Potvin also not my favorite….cheap shot onto Nillson!!!!!

  • Ahhhh Chris Kotsopulous…I have a fond memory of him when I was at a game during warm ups….

    I used to talk to him on his blog

    Yeah I agree….Rangers always traded away the bigger D men

    I also think Graves took a backseat because of AV….he doesn’t like physical D men

    • Graves isn’t taking a back-seat though. He’s been playing plenty down in Hartford. He would have been called up by now with Shattenkirk, McDonagh, Staal, Smith, and now Kampfer all out of the lineup if he deserved to be called up.

      This has to go well beyond AV. When AV calls, it’s pretty clear the coaching staff in Hartford isn’t pushing Graves.

      One, maybe two, guys get called ahead of him, and you can say, yeah, maybe AV is pushing back a bit. But we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here and still no Graves? There has to be a reason for that beyond simply AV doesn’t like big defensemen.

      • FO said out loud that they want speed & skill in back. The 1st set of call ups provide that better than Graves. Sproul is a righty/righty replacement.

        If Holden goes down/ gets traded and Graves doesn’t get the call, then whatever hazing issues went on last season have killed his career. But he is/was getting 1st pair minutes in HFD.

        The thing is this: AV has pretty much been emasculated at this point: JG is telling him who gets to play, the stretch pass is out of favor. If not for Sather(who has decided to hang around until well after Max McNab got punted out to Siberia) AV would be dunzo. It’s great that the players like them because he gives them a lot of leeway, but the problem is THEY HAVENT DESERVED IT. And not just this season.

  • The call up is all about giving guys a look who have options. We will see more guys in the next 2 weeks. Doubt the give Chytil and Andersson more than 5 games each total.

    Graves? Who knows. He may be the only guy left to play D for Hartford soon.

    • Bad enough that(barring them going back to Europe for next season) they’ll have to be protected in the expansion draft is calling them up so the 1st year of their ELC doesn’t slide.

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