Category Archives: New York Rangers
Rick Nash’s extended absence and NY Rangers’ silence could point to concussion or potential long-term injury for star winger
Rick Nash hasn’t practiced or played in eight days due to an undisclosed injury. He skipped last week’s Rangers road trip to Canada. But his absence from Monday morning’s practice in Greenburgh after a scheduled off-day raised the warning level to code red that his injury could be a concussion and therefore a long-term issue.
The 28-year-old forward is eligible to come off injured reserve for Tuesday’s home game against the Winnipeg Jets, just as fourth-liner Darroll Powe (concussion) did by practicing Monday following a three-game absence. But Nash not only wasn’t on the ice in Greenburgh; he was nowhere in sight.
“I haven’t looked for him today at all,” John Tortorella said when asked whether Nash were around. “I’m focusing on the guys on the ice. I have a lot of guys on the ice.”
At least defenseman Ryan McDonagh – who also did not practice Monday with an undisclosed injury – was seen receiving treatment from trainers at the team’s Greenburgh facility. The fact McDonagh flew home from Montreal Sunday morning was a good sign, as well, since athletes normally avoid flying if they’re experiencing concussion symptoms (read: Nash last week).
RUMOURS DU JOUR
Trying to stave off unemployment, Washington Capitals GM George McPhee is working the phones. Three names to watch are wingers Troy Brouwer ($2.35 million cap hit through 2015-16), Joel Ward ($3 million, 2014-15) and Jason Chimera ($1.75 million, 2013-14). All are available because the Caps want to clear cash. McPhee would like to free up money and then reap the rewards of futility with a high draft pick …
As mentioned on Hotstove Tonight, Colorado began the process of approaching teams it considers possible trade partners. One was definitely the New York Rangers. I had originally thought the deal involved Michael del Zotto and Derek Stepan for O’Reilly and another defenceman. However, it was strongly denied that Stepan was ever discussed, so I think I was wrong. The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater has reported the Avalanche are not as interested in getting a centre back.
The 22-year-old O’Reilly, the last restricted free agent who remains unsigned, is demanding more than $3.5 million than Matt Duchene is making with the Avs. It should be noted O’Reilly made $900,000 last year on an entry-level deal.
O’Reilly 18 goals and 37 assists for 55 points in 81 games last season. With centre Jason Spezza gone until at least the start of the playoffs after back surgery, the Sens could use that point production.
But if the Senators are going to make a deal for O’Reilly, Murray would be required to give up more than he’s prepared to give. The Avs are looking for a roster player who can help right now, a prospect and a draft pick.
Expect O’Reilly to land somewhere as the Avs try to clear up this sour relationship. The Leafs, Bruins, Rangers and Penguins have all held talks with Sherman, who would like to send him to an eastern conference team.
According to @renlavoierds the Flyers, Rangers and Leafs are among those interested in Ryan O’Reilly. Lavoie says Avs asked for Couturier.
— Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell) February 19, 2013
The Rangers have checked in on Ryan O’Reilly, but are very unlikely to pursue a deal for Colorado’s unsigned restricted free-agent center, The Post has learned.
It is not the yet undetermined cost in assets that the Blueshirts — whose three-game winning streak ended with Thursday night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Islanders at the Garden — would have to send to the Avalanche in order to acquire the 22-year-old pivot, but rather O’Reilly’s asking price for a contract that is discouraging a pursuit by general manager Glen Sather.
Of all the concerns about the Rangers, among them their inability to find the defensive lockdown game that identified the club last season, the most disturbing is the diminished play of Brad Richards, who had such a difficult time last night he was benched for all but one shift in the third period of the Blueshirts’ 4-3 shootout loss at the Garden to the Islanders.
Nonis may consider moving F Phil Kessel. Just one problem: Somebody has to be willing to take him. Not easy finding a fit because he is making $5.4 million and is one year away from being a UFA … Once the New York Islanders are officially out of the playoff picture, expect D Mark Streit to get dealt.
Winning and losing streaks also mean more in a truncated schedule, so as Rupp said: “You can’t afford to drop games in a row. That’s when teams will get in trouble.”
As inconsistently as the Rangers have played, they have avoided consecutive defeats since their season-opening back-to-back against Boston and Pittsburgh. To do so, they’ll need to rectify the scoring imbalance among their forwards.
The Money Line of highly-paid star forwards Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash has eight goals and 20 points in seven games. The rest of the forwards have combined for just five goals and 11 points. The bug even has bitten Nash, who has just one goal (vs. the Penguins on Jan. 20).
That lack of depth is the reason that as of early this week, the Rangers still were inquiring about available free agent forwards, even after their deal with Jason Arnott fell through last weekend due to a failed physical. Ryan Callahan’s shoulder injury, sidelining him until at least Feb. 10, didn’t help matters either.
Arnott was the second-leading scorer from last season available as a free agent, but it appears he has not recovered from off-season knee surgery to the Rangers’ satisfaction.
“He couldn’t pass a medical, so we’ll move on, that’s all I can tell you,” Rangers General Manager Glen Sather told reporters at practice. He added that “it’s always necessary to look around” and that he would continue to do so.
The Rangers, confronting a cap squeeze next season, are believed to have offered Del Zotto a two-year contract worth north of $2.4 million per season. The defenseman, who had been looking for a longer-term deal before the lockout, is believed to be seeking approximately $3 million per season for two years.
“There’s only so much you can do with these ‘gap’ contracts,” Sather said, referring to contracts for players coming out of Entry Level. “Michael must have his reasons for doing what he’s doing, but the way the system works, he’s going to have to wait his turn.”