Are the Rangers finally getting ready to make a deal?
There were plenty of scouts and NHL front-office personnel at the Garden on Monday night taking in the Rangers’ 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, including Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, Flyers assistant GM Ron Hextall and two representatives from the Ottawa Senators.
The Sens, you’ll recall, are the club that reportedly had made offers for defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Well, even though Del Zotto got involved on the offensive end, he finished minus-three and was on the ice for three Jets goals, including when he gave Devin Setoguchi too much of a gap to fire a game-tying goal past Cam Talbot 8:16 into the second period. In other words, it’s not likely this outing helped GM Glen Sather’s ability to up the ante on a potential deal.
Coach Alain Vigneault’s doghouse on this night, however, belonged to center Derick Brassard, whose turnover at the top of the offensive zone to Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien led to Winnipeg rookie John Albert’s first career NHL goal in his first-ever game for a 2-1 Jets lead 10 minutes into the second.
Vigneault immediately demoted Brassard to the fourth line with Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett and promoted Benoit Pouliot to the top line left wing, shifting Brad Richards back to center with Ryan Callahan on the right.