In the wake of their 5-4 shootout loss to Ottawa, the New York Rangers have sent Tim Erixon and Kris Newbury to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League. You may remember Newbury from his recent fight against the Leafs when Mike Brown used his face as a punching bag. Seeing him sent down isn’t the most surprising development of the day.
On the other hand, the Rangers sending Erixon down may raise a few eyebrows around the league. Erixon is the blue-chip prospect that was acquired from Calgary in the offseason because he had no intention of signing with the Flames. Calgary’s loss was the Rangers gain—or so we thought.
Erixon was expected to be an NHL-ready defenseman after spending an impressive three seasons in the Swedish Elite League. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. Through nine games, he’s failed to score or assist on any goals this season. Worse than that, he’s had his fair share of defensive lapses and at times has looked completely lost on the ice. Many think that he’ll still be an NHL defenseman one day, but right now it just looks like he’s a guy who is in over his head.
If you ask some Rangers fans, Erixon isn’t the only defenseman who has looked lost in the early going. The organization hopes they’ll be able to hit the reset button on Erixon’s North American career with a stint with the Connecticut Whale to regain his confidence. The Rangers fans, coaching staff, and management hope the move is the answer.
Flames fans? They’ll tell you it has nothing to do with development and everything to do with karma.