The New York Rangers were dealt another surgery-related blow today when it was revealed center Mike Rupp underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. This was the “cranky knee” ailment so accurately diagnosed by Dr. John Tortorella earlier in the year; Rupp could miss up to six weeks recovering from the surgery.
It’s a tough loss for the Rangers. On Monday, the club announced that LW Wojtek Wolski would undergo abdominal surgery to repair a sports hernia and would miss the next four weeks of action, thinning out New York’s already svelte forward unit.
With both Rupp and Wolski out, the Rangers have few replacement options up front. One was to call up Sean Avery from AHL Connecticut (which they did) but in two games with the Rangers, he’s only averaged five minutes of ice time per game. He, along with fellow fourth-liners Andre Deveaux and Erik Christensen, have been used sparingly by Tortorella recently, which partly explains why Ryan Callahan and Brad Richards each played over 22 minutes against Winnipeg.
Simply put, New York needs some help up front. AHL options are few (Mats Zuccarello could get the call) — the team might make a stopgap move for forward depth once Marc Staal goes on LTIR and cap space gets freed up.