Steve Kampfer

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Rangers sign KHL d-man Bereglazov

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New York added some defensive depth on Friday, agreeing to terms with Russian blueliner Alexei Bereglazov.

Bereglazov, 23, has spent the last few seasons with KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk, including a ’16-17 campaign in which he scored 19 points in 60 games. He led all d-men aged 24 or younger in assists, with 18.

Despite being passed over at the draft, Bereglazov had a good junior career, highlighted by capturing bronze for Russia at the 2014 World Juniors. He finished with two points in seven games in the tourney, playing alongside the likes of Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Ivan Barbashev and his new Rangers teammate, Pavel Buchnevich.

It’ll be interesting to see where he fits in New York next season. The club has seven blueliners under contract — Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, Nick Holden, Brady Skjei and Steve Kampfer — with Brendan Smith a pending UFA, and Adam Clendening a pending RFA.

 

Rangers extend d-man Kampfer — two years, $1.3 million

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Steve Kampfer didn’t dress for New York’s series-opening win over Montreal on Wednesday.

Thursday, things went a little better.

Kampfer agreed to a two-year, two-way extension with the Blueshirts, per TVA. It’s a $1.3 million pact worth $650,000 annually at the NHL level.

Kampfer, 28, was acquired from Florida midseason in the Dylan McIlrath trade. He appeared in 10 games for the Blueshirts, scoring two points while averaging just under 13 minutes per night.

A veteran of nearly 150 career NHL contests, Kampfer had spent time with Boston and Minnesota prior to Florida and New York. He announced confirmation of the signing on his Instagram account earlier this afternoon.

No Lundqvist, Nash or Grabner for banged-up Rangers tonight

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The Blueshirts are limping into this evening’s tilt with Carolina.

Starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist is sidelined with a lower-body injury. Leading goalscorer Michael Grabner will miss his fifth straight contest with a hip ailment. Alternate captain Rick Nash is out with a lingering upper-body issue.

So what sayeth you, J.T. Miller?

“People go down and people have to step into a different spot normally,” the Rangers’ leading scorer said, per the club website. “Just have to play like any other game.”

On their own, the losses are significant — but when piled on top of the guys New York was already without, it’s pretty overwhelming.

The Rangers were down the services of d-men Kevin Klein (back) and Dan Girardi (ankle), while versatile forward Jesper Fast is on the shelf with a separated shoulder.

As a result, head coach Alain Vingeault’s working with a patchwork lineup. The Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello line will remain intact, while Miller will jump to fill Nash’s spot alongside Pavel Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad.

Matt Puempel, a healthy scratch recently, will draw back in and play alongside Jimmy Vesey and Kevin Hayes. That leaves Tanner Glass, Oscar Lindberg and Brandon Pirri on the fourth line.

On defense, it’ll be Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Brendan Smith, Nick Holden, Brady Skjei and Steve Kampfer.

Antti Raanta will get the start, while ECHL recall Brandon Halverson will back up.

Panthers place Dylan Mcilrath, Paul Thompson on waivers

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The Florida Panthers made a couple of roster moves on Tuesday morning by placing defenseman Dylan McIlrath and forward Paul Thompson on waivers.

Mcilrath, originally a first-round pick (No. 10 overall) by the New York Rangers back in 2010, was acquired by the Panthers in a trade for Steve Kampfer earlier this season. He has been limited to just five games with the Panthers since the trade, logging just 48 total minutes of ice time and scoring a single goal.

Known more for his toughness and physical play, he has also recorded 10 penalty minutes in his limited role this season. He is likely headed back to Springfield of the American Hockey League where he has one goal and one assist in six games this season. The decision to waive Mcilrath comes just after Alex Petrovic returned to the lineup last week following a lengthy absence due to injury.

Mcilrath has appeared in just one game for the Panthers since Dec. 15, playing 8:49 in a shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers back on Jan. 18.

Thompson, meanwhile, joined the Panthers organization this past offseason and has appeared in 21 games for the big club this season recording three assists in what has mostly been a fourth line role, logging just a little more than seven minutes of ice time per game when he has been in the lineup. The 28-year-old winger has spent much of the season in Springfield where he has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 20 games.

Panthers captain Mitchell (concussion) ‘has to decide whether he can play’

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Heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2012, there’s no denying Florida would love to have its captain in the mix.

But there’s no denying his return is loaded with issues.

Willie Mitchell, who’s again dealing with concussion problems that have occurred throughout his lengthy career, hasn’t played since mid-January — and on Thursday, GM Dale Tallon said Mitchell’s return is up in the air.

“Willie has to decide whether he can play or not,” Talon said, per the Miami Herald. “We want to make sure he doesn’t get hurt, we want to make sure there is no permanent damage.”

Mitchell, who turns 39 in April, has been a fairly key cog for Florida since signing on two years ago. He played 66 games last season while averaging nearly 22 minutes a night, and appeared in 46 this year — with his ice time dipping to under 20 minutes per — before being sidelined.

Among other things, he was instrumental in helping prized d-man Aaron Ekblad adjust to NHL life. Ekblad lived with Mitchell during his rookie campaign, which culminated with Ekblad capturing last year’s Calder Trophy.

With Mitchell out of the lineup, Florida has a lack of experience on the back end — he’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion with nearly 90 postseason games to his credit.

In Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Rangers, the six defensemen that dressed — Ekblad, Steve Kampfer, Alex Petrovic, Dmitry Kulikov, Jakub Kindl and Brian Campbell — have a grand total of 123 playoff games.

Campbell accounts for most of that, with 97. Another injured defenseman, Erik Gudbranson, has seven.

So it’s obvious the Panthers would love to have Mitchell back. But they’re not willing to risk further damage in order to do so.

“This is up to Willie. We want to do what is best for him. That’s the bottom line,” Tallon said. “The doctors have said they’re concerned with his long-term health.”