On Monday, the Rangers flipped forwards with AHL Hartford, sending down veteran winger Ryan Malone while recalling Jesper Fast.
The Blueshirts also sent down defenseman Conor Allen, which corresponds to the pending returns of Dan Boyle — who’s been out with a broken hand — and John Moore, who is coming off a suspension.
As for Malone, it’ll be interesting to see if he accepts his assignment. The 34-year-old hasn’t played in the American League since 2002-03 and earlier this season, another veteran Rangers forward — Matthew Lombardi — rejected his demotion to the AHL, opting to sign in Europe intead.
The fact the Rangers made moves today isn’t surprising. Following Sunday’s disappointing 3-1 loss to the Oilers, head coach Alain Vigneault hinted that changes would be coming.
“I think, after every game, you evaluate your personnel,” Vigneault said, per NorthJersey.com. “This weekend will be no different than any other game situation. We’re going to evaluate our team, see where we are. See if we can make some adjustments and go from there.”
As for the player coming in — Fast — he was up with the Rangers earlier this year, going scoreless over three games. The 22-year-old Swede has performed very well for Hartford, however, scoring one goal and nine points in 11 games.
With defenseman Ryan McDonagh (shoulder) and Kevin Klein (foot) both sidelined, the New York Rangers have recalled Dylan McIlrath and Conor Allen from the Hartford Wolf Pack.
McIlrath was the Rangers’ tenth overall selection at the 2010 NHL Draft. The 22-year-old has 21 penalty minutes in eight games this season with the Wolf Pack. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound Winnipeg native made his NHL debut last season appearing in two games with New York. He wasted no time getting acclimated to the NHL game dropping the gloves with heavy-weight Brian McGrattan in just his second career game.
Allen, 24, also made his NHL debut with the Rangers last season appearing in three games. The un-drafted defenseman has two goals and three assists this season with Hartford. The Chicago native had 31 points in 72 games last season – his first year pro.
In addition to McDonagh and and Klein, the Rangers are without defenseman Dan Boyle (broken hand) and John Moore (suspended).
The last thing the New York Rangers needed was an injury on the blue line, but that’s just what they’ve got.
Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman was hurt in their 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday and will miss some time as Blueshirts United shares.
“They don’t think it’s anything serious at this time, but we’ll know more (Saturday),” Vigneault said.
The Rangers didn’t disclose what Stralman’s injury was. To take his place, they called up rookie Conor Allen from AHL Hartford.
Stralman has become one of the team’s top-four defensemen alongside regulars Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, and Marc Staal. He has no goals and four assists this season. Given the Rangers’ struggles this season, losing a player that averages nearly 20 minutes of ice time per game won’t help.