Update: The New York Rangers have placed Rick Nash on the injured reserve, according to sources including ESPN.
Rick Nash still isn’t skating nearly a week after being subjected to a high hit from San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart. Unfortunately, that’s not the worst part.
“He’s still feeling symptoms, so until I hear otherwise I don’t expect him back,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault explained, according to the team’s Twitter account.
If the Rangers ever needed Nash, it’s now. They have lost four of their first five games and have been outscored 20-5 in their last three contests. The Rangers have put Martin Biron and Arron Asham on waivers as an early attempt to turn things around before they find themselves in too big of a hole.
This is the second time this year that Nash has been sidelined with a suspected concussion. The last one occurred on Feb. 12 when he absorbed a hit from Boston’s Milan Lucic.
After getting off to a 1-4-0 start and allowing 25 goals over that span, the New York Rangers seem poised to shake up their roster. Although goaltender Martin Biron and forward Arron Asham joined New York for its morning practice, both players are now on waivers, according to Newsday’s Steve Zipay.
Asham, 35, already previously cleared waivers over the summer and any team that wants him will have to assume what’s left of his $1 million cap hit for the 2013-14 campaign. He’s a physical, bottom-six forward that’s already accumulated 14 penalty minutes in just three games.
Asham had two goals and no assists in 27 contests last season and he hasn’t recorded a point yet in 2013-14.
In his prime, Martin Biron was a starter for the Buffalo Sabres and later Philadelphia Flyers, but for the last few years he’s been a solid understudy to Henrik Lundqvist. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have gotten off to much worse of a start this season. In 71 minutes of ice time, Biron has a 7.61 GAA and .763 save percentage.
He was in danger of losing his backup job before the season even began as the Rangers brought in veteran goalie Johan Hedberg to compete with Biron during training camp. Hedberg was later released from his tryout contract and remains unsigned.
The 36-year-old goaltender comes with a $1.3 million annual cap hit.
Despite being a starting goalie many moons ago in Philadelphia, Martin Biron seems very comfortable in his role as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup. Still, after a rough Saturday performance, New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault admitted that the Rangers might not be so comfortable about Biron to the Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross.
Biron, 36, was probably the goat in the Rangers’ 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
New York carried the play through two periods, especially in the middle frame, out-shooting St. Louis 13-5. Instead of that giving the Rangers the advantage, Biron allowed three goals on those five shots.
Judge his culpability regarding that trio for yourself:
Biron allowed four goals on 17 shots before giving way to Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 16 of 17 shots as the Blues erupted in the third period.
(At least Lundqvist said that sharp work made him feel a little better.)
The Rangers’ next game doesn’t come until they visit the Capitals on Wednesday, so the Rangers could ponder the backup question for a few days. Biron isn’t cheap for a No. 2, either, as he’ll make $1.3 million in the final year of his deal.