The New York Rangers have placed defenseman Michael Kostka on waivers.
The move is not a huge surprise, with the expected return of Dan Boyle to the lineup tonight. Ryan McDonagh remains on injured reserve, but shouldn’t be out too much longer.
Kostka, 28, has appeared in seven games this season, registering one assist while logging 15:23 of ice time per contest. His cap hit is $650,000.
If Kostka clears waivers, it’s likely he’ll end up getting assigned to AHL Hartford.
That the Rangers are willing to risk losing Kostka could be seen as an encouraging sign for veteran d-man Tomas Kaberle, who’s hoping to catch on with the NHL club.
Matthew Lombardi was hoping to return to the NHL after a strong season in Switzerland, but he might have to work his way up from the minors. The New York Rangers have placed him on waivers, according to Newsday.
Any team that claims Lombardi will have to inherit his two-year, $1.6 million contract. It’s a one-way deal, so he’ll be expensive by AHL standards if that’s where he ends up.
The 32-year-old’s comeback attempt hit a road block when he was forced to miss the start of training camp due to a groin injury. All the same, it’s telling that there’s not a place for the center on the Rangers’ opening game lineup even after Derek Stepan suffered a broken fibula.
The Rangers have also waived defensemen Michael Kostka and Steven Kampfer as well as goalie Cedric Desjardins. Those moves have set the stage for Matt Hunwick to enter the season as New York’s seventh blueliner.
Douglas Murray wasted no time in reaching out to Bolts blueliner Mike Kostka on Tuesday after delivering a nasty hit that left Kostka with a concussion.
Per the Lightning website:
At the conclusion of Tuesday’s game Michael Kostka checked his phone and had already received a text message from Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray apologizing for the hit that left Kostka momentarily motionless on the ice.
“Classy move,” Kostka said. “I don’t think he had malicious intent, but needless to say it was a bad hit.”
Koskta said after leaving the ice for the trainers’ room it took him about 20 minutes to realize what was going on. The defenseman did not have any recollection of the hit, but had a chance to watch it on tape.
“It was a pretty nasty scary looking hit,” Kostka said. “I’m thankful I’m standing today.”
Kostka is currently undergoing standard post-concussion protocol with no timetable set for his return. Murray, who received a match penalty for the hit and was ejected, had a telephone hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety this morning.
According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports and TSN’s Darren Dreger, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray has a phone date with the NHL Thursday at 11 a.m. ET.
Murray will face up to a five-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mike Kostka on Tuesday night. Murray was assessed a match penalty on the play that put Kostka down on the ice for minutes before ultimately skating off with assistance.
Murray has no prior history of running afoul of the law, either with suspensions or fines, and that may be what’s saving him from an in-person hearing.
This season, Murray has averaged 15:30 of ice time and has 27 penalty minutes in 52 games. He’s far from being a goon, but he’s going to have a record after all is said and done.
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray hasn’t ever been suspended by the NHL despite a lengthy career of heavy hits, but Tuesday’s match penalty infraction on Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Michael Kostka might change that.
Video is only available via this TSN link for now, but Next Impulse’s Pete Blackburn captured it in GIF form:
There hasn’t been an update yet on the condition of Kostka, 28, but it sounds like the situation could have been worse.
Again, Murray, 34, hasn’t ever been suspended at the NHL level.
The Lightning went on to win Tuesday’s game 3-1, with both teams clinching playoff spots in the process. Here’s how the Lightning’s clinching win/Montreal’s loss affects the 2014 NHL Draft: