New York Rangers

‘Hawks land another college prospect, sign Hobey Baker finalist Kero


Chicago has signed Michigan Tech forward and WCHA Player of the Year Tanner Kero to a two-year contract, the club announced on Thursday.

Kero, 22, is an undrafted free agent that spent the last four years with the Huskies, scoring 111 points in 153 career NCAA contests. This year, he scored 20 goals and 46 points in 41 games and was named one of the country’s 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, becoming just the third player in school history to earn that distinction.

Kero signing with Chicago is noteworthy. The ‘Hawks have had issues with acquiring/retaining prospects, thanks largely to their depth at the NHL level; the most high-profile example was 2010 first-round pick Kevin Hayes, who played out his four full years at Boston College before balking at signing with the ‘Hawks, becoming a UFA, and inking with the Rangers.

That trend now appears to be a thing of the past. Last week, Chicago beat out a host of other teams to sign Colgate’s Kyle Baun — another undrafted free agent — and, a day later, came to terms with University of Vermont d-man Michael Paliotta, who was drafted by the ‘Hawks in 2011 but rumored to be eyeing unrestricted free agency.

(Video) PHT Extra: Undisciplined Jets in danger of major late-season letdown


We’ve touched on the Jets’ undisciplined play before. As you can see here, it’s really cost them in the goals department this season. And while Dustin Byfuglien didn’t get a penalty for crosschecking J.T. Miller, he’s going to get suspended.

Add it all up and Winnipeg may once again miss the playoffs:

Goalie nods: Slumping Elliott sits, Allen starts for Blues


All the latest from the blue paint…

St. Louis turns to Allen

With Brian Elliott having lost four straight and the Blues winning just once in their last six, Ken Hitchcock will turn things over to Jake Allen tonight for a tilt against Calgary.

Allen — who was in goal for St. Louis’ last win, a 3-2 OT decision over Pittsburgh — could potentially throw a wrench into the Blues’ plans of Elliott being their definitive playoff starter. Elliott hasn’t played well lately, going 1-3-1 with a .902 save percentage over his last five games, and Hitchcock did leave the door open slightly when asked if Ellliott could be usurped as the postseason No. 1.

“Obviously if [Elliott] doesn’t play well at all, then we’ve got to reassess it like any team does,” he explained, per the Post-Dispatch.

As for Allen, he’s gunning for his 20th win tonight and is coming off two pretty solid performances, stopping 24 of 26 shots in the aforementioned win over Pittsburgh, and 23 of 25 in a 2-1 OT loss to Detroit on Mar. 22.

For Calgary, Jonas Hiller will start in goal.


Isles at Jackets: Jaroslav Halak vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Caps at Habs: Braden Holtby vs. Carey Price

Bolts at Sens: Ben Bishop vs. Andrew Hammond

Bruins at Wings: (No Boston starter yet) vs. Petr Mrazek

‘Canes at Panthers: Anton Khudobin vs. Roberto Luongo

Rangers at Wild: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Devan Dubnyk

Canucks at ‘Hawks: (No Vancouver starter yet) vs. Corey Crawford

Oilers at Kings: No starters for either team yet.

(Video) McKenzie: ‘Best guess is anywhere from 3-5 games’ for Byfuglien suspension


On Wednesday, NHL insider Bob McKenzie spoke with NBC’s Liam McHugh about the nasty cross-check Dustin Byfuglien delivered to J.T. Miller during Winnipeg’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night:

Byfuglien, as McKenzie notes, will have a telephone hearing at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, meaning the maximum suspension length is five games. While the incident was ugly, two things are working in Byfuglien’s favor: 1) no history as a repeat offender, and 2) Miller wasn’t injured on the play.

That said, those factors are offset by the graphic video evidence against Byfuglien. As McKenzie notes, “it was vicious, and it deserves to be penalized.”

Winnipeg has five games remaining in its regular season: Saturday versus Vancouver, Monday in Minnesota, Tuesday in St. Louis, next Thursday in Colorado and then the regular-season finale, at home, against Calgary on Saturday, Apr. 11.

After eight-game absence, St. Louis back for Rangers tomorrow


The Blueshirts will welcome back their most experienced player on Thursday when they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

Martin St. Louis, who’s been out of the lineup since Mar. 16 with a sprained MCL, will draw back in for the first time in eight games. The 39-year-old looks as though he’ll skate on a line with Carl Hagelin and Kevin Hayes, and should have plenty of opportunity to shake the rust off prior to the playoffs — the Rangers have six games left in the regular season, including tomorrow’s game at Xcel and an intriguing final game of the year against possible first-round opponent Washington.

It’ll be important for St. Louis to work his way back into game form. This hasn’t been a banner year; while his 20 goals and 47 points are solid production, his 0.69 points-per-game average is his lowest since 2001-02. That said, he’ll still be a key cog of this Rangers team come playoff time, not only because he’s one of the few Stanley Cup winners on the roster, but also because he was a vital part of last year’s run, leading the team in goals (eight) while finishing second in points.