Marc Staal’s absence in New York is a major concern for the Rangers and with him out for an unknown amount of time dealing with post-concussion issues, they were determined to find help from somewhere. To the waiver wire GM Glen Sather went and he came away with Montreal defenseman and journeyman Jeff Woywitka.
Woywitka has spent time with the Blues and Stars and was with Montreal in training camp. The Habs put Woywitka on waivers to, likely, send him to the AHL. Instead, he’s potentially off to Europe to join the Rangers as they kick off their season tomorrow. Without Staal, the Rangers were looking at starting their season with any one of Tim Erixon, Brendan Bell, or Stu Bickel getting to start for them. Instead, one of those three will be sent down to Connecticut in the AHL. Whether it’s during or after the Europe trip remains to be seen.
Elsewhere, prepare to wrap your heads around how this sounds. The Winnipeg Jets claimed Phoenix Coyotes forward Brett MacLean off waivers to help give them another useful scoring forward. Yes, Jets taking Coyotes. Never mind the whole franchise name aspect of that, but look at it like having the city of Winnipeg continuing to harangue the Coyotes for hockey stuff they enjoy.
MacLean was rumored to be unhappy with how things were going for him in Phoenix and coach Dave Tippett’s reliance on veteran players over younger guys is likely the source of that if true. MacLean should get enough of a shot to prove himself in Winnipeg as they could use all the scoring they can find.