Tortorella debates Kreider recall: ‘We don’t want to keep on knee jerking him back and forth’

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On paper, adding a first-round talent like Chris Kreider to the struggling New York Rangers’ lineup makes perfect sense. Head coach John Tortorella told the Bergen Record that a call-up isn’t so obvious a choice when you ponder the possibility that he could be sent back to the AHL again, though.

“We don’t want to keep on knee jerking him back and forth, we want to make sure if we do (call him up), we feel he’s ready to play,” Tortorella said.

The 21-year-old center played with the Connecticut Whale during the lockout before starting the regular season with the Rangers. Things got bumpy around Feb. 12 as he was sent back and forth due to Rick Nash’s murky injury status; eventually he saw his last bit of NHL action on Feb. 26 against the Winnipeg Jets.

Simply put, Kreider’s numbers haven’t been there yet, with just a goal and an assist in 11 games after showing flashes of brilliance during his well-publicized NHL debut in the 2012 playoffs.

Again, the Rangers can use the boost, but it sounds like Tortorella is going to tread lightly when it comes to the development of prospects such as Kreider.