Derek Stepan has a fractured fibula in his left leg. The Rangers have not yet provided an estimate for how much time he’ll miss, but it will likely be a considerable amount.
It is believed this injury is related to an initial injury suffered blocking a shot during an informal skate on Sept. 9. Today’s break is in the same spot as where the puck hit his leg blocking that shot on Sept. 9.
Stepan, back on the ice after missing two days due to what the team called a foot contusion initially suffered blocking that shot, did not skate on Tuesday as the Rangers held their annual golf outing) was participating in a full-rink sprint drill. But, shortly after pushing off and trying to get up to speed, Stepan collapsed to the ice on both knees around the far blue line, sliding through the neutral zone before coming to a stop in the opposite zone clutching at the area of his left knee. Stepan could be heard groaning in pain as he was attended to on the ice and then helped off by teammates Mats Zuccarello and Marty St. Louis.
Obviously, a huge blow for the Rangers, who’d already lost center Brad Richards from last season’s roster after he was bought out in the summer.
Stepan and Richards were the top two scorers among Rangers centers last season, with 57 and 51 points, respectively.
With Stepan out, Derick Brassard becomes the Rangers’ top center.
J.T. Miller, already under pressure to step up and become a full-time NHLer, could move into the top six.
Expect an update from the Rangers on Stepan’s injury later today.
Head coach Alain Vigneault offered a preliminary estimate of 4-6 weeks for Stepan to be out.
Via Rangers Report, here’s audio of AV’s scrum:
#NYR President and GM Glen Sather announced that Derek Stepan suffered a non-displaced fractured fibula & will be sidelined for 4-to-6 weeks
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 24, 2014