As trade rumors swirl, Rangers send Etem for conditioning stint

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Plenty of smoke coming from the Big Apple on Friday.

Officially, the Rangers sent forward Emerson Etem to AHL Hartford on a conditioning stint, per the Daily News.

Blueshirts head coach Alain Vigneault said Etem’s stay in the minors will be three games long.

But that’s not the whole story about the 23-year-old forward, who was acquired from Anaheim in the Carl Hagelin trade at the draft. It also sounds as though he’s smack in the middle of some serious trade rumors:

Almost immediately, Etem’s name was linked to Vancouver. Back in 2009-10, Etem starred as a rookie in WHL Medicine Hat under now-Canucks coach Willie Desjardins.

Etem scored 37 goals as a 17-year-old and, following the season, was taken 29th overall by Anaheim at the draft.

Though the speedster has shown flashes of real talent over his career, Etem has struggled to maintain consistency at the NHL level. He’s appeared in just 19 games for the Rangers this year, going goalless with just three points.