With McDonagh (hand) uncertain, Rangers mull Diaz recall

The Rangers aren’t expressing much optimism about captain Ryan McDonagh‘s availability for the start of their opening-round playoff series against Pittsburgh.

In fact, they’ve already moved onto potential replacements.

“I would say at this point, there’s a chance [McDonagh] might be able to play at some point,” head coach Alain Vigneault said, per NorthJersey.com.

AV then suggested that Raphael Diaz — the journeyman blueliner that’s spent almost the entire year in AHL Hartford — could be brought up as a stopgap blueline solution.

Diaz does have playoff experience — 12 games, including four with the Rangers en route to the ’14 Stanley Cup Final — but has been largely out of the mix this season, and actually signed a deal to return to play in his native Switzerland for next season.

McDonagh, who hasn’t played since injuring his hand blocking a shot against Columbus on Apr. 2, has been skating in a non-contact role. New York opens its first-round series against Pittsburgh tomorrow at Consol.

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