JT Miller

Rangers send Miller back to AHL


The New York Rangers have sent rookie forward JT Miller back to AHL Connecticut, the club announced on Tuesday.

Miller, 20, scored 2G-2A-4PTS in 26 games with the Rangers this season, earning high praise from head coach John Tortorella for his ability to jump into the Blueshirts lineup in his first year of professional hockey.

Miller had missed the last four games with a sore left wrist, during which the Rangers made a series of acquisitions to bolster the lineup, specifically bringing in forwards Ryane Clowe and Derick Brassard (with injured winger Derek Dorsett likely to follow).

A former standout with OHL Plymouth, Miller was taken 15th overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and played a big part in Team USA’s gold medal win at the 2013 World Junior tournament in Russia.

Rangers send Kreider and Miller to AHL


If you can’t trust them, they can’t play for you.

Especially, we should add, when you are John Tortorella and your team is fighting to make the playoffs.

That seems to be the situation in New York, where the Rangers have reportedly assigned young forwards Chris Kreider and JT Miller to AHL Connecticut.

Neither player saw much ice during Monday’s 4-2 victory over Winnipeg, with coach John Tortorella explaining afterward that the “stakes are too high right now” for mistakes.

Of course, the Rangers also just landed veteran forward Ryane Clowe in a trade with San Jose, so that’s at least one spot that needed to be opened.

Arron Asham could fill the other spot tonight versus the Penguins (on NBCSN).

Rangers rookies Kreider, Miller on a line tonight vs. Florida


The New York Rangers’ youth movement will on full display tonight at MSG.

The Blueshirts will skate two of their last four first-round draft picks — JT Miller (15th overall, 2011) and Chris Kreider (19th overall, 2009) — on a line with center Brian Boyle tonight against Florida.

Kreider will replace Taylor Pyatt on the line, and look to add some offensive flair — Miller hasn’t scored a goal in 19 games while Boyle has just one goal in 25 games.

“[Kreider] brings a high skill set, a big body, skates as well as anybody,” Miller told the New York Daily news. “So he makes people better that way.”

Kreider, who started the year with the Rangers, has spent the last eight games playing “big minutes in every situation” for AHL Connecticut and responded with seven points.

He says he’s not feeling any extra pressure in his second stint with the team, even though the Rangers are desperate for wins.

You’d rather be under the microscope than the guy they don’t worry about,” he told Newsday. “Right?”

Do the Rangers need Rick Nash?


It’s already been discussed in the comments section here, but since it’s New York Rangers day on PHT, we have to dedicate an entire post to Rick Nash.

Specifically, should Rangers GM Glen Sather acquire the Blue Jackets’ captain in a trade?

Obviously, the answer depends largely on what Sather has to give up to get Nash. Columbus GM Scott Howson has said repeatedly that the price will be high.

“If we do complete a trade, we’re trading out a 30 to 40 goal scorer,” said Howson. “Defense is probably the strongest part of our team if we look at it today, so we’re looking to get some NHL forwards back first and foremost.”

Howson is also reportedly seeking high-end youngsters, with names like Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan popping up in Rangers-related speculation.

Throw in a first-round pick and you can understand many Rangers’ fans reluctance to support a trade for Nash.

However, it has to be noted that Columbus Dispatch beat writer Aaron Portzline has “been told repeatedly” that Howson has not demanded Kreider, McDonagh or Stepan from Sather.

The Rangers do have other prospects like JT Miller, Tim Erixon and Dylan McIlrath that could form part of a package.

For Sather, it’s a tough decision. On the one hand, he says he doesn’t want to “dismantle the core of our organization. We’ve got a lot of good young kids, and we want to let them grow and develop.”

On the other hand, New York didn’t exactly fill the net in the playoffs and Nash has 272 goals in the last eight seasons — a feat he managed playing alongside a revolving door of mostly mediocre centers. (Suffice to say Brad Richards would be a significant upgrade on any pivot he’s skated with recently in Columbus.)

Nash, 28, has six seasons left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $7.8 million, the fifth highest hit in the NHL.

Blue Jackets GM not pursuing a goalie, plus Rick Nash trade talk


Couple of things to pass along via Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline:

First, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson says he’s not pursuing a goalie right now and that it’s likely Columbus will go into the season with Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason as its net-minding tandem.

Both those guys are coming off disappointing seasons, so it’s a considerable risk for Howson to take. But to be fair, besides Robert Luongo, there aren’t any top goalies available on the trade market or in free agency.

Howson could make, and might’ve already made, a play for Luongo, but it’s not clear whether the latter would waive his no-trade clause to go to Columbus.

Second, Portzline says he’s “been told repeatedly” that Howson has not demanded Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh or Derek Stepan when discussing a Rick Nash trade with the New York Rangers.

The Rangers have other prospects like JT Miller, Tim Erixon and Dylan McIlrath that could form part of a package with, say, Brandon Dubinsky and a first-round pick.