The Rangers will be forced to play shorthanded for the second straight game Thursday night against the Senators, after the NHL denied their emergency recall, but their cap situation is expected to impact the team for the rest of the season.
According to a league source, the NHL found that the Rangers essentially created the emergency recall situation.
Amid Ryan Lindgren’s upper-body injury and K’Andre Miller’s three-game suspension for the spitting match-penalty he earned against the Kings on Sunday, the Rangers were in a roster emergency before they traded for Patrick Kane.
At that time, they had enough cap space to make a regular recall.
Since the Rangers chose to address the roster emergency by adding Kane and, as a result, use all their cap space, the league decided that the club voluntarily put itself in the man-short situation.
Due to their current cap situation, the Rangers won’t be able to make any regular recalls to AHL Hartford for the rest of the season.
They only will be able to under emergency protocols.
It is believed that the Rangers won’t be able to add another player until Lindgren is healthy or Miller returns from his suspension, whichever comes first.
Even then, they’ll have to play one game short before they can call up a player making $850,000 or less under the emergency rule.
That cuts Zac Jones and his $925,000 cap hit as an option.
“Honestly, the players didn’t mind it,” head coach Gerard Gallant said of his team after skating a man down in Wednesday night’s 3-2 overtime win in Philadelphia. “There was nobody coming back to the bench gassed. I think they really enjoyed it.”
The concern now is how heavy the defense corps’ workload has been in recent games.
When Braden Schneider and Ryan Carpenter were glued to the bench against the Kings earlier this week, and Miller was ejected in the first period, Jacob Trouba logged 29:01 of ice time, while Ben Harpur (28:04), Adam Fox (25:57) and Niko Mikkola (25:34) were close behind.
In Philadelphia Wednesday night, Fox led the Rangers with 28:25 of ice time, while Mikkola, Schneider and Trouba all logged over 23 minutes each.
Lindgren’s injury and Miller’s suspension somewhat complicated the Rangers’ position, but the organization had to take these steps in order to acquire Patrick Kane.
Whether or not it was all worth it is yet to be seen.
Jaroslav Halak was expected to start in goal Thursday night against the Senators, marking his 18th start of the season.
The Rangers are set to travel to Boston on Friday before they take on the NHL-leading Bruins in a Saturday matinee at TD Garden.