According to the Connecticut Whale, the New York Rangers have called up defenseman Tim Erixon. Erixon will presumably join the team on their short road trip as they play the St. Louis Blues tomorrow night and the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday. Erixon had started the season with the Rangers because of multiple injuries on defense and played in nine games before being sent down. Erixon has 1 goal and 12 assists in 13 games with the Connecticut Whale this season.
This brings a mix of emotions and thoughts. All reports and our Connecticut Whale writer Michael claimed that Erixon was playing very good hockey for the Whale. Erixon held his own in his first stint with the team but he was very raw and clearly in need of some work at the minor league level. J.J. Daigneault’s ability to coach defensemen has been cited by both Dylan McIlrath and Blake Parlett and I think just having the ability to adapt to North American hockey against lesser competition did him well. Hopefully we can see some improvements in Erixon’s game. A developing prospect like Erixon would not have been called up to be a healthy scratch for a road trip so I’m inferring that John Tortorella is unhappy with something. Surely one of Jeff Woywitka or Anton Stralman is destined to be demoted to the press box.
Let’s not jump to conclusions, but this call up also does leave me a bit concerned about Michael Sauer’s condition. We already knew that Sauer would not be joining the Rangers on the road trip so perhaps this call up is merely a combination of looking to temporarily boost the blue line as well as make sure we have seven defensemen in case one isn’t ready to go for one of the two games. Still, I have to wonder if Erixon’s return means that the Rangers anticipate Sauer being out for a longer period than a few games.
Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh both are key cogs for this team right now but both only got their chance because of injuries. Tim Erixon is very similar to how these two both were prior to the start of their NHL careers in that Erixon is a smart player who isn’t overly flashy but gets the job done. He certainly has the potential to be on their level. The injury to Sauer is not good, but let’s hope that Erixon makes the most of the opportunity it has given him.