Following Friday’s loss to the Flyers, the New York Rangers called up rookie forward Tim Gettinger from the Hartford Wolf Pack. The question is why are they making the move?
20-year old Tim Gettinger is have a good season in Hartford after impressing in training camp. He has seven goals and 11 points in 20 games with the Wolf Pack. His seven goals rank him fourth among rookies in the AHL.
Gettinger’s biggest asset is his size. He is a towering 6’6″ and weighs in at 220 pounds. He has surprising speed for a man of that size. He finished his junior career as a point-a-game player for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL and served as team captain.
Blue Line Station’s David Bruce made a compelling argument for Gettinger’s promotion less than a week ago. That was before Cody McLeod broke his hand in a fight Wednesday night.
Without McLeod in the lineup, there is a need for some muscle. Gettinger’s size will help and he could make his NHL debut against the Capitals. The Caps have gone 5-1 since getting physical forward Tom Wilson back from a shortened suspension. Wilson has three goals and five assists in those six games and has made a career of tormenting the Rangers.
While big, Gettinger is anything but a goon. This season he only has six penalty minutes and maxed out in juniors at 53 penalty minutes in 66 games. If he does play on Saturday, who will he replace?
It’s unclear if Mats Zuccarello has completely healed from his groin injury so he may need to sit the second game of back-to-backs. He could also replace Steven Fogarty who has seen action on the fourth line in three games. Fogarty is 6’3″, 210 pounds so Gettinger is slightly bigger. Another option is that he replaces Lias Andersson on the fourth line. That would be the case if the Rangers are thinking of sending him back to the AHL. Andersson has played nine games in the NHL this season If he plays one more, they burn a year on his entry level contract. With the acquisition of Ryan Strome, they have another option for centering the fourth line and they may want to see how Gettinger does on Strome’s wing.
Gettinger’s arrival makes a young roster even younger. The Rangers have ridden that youth to unexpected heights this season. The question is how Gettinger will fit in.