New York Rangers roster moves & Kravtsov in playoffs

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: Zac Jones #6 of the New York Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: Zac Jones #6 of the New York Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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The New York Rangers made some minor roster moves that has some folks speculating, but there’s no indication that they mean any deal is imminent.  In the biggest move, defenseman Zac Jones was sent back to Hartford while forward Jonny Brodzinski was recalled.

The Jones move means that Patrik Nemeth will be back in the lineup after a brief departure for the birth of his baby boy. With Jones waivers-exempt, he’s free to be moved between the Rangers and the AHL.   The Wolf Pack play tonight and Saturday so he will play at least two games.  Don’t be surprised if he is recalled for the road trip next week.

Brodzinski signs extension

The Brodzinski move is interesting.  It gives the Rangers 14 forwards on the active roster.   Coach Gerard Gallant said that Filip Chytil will be back against St. Louis, centering the third line, so the question is who will sit.  It’s possible that one of the Rangers’ forwards is battling an illness or injury and they are just looking for some back up.

Brodzinski signed a two-year contract extension on Sunday.  It’s worth $1.525 million so he has an NHL cap hit of $762,000.  His salary in the minor leagues is about half of that.  He is currently the leadin scorer for the Wolf Pack with 18 goals and 39 points in 36 games.  Last season he led the team in points per game and appeared in five games with the Rangers, scoring one goal.  He has played in five games for New York this season, scoreless and averaging just under nine minutes ice time per game.

The 28-year-old Minnesota native is the Wolf Pack captain and was due to be an Unrestricted Free Agent this summer.

Gallant on Chytil

After missing one game with an illness and then two games as a healthy scratch, Filip Chytil will be back in the lineup for the Rangers vs St. Louis.  Coach Gallant talked about Chytil after practice Tuesday.  “He’s going back in as center tomorrow.  I just want him to play his game.  If there’s a guy I’d like to see him play  alike..play like Mika Zibanejad.”

What would Gallant tell Chytil?  “You’re a lefthanded Mika. Mika plays a complete game…faceoffs, power plays…goes out there and does a good job .  Go out there and have fun, play hard and compete. ”

That’s great advice, but it ‘s a little unrealistic.

Kravtsov in action as KHL playoffs begin

Russia may be an international pariah when it comes to sports, but the KHL playoffs began yesterday and Vitali Kravtsov was in action for Traktor Chelyabinsk in their 4-3 win over Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the first game of the first round.

Kravtsov was scoreless, playing 19 shifts and 14:48.  Kravtsov had four shots on goal and was on ice when Ansel Galimov scored for Neftekhimik in the third period, making the score 3-2 in favor of Traktor.

Neftekhimik tied the score on a power play goal with 12 minutes left, but Traktor won the game on a goal by  Nikita Tertyshny with under three minutes left.

The other games in this series are March 3, 5, 7 and, if necessary, March 9, 11 and 13.

Traktor finished second in the East while Neftekhimik finished seventh, so Traktor is heavily favored to win this series.

Kravtsov is eligible to return to the Rangers organization once the KHL season is over, but considering the international sanctions including restrictions on flights in and out of Russia, it’s a question of whether he would even try to return to North America.

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