You never want to see a player get injured, especially during the preseason. Already we’ve seen Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Filip Chytil troubled by ailments they have accrued during the preseason. However, in last night’s game against the New Jersey Devils, the Rangers saw yet another play fall victim to injury. Tyler Pitlick left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return to the ice.
Rangers bench boss Peter Laviolette has said Pitlick’s injury is only day to day, but with the Rangers getting close to the start of the season, this could provide a big chance for some of the younger players in the farm system to show that they are ready for the big time. There could be a spot available for a few of the kids who have played very well during this preseason.
Specifically, Brennan Othmann and Will Cuylle could be looking at getting into this roster if the injury to Pitlick keeps him out for a week or so. There was no assurance of Pitlick’s spot on this roster even if he was healthy, so if one of the kids can get into a game and truly grab the bull by the horns, they could have a spot on Broadway. There is a severe need for fresh talent to inspire this team, and if the answer is kids, this could be a rare chance to see it.
This Rangers roster could do with an injection of youth and speed, so perhaps this would help the team. Using Othmann as the example here, if he were to break into the top nine and find himself playing alongside Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere, he could become a major player in a big role. This also applies to Will Cuylle; if he was able to get into a position playing with talent, he’d be able to succeed.
With this being a day-to-day injury, it’s most likely going to be a case of getting into the start of the NHL season with the veteran core the franchise has in place. Pitlick will probably return to claim a spot on the fourth line or sit in the press box. But if this isn’t as small as it looks at first glance, or if this injury combined with the preseason has put doubts in the mind of the coaching staff, there may be room for these kids.