Rangers put veteran center Halpern on waivers

Jeff Halpern of the Rangers defends against Tom Jeff Halpern of the Rangers defends against Tom Pyatt of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Feb. 28, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Veteran center Jeff Halpern, 36, who the Rangers signed to a one-year, $700,000 deal as a free agent last July, was placed on waivers Friday.

It appears that the front office is preparing for Arron Asham's return, possibly Sunday against Washington. But Asham is a wing, so another forward, maybe Darroll Powe, would be moved to the middle, or a center, perhaps Kris Newbury, called up.

Halpern, a faceoff specialist who won 56.7 percent of his draws, played 3:41 in Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Panthers; he had one assist in 30 games and was a minus-5. He was averaging 9:09 per game and had a total of 13 shots. Halpern has played with the Capitals, Lightning, Stars, Canadiens and Kings.

If Halpern is claimed, the Rangers will have 48 players on the pro roster, leaving room for moves at the April 3 trade deadline. If he clears waivers, he will be assigned to the AHL.

No discipline for Nash

Rick Nash won't face any supplemental discipline for the unpenalized high hit on Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky with 5:30 left in the third period on Thursday. The league apparently decided that the first contact was not directly to the head of Kopecky or that the hit was not intentional.

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Staal likely to don visor

Marc Staal, who suffered eye and facial injuries when struck by a deflected puck on March 5, is expected to wear a visor whenever he returns to action, possibly later this season. Reports out of Carolina say his brothers, Jordan and Eric were wearing visors at practice Friday. They told the New York media on Monday that their mother, Linda, had strong opinions on visors. On Friday, Eric told reporters: "I've had someone extremely close to me go through something that you never want to see anyone go through."

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