After dressing 11 forwards for the 2-0 win over the Canadiens Sunday, the Rangers shored up their depth by claiming Adam Cracknell, a lower-line right wing and penalty-killer, off waivers on Monday, a move that likely means sending rookie center Filip Chytil, 18, back to the Czech Republic.
Cracknell, 32, had 10 goals and six assists for 16 points in 69 games with Dallas last season where Lindy Ruff — now an assistant with the Blueshirts — was head coach. Cracknell’s $675,000 salary cap charge easily fits.
Chytil, the 21st overall pick in the June draft, had a strong training camp, made the cut, and played in the team’s first two games before being a healthy scratch on Sunday against Montreal. He can play up to nine NHL games before being re-assigned without burning the first season of his entry-level contract. It is unclear whether he will play again.
Chytil, who the team apparently believes could use seasoning after they watched him play a total of 20 shifts over 12:39 in the two games, was 1-for-7 in faceoffs with no shots on goal and a minus-2. The other first-round pick (seventh overall) by the Rangers, Lias Andersson, is already back in Sweden.
Cracknell’s addition also seems to indicate that the Rangers will not sign former Blackhawk Andrew Desjardins, 31, who has been on a tryout and practicing with the team. Coach Alain Vigneault had called him an “insurance policy.” If Chytil departs and Cracknell remains, the Rangers will have 12 healthy forwards for Tuesday’s game against St. Louis at the Garden. Meanwhile, Jesper Fast continues to rehab from offseason hip surgery, though he is practicing with the team.
The Blues, who are 3-0 after a 3-2 shootout win over the Islanders Monday, had Jake Allen in net, so they might start backup Carter Hutton at the Garden. Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start his fourth game for the Rangers.
Classic tickets. The public sale of tickets for the Winter Classic at Citi Field between the Rangers and Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 1 begins Thursday at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster, according to the NHL. Some tickets already have been made available through a pre-sale for Rangers and Mets season ticket holders.