Jeff Jooris, who signed a one-year deal as a free agent this past summer to give the Rangers depth at center, was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
After playing well in his first four games, Jooris separated his shoulder during a first-period check on Boston’s Torey Krug on Oct. 26 and missed 11 games. He had a goal and an assist in 12 games.
Coach Alain Vigneault said Jooris, 26, who had played two seasons for the Calgary Flames, was waived because general manager Jeff Gorton wanted roster flexibility.
Rick Nash, who suffered a groin injury against the Islanders on Dec. 6, missed his third game but is “coming along,” Vig neault said. The initial estimate was that Nash, who has 11 goals and seven assists, would miss about a week. Vigneault said he will skate Monday. He presumably will not play against the Blackhawks at the Garden on Tuesday night but could make the trip to Dallas on Wednesday and play either against the Stars on Thursday or in Nashville on Saturday.
Taking Nash’s spot on one power-play unit is Nicklas Jensen, who is on a line with Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Vesey. Said Vigneault, “In front of the net, he’s a big body, hard to move, has shown that he’s got pretty good hands and doesn’t mind going to the tough areas.”
n Lindberg solidifies role
With Jooris gone, Oscar Lindberg, who is centering fellow Swede Jesper Fast and Marek Hrivik on an effective third line, seems to have solidified his spot.
“We had to be patient,” Vig neault said. Lindberg had hip surgery May 6 and missed all of training camp. “Hrivik’s a big body, skates well, gets in on the forecheck and can create turnovers. He’s done a real good job with Oscar and Quickie [his nickname for Fast] to get to pucks, or taking the hit to get pucks out.”