GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Rangers forward Chris Kreider will undergo surgery to have a rib resected, the team announced Friday.
Kreider, 26, who has been out with a blood clot in his right arm, will remain sidelined indefinitely. A rib resection is a surgical procedure used to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, a compression of blood vessels and/or nerves between the collarbone and the first rib. The Rangers did not mention TOS on Friday.
Kreider left the Dec. 27 game against Washington after the first period with a swollen arm and was sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery, where the blood clot was discovered.
He has 11 goals and 11 assists and is sixth on the team in points.
Other NHL players have had rib surgery for similar issues, including Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, and returned to play in about two months.
If Kreider is out for the season — although no timetable has been set — he could be placed on long-term injured reserve, which would allow the team to use the remaining cap space on his $4,625,000 charge.
The Rangers have a two-game road trip against Arizona and Las Vegas, their final two games before their bye week. Coach Alain Vigneault has reconfigured his top lines in Kreider’s absence, and the road trip could feature the combination of Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich and J.T. Miller.
“I like the chemistry between Pav and Mika,” Vigneault said after Friday’s practice.
He added that Miller is a power forward like Kreider and his style of play complements the playmaking of Buchnevich and Zibanejad. Said Vigneault, “I think those are real good fits and should help us.”
The line of Miller, Buchnevich and Zibanejad has logged only 15 minutes of ice time this season, but if Miller can emulate the role Kreider has played with the other two, it could mean good things for the Rangers. They generally have controlled possession and have outscored opponents by eight goals since the beginning of last season with the line of Kreider, Buchnevich and Zibanejad on the ice.
“They’re super-talented, so I need to stick to my game plan,” Miller said. “I need to make sure I’m getting in on the forecheck and getting the puck to those two and getting to the net. If I can get the puck in their hands, I think we should have some success . . . Kreider has had a lot of success with these guys doing that.”
Marc Staal took a maintenance day and was not on the ice at Friday’s practice.
“We know we have some time off coming up and these two games back-to-back are real ly important to us,” Miller said. “I think we’re going to be ready to go.”
With Steve Zipay