Two weeks after requesting a trade then reportedly walking out on the Hartford Wolf Pack, Lias Andersson, the Rangers’ 2017 first-round pick, broke his silence, confirming to a Swedish TV station that he was suspended and describing his time with the Rangers as an “untenable situation.”
Andersson also said he was nursing a lower-body injury and hoped to one day get back to playing. The comments were given to SVT sport and translated on Twitter by Uffe Bodin, the editor in chief of Hockey Sverige (Sweden).
Rangers coach David Quinn declined to comment on the situation.
Andersson, who was selected seventh overall, has played sporadically with the Rangers over the last three seasons, but started this year on the opening-night roster. His tenure, though, was short-lived, and Andersson failed to impress while skating on the fourth line and was later sent back down to Hartford, where he managed four goals and one assist in 13 games.
“Obviously, I would like to be playing now, but I’ll talk about that at a later time,” Andersson said. “It was an untenable situation for me as a person. Now it feels good to be home and to rest at home.”
Andersson said his priority now was getting fully healthy and exploring his options and added that his “motivation to play hockey has been bigger” in the past. “Of course, I miss it, but I have an injury and other problems to solve first.”
The Rangers have been free to trade Andersson since the end of the holiday roster freeze on Dec. 27. They could also loan him to a Swedish team, which appears to be Andersson’s wish.
“It’s good to be back home again,” he said. “I needed that as a human…I would obviously like to play hockey, but I’m not allowed to do that at this time. My contract lasts for another year and a half, so if things go badly, it will be another year and a half without hockey. But hopefully we can find a solution so I can play again soon.”
Andersson played 66 games over his three seasons with the Rangers, averaging 10:33 minutes, with three goals and six assists.