Anton Stralman, the Rangers newest defenseman, arrived from Sweden today and could skate at an optional practice at the training center in Westchester County tomorrow.
Stralman, 25, who played the last two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and agreed to a one-year, $900,000 contract, will not dress against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow. His first full practice will likely be on Tuesday; the Rangers are scheduled to be off on Monday.
Asked about what Stralman might bring to the team, coach John Tortorella answered “No idea”, the phrase he used to respond to six of seven questions on various topics in the pre-game press conference.
The Rangers had also put wingers Mike Rupp, who is to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee next week, and Wojtek Wolski, who re-aggravated a groin injury on Thursday that had previously kept him out five games, on injured reserve on Friday. Wolski, who is earning $3.8 million in the final season of his contract, will see Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia on Monday. Rupp, 31, is in the first year of a three-year, $4.5 million deal that he signed on July 1.
With an opening on the roster, the Rangers are expected to summon a forward from the AHL’s Connecticut Whale, possibly Ryan Bourque, and place Marc Staal, still suffering from concussion-related symptoms, on long-term injured reserve.
Mark Messier played 25 years in the NHL, but will run his first New York City Marathon Sunday. Messier, 50, has been preparing for about six months. One key difference in the aerobic training is that NHL players are used to more explosive bursts rather than endurance runs, he said. “Going over the bridge early could be interesting,” Messier said Friday at Rangers practice. “It’ll be chilly, then it will warm up.” The former Rangers captain is running to raise money for the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund and Answer the Call, which supports survivors of 9/11 first responders. He’s aware that whatever time he finishes will be a personal best. “I can’t lose,” he said.