Why haven’t the Rangers, like some other clubs, brought up players from the minors to help a playoff push?
Just like juggling lines, management’s decision-making to add extra players to the current roster “is a balancing act at this time,” according to coach Alain Vigneault.
“We have, as an organization, discussed it,” he said, explaining some of the elements involved. “There’s a point where we could get to 23 players [under the salary cap], and that could be soon, but for instance, if we’d use one of our recalls [from AHL Hartford] and that guy’s probably not going back and those guys are fighting for the playoffs right now.’’
Teams are allowed only four non-emergency recalls after the trade deadline. The Wolf Pack have nine games remaining. If they’re eliminated, the probability of adding a defenseman increases. Vigneault has said that ideally, he would prefer to practice with eight defensemen.
Rest for Boyle?
In another roster issue, Vigneault indicated that he is weighing the possibility of resting veteran defenseman Dan Boyle, but apparently not until the team at least clinches a playoff berth or possible home-ice advantage. Dylan McIlrath (knee) is expected to be cleared to play sometime this week, and Vigneault noted that Boyle “is closing in on 40; if you can get a day or two more rest, it might be better off for a player . . . But I think he’s looked better lately, he’s been as fresh as any of our other players can be.” Boyle has played in 27 straight games. McIlrath was sidelined for a 10th straight game Sunday and forward Oscar Lindberg was a healthy scratch for the seventh consecutive game.
Going to Carolina
The Rangers do not play again until Thursday, when they visit the Hurricanes in Eric Staal’s return to Carolina, where he played for 12 seasons before being traded on Feb. 28.