Rangers center Ryan Carpenter skates against the San Jose Sharks...

Rangers center Ryan Carpenter skates against the San Jose Sharks in the first period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Because of NHL rules regarding the salary cap, when Ryan Lindgren was unable to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers — who are trying to bank cap space to be able to complete a trade for Chicago winger Patrick Kane — were forced to call up center Ryan Carpenter from AHL Hartford even as they sent forward Jake Leschyshyn to Hartford.

But in the Rangers’ effort to hasten the execution of a Kane trade, Carpenter did not play a shift in the game, and neither did defenseman Braden Schneider.

After the trade of Vitali Kravtsov to Vancouver on Saturday and the demotion of Leschyshyn to Hartford on Sunday, the Rangers were left with only 18 skaters on their roster, including Lindgren, who was injured in Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Capitals in Washington.

NHL rules mandate that a team that is cap-compliant, as the Rangers are, cannot dress fewer than 18 skaters for a game, so in sending down Leschyshyn, the Blueshirts needed to call up a player to be able to dress 18 skaters against the Kings.

The effect of the move essentially would have delayed a trade for Kane until Thursday at the earliest, as the Rangers, after adding Carpenter’s $750,000 salary to their payroll, would need an extra day to accrue enough space under the NHL’s $82.5 million cap to acquire one- quarter of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit, according to PuckPedia.

But because space under the cap accrues on a daily basis, the amount by which the Rangers are under the cap grows incrementally every day. Teams can increase their cap space by sending players down to the minor leagues on days in between games. Schneider, who is still on his rookie contract, doesn’t need to clear waivers in order to be sent down, and he and his $925,000 cap hit were assigned to the minors after Sunday’s game. Taking his salary off the roster for two days would allow the Rangers to trade for Kane on Wednesday.

Because teams can’t send injured players to the minors, the Rangers kept both Carpenter and Schneider on the bench for the entire game in order to reduce their risk of injury.

Lindgren, who was injured in the first period of Saturday’s game when he was driven into the boards by Washington forward T.J. Oshie, is out “day-to-day,’’ according to Rangers coach Gerard Gallant.

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