The Rangers lightened their roster a bit with forward Wojtek Wolski and D Jeff Woywitka sent to the AHL on two-week conditioning assignments.
Wolski, who missed 27 games following sports hernia surgery in early November, has not dressed for six games. He has played just nine all season, with no goals. It is believed that Wolski, who was acquired last season from Phoenix for Michal Rozsival, was being shopped but no deal could be reached, in part because of his $3.8 million cap hit. The money owed him in the final year of his deal before he becomes an RFA is less than half that at this point in the season.
Woywitka, 28, who was claimed off waivers from Montreal on Oct. 6, has played 26 games and is 1-5-6. But he has missed the last 13 games with a left foot injury sustained on Dec. 30.
Both players have been practicing and had to be asked to accept the assignments. Coach John Tortorella has repeatedly said that players should be willing to accept the move to play regularly and return to shape.
Erik Christensen, who returned from a conditioning assignment last week, remains as the spare 13th forward. D Steve Eminger is expected back very soon following a separated shoulder on Dec. 17. It leaves the Rangers with six healthy defensemen, one of whom, rookie Stu Bickel, could become the spare 7th when Eminger is in the lineup. Michael Sauer (concussion, Dec. 5) has been shut down from on- and off-ice workouts.