As strong as their start to the 2023-24 hockey season has been, the New York Rangers were dealt a big blow on Thursday night.
Despite the gritty 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, the Blueshirts lost both their top defensemen Adam Fox and forward Filip Chytil to different injuries. It looks like both injuries will keep these important players on the Rangers out for a while.
Fox has landed on the Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) list with the lower body injury he suffered in a collision with Sebastian Aho Thursday night while Chytil has landed on IR with an upper-body injury as reported by Arthur Staple of the Athletic. Chytil’s injury will keep him out a minimum of seven games. For Fox, the LTIR designation means he would miss at least 10 games and 24 days.
There is currently no indication of how long either injury will leave New York’s top players.
New York’s rash of injuries has left a damper on the team’s impressive 8-2 start to the season. They currently sit atop the Metropolitan division with games against Eastern Conference foes like the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils on the horizon. Luckily for them, there is a reason to feel optimistic about their chances without their top defenseman for the next month.
With the LTIR ruling, the Rangers free up over $9 million in cap space as long as Fox cannot suit up and play. That leaves New York with the opportunity to address their current roster if needed and find players to help immediately on game day. While Chytil’s injury is not considered as serious according to reports, the $9 million could be enough to address additional offensive needs when needed.
Of course, it’s hard to replace a player like a Norris Trophy winner in Fox. The 25-year-old was having a hot start to the season with 11 points in 10 games played. Along with Chytil, the Rangers will now have to find a way to replace two players who have put up a combined 17 points – no tall order for any player coming up.
It’s not just Fox and Chytil that could miss some time either. Barclay Goodrow is expected to miss Saturday’s contest against the Minnesota Wild due to the birth of his child, and Igor Shesterkin is dealing with a lower-body injury as well.
The Rangers have called up goaltender Louis Domingue and defenseman Connor Mackey as additional roster moves.
New York faces off against the Wild on Saturday Night with puck drop scheduled for 8:00 pm – ET.