The New York Rangers have made a flurry of roster moves before their Saturday night contest against the Chicago Blackhawks.
New York announced they have sent former third-round pick Zac Jones back down to the AHL while also calling up Ben Harpur, and Jonny Brodzinski. Jones played in 16 games for the Rangers this season as a part of the team’s final defensive pairing and tallied two points with over 15 minutes of average ice time.
“He (Jones) wasn’t going to play tonight and they (Hartford) have some games down there to play. Obviously as a young player, you can still do down without being claimed on waivers so we want him to play games.” Gerard Gallant told reporters before Saturday’s game. “We like him definitely but we need him playing games as a young player.”
Jones and fellow defenseman, Libor Hajek had been splitting the defensive roles on the third pairing since the season started. While Hajek was not sent down, Gallant was adamant that his performance was not the reason Jones was sent down to the minors.
“They’ve been going back and forth. We made a decision that the best thing for I’m was to go down and play a few games there.”
Ben Harpur was called up in replacement for Jones, but the Rangers head coach did not announce who would start in Saturday’s contest. Harpur signed a two-way contract with the Rangers back in October and has played in six NHL seasons.
Brodzinski’s call-up came as a surprise but the reasoning was due to a gametime decision that the Rangers have not made yet with one of their forwards according to Gallant.
The Rangers will take on Chicago and Patrick Kane who has been at the forefront of trade rumors for the Blueshirts for the majority of the start of the season.