Kevin Klein injures arm, no call up due to cap issues

Klein's arm injury is being evaluated in NY (NYR)

Klein’s arm injury is being evaluated in NY (NYR)

The Rangers and their fans are awaiting word on the severity of Kevin Klein‘s injury. Late in the third period, Klein was hit by an Alex Ovechkin shoot in on his left arm. He was in immediate pain but was able to finish his shift.

However, the grimace on his face was telling. A man who lost a piece of his ear earlier in the season was hurting. Klein left with trainer Jim Ramsey to the locker room and did not return.

Andrew Gross reported that when Klein was asked if he was okay, he responded with a “no, not really.” YIKES! So what does this do the Rangers?

Hunwick will be ready to help (Getty)

Hunwick will be ready to help (Getty)

First off, if it’s a short term injury the answer is nothing. Matt Hunwick could easily step in even after not playing in 7 games. However, due to cap issues the Blueshirts can’t bring in a 7th defenseman. The only way they can is if this a longterm injury, then Klein will be put on LTIR for cap relief and he will have to miss at least 10 games (likely due to a broken arm).

As per Larry Brooks, if this were to happen the likely call up would be Chris Summers who was acquired in the Keith Yandle deal. Now the question is where to slot Hunwick?

[su_quote cite=”Larry Brooks” url=””]The defensively responsible Klein had been paired primarily with Marc Staal both on the second pair and on the penalty kill. But Klein, having a career year offensively with nine goals and 26 points, also switched up at times to skate as Yandle’s partner on the third pair while Dan Boyle moved up with Staal.[/su_quote]

My thought will be that Boyle will move up and down to be paired with Staal and Yandle. Hunwick will likely start primarily with Yandle and act as stay at home defenseman in the interim.

Let’s see how this all shakes out and hope Klein isn’t out for long.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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