New York Rangers Sammy Blais ‘unlikely’ to return
Sammy Blais last played hockey for the New York Rangers on November 14. He was hurt in the third period of a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils by P.K. Subban.
On the play, Blais and Subban went to the corner to retrieve a loose puck. The Devils defenseman appeared to stick out his skate causing Blais to go hard into the boards leaving him writhing in pain. Blais needed help off the ice and could not put pressure on his right leg.
The damage done to his knee would knock him out for the season after having ACL surgery. At the time, the Rangers announced that he would miss 6-8 months.
Blais is skating but unlikely against Lightning
Blais, 25, was placed on LTIR after scoring just 4 points (all assists) in 14 games before his season ended.
Fans did have a glimmer of hope that he might be able to make return to the lineup after skating with the team for the first time on May 18 in a non-contact jersey. That put him just around the 6 month mark of his recovery timetable.
On Wednesday, hours before Game 1 of the ECF versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, head coach Gerard Gallant was asked about Blais availability in this series. His immediate response was that it was “unlikely.”
“It’s not like he’s played in the American Hockey League for 2-3 weeks,” Gallant said via Jon Lane. “He hasn’t played a hockey game in six months.”
Blais is an RFA at the end of the season.
On the Tampa Bay Lightning side, Brayden Point will not start this series against the Rangers per multiple reports. He was injured in their opening round matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs and missed the entire series against the Florida Panthers with a lower-body injury.
He skated today after practice and fell during drills coming up in a bit of pain.
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