New York Rangers will have taxi squad as an option when they return

rangers taxi squad
Dec 15, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Keith Kinkaid (71) and center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrate after defeating the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL and NHLPA are working to enhance roster protections and at the forefront of that conversation will be the use of taxi squads.

Since the league shutdown for an extend holiday break, they’ve been working on how to handle the issues with COVID-19 cases and subsequent postponement of games. In a new report from Elliotte Friedman here’s what teams will have at their disposal starting soon.

  • Taxi-squad through All-Star break (Feb 4-5)
  • Emergency call-ups (player must make $1M or less)
  • Free goalie adds if club has less than 2 healthy goalies due to COVID

Rangers can use Taxi Squads

Now that taxi squads are back, it would be wise for the New York Rangers to use them. However, the rules will be different this season as players who are waiver exempt can’t be placed on them. That immediately means players like Zac Jones and Morgan Barron can only be regular call-ups from Hartford.

Last season, waiver exempt players could be placed on the taxi squad to travel and practice with the team. Here are the full rules:

  • Optional and max six players
  • No player can be on it for more than 20 days
  • No player on an NHL roster as of 12/22 can be on it
  • No player who is waiver exempt
  • Anyone who was on the roster for 75% of the season or 16 of last 20 games

Emergency call-ups will be cap exempt if the team is in danger of dressing less than your standard 18 skaters and two goalie lineup. However, that player’s salary can’t exceed $1 million.

Possible Rangers taxi squad

new york rangers taxi squad
Feb 18, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) and defenseman Anthony Bitetto (22) celebrate win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Now that there is clarity on the rules, it makes picking out a taxi squad that much easier. Here’s six potential candidates.

Keith Kinkaid (G): The veteran backup is a no-brainer to be the taxi squad goalie. In his one game this season he beat the the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 and looked solid. Kinkaid requires waivers, but already made it through once.

Anthony Bitetto (D): The defenseman from Long Island, NY had a nice little run with the team last season. He provided a few sparks and was great for the locker-room. His 197 NHL games experience is invaluable. Bitetto requires waivers.

Anthony Greco (F): The 28 year-old forward has been solid scoring 21 points in 22 games in the AHL. He can certainly help in a pinch and potential provided some offensive punch.

Jonny Brodzinski: He’s the captain of the Wolf Pack and has received praised for his leadership and playing a complete game every night. The 28 year-old also has 62 games of NHL experience. In 23 games with the Pack he has 24 points.

Tim Gettinger (F): A big man that has NHL experience, who could contribute decent 4th line minutes if needed. Gettinger has 16 points in 21 AHL games, but that has never translated to the NHL level. In 8 games with the Rangers he has one point.

Ty Ronning (F): The 24 year-old son of Cliff Ronning, who was a star for the 1994 Canucks team that lost to the Rangers in the Finals would be another option. The winger has 13 points in 23 games with the Wolf Pack. He’s never played an NHL game.

Update: Additional clarifications have been posted to the rules. Waiver exempt players are allowed on the taxi squad. Here’s the latest.

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