Projecting a possible New York Rangers taxi squad when the season resumes
As the New York Rangers and 31 other teams enjoy the holiday break, the NHL is hard at work to reschedule games and figure out how to complete an 82 game schedule. One possibility is bringing back taxi squads to limit further postponements.
During the 2020-21 season, the NHL shortened the season to 56 games and implemented a taxi squad for each team. It would consist of 4-6 players with at least one goalie. Those players traveled and practiced with the team and were available to be recalled on short notice to deal with COVID related issues.
It should also be noted that the taxi squad call up rules were similar to that of AHL call ups and players that were waivers eligible must pass through.
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Projecting a New York Rangers taxi squad
Whether or not the NHL reinstates the use of taxi squads, it would be a valuable exercise to determine who would be on it.
Last season, the Rangers opened the year with the following players on their taxi-squad: Morgan Barron, Anthony Bitetto, Colin Blackwell, Libor Hajek, Keith Kinkaid, and Matthew Robertson.
That changed many times during the season, as all but Matthew Robertson were used at some point. Let’s examine just who would make the squad this year.
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.
Morgan Barron (F): New York has already called him up a few times and played in two games this season with no points. While it would make sense for him to get game action in Hartford, the fact he doesn’t require waivers makes him an attractive option.
Zac Jones (D): Many argue he should have made the team out of camp, and it would be hard to refute. He leads all Wolf Pack d-men in points with 17 in 21 games. Similar to Barron, it would be better to play but his waiver exempt status comes into the decision.
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. Gettinger requires waivers.
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): While I would rather take Jonny Brodzinski, taking away all these players plus the Wolf Pack captain didn’t feel right. Greco has been solid scoring 21 points in 22 games in the AHL. He has to pass through waivers.
NHL: One Christmas gift for every team
Happy Holidays everyone. Here’s a fun article in the spirit of the season. Read more.