Rangers Roundup: K’Andre Miller back, practice time, and more
The New York Rangers had one bit of good news after their loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, which is K’Andre Miller’s ban is over.
Yes, the young defenseman served the final game of his suspension yesterday and will be back in the lineup when the Blueshirts face the Montreal Canadiens Thursday on the road.
Note: Corrected article to reflect Rangers at Montreal Canadiens.
K’Andre Miller suspension over
Miller, 23, has six goals and 30 points in 60 games this season. It will be good to have him back in the lineup with Ryan Lindgren still listed as day-to-day with a shoulder injury.
This will now give the Rangers six healthy defenseman for their next game, which will be the first time they’ve had a full complement on the blue-line since the match against the Kings, when Miller accidentally spit on Drew Doughty.
“I have all the respect in the world for Drew Doughty and what happened was completely accidental,” Miller wrote on Twitter. “I would never intend to do something like that on purpose, it goes against everything I am as a person a player. I felt awful about it and I am thankful Drew gave me the opportunity to apologize and explain myself in person after the game.”
It should be noted that the Rangers actually dressed six defenseman against the Kings but only played five in order to safely place Braden Schneider on waivers afterwards. That was done in order to accrue cap space to trade for Patrick Kane.
Rangers finally get practice time
The Rangers need a break! They’ve done what they had to do bringing in a proven winner in Patrick Kane. By making sure to fit him in under the cap, they’ve been basically playing with 11 forwards and 5 defenseman for the last four games.
It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and excitement, even though it hasn’t translated into results on the ice. Since Kane joined the team, it’s obvious that Artemi Panarin has been laser focused on getting his old friend his first point with the Blueshirts and it’s led to turnovers and goals against.
“They’re trying to force the plays in the middle of the ice,” Gerard Gallant said on Sunday. “There’s too many turnovers. There’s chemistry there but you have to make strong plays. Too many times trying for that east to west pass in the offensive zone. They’ll get it together but it wasn’t good tonight.”
The first power play unit has also been out of sync and a downright detriment to the team as well with the Bruins scoring shorthanded on Sunday.
“It needs a lot of time to jell,” Gallant noted. “There’s a couple of guys in different positions and setups so we’ll work with it. We’ve got some time this week (to practice) and decide what we’re going to do.”
The Rangers are actually off today and Monday before getting in two full practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. That should give them time to work on the PP and line chemistry before playing the Habs on Thursday.
New York may finally be able to make an emergency call up for their game to replace injured forward Tyler Motte. The player recalled must be under $850,000 which makes Ryan Carpenter ($750K) the most likely candidate. Will Cuylle ($828K) is also a possibility, as is Jonny Brodzinski ($762K) and Jake Leschyshyn ($766K).
Esa Tikkanen charged with Tax Evasion
Former New York Rangers forward and 1994 Stanley Cup champion Esa Tikkanen appears to be in some hot water back home in Finland.
According to Ilta Sanomat, he’s been charged with tax evasion from 2015-2019.
“I have not committed any offense, it is a matter of disagreement with the tax authorities,” Tikkanen said.
Tikkanen recently had 168,000 euros of property seized by Finnish authorities, but that was overturned, per the report.NY Post
Tikkanen, 58, played 877 regular-season games in the NHL amassing 630 points and winning five Cups. He had three stints with the Rangers (1992/93-93/94, 1996/97, 1998/99) collecting 67 points in 144 games and helping end a 54 year championship drought.