Rangers Roundup: Officially on break, Ryan Strome out again, Chytil talks scratch, and more
The New York Rangers concluded practice and without a game tomorrow are officially on an extended holiday break. Due to COVID, the NHL implemented a league-wide pause that will begin tomorrow and last through December 25.
On December 26, all teams will report back for testing before the NHL resumes its season on the 27th. The Blueshirts are scheduled to take on the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on that day.
Ryan Strome remains out
Ryan Strome did not practice again today for what the team continues to call maintenance. Thanks to the long layoff, there’s no reason to be concerned.
The 28 year-old center has 21 points in 26 games this season for a .80 points per game average, which is down just a bit from .87 last season. He’s also a pending UFA earning $4.5 million in the final year of his deal.
“I think we work together pretty good and there’s good energy in the locker room, off ice too,” Panarin said of Strome. “Good friends. We respect each other. Then coach gives us confidence too.”
There’s been talks of extending Strome over the last few weeks, but the Rangers will need to be careful as their cap situation will be precarious starting next season. Kaapo Kakko will need a new deal, and in 2023-24 both Alexis Lafrenière and K’Andre Miller are up.
Back in early December a knowledgeable source told me if the term is right, Strome may accept $5.75M.
Filip Chytil talks scratch
Although there’s a real possibility that Chytil’s future with the Rangers is on the wing, he practiced at center again today due to Strome being out.
“[Chytil] prefers center, there’s no doubt about that,” Gerard Gallant said after practice on Monday. “He’ll play the wing and be happy about it. We’ll do what’s best for our team and he’s fine with that.”
The 22 year-old was selected by the Rangers in the 2017 Draft in the first round, 21st overall. Over his time with the team, he’s been most productive on the wings. For Chytil, at this point he just wants to play.
“I want to play as much as I can and if it’s going to be center or wing, it doesn’t matter,” Chytil said today. “I want to just play and help the team win games.”
Chytil did not want to dwell on being scratched and admitted he wasn’t happy about it. “I don’t want to be in the stands, I want to be on the ice,” he concluded.
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