Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rangers Claim Jeff Woywitka To Help Defense Situation

The New York Rangers have been said to be in the market for a veteran defender for the past couple of months, even before the situation with Marc Staal got to the point where it is today.  To help remedy their situation on defense the Rangers claimed 28-year old defender Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. 

Woywitka spent the past two seasons with the Dallas Stars before signing with Montreal over the summer on a one-year, $650K contract, but failed to make their roster.  His contract makes him attractive to the Rangers because it is such a minimal commitment.  This move is similar to Steve Eminger last season as Woywitka is best suited as a player in a limited role without excessive exposure.

This move is clearly a stop-gap type move in hopes of Staal being able to return in relatively short order.  If Staal's situation continues to be up in the air or get worse, then the Rangers will have to make another move on defense.  The hope would be that Tim Erixon shows himself well enough to have him playing full time be that move, but that is still to be seen.   The immediate move would likely be Bell or Bickel being assigned to the Connecticut Whale (AHL) to make room for Woywitka on the active roster with the possibility of Erixon going down when the team returns following the season opening games in Sweden.