After Staal takes puck to eye, Rangers claim Hamrlik off waivers
The Rangers have yet to provide an update regarding the health of Marc Staal, who suffered a right eye injury when struck by a deflected puck at 5:45 of the third period of Tuesday night’s 4-2 victory over the Flyers at the Garden, but the team did make a move to fill the hole on the blue line that would be created by his absence in claiming 38-year-old Roman Hamrlik off waivers from the Capitals. Of course, filling the Staal hole with Hamrlik is tantamount to putting a single shovel full of dirt into the Florida sinkhole that swallowed up that house, but it’s reflective of the desperation confronting the Rangers, who have no NHL-ready defensemen in the AHL and apparently aren’t ready to trust Matt Gilroy to claim the sixth spot. Hamrlik, who turns 39 next month, was a healthy scratch in 16 of the first 20 games for the Caps before being placed on waivers on Tuesday. He is on an over-35 contract with a full-season cap hit of $3.5 million, meaning the Rangers will be on the hook for the charge even if he proves unable to contribute. The defenseman, who is in his 20th NHL season, was once a formidable offensive force back in the day, but he now lacks the mobility demanded of defensemen by John Tortorella, a coach who doesn’t hesitate to nail third-pair defensemen to the bench. The Rangers presumably will reunite Ryan McDonagh with Dan Girardi in Staal’s absence—either long-term or short-term—while playing Michael Del Zotto with Anton Stralman on the second pair. Steve Eminger would presumably skate with Hamrlik, unless the new addition is scratched in favor of Gilroy. Read more: After Staal takes puck to eye, Rangers claim Hamrlik off waivers http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/nhlblog/after_staal_takes_puck_waivers_eye_EA9ZcwhTjqBendFfdhvq5H#ixzz2Mn9uMWB7
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