We all had a feeling the New York Rangers were going to do something soon, right? I mean, the team still has time to salvage this nine-game homestand after starting it off 0-2-1. Let's be honest, if the Rangers go on a 6-0 tear the next six games, boost their record to 21-16-1 and start making some things happen offensively, we're all likely to forget about this little 10-game spell that's seen the team dance around the .500 line. So long as they keep on winning, of course.
However, it's going to take a lot to get there. And while many (myself included) are speculating the Rangers might be kicking some tires to make a move, bringing up McIlrath certainly does shake things up a little. Yes, the Marc Staal injury probably has a lot more to do with this decision than the team is letting on, but it still means something.
The fans will finally get a look at the player everyone says they shouldn't have drafted in 2010, and regardless of whether or not you think he's ready to play it's pretty assured he's going to bring the grit and toughness fans have been screaming for. It will also give McIlrath a chance to prove himself, since the Rangers' defensive problems have been glaring of late.
The bigger question (and again, this is purely speculation) is whether or not the team is looking to make more moves. Let's be honest here, McIlrath isn't going to help the Rangers' biggest issue: Which is a lack of skill or, at the very least, inconsistent skill. Maybe McIlrath will help on the back end a little (fight a bit in the corners and keep guys honest around the crease) but I wouldn't expect too much early on.
So maybe this is the Rangers taking a harder look at whether or not he's ready to step up if they do make a move. Or maybe it's just Alain Vigneault trying to shake the tree a little and see what fruit falls. Either way, things are a little different today than they were yesterday, and I do think some changes are coming.
It's just a matter of when and where.