After having a very mediocre training camp, and failing to crack the opening night roster, it appears as if Matthew Lombardi's time in New York is all but done. According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, Lombardi has rejected his AHL assignment to the Hartford Wolfpack, and will agree to mutually terminate his contract with the Rangers. As part of the process, the Rangers will place Lombardi on unconditional waivers one last time at noon.
Peter Mueller recently went through a similar situation with the St. Louis Blues, and both sides agreed to cut their ties completely before Mueller returned to Europe.
As a result of this situation, the Rangers will actually come out ahead. With Lombardi set to return to Europe after his contract termination, the Rangers will now have a contract spot open to give them some flexibility. This is especially helpful after Dan Boyle went down with a broken hand last night, which would allow the Rangers to look for some help outside of the organization if they wanted to.
There is no immediate sense that they will take that route, but in the event that they want to, the option is there for the taking. For the time being, the Rangers opted to recall Mike Kostka, who will serve as the new seventh defenseman, with Matt Hunwick likely entering the lineup as early as tomorrow night.
It will be interesting to see what the Rangers do, but for now, we look ahead to the Columbus Blue Jackets.