The Rangers were guaranteed to make some moves following Saturday night's game against the Jets, and injuries to both Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein. On Sunday morning, the team did make a move, although maybe not the one everyone expected, and one that doesn't exactly clarify the picture, as it put Ryan Malone on waivers.
Hunt (EDM) and Malone (NYR) on waivers— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 2, 2014
Friedman would then follow up that tweet with this one.
Would assume that means Stepan closing in for NYR— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 2, 2014
Malone has appeared in five of the Rangers 10 regular season games, seeing time on the fourth line and the power play. He was a scratch Saturday night against the Jets, and last played on Monday against the Wild
Alain Vigneault said he was unsure if Stepan would be ready by Monday, as the center who has missed the entire season with a broken fibula has yet to participate in a full practice. Stepan was back out on the ice on Sunday, but in a non-contact jersey, along with Dan Boyle, who also was wearing a non-contact jersey.
Malone's roster spot could be used to call up a defenseman from Hartford, and the Wolf Pack are scheduled to play a home game at Worcester today at 3 p.m. Conceivably, a defenseman could participate in that game, and still play in New York tomorrow night against the Blues. The Rangers are also reportedly interested in Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera.
There's also the unknown statuses of McDonagh and Klein, and if either player's condition is serious enough to consider being placed on long-term injured reserve. It's difficult right now exactly what Malone being placed on waivers means in the grander scheme, except for that it frees up a roster spot at the NHL level for someone.