The New York Rangers announced that Lias Andersson has been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Andersson has logged 7:08, 10:33, 10:27, 6:09, and 9:24 in his last five games, and has averaged 10:23 a game across 21 contests this season. During that time he’s scored one goal, added three assists, and fired 22 shots on goal.
The move, according to coach David Quinn, is to give him the opportunity to get more ice time.
Quinn saying that Lias Andersson deserves some more time on the ice and with limited practice time ahead of NYR it makes sense to send him down to Hartford for the time being.— Laura Amato (@LauraAmato) December 28, 2018
Practice makes perfect, and the Rangers won’t be practicing much in the upcoming weeks.
The Rangers play on Saturday in Nashville vs. the Predators and on Monday in St. Louis vs. the Blues. They return to the Garden on January 2 for a game with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but will then head on the road to Colorado on January 4 before starting a frenetic stretch which involves stops in Arizona and Las Vegas.
Starting January 6, the Blueshirts will have a stretch which will see them play eight games in 14 nights. This will see the Rangers play four games in seven nights in back-to-back weeks.
It is unknown how long Andersson will stay with the Pack, but there is an opportunity for him to log 18:00 plus minutes a night and get back into a groove. It could very well be a short stint in which Andersson returns for January 2 at home vs. the Penguins.
His performance thus year is hard to evaluate, because he hasn’t been given the time on ice, or an opportunity for a consistent stretch. Optically fans may be disappointed that Andersson is going to Hartford, but tactically it makes sense at this time.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Rangers recalled him before the team heads back out West, as they will need some fresh bodies with such a hectic schedule of games.
The other possibility is that the Rangers are trying to monitor Andersson’s games played in terms of him earning a year of experience.
He was on the team for 22 games, which gives them the flexibility to call him up post deadline for the remaining 15-18 games. It's all about contract management— Stat Boy (@StatBoy_Steven) December 28, 2018
This is something way off in the future, but still important to consider.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.