Filip Chytil will be out 4 to 6 weeks due to an upper body injury suffered on Sunday at Pittsburgh.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 26, 2021
The news is really unfortunate given the start Chytil was off to, and his absence from the lineup creates a significant void down the middle. Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome both have had rough starts, and the loss of Chytil means we likely will be seeing more of Brett Howden, with Kevin Rooney absorbing his responsibilities on the fourth line.
This season had the potential of being an important year of evaluation for Chytil as the Rangers ultimately decide how they want to proceed down the middle in the future. Zibanejad has two years left on his contract, as does Strome, and there’s no telling what direction the franchise will go in.
Chytil is the only young center of consequence who has the ability to fill a top-six spot in the future, and this latest injury will force the team to make some decisions. It remains to be seen if this will result in Morgan Barron getting a promotion from the taxi squad. If not him, there’s always the chance the Rangers will look outside the organization via trade, or attempt to pickup someone through the waiver wire.
Either way the news really sucks, and here’s to hoping Chytil has a speedy and effective recovery.