Sammy Blais left Sunday’s game vs. the New Jersey Devils, and according to Larry Brooks and Mollie Walker of the New York Post, the Rangers’ winger will miss the remainder of the season.
The Rangers have since confirmed the news.
UPDATE: Sammy Blais (knee) has been placed on IR and is out for the season with an expected recovery of 6-8 months. The team has recalled Greg McKegg from @WolfPackAHL.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 16, 2021
Blais was injured after going into the boards after there was some skate contact with P.K. Subban while pursuing a loose puck.
It does appear that Subban does clip Blais with his skate with his stretched out.. pic.twitter.com/IgGtLSltxq— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) November 15, 2021
The reason there’s ire associated with this play is because there’s been a number of similar situations involving Subban recently. So far in the regular season, Subban has been fined $20,000 for dangerous trips, with the two incidents coming in an eight-day stretch. There was also the contact with Ryan Reaves in the preseason.
The contact with Blais could be looked at as incidental, as it was nowhere as egregious as some of the other incidents this year, but it isn’t shocking that Subban isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt.
With that said, the injury to Blais puts the Rangers in a tough spot. The team’s depth on the right wing has taken another hit, and they are now down another top-nine forward.
In the interim I would expect Julien Gauthier to get an increase in minutes, and there’s a good chance Greg McKegg or Morgan Barron could also join the roster in some capacity. There’s also the possibility of using cap space to make a trade, but if they opt not to, Lauri Pajuniemi would be another interesting option worth considering down the line.
The Rangers have options, and it will be interesting to see what approach they take to address this situation.