This afternoon saw the New York Rangers having to make several roster adjustments. Julien Gauthier, first reported to not be with the team in Anaheim by the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, has officially been added to the Covid protocol.
UPDATE: Julien Gauthier has entered Covid protocol.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 7, 2022
Zac Jones—alongside the majority of the team—had a rough defensive outing in Vegas and was reassigned to the taxi squad. Dryden Hunt, who came off the ice after a fairly innocent looking play at the end of last night’s game, has been placed on IR. To supplement the roster the team recalled Hartford Wolf Pack leading scorer Jonny Brodzinski and Tim Gettinger from the taxi squad in preparation for their game against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday evening. These two moves suggest that Artemiy Panarin may not be cleared to play by tomorrow evening.
UPDATE: #NYR have recalled Jonny Brodzinski and Tim Gettinger from the taxi squad. Zac Jones has been assigned to the taxi squad and Dryden Hunt (upper body) has been placed on IR.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 7, 2022
With no news of Patrik Nemeth returning to the team and Jones being reassigned, this leaves much uncertainty for the shape of the Rangers’ defense in Saturday’s game. Gallant has some tough decisions to make regarding the third defensive pairing. We can expect to see some type of combination between Tinordi, Hajek, and Lundkvist rounding out the back end of the roster. This doesn’t exactly instill fear into opponents, as Hajek was quite noticeable in the loss to Vegas—he was on the ice for all four even strength goals against.
We haven’t learned any further news about Dryden Hunt’s injury aside from it being labeled an upper body injury by the team. He went to play the puck along the boards and was boxed out by two Vegas Golden Knights’ Nolan Patrick and Nicolas Roy. He immediately grimaced and skated off the ice not returning to the game.