Blake Wheeler to Miss Remainder of Season

Blake Wheeler to Miss Remainder of Season
Feb 12, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Blake Wheeler (17) skates with the puck against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Wheeler left Thursday’s win vs. the Montreal Canadiens after suffering a lower-body injury, and he has been placed on IR and will miss the remainder of the regular season, and most likely the playoffs.

The news isn’t all that unexpected considering how gruesome it looked in real time, and the Rangers will now have to think about how they will fill out their roster for the remainder of the season. Wheeler was an up and down offensive contributor, and in the interim Jimmy Vesey took his spot on the top line. The Rangers recently recalled forwards Adam Edstrom and Alex Belzile from Hartford, and it could suggest they will look to see if internally they have options to make their bottom-six depth stronger.

This would open up the opportunity to acquire someone for the top line, although it is possible that Kaapo Kakko could go back to playing with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider instead. In any case, it is a tough blow for Wheeler who signed for minimal money this offseason, and suffering a serious injury this late in his career is certainly not what he had in mind.

We will likely learn more based on which players suit up in the coming weeks, and it will be interesting to see how Drury goes about addressing the loss of Wheeler for the remainder of the season.