Chris Drury was there in person to convey the message, clearly explaining that these were organizational decisions regarding the development of young Ranger players.
The assistant general manager was suspended in front of the visitors 'locker room in Boston on Saturday night, after the Bruins' Blueshirts 3-2 victory. It was the team's third consecutive victory, giving the players a much needed morale boost for the nine-day break that includes the week off and the All-Star weekend.
Twenty-year-old defenseman Ryan Lindgren, who made his NHL debut on Tuesday against the Hurricanes, contributed to those three wins. He won no victory in the best world league. Still, Drury was the one who had caught him at TD Garden and told him that while the other Rangers were on vacation, he was returning to AHL Hartford for the break so that he could participate in the party and stay solid.
In terms of coming back when the Rangers schedule resumes before the game of January 29 against the Flyers, this seems to be presumed – but not a given.
"I'm not sure, I'm just talking to Drury right now," Lindgren said. "I just have to go, play well. They made sure to say [to] do not think of it as something – they thought I was playing well. So go back there, play games and see what happens.
Lindgren was a regular on the blue line and played very well with veteran Kevin Shattenkirk. His ability to defend belies his 6-foot, 200-pound frame, and his competitiveness at every job change makes him an attractive asset in the contract that sent Rick Nash to Boston prior to last season's trade deadline.
The fact that Lindgren also faced the team that led him to the second round (number 49 in total) in 2016 before spending two years at the University of Minnesota was also special.
"It always means a lot," Lindgren said. "The team that recruited me has formed some development camps with it. It's pretty cool to come here to play against them and win. "
Center Boo Nieves also joined Lindgren in the Wolf Pack this week. He has played his best hockey in the NHL over this 16-game stretch since being named on December 15. He has scored two goals and seven assists, but starts using his speed in more situations than point A to point B. He is at the forefront of the net and forces the opposition to defend him, just as he has did when he separated defensemen and found Filip Chytil for the match-equalizer against the Islanders on January 12 in Brooklyn.
Nieves plays without hesitation after suffering a new concussion – one of their story – in her first pre-season game in September. But he played 12 productive games with the Wolf Pack and regained his balance before following suit.
It is now back down where another familiar face is waiting: the guard Alexandar Georgiev. The club wasted no time to repulse the 23-year-old Bulgarian on Friday so he could play in Saturday's 3-0 home defeat against Springfield, allowing two goals on 34 shots. Sunday's game in Providence was postponed due to the weather and postponed to Monday afternoon. Three more games are scheduled thereafter before the Rangers are likely to resume training on January 27th.
Georgiev will surely play more often than during the first four months of the season, Henrik Lundqvist having played 32 of the first 39 games. The workload seemed to catch up with the 36-year-old goalkeeper just after the New Year. He supported Georgeiv in four out of six games before returning on Tuesday and winning the last three before the break.
Yet, this pause took place at the right time when rest was needed. This includes the two former recruits who spent the entire year with the Rangers – 19-year-old Chytil and 20-year-old Brett Howden. Coach David Quinn said that they would both benefit from a recovery rather than harder hockey games.
As the trading deadline approaches on February 25th, the depth of the Rangers will only decrease. Moving veteran coins to obtain younger assets is part of the plan that contributes to the development of existing coins.
The organization envisions a promising future and, although the big club is based, it is trying to accelerate its progress.