Inactive since Jan. 14 — first as a healthy scratch and then because of a disc problem in his back — Marcel Hossa has accepted a conditioning assignment to Hartford.
The move is voluntary, but since it’s only a conditioning assignment, Hossa does not have to pass through waivers. Inexplicably, Hossa’s plus-7 rating is tops on the Rangers (Nigel Dawes is next at plus-5).
“He’s down to get some games in,” Tom Renney said. “It’s been five weeks (since he’s played), and when we’re scrambling like we are and really pushing, it’s important for him to be playing…so eventually he can step in and help us. Under the circumstances it would be a tall order.”
In other news:
<li>Marc Staal and Petr Prucha are definitely out, and are both day-to-day. Both did, however, skate at the Training Center this morning.
Staal’s absence means Marek Malik will play for the first time since he injured his knee Jan. 31 in Philadelphia. The lanky one mostly likely will skate alongside Michal Rozsival.
<li>A couple of you e-mailed me to ask why Tom Renney doesn’t try Chris Drury back with Jaromir Jagr. The answer can be found in what has already become apparent this year. On the offensive end at least, Drury is less of a playmaker and more of a finisher, and thus needs to be with someone who can deliver him the puck and not the other way around. That’s why Martin Straka and Drury seem to work, and why more puck possession centers like Scott Gomez and yes, even Brandon Dubinsky, seem to mesh better with Jagr.
That at least is the working theory. Give it a couple of days and I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong.
<li>Great story in the New York Times today by Charles McGrath on the “vanishing pastime of pond hockey”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/17/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/17RPond.html?_r=1&oref=slogin.
This one hits close to home. I grew up learning to skate on what was essentially a frozen over swamp in our backyard, complete with tree roots jutting out from the ice. When I got older, we played on a bigger pond just around the block, and even into high school, we used to sneak onto a pond on a private country club.
As much as I’ve admittedly enjoyed the fact that we haven’t been holed up inside this winter because of the cold, I keep telling my little boy that as soon as the ponds freeze, we’re there. We’re still waiting.