Betts out two to three weeks


Just pulled into the Wachovia Center to this whopper from the Rangers: Blair Betts is not only out tonight, but for the next two to three weeks after undergoing minor foot surgery at the New York Hospital for Joint Disease.

The short-term solution will be Ryan Hollweg at center tonight, but I would have to think the Rangers will need to summon Greg Moore from Hartford fairly soon (Artem Anisimov has played well, but has no NHL experience and has hit a bit of a rookie wall). Another option would be to use either Sean Avery or Martin Straka at center — since both have experience there — but that comes at the expense of the other forward lines, and I doubt Tom Renney is willing to take that risk.

Say what you want about Betts. He isn’t flashy, has little to no scoring touch, but he has been one of the Rangers most indispensable players for coming up on three seasons now. This applies especially to the penalty kill, but also at even strength.

More from Tom Renney on this in a bit…

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  1. wow this is not good at all. betts is so important to our PK, and winning face offs. this is going to suck once playoffs come around if he’s not back

  2. Ouch! Betts out is not what the Rangers need. Granted his role isn’t huge in most people’s eyes but he does the dirty work of checking the opponents #1 line in most cases and play pretty well in the PK. Special teams will definitely be hurt unless the PP turns it around. Any word on what the Rangers did for their team day off in Philadelphia? Being from Pgilly it would be interesting to know

  3. Sam, I’m curious where the impression that Anisimov has hit a rookie wall is coming from? I watch most Hartford games and thought his game has continued to improve, particularly since he returned from the World Juniors. Was that an opinion you got from Renney, or elsewhere?

  4. To add to my previous post, if anyone in Hartford’s hit a wall, it’s been Greg Moore, who’s got only 4 points in his previous 12 games, and has been a minus player over the same stretch after averaging close to a point per game all season and being a leader in plus/minus on the team.

  5. The Wolf Pack are also playing in Philly tonight against the Phantoms. It would make no sense to NOT have anyone called up.

  6. Who Needs Lohan (so Scarey) on

    2 to 3 weeks = beginning of the playoffs. Could be worse fellas and ladies!

  7. Who Needs Lohan (so Scarey) on

    More importantly when does LoHud recognize Daylights Savings Time. Getting me all screwed up……

  8. Betts being out no question hurts the pk. Prucha can play some center why not put him back in the lineup as the 4th line center and use him on the pp? Oh wait in Renney’s feeble mind the pp is fine the way it is.

  9. you overrate him Sam. what about the other role players that you don’t love

    Drury blocks shots, lots of guys do.

    betts is eminently replaceable. he is a good defensive C who has almost no offensive ability, especially passing ability. he is a 4th liner, as previous attempts by renney to put him on all the other 3 lines over the past couple years have failed miserably because he is a 4th liner and no more.

  10. Truefan, how do u know thay renney thought of Hank just as a 7th rnd pick? Nothing worse than assuming what someone else is thinking.

  11. stillarangerfan on

    Gotta make a positive outta this. Straka moves to 4th line centre, Prucha on 3rd line wing. Keep regular lines for PP.

  12. it is laughable to see moaning about a 4th liner being out a couple weeks while teams with several top line players out for the season do better without them, like the Canes, etc

  13. calling losing Betts a “whopper” is about as ridiculous as it gets. what’s next, calling losing backman a tragedy? puh-leeze

  14. RAIN

    I agree. Its not that big of a deal, Straka is does the same thing. Just move him to 4th line center and Pruchs to 3rd line wing, and boom ! We have a scoring 4th line. Dont mess with Orr !!

    Either way, Vally needs to bitch this dumb team. Avery needs to beat up Richards like he did earlier this year.

  15. Career 257 games 22 16 38 -17 8

    16 assists in 257 games at center, and a minus 17

    yeah, real whopper all right. come off it, Sam

  16. The impact of Betts will become evident in the next two to three weeks. At less than $1M per year, I’m astonished to hear what some of you have to say about this guy.

  17. SeamusORiley on

    I think Betts is a good piece of a puzzle; hard worker, defensive-minded, etc. I do think that Greg Moore may be a replacement that also can put the puck in the net besides the usual 4th line responisiblities.
    Up here (Maine) he is really highly thought of. Moore has had a reputation for being a real positive in the lockeroom, as well as being very responisble 2 way player. I hope he is called up.

  18. the only thing that would change tonight’s outcome is if the flyers are so desperate for a playoff spot that they actually play better at home than they usually do. they have not shown that so far

  19. Agrred salty.

    I wouldn’t call it a “whopper” either but like salty said, we’ll see.

  20. I do think the loss of Betts is maybe not a “whopper” but pretty major. Rain I think you nuts for thinking its no big deal.
    He’s HUGE on the PK, and that is precisely where your going to notice the difference.

  21. Yeah, the dude leads the league in blocked shots every year and is very sound defensively.

    For a replacement? Moore, Hollweg, or maybe they’ll try Cally at 4th line center occasionally although he’s doing just fine on the Drucalaka line.

  22. the Rangers have several good pk guys. straka is easily able to replace betts, and so can sjostrom on the pk

  23. Guys, Guys…..

    You can’t change an effective line to fix the 4th line. That being said, Prucha SHOULD be playing for Shanahan and Straka occasionally down the stretch to keep them fresh (injury free) for the Playoffs.

    Hollweg isn’t as steady as Betts, but he does bring another element: hitting. Sjostrom’s play may be the stabilizing element on that line…

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