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As the world turns, Patrick Rissmiller remains in limbo

Posted By Sam Weinman On October 28, 2008 @ 5:19 pm In Uncategorized | 48 Comments

Is it a coincidence that ever since the Rangers put Patrick Rissmiller on waivers, they’ve won three straight?

Yes, it is, actually. I’m pretty sure there is no correlation.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Rissmiller’s situation is a peculiar one.

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The deal is this: although Rissmiller cleared waivers last week, he hasn’t been assigned to Hartford, and continues to practice with the Rangers. He still counts toward the salary cap, and should the Rangers want to play him Thursday against Atlanta, they can. Of course, that’s not likely to happen, so instead, Rissmiller will probably remain in the same holding pattern until the Rangers figure out something better to do with him.

Can this go on indefinitely? Yes. And no. The reality is after 10 NHL games or 30 days, the Rangers would have to again put Rissmiller on waivers, where he could conceivably be claimed by another team. But since that didn’t happen the first time and teams might be skittish about his three year, $3 million contract, Rissmiller could remain in this limbo for the rest of the season.

Which is fine, except that again, Rissmiller’s salary counts toward the cap, and I’ll tell you right now that if the team is just looking for someone to fill a uniform in practice, I can do it for much cheaper (albeit probably not as effectively. Make that, definitely not as effectively).

So why don’t they just assign him to Hartford?  Since Rissmiller has cleared waivers, the player could report immediately. The problem is once he’s assigned to the minor, the Rangers would have to put him through re-entry waivers if they ever wanted to  bring him back up. And should that happen, other teams could be enticed into picking him up at half price (with the Rangers on the hook for the other half).

As people with the team have noted to me, that part of the CBA is the worst possible deal for veterans who aren’t locked into an NHL job. Look at Andrew Hutchinson last season. Even if the defenseman couldn’t make it as an every day player with the Rangers, he is someone who could have been brought up in a pinch.

But since the team risked losing him to re-entry waivers, they never did.


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