The Rangers have finally pulled the trigger on assigning Patrick Rissmiller to Hartford, which is not to be confused with the conditioning assignment he accepted there last month.
The difference is that in officially designating the forward for assignment — he had already cleared waivers — they have cleared a roster spot and his salary in cap space ($1 million prorated after 27 games is what, roughly $650,000?).
More importantly, should the Rangers want to recall Rissmiller, they would have to expose him to recall waivers, where another team could pick him at half price. In other words, we probably won’t be seeing much more of Patrick Rissmiller this year, which isn’t saying much since we didn’t see much of him anyway.
Meanwhile, a more important question: Why now? Do the Rangers have something else brewing? Are Zipay’s delusional calls for Mats Sundin actually being heard? (I kid my fantasy co-owner. At this point, if the Rangers could land Sundin without mortgaging their future, I’d be for it, too).
Beyond a trade or a signing, there is also the possibility that the team is ready to call up a seventh defenseman, especially with a three-game in five-night swing through California two weeks away. Like I’ve said before, at least from a manpower standpoint, the team could get away with carrying six defensemen with Hartford so close by. It’s much tougher when you’re 3,000 miles away.