Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rangers Claim Defenseman Jeff Woywitka Off Waivers From Canadiens

The Rangers announced today on Twitter that they have claimed veteran defenseman Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. It's being reported that Woywitka will fly to Sweden today to join the team in time for tomorrow's game, although I doubt he'll play. The move also means the Rangers will officially option both Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel to the Connecticut Whale, who both cleared waivers yesterday.

Jeff Woywitka is a big body - 6'3", 227 lbs. - who plays with some toughness and is a lefty shot. Last season he skated in 63 games with the Dallas Stars, recording 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points with a plus-5 rating and 24 penalty minutes. Overall, he's skated in a total of 251 NHL games.

The addition of Woywitka obviously means that the Rangers will no longer be pursuing Paul Mara. Woywitka can step in and play some games for the Rangers, but he'll ideally become the extra seventh defenseman once Marc Staal comes back. I think the Rangers will play Tim Erixon for the two games in Sweden and then depending on what they see from him will decide whether to keep him with the team or send him back to the Connecticut Whale once they get back to the US.

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