6:36PM: David Quinn said prior to tonight’s game (NYR):
- Schneider was called up as a precaution and will warm up in the event that Namestnikov is not able to go.
- On Hayes moving to the wing, “we are in a little bit of a rut, it’s nice to have a big line figuratively and literally and just want to see what it looks like.”
- On moving from center to wing, Quinn notes that hockey, in a lot of ways, is becoming positionless. He doesn’t think there will be much of an adjustment.
- On where the team needs to improve, Quinn said puck management, coming out of their own zone and in the offensive zone, has not been good enough. “Too many hope plays.”
3:35PM: Cole Schneider has been called up.
11:15AM: Kevin Hayes is likely to start at wing on Saturday in a move that David Quinn said was something he hoped could “jump-start” the Rangers. (Newsday)
He said that the Rangers are trying to create a “different matchup” but that in the “big picture” Hayes is a center, “for sure.” (Newsday)
Ryan Strome will move to center and said that it will be a good opportunity and one he will try not to overthink. (NY Post)
David Quinn said that Strome has done a “good job” since coming to the Rangers and has been a good teammate and “very coachable.” (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: This is a nice experiment for the Rangers to try and hopefully one they stick with for a couple of games. If Hayes can be the same player on the wing that he was at center then it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the Rangers to keep him. If he is only able to be that player while being a center, the Rangers could still keep him but locking in another center to a long-term deal would remove some flexibility.
This will also give the Rangers a chance to look at Strome in his natural position and see if he is able to tap into any more of the 5th overall talent that he has. He’s only a little younger than Hayes but would cost a lot less in the event that he finds the kind of success down the middle that his potential indicates he has.