3:32 PM: The Rangers have announced that Braden Schneider has been called up and Nils Lundkvist has been sent to Hartford.
Schneider has nine assists, 10 PIM, and 22 shots in 24 games for Hartford this season.
Tarmo Reunanen and Tyler Wall were also sent back to Hartford.
Lundkvist had one goal and three assists in 25 games so far this season, averaging 13:56 per game. He was a healthy scratch last night against the Kings.
Adam Rotter: We’ve seen Lundkvist this season, we saw Zac Jones for a little while and now we will get to see Schneider make his NHL debut. I’d assume that he will slot in next to Patrik Nemeth unless the Rangers decide to bench him, unlikely, and go with Schneider and Jones on the third pair. That won’t happen and calling up Schneider now will give Chris Drury a chance to see if he can hold his own in the NHL or if the Rangers are going to have to explore the trade market for a third-pair defenseman. It would certainly be preferable to see Schneider take that role instead of trading for a rental and keeping all the young defensemen out of the lineup.
As for Lundkvist, he’s been okay this season, but this was probably overdue. It was debatable whether he or Zac Jones should have made the team out of camp, and while Lundkvist has shown what kind of potential he has, he’s also very small and needs to bulk up a bit. It’s better for him to play top-pair in Hartford than being swapped in and out of the lineup on a game-to-game basis. The Rangers must feel right now that Zac Jones is better suited to be around the team and skate on the taxi squad, but he too will either need to get into the lineup somewhat regularly or go back to Hartford so that he can play.