1:03 PM: Cuylle will make his NHL debut tomorrow. (NYR)
11:01 AM: The Rangers have called up 20-year old Will Cuylle from Hartford and sent Sammy Blais down for a conditioning stint.
Cuylle has 13 goals and 7 assists in 39 games for Hartford this season and was selected to be an AHL All-Star.
Blais has 5 assists in 38 games this season and is averaging 9:42 per game.
Blais is slated to be a UFA at the end of the season and currently has a cap hit of $1.525 million.
Gerard Gallant spoke about Blais over the weekend and said:
What are you hoping for with Sammy Blais, “It’s been real hard, there is no doubt. He had an extremely bad injury, as we all know, last year and he didn’t play at all. He comes back this year and things haven’t gone the way he wanted them. For us or for Sammy. He’s sitting there with no goals and I think five assists and he’s played some okay hockey at times and other times it looks like he is a step behind, again. We just want him to keep working and have a positive attitude and in this game things change in a hurry. We are hoping for the best with him, keep working, stay with a positive attitude and when you get back in, try and contribute. It’s not about, I don’t want Sammy to go out and think he’s gotta be a 10-hits in a game or start fighting more, it’s not it. It’s about getting back up to speed and getting some confidence and catching a break here sooner or later because he’s a good kid and he’s worked hard, has a good attitude and things just haven’t gone his way and he’s going to have to wait and when the opportunity comes again hopefully things will break for him.”
Hartford has games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week and next.
Adam Rotter: Blais just hasn’t gotten back up to speed after he came together with PK Subban last year and tore his ACL. Maybe some games and big minutes in Hartford will get him going a bit, but it’s more than likely that his future isn’t with the Rangers. They might try and unload him for cap space near the deadline or probably let him walk as a free agent. With his time with the Rangers likely coming to an end sooner or later and the second round pick they got from St. Louis traded as part of the Andrew Copp deal last year, the Rangers won’t have anything left from the Pavel Buchnevich deal.
Cuylle though provides some hope of the Rangers salvaging anything from drafting Lias Andersson seventh overall. I’d guess that Cuylle is going to play, possibly in his hometown of Toronto tomorrow, otherwise they could have kept Jonny Brodzinski up as a spare forward.