According to a report from Newsday reporter Colin Stephenson, New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk could be back in the team’s lineup sooner rather than later.
As Stephenson points out, Shattenkirk was expected to travel with the team on their Florida road trip as they prepare to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, but weather concerns have changed those plans. As it is, there’s no specific timetable for Shattenkirk’s return, but he’s close.
The 29-year-old offseason free-agent acquisition underwent surgery in late January to repair a miniscus tear in one of his knees and has been ruled out “indefinitely” while he rehabs from the injury.
"He's been skating for a while," coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's coming along. I think him and 'Rammer' (Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay) have sort of narrowed down here, a plan for him to play. We're looking at the next couple weeks, here."
The veteran Shattenkirk has missed 20 games with the ailment, but does have a respectable five goals and 23 points in 46 games with the Rangers this season. It'll be interesting to see how he plays down the stretch for the Blue Shirts, especially considering the departure of on again / off again partner Ryan McDonagh.
In other Rangers roster related news, forward Mika Zibanejad has been ruled out of the team’s game against the Lightning tomorrow as he deals with a flu.
As the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis points out, David Desharnais will take Zibanejad’s spot between Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. In just 57 games this season, the 24 year old Zibanejad has 19 goals and 34 points.