The New York Rangers have lost their best defenseman. Captain Ryan McDonagh left Monday’s game after blocking a shot with his hand.
Tuesday, the team announced that he will be out indefinitely with an upper-body injury. For the time being, they’re only confirming that he’ll be held out of the season’s final three games. He will be re-evaluated after that.
Further to the team’s announcement, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports that McDonagh has a break in his right hand. Brooks suggests that McDonagh could miss at least the first few games of the playoffs, but that he’s not expected to be out long term.
If he misses any significant time, the McDonagh injury will change the Rangers playoff outlook. Few teams are able to overcome losing their top defenseman, especially a team that is already giving big minutes to players who may not be top-four caliber defensemen.
In response, the team has recalled rookie defenseman Brady Skjei from the Hartford Wolf Pack. He’ll see something of a three-game audition to earn some playoff ice time.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.