The New York Rangers recalled forward J.T. Miller from their AHL affiliate Hartford Wolfpack earlier this week, hoping to add a reliable option to their bench. Miller is not in the starting lineup for New York against the Philadelphia Flyers, but has played 30 games for the Rangers this season. He’s compiled three goals and three assists in those games, but has three points in his last seven games with the team.
Miller acts as a precautionary player that will be able to step in if another Ranger should go down to injury. Forward Chris Kreider has missed New York’s last nine games due to a left hand injury that required surgery. Jesper Fast has been in the lineup of late with the absence of Kreider, but Miller will be ready if his name is called. When Kreider originally went down in late March, Miller was inserted into the Rangers’ top line for a few games.
For now, Fast gets the call in the starting lineup, playing with fellow Swede Carl Hagelin and centered by Brad Richards. The line has had a few games to try to develop chemistry before the postseason begins. The recalling of Miller does not seem all that important at the moment, but it could be if another forward gets hurt. Kreider’s return date is also unknown, so Miller could see some action depending on how the rest of the team plays, particularly Fast.
The Rangers also have forwards Ryan Haggerty and Daniel Carcillo, but Haggerty has never played an NHL game and Miller has a better skill set than Carcillo. Of course, Carcillo may be called upon to get physical with his former team from Philly, but until Kreider returns, Miller will be next in line to dress and see some playoff action.