Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 11/19/14

ATLANTA - JANUARY 07: Erik Christensen #26 of the New York Rangers against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on January 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Sadly, this is not a joke.

Head coach John Tortorella switched the offensive lines up in practice again today (insert joke here), and in the process moved Erik Christensen up to the first line, where he centered Marian Gaborik and Wojtek Wolski. So, in place of the All-Star center in Brad Richards that was signed for an arm and a leg this summer, $925,000 Erik Christensen finds himself on the top line despite being absent from every game he has played in so far this season. Try to make logic out of that one. 

Erik Christensen is to John Tortorella as Aaron Voros was to Tom Renney. That's a reference you have to go back a few years to understand, but for those of you that do, it should make perfect sense. See Voros was Renney's favorited player, and even though he contributed close to nothing on a nightly basis, he would still find his way into the lineup over, say, Petr Prucha. 

With Christensen, not only does Tortorella give him an unearned roster spot, but he also plays him on the first line and on the powerplay. 

Maybe this is Tortorella's response to the banner that read "Send Torts to the Whale" last night at MSG, because he's giving Whale players royalty treatment right now. Avery wouldn't change this team's record, but I know he is a better player than both Christensen and Newbury, and probably would even give more than Wojtek Wolski. But this is Torts' team, not mine. 

As for the other lines:

Wolski - Christensen - Gaborik

Dubinsky - Richards - Callahan

Fedotenko - Boyle - Prust

Stepan - Anisimov - Newbury

Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov on the fourth line while Wojtek Wolski and Erik Christensen are on the first. 

I give up. 

NOTE: D Mike Del Zotto did not skate in practice today. No word why yet. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys interested in Adrian Peterson?

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

PHOTO: ECHL team will wear Dr. Seuss jerseys

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.