The New York Rangers have recalled defenseman Brendan Bell from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL, as reported by Andrew Gross. This is likely a move to temporarily fill-in for Michael Sauer, who remains out of the lineup with a shoulder injury. Sauer has not hit the ice since last Saturday's loss to the Anaheim Ducks over in Europe.
With Sauer and Marc Staal both out of the lineup, there are some serious gaps that need to be filled on the Blueshirt blue-line. However, I'm not too sure that Brendan Bell is the man to do that. Bell belongs in the AHL, because based on what I've seen of him, he plays to AHL standards. That's not going to make up for what the team loses with Sauer and Staal in the press box, and I think the Rangers may want to look into acquiring someone with broader capabilities.
More importantly, though, is the fact that there is some serious concern over Sauer's shoulder. As of Wednesday, he was questionable for Saturday's game against the Islanders. In fact, he was hoping he would be able to play in that game. Obviously things changed over the next three days and now the team is recalling replacements. This can't be good for Mike, who is undoubtedly a top four defender on this team.
And defense is where the Rangers have struggled so far this season - not offense. We'll see how many consecutive losses it takes for management to realize that Brendan Bell is not going to get the job done with Sauer/Staal out.
The Rangers also recalled forward Kris Newbury last night with Mats Zuccarello going down to the AHL.