Looks like Ryan Callahan (shoulder) isn't the only Ranger who's going to make their season debut tonight in Los Angeles as Alain Vigneault announced Arron Asham will replace Jesper Fast in the line-up and play on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Derek Dorsett (via Blueshirts United)…
"We're going to play against LA and against San Jose, two big teams, so I knew I was going to put Arron in the lineup sooner than later," explained Vigneault.
Here's Asham on his return to the line-up…
"I want to show that there's still some life in these old legs. And I think me, Dom, and Dors want to show the coaches that we can be effective and play a physical game, so that they keep running us out there."
For video of Asham's full statement, click here.
To make room for Asham in the line-up, Jesper Fast will be a healthy scratch.
…while it obviously makes sense to have Asham on the fourth line over Fast, I still have to question how Pyatt remains in this line-up. I get the whole "clean slate" thing, but I didn't see anything in the preseason or last Thursday that indicated Pyatt has "grabbed it." I mean how much better would a third line of Fast-Boyle-Cally look. I get that Fast would be on his off wing, but he'd still be better than Pyatt.
…either way, I do like the move to Asham in an effort to get a little more toughness in the line-up.
Here's the probable line-up vs. the Kings (via Daily News)…
…despite my hatred of the third line, I am a big fan of the remainder of the line-up. Although, if they fail to produce tonight, I might have to rethink that.
Meanwhile, AV discussed the reasoning behind demoting JT MIller to the AHL…
"We just felt that with (Miller) being such a young player he needed to play, and having two extra forwards did not make a lot of sense (financially against the salary cap). We just felt we needed to send him to Hartford to get some games in. At the start (of the season) veteran guys will get a longer look, a longer opportunity. I wanted the kid to play, and (salary) cap-wise it was the right thing to do, also."
…while I'm still somewhat surprised with the decision, in the salary cap era sometimes money ends up being the determining factor. Although, if the Rangers would have just bought out Richards they wouldn't have to worry about this stuff.
…i also think Miller was just a place holder for Cally anyway. The same way Fast is for Hagelin.
AV's full presser…
Vigneault also reported that while Lundqvist will start tonight, Biron will likely get one of the next three games.