The New York Rangers announced Friday afternoon that center Ryan Strome has entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol. He’ll be unavailable for Saturday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
With forward Sammy Blais listed as day-to-day, the Rangers have also recalled Greg McKegg from the Hartford Wolf Pack to have 12 active skaters for their next game.
The circumstances of Strome’s placement on the protocol list are unknown, but he could miss up to 10 days if he can’t produce two negative tests. That could potentially be five missed games for Strome, making him eligible to return on October 29 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, he can come back sooner if he produces the aforementioned negative tests.
In Strome’s absence, it’s likely a chance for the young Filip Chytil to step into the second-line center role between Artemi Panarin and Kaapo Kakko. It’s an undeniable upgrade from his current wingers in Barclay Goodrow and Julien Gauthier, and it gives him a chance to show some promise of what he can do in a top-six role. McKegg could draw into the lineup as the fourth-line center, bumping Kevin Rooney up to third-line duties between Goodrow and Gauthier.
The Rangers will look to get their first win of the season without Strome against a similarly hobbled Canadiens team that’s still missing Joel Edmundson, Mike Hoffman, Carey Price, and others.