Not long before the trade deadline hit, the Rangers sent a 2023 fourth-round draft pick to Vancouver to pick up winger Tyler Motte with an eye on deepening their bottom six and adding some more grit to their roster. Unfortunately for them, they haven’t been able to use Motte much so far due to injury, one that head coach Gerard Gallant acknowledged to Mollie Walker of the New York Post will keep him out at least for the rest of the regular season. A return for the playoffs is far from a guarantee either as Gallant indicated that “I just heard he’s out for quite a while”.
The 27-year-old played in nine games before suffering an upper-body injury last month and while he was held without a point, he averaged three hits a game while playing primarily on the fourth line while taking a regular turn shorthanded as well. With Vancouver, Motte had 15 points and 90 hits in 49 games and was in the middle of making a case for a decent-sized raise on his $1.225MM AAV as he gets set to reach the open market for the first time this summer.
Fortunately for the Rangers, they have a surplus of forwards at the moment as evidenced by the 16 healthy ones they have on their active roster. Alexis Lafreniere got the night off on Wednesday and Gallant indicated they’d be looking to get some regulars some rest over the final couple of weeks of the season (Ryan Reaves is sitting today). But most of those 16 don’t play the type of role that Motte does and New York will undoubtedly be hoping that he’ll be able to return at some point in the playoffs.