It’s not too often we see transactions during All-Star weekend but the Rangers made a roster move today. They brought back winger Sammy Blais from his conditioning loan, per the AHL’s transactions log.
It was a successful stint with AHL Hartford for the 26-year-old. He had a two-goal effort last night against Utica and wound up with four goals in five games in his first minor league action since the 2018-19 season. Unfortunately for both Blais and New York, that’s basically the only success that he has had this season as things simply haven’t gone well at the NHL level. He has just five assists in 38 games on the fourth line which is hardly what they were expecting from him when they acquired him from St. Louis as part of the Pavel Buchnevich trade in 2021. He actually hasn’t scored for the Rangers since being acquired as he missed most of last season with a knee injury.
Blais is in the final year of his contract which carries a $1.525MM cap hit; he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time this summer. At this point, a return to New York seems unlikely and he’s a candidate to be moved at the trade deadline as a salary offset if GM Chris Drury is able to make a big splash on the trade front. With his time in the minors going well, it’ll be interesting to see if Blais will be back in the lineup when their schedule resumes on Monday against Calgary in an effort to try to boost his value heading into next month’s trade deadline.
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