Tyler Motte

Motte Suffers Significant Injury

It’s been a busy day for injury updates, with the news that Tyler Motte may be out for substantial time, and the impending return of Kaapo Kakko and Kevin Rooney as soon as tomorrow.  Filip Chytil also suffered an undisclosed injury, and is out day to day.

The most impactful news though, is that Motte could well have played his last game as a Ranger.  The UFA fourth liner suffered what looked like a shoulder or upper arm injury when he was caught in a vulnerable position by Penguins forward Anthony Angello.  Motte was leaning overreaching for a puck when Angello caught him with his hip, making contact with Motte’s shoulder.

From a hockey rules perspective, it was clearly a clean hit given the current definition of the rules, though it did result in an interference call as a result of the intent being to prevent Motte from being able to get to the puck, rather than the hit itself.

Head Coach Gerard Gallant initially thought Angello had made contract with Motte’s head, but when he realized that it was more to the shoulder, he still didn’t like it.

The extent of the injury has not been shared, only that it was a significant injury and that there is no timetable for his return. 

At the very least, it would appear Motte is unlikely to return for the rest of the regular season and could possibly not play again for the Rangers. 

His impending UFA status this offseason, combined with his specialization as a 4th line winger and his current $1.2M contract, means he probably wasn’t in the Rangers future plans anyway.

Filip Chytil Out Day to Day – Also of note, Filip Chytil missed practice this morning and is considered day to day with an upper body injury.  Gallant didn’t think Chytil would be out long, but it sounds like he’ll miss at least a couple of games here in the final stretch.

Set for a Return?  – On a more positive, both Kaapo Kakko and Kevin Rooney skated with the team today, the first indication that they’re getting ready to return.  Notably Kakko skated alongside Barclay Goodrow and Alexis Lafreniere on a projected third line, while Rooney slotted in between Dryden Hunt and Ryan Reaves on what could well be the fourth line.  With a game tomorrow night against Ottawa, Gallant was a little coy, but did suggest they have a chance to play.

With ten games to go, it’s welcome news to have the two back in the mix.  Kakko has been out since January 22nd, when he left the pre-game warm-ups against Arizona and then reportedly had surgery on his hand or wrist.  Rooney has been out since March 2nd, though nothing has been shared with regards to his injury.

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