The day after Marc Staal was felled by a puck to the face, the Rangers bolstered their defense corps by adding veteran Roman Hamrlik, who was claimed off waivers from the Washington Capitals.
While there was no update on Staal's condition---after the Rangers' alternate captain was struck in and around his right eye by a puck deflected off the stick of Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek during the third period of Tuesday night's game vs. the Flyers---the Blueshirts made a valuable addition to their blueline in picking up Hamrlik, the 20-year NHL veteran. Though he had played in only four games with Washington this season---notching an assist and two penalty minutes---he was a +11 in 68 games with the Caps a year ago and was rock solid in the 2012 post-season, posting a +8 plus/minus rating playing in all 14 playoff games for Washington.
The 38 year-old Hamrlik has appeared in 1,383 NHL games, totaling 638 points and 1,402 penalty minutes. He was the first overall selection in the 1992 NHL Draft---and the first ever selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Rangers will be Hamrlik's seventh team---having previously played with the Lightning, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, and the Capitals.
No current NHL player has appeared in as many games as Hamrlik, who is also a three-time NHL All Star and a 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist with the Czech Republic.
It is expected that Hamrlik will join the Blueshirts in time for their game Thursday night on Long Island. In an intriguing twist, the Rangers are scheduled to skate in Washington against Hamrlik's most recent team, the Capitals, on Sunday afternoon.
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