Over the past 24 hours the Rangers have made several moves that have resulted in the team's reducing its roster by three players, at least for the short term.
Forward Wojtek Wolski and defenseman Jeff Woywitka both accepted two-week conditioning stints with the Connecticut Whale on Thursday, and then Friday morning the Rangers traded forward Erik Christensen and a conditional seventh round draft pick in 2013 to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for versatile forward Casey Wellman. Wellman was then assigned to the Whale.
Of the 24 year old Wellman, Rangers head coach John Tortorella said, "In talking with (Rangers assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld) I know that (Wellman) plays all forward positions...and he's a hard-working guy that has some skill."
At the same time Wellman joins the Rangers organization, Christensen departs it, after spending parts of three seasons in New York.
"(Christensen) gets another opportunity," said Tortorella of the forward who had not played in a game with the Rangers since December 17th. "He had some opportunities here, and is a great guy. I wish the best to him."
Tortorella was most pleased that Wolski, who has played only three games since November 3rd---due to sports hernia surgery and then healthy scratches, and Woywitka, who has played only two games since December 17th, accepted the conditioning stints in the minor leagues.
"It's the best thing for them," said the head coach. "Because if they do get an opportunity, or if we sit to make a change, or if there is an injury---you can bag skate them until the cows come home, it doesn't help them---they need to play. We had to get their permission, and it was seamless. They wanted to go do it, and that's a good sign."
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