New York Rangers Prepare for Philly as Former Top Pick Lias Andersson Bolts from Organization

New York Rangers, Alexandar Georgiev

In the long history of the New York Rangers, they have probably had a least a few people that were not pleased with being part of their organization. The latest disgruntled employee is former 2017 first-round pick Lias Andersson, who left the AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack over the weekend.

Andersson never won the confidence of the coaching staff

The youngster from Sweden never won over the coaching staff’s confidence to play beyond the fourth line or allowing him to see time with the power- play or penalty-killing units. As a top prospect, he probably has every right to be upset with the amount of ice time he received and his bottom-six usage through his 66 NHL career games. In those games, he averaged a little over 10 minutes per game while scoring nine points.  The Rangers demoted him to Hartford in mid-November, where he played in 13 games for the Wolf Pack scoring four goals with five total points. On Saturday, Andersson officially requested a trade before leaving the team altogether.  The Rangers then suspended Andersson, per Larry Brooks of the New York Post.  The NHL is in the middle of its roster holiday freeze until Dec. 28, at which time the Rangers can trade him if they can find a suitable trade partner. Andersson’s actions have unfortunately lessened his value on the trade market and finding value for a disgruntled former first-round pick will be difficult.

Rangers look for two wins in a row at Philadelphia

As a little side note to this game, it will be Alain Vigneault’s first regular-season game since the Rangers let him go in April of 2018. After taking a year off of coaching, Vigneault’s Flyers are 20-11-5 through 36 games, marking a big improvement from last season when the Flyers were 15-16-5 through the same amount of games. Vigneault does not have any bitter feelings toward the Rangers, realizing that this is part of the business. He referred to the Rangers as a first-class organization.

The Blueshirts have a tough task ahead of them. The Flyers come into tonight’s game with a three-game winning streak and they have also won three straight at home and are tied with the Islanders for the best winning percentage on home ice this season.  The Rangers will need to continue the momentum sustained from yesterday’s win to keep pace with the Flyers. Puck drop is at 7 PM.