Vinni Lettieri sent down to Hartford
After being a healthy scratch in the last two games, Vinni Lettieri has been sent back down to the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL.
Lettieri skated 7:12 TOI against the Boston Bruins on Feb. 6 and 5:51 TOI against the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 8. Given how little ice time he saw, it’s unsurprising that he was able to make much of an impression. In the Rangers last two games, David Quinn opted to dress seven defensemen at the expense of getting the undrafted 24-year-old forward some more NHL ice time.
Lettieri has 12 goals and 15 assists in 29 games with the Wolf Pack this season. The Wolf Pack host the Toronto Marlies at 7:00 p.m. tonight. Hartford has just a single victory in their last 10 games. They can definitely use Lettieri’s ability to get shots on net.
Brett Howden, who is out of the Rangers lineup with an MCL sprain, was considered to be three-to-four weeks away from a return to the lineup on Jan. 31. So, it’s unlikely that he’s ready for a return this far ahead of schedule.
With Lettieri in the AHL, the Rangers have 11 healthy forwards in the lineup. It is worth mentioning that we’ve seen Brendan Smith skate a few shifts at forward in the games where Quinn rolls with seven defensemen. Whether or not we’ll see that again on Feb. 15 against the Sabres remains to be seen. It’s also possible that we’ll see Lettieri get called back up before Friday’s game in Buffalo.
Author: Mike Murphy