New York Rangers News: Mats Zuccarello Sent To AHL, Kris Newbury Recalled From Whale

Following the New York Rangers 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders, the team sent down winger Mats Zuccarello to the Connecticut Whale (AHL) and recalled Kris Newbury.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise because of the praise coach John Tortorella lapped on the 24-year-old during the preseason for his improvement over last season. The slight (5-foot-7) Norwegian appeared overwhelmed, at times, and needed to adjust to the smaller rink sizes. He played just under 8 minutes Saturday after playing 7:28 the game before.  Zuccarello had one shot on goal with no points on the year.

"I just have have to go down and try my best and see what happens," Zuccarello said to The Record's Andrew Gross. "Obviously, I'm disappointed. It'd be strange if I wasn't."

In reality, Zuccarello was a bit miscast as a fourth liner as he's more of an offense-first player. The amount of penalties the Rangers have taken early on have certainly impacted his ice time, but let's also be honest here: Beyond his shootout prowess, he hasn't been all that noticeable on offense early in his career, and he really doesn't offense much on the defensive side. That's not to say he won't ever be good at the NHL level, but he isn't in a great situation when he's playing 10 shifts a game.

Newbury has has five points (three goals) in three games in the AHL, though he has four goals and four assists in 59 career games. His forte is the physical game, and that he's not afraid to drop the globs. He's definitely a better fit for limited minutes on the fourth line.

He was demoted (and he's injured now), but I can't resist: Paging Sean Avery ...

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