The New York Rangers’ Oscar Lindberg had hip surgery this past Friday. The Swedish winger had a decent rookie season, but this will halt his growth as a player.
By Jay Travers
The New York Rangers season came to such an abrupt stop in April against Pittsburgh. Even today, it is hard to think about all the things that went wrong during that series.
But that’s done and over with; it’s time to look towards next year, and a good place to start is getting fixed up.
While it is a good thing that the surgery is done now and in the off season, the time-table for return does not look too hot.
Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said that Lindberg would be out for six months. If this be true, No. 24 won’t be back until October or November.
Losing a month of the season is not good, especially for such a young player. He will be missing training camp, so it will be difficult to crack the line up while missing that.
Lindberg had a good rookie season putting up 13 goals and 15 assists in all of 68 games played. 28 points is not bad for a rookie player, but it is Lindberg’s speed that makes him a threat.
The dump and chase game could be played very well if Lindberg is skating at top speed. Clocking in at 6’1 and weighing 190 lbs, he’s not the biggest skater but he can out work defenders and speed past them.
Do not forget the classic “sophomore slump” that most second year players find themselves in (Kevin Hayes?). This will be a good test for the Swede, if he can come back and work harder from his injury.
The Rangers will be missing Lindberg’s speed for the first month or so of the season. The Blueshirts, as a whole, seem fast on paper but did not always have the speed last season.