New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
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It was reported that New York Rangers forward Oscar Lindberg may make an early return, but should fans be alarmed by his recent comments?

No matter what your level of New York Rangers fandom may be, we can probably all agree that this team will need all hands on deck in order to be successful throughout the 2016-17 season.

The upper-echelon players will need be reliable, and the younger players will need to grow into their potential.

Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, and to a lesser extent Pavel Buchnevich, will all need to be noticeable on the ice night in and night out.

And then there is Oscar Lindberg.

The Swedish forward started off last season red hot, scoring four goals in his first three games.

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You could have called it beginner’s luck, but there was more to Lindberg’s play upon closer examination.

The rookie demonstrated good hockey sense and a fluid stride, both of which are invaluable traits for a young player.

As one would expect, Lindberg’s production eventually cooled off, and he assumed his role of a rookie that struggled to produce.

A lack of production lead to healthy scratches, and Lindberg’s underwhelming rookie season would finally come to a close with a grand total of only 13 goals and 15 assists.

We would eventually learn that Lindberg was dealing with a hip-injury that would require surgery.

Following a successful surgery, it was revealed that the Ranger sophomore would possibly miss six months for recovery, marking late November as a possible return date.

It wasn’t great news, but manageable nonetheless.

That is, until Lindberg revealed to Janne Bengtsson (a Swedish reporter for NHL.com) that he could return faster than what was first reported.

But if you read the interview, which will require some (bad) translation, there are more than a few red flags about Lindberg’s initial injury.

Basically, Lindberg was suffering from hip issues because of how he positioned his feet. When your feet are in the correct position, the muscles relax and are able to move with a normal range-of-motion.

But if the feet are not positioned correctly, the muscles are not able to relax properly, which eventually leads to hip strain.

So to combat his bad foot position, Lindberg has been experimenting with an apparatus which corrects his foot position and relaxes his muscles.

But add ice skates to the equation, and we may have an explanation as to why Lindberg was a ghost for the latter months of the 2015-16 season.

So how will he aide this issue on the ice?

Molded ice skates, of course.

Lindberg will experiment with custom ice skates to help fix his foot issues.

So, in order to stay healthy, Lindberg will not only have to fix his foot positioning (which will obviously impact his skating stride), but also adapted to a brand new, custom skate.

Listen, I’m no pro, but with my limited hockey experience I can tell you that any small change to a player’s stride will greatly impact his play.

Add to that a new skate, and you have to wonder if Oscar Lindberg will even look like Oscar Lindberg next season.

Where will his mind be? On how he is skating, or the play in front of him?

We’re in for quite a ride folks.

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