New York Rangers return to the ice
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The New York Rangers enjoyed that fun and relaxing week off, but it’s now time to get back to work as the team held practice Friday afternoon.

The New York Rangers are ready to get back to work. The team held their first post “bye” week practice today at their training center.

Before the team hit the ice, the Rangers execute a call-up via the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack as popular Vinni Lettieri is now back with the big club. He’ll play on Saturday against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden (1 p.m. ET face-off).

As has been the case at recent practices, the players on the ice, as well as the lines Alain Vigneault constructs in practice, is always the main topic of conversation.

Friday’s practice was no exception as it appeared that forward Paul Carey and defenseman Brendan Smith would be scratched for Saturday’s game. Pavel Buchnevich will return to the lineup, playing on the fourth line, and Steven Kampfer will stay in the lineup for a second straight game.

Status of Kevin Hayes

Kevin Hayes skated in practice, but his status for Saturday’s game was still up in the air. Hayes suffered a lower body injury in the early minutes of the first period against the Las Vegas Golden Knights last Saturday and did not return to the game.

Per a tweet by Steve Zipay of Newsday, Alain Vigneault thinks Hayes is “50/50” to play in Saturday’s game. If Hayes can’t play, J.T. Miller would move to center and one would assume Carey would be back in the lineup.

The Rangers will need to get their lines in order as the team will play eight games in the next 13 days as the team heads into the NHL All-Star break.

The injury bug has been biting the Rangers in recent week sand with the uncertainty of Kevin Hayes and the Chris Kreider long term blood clot injury, the team is going to have to find a way to score more goals than they have been with the lineup they are going with right now.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at