Micheal Haley
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York Rangers winger Micheal Haley is out indefinitely as he recovers from bilateral core muscle surgery.

The New York Rangers will be without forward Micheal Haley for the foreseeable future. The team announced via Twitter that he’ll be out indefinitely as he recovers from bilateral core muscle surgery.

Haley hasn’t been a big part of the team’s rotation this year. Appearing in only 22 games thus far, he’s averaging just over 5.5 minutes when he does play. He has one goal and zero assists over those 22 games. It’s a stat line that’s bad for anyone, especially a forward.

He has lost playing time to players like converted defenseman Brendan Smith and Phillip Di Giuseppe, the latter of which has four NHL points since the start of the 2018-19 season. Haley is one of the last enforcers in a league that has come to realize that having players who are good at playing hockey is preferable to having players who can take punches

Haley’s injury probably locks Smith in the lineup every night, although Di Giuseppe, Vinni Lettieri, and Steven Fogarty could potentially push for some chances in the NHL. It’s unlikely that this injury will result in the call-up of top prospect Vitali Kravtsov. The Blueshirts presumably want him in a top-nine role if — and when — they recall him.

This injury likely kills the Rangers’ chances at landing a seventh-round pick for Haley before the deadline like they did with Cody McLeod last season.

Haley has 32 points across a 10-season NHL career. With this injury and the lack of enforcer roles around the league, it’s possible that this is the end of the line for him.

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