Rangers claim Woywitka off waivers

The Rangers have claimed defenseman Jeff Woywitka off waivers, the team announced.

Woywitka, 28, was placed on waivers by Montreal Wednesday; he spent the past two seasons with the Dallas Stars.

The Rangers picked up the Vermilion, Alberta native to bolster their back end after having to place injured defenseman Marc Staal (post-concussion headaches) on injured reserve Wednesday.

Although the team has recently expressed interest in veteran defenseman Paul Mara, that door appears to be shut with Woywitka the preferred alternative.

Woywitka is on a one-year, two way deal worth $650,000 (NHL)/ $105, 000 (AHL).

To make room for Woywitka, the Rangers assigned defenseman Stu Bickel to CT Whale.