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Saturday, March 23, 2013
Miller day to day; Halpern claimed

By Matt Ehalt

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Rangers rookie J.T. Miller is day to day with a sore left wrist that he suffered Thursday against Florida. An X-ray came back negative Thursday, and Miller didn't practice Saturday.

With Miller iffy, the Rangers recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut (AHL).

"I tried shooting [Saturday], it's pretty much when I put pressure on my stick," Miller said. "The tendons are really loose. It's tough to shoot."

Miller, 20, suffered the injury in the second period of the Rangers' 3-1 loss to the Panthers. Miller believes he jammed it as he pushed off the boards. He played 13:18 and had four shots on goal.

"Took a shot there in the second period and I felt it after that," Miller said. "Every time throughout the game whether I passed or shot the tendons pop every time."

Miller tried giving it a go during practice on Saturday, skating at the beginning and inadvertently crashing into goalie Henrik Lundqvist, but he didn't stay on the ice for long. His left wrist was heavily taped and he said he will try to test it Sunday morning before the Rangers face the Capitals.

HALPERN CLAIMED: As the Rangers wait on the status of Miller, they found out Saturday that Montreal claimed veteran forward Jeff Halpern off waivers. Halpern skated at the beginning of practice but left around the time the news broke that he would be joining Montreal.

"He goes to the top of the conference," Tortorella said of Halpern joining the Eastern Conference's second-best team. "I've known Jeff a long time. It's never easy doing those things but we're looking for a little bit of flexibility and that's where it falls. We wish him the best. He's a good man."

Halpern signed a one-year deal during the summer but failed to get going offensively as he had just one assist on the season. His playing time took a dive lately as he played just 3:41 against Florida, and played more than 10 minutes just once in the past 13 games.

Despite his brief stay on Broadway, the 36-year-old earned rave reviews from his teammates.

"It's good to see him get claimed," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "He's been a good pro for a lot of years and it's good he gets a chance to go play somewhere. If it wasn't going to work here we're happy for him he gets to still play."

WAIVE GOODBYE: The Rangers also placed forward/defenseman Stu Bickel on waivers on Saturday. Bickel had played just 16 games this year, last appearing on March 8 against Ottawa. Tortorella said it didn't help Bickel to consistently be scratched on game day.

"I gotta say I'm a little surprised but it's one of those things where hopefully it ends up being what's best for me," Bickel said. "Kind of wait and see right now."