The Rangers will have their heart, soul and conscience return in short order.
Head coach Alain Vigneault announced Ryan Callahan is scheduled to return from a broken thumb in 7-10 days, and the captain confirmed the coach’s estimate following the morning skate at the Garden prior to Thursday night’s game against the Sabres.
“It feels good,” said Callahan, who wore a yellow, non-contact jersey during the skate. He broke the thumb blocking a shot in the final minutes of the 2-0 win over the Capitals on Oct. 16. “First day handling pucks, stick handling, passing. It felt good.”
Callahan admitted feeling frustrated about the injury after spending the summer rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn left labrum.
“It sucks,” Callahan said. “I felt it the first couple days. I was pissed off. You don’t want to get hurt like this, especially coming back after an injury. After that initial shock, that initial disappointment, you get the mindset of, ‘Let’s heal and let’s get back.’ That’s the approach I have now.”
Moulsen on trade to Sabres
The incongruity was not lost on Matt Moulson.
A key component to the rebuilding of the Islanders now finds himself as part of another franchise overhaul, after being traded from Long Island to Buffalo Sunday night. The Islanders also sent a 2014 first-round pick — which, reportedly, could be deferred to 2015 — and a 2015 second-round pick along with Moulson in exchange for Thomas Vanek.
“I think it’s tough anytime you leave somewhere where you feel you put in so much time and effort and work to help the team succeed,” Moulson said after the Sabres early skate at the Garden. “I had been with those guys for a long time, growing together and getting better together. So that’s tough but as I say, you get over it pretty quickly. The young guys here, much like when I went to the Islanders, [are] a lot of energetic guys, enthusiastic about playing in the NHL, wanting to learn and get better.
“They have a lot of young guys who are good players with a lot of potential.”
But Moulson might not be a member of the NHL-worst Sabres for long. Moulson is an unrestricted free agent this summer and there is a belief that Sabres general manager Darcy Regier may trade the league’s fourth-leading goal scorer for draft picks or young players closer to the trade deadline.
“I think that’s obviously something that everyone’s brought up to me — no one within the organization — [but] obviously a lot of media questions about it,” Moulson said. “I think it’s a similar attitude as I had with the Islanders. I didn’t have a contract past the year and I always said take it day by day, and make sure I’m getting better and doing whatever I can to help the team win. So that’s what I’m going to do here — help whoever I can, share some knowledge I’ve gained in the last few years and if it’s for a couple months, a year, a couple years I don’t think my game style changes at all. I’m going to go out there and try to score goals and help this team win.”
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.