Injured Rangers center Derek Stepan met with the doctors over the weekend and on Monday head coach Alain Vigneault announced that Stepan would miss the next 4-6 weeks of action. Stepan broke two ribs during Friday's game in Boston against the Bruins, and the Rangers previously had stated only that he would be sidelined indefinitely.
It is the second straight season that Stepan will miss significant playing time. Last season sat out 14 games due to injury, including the entire month of October due to a fractured leg. Over the first four seasons of his NHL career Stepan did not miss a single regular season game, and only one in the post-season when he suffered a broken jaw in the 2014 Eastern Conference Final.
Vigneault said that for the time being no other player will be called up from Hartford and added to the Rangers roster to take Stepan's place. Currently the team has 12 healthy forwards and seven healthy defensemen. He added that if a player is needed this week it will be easy to make a recall from Hartford since the Rangers are in New York all week, with three games at home at MSG and one game in Brooklyn on Wednesday against the Islanders.
In 23 games played this season Stepan has scored six goals, added six assists and totaled 12 points. He is tied for 6th among all Blueshirts in scoring.