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McLeod Expected to Make Rangers Debut Thursday Against Leafs

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Cody McLeod is expected to make his Rangers debut Thursday night when the team hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.

The gritty 33-year-old forward was claimed by New York on waivers last Thursday after appearing in 23 games this season with the Nashville Predators, and practiced with the team on Tuesday for the first time.

Coach Alain Vigneault said McLeod will bring an energy and a physical element to his team, while also giving them another option in terms of their forward depth.

McLeod, who has 713 NHL games to his name, said he won't be changing anything upon his arrival in New York.

"I'm not going to change my game," said McLeod, who has 1,524 career penalty minutes. "Bring some energy and the physical part. I think the biggest thing is just energy and whatever I can do to help the team."

McLeod said the biggest thing he's noticed from facing the Rangers under Vigneault over the years is the team's speed game and the fact that they're playing meaningful games every spring.

"They're always in the mix, always in the playoff hunt," he said. "You knew every time coming into MSG that it was going to be a fast game and lots of skill. Obviously great goaltending. You knew you were in for a tough game every night."

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