Rangers' Blake Wheeler to miss rest of regular season

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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Blake Wheeler's regular season is over after falling to the ice and injuring his right leg, and it might take the New York Rangers going on a lengthy playoff run to open the door for a possible return this spring.

Wheeler was placed on injured reserve Friday.

Wheeler went down in pain and his right leg bent at an unnatural angle 11 minutes into New York's win over Montreal on Thursday night. He was unable to put weight on that leg and needed help getting off the ice.

It's unlikely that he will be able to return in the playoffs, which begin April 22, but the Rangers are not ruling out that possibility depending on Wheeler's recovery and how far they advance. The last possible day for the Stanley Cup Final is June 24.

Wheeler, 37, has 21 points in 54 games in his first season with the team after being bought out of his previous contract last summer by Winnipeg.

"He's a veteran player who came here for a reason," coach Peter Laviolette said after his team's 7-4 win over the Canadiens. "To see something like that happen, that's tough."

The Rangers have won six in a row and are in first place in the Metropolitan Division. They next play outdoors at MetLife Stadium on Sunday against the rival New York Islanders in the second of back-to-back Stadium Series games at the home of the NFL's Jets and Giants.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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