New York Rangers Claim Matt Puempel Off Waivers

September 29, 2016: Senators Matt Puempel battling with Canadiens Mikhail Sergachev for the puck during the Ottawa Senators versus the Montreal Canadiens preseason game at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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On Sunday evening, the Ottawa Senators assigned forward Matt Puempel on waivers. Also occurring last night, in the New York Rangers versus Florida Panthers game, was the injury of Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad.  Zibanejad collided into the boards at full speed and ended up fracturing his fibula, which will now sideline him for six to eight weeks. The Rangers, now in need of a forward, claimed former Senator Matt Puempel off of waivers. Puempel will help add depth to the Rangers forward lines until the injured Zibanejad returns around New Years.

Last season, Matt Puempel had 30 points in 34 American Hockey League games while playing for the Senators affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.  This season, Puempel got the call up to play at the National Hockey League level, but went pointless in 13 games played with the club.  The Senators were not impressed by Puempel’s play and in the end, placed him on the waiver wire.

Mika Zibanejad was traded by the Senators this summer to the Rangers in exchange for Derick Brassard.  In 19 games played for the Blueshirts this season, he has scored five goals and has added 10 assists.  The loss of Zibanejad certainly hurts the Rangers, but by claiming Puempel, they add depth and fill in the empty slot left by Zibanejad.  Puempel will most likely play a bottom six roll with the Rangers until the injured Mika Zibanejad returns.

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