The New York Rangers have finally rid their farm club of a headache by reassigning veteran forward Patrick Rissmiller to Grand Rapids of the AHL.
With the Wolf Pack already up against the AHL’s limit of six veterans, Rissmiller’s reassignment was needed in order to fit Matheiu Dandenault, who signed a professional tryout contract with the club on Wednesday. It will also allow rookie center Paul Crowder, who’s been a pleasant surprise with six points in his first six games, to get more ice time.
Rissmiller has been taking up space in Hartford since being waived and sent down by the Rangers last December, a mere five months after signing a ridiculously lucrative three year deal worth $1 million per annum. The 30-year old forward failed to win a spot on the roster in New York amid rumors attitude problems, and after spending two weeks with the Pack on a conditioning stint in November, was finally reassigned for good on December 2, 2008.
He fared no better in New York under new head coach John Tortorella this fall and was among the early cuts from camp.
Unfortunately, his contract with the Rangers remains in effect despite his reassignment to Grand Rapids, meaning he remains on the Rangers books and, baring a trade or summer buyout, will be back in training camp with the club one last time next fall.
Despite the indignity of being exiled to the AHL, the Belmont, MA native and Holy Cross College graduate had things pretty good in Hartford. He was making $1 million a year — far more than any of his teammates — and got to live relatively close to family and friends. He was granted leeway by the team regarding team events and practices. All he had to do was show up for games and pretend like he was trying. He couldn’t even do that. In fact, his utter nonchalance during the Wolf Pack’s playoff elimination game last spring ranks as the worst effort I’ve ever witnessed by a professional hockey player.
And so, in the words of Charles Dickens, I say “good riddance to bad rubbish!” May the extended road trips of the western conference give him ample time to think about all the things he looked like he’d rather have been doing when he was out on the ice with the Pack.
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