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Halpern Claimed; Asham To Return

Veteran center Jeff Halpern was claimed on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens Saturday afternoon, ending his tenure with the Rangers after only 30 games. Halper, who signed a one-year free agent contract with the Rangers this past summer, had appeared inevery game the Blueshirts had played so far in 2013, and had produced one assist and totaled eight penalty minutes with a -5 plus/minus rating while centering the fourth line and playing on the penalty killing unit.

"I have known Jeff a long time, and it's never easy to do these things, but we're looking for a little bit of flexibility and that's where it falls," explained Rangers head coach John Tortorella. "I wish him the best. He's a good man."

Thisa will be his second go-around with the Canadiens. The 13-year vet spent the 2010-11 season with Montreal, appearing in 72 games.

"I got to know Jeff pretty well these past few months and he's a really good guy," center Brian Boyle said after practice Saturday. "He'll be missed here in the room, but I wish him the best of luck."

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The Rangers had two practices on Saturday. Halpern took part in the first practice, an hour-long session before zambonis cleared the ice for a second practice which focused on the power play. Halpern was claimed by Montreal between the two workouts and was packing up while his former teammates took to the ice for Round Two on Saturday.

The top two lines remained intact during practice, while Taylor Pyatt replaced J.T. Miller on the third line with Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle. Miller was off ice receiving treatment for a sore wrist.

The fourth line featured Arron Asham, Darroll Powe, and Halpern, until the veteran center was claimed on waivers by Montreal. Asham looked good out on the ice and proclaimed himself ready to return from his back injury.

"I feel good enough to get in there tomorrow," explained Asham after practice. "It's the coach's decision, and hopefully I can get in. It's been a long time and I'm itching to get back at it."

Asham, who has scored on goal this season, has missed 15 consecutive games due to the sore back. He said on Saturday that it is still a little stiff, but that he has no doubts that he'll be able to play through it.

"It's going to be nice to get out there, get in the flow of the game---and every game is like a playoff game for us right now, and I seem to thrive on those types of games," said Asham. "I just want to bring some life to the team and get things rolling here."

What do you think of Jeff Halpern being claimed off waivers, and of Arron Asham's imminent return to the lineup? Let us know below.

Mar 23 - 3:54pm
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