After clearing waivers, forward Dan Fritsche was traded to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Erik Reitz. It appears, that for the first time this season, the Rangers will carry seven defensemen. The 6-foot-1 and 210 Reitz was the Wild’s 6th round draft pick (170th overall) in the 2000 NHL Draft.

After spending a couple of cups of coffee with the Wild in the three previous season, he has appeared in a career high 31 games with a goal and an assist and 41 PIM. Prior to this season, Reitz had only accumulated 4 PIM in previous NHL games. Reitz was scratched in nine of his last ten games with his last appearance on January 9, 2009.

Reitz does help the power play, but he does give the Rangers a defensive defenseman option and allows Corey Potter and Bobby Sanguinetti to play regularly for Hartford rather than sitting on the bench in New York. The trade also lends a little help as far as salary cap implications go because Reitz’s salary for the season was $500,000 while Fritsche’s salary for 2008/2009 was $875,000.

Tom Renney offered this lukewarm assessment of his newest Ranger.

“He’s got some toughness. He’s got an edge to him. I don’t know if that’s his forte, but his penalty minutes would certainly suggest he’s capable of handling himself and taking care of his teammates.”

The “Toronto Star” offers the following scouting report on Reitz:
ASSETS: Has good size for the defense position. Likes to play a physical game. Is at his best when he plays a stay-at-home style.
FLAWS: Lacks mobility and coordination. Must adapt to the speed of the game at the highest level in order to finally make his mark in the NHL.
CAREER POTENTIAL: No. 6 or 7 defenseman.

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