Read: The Battle For The Final Spot On Defense

FalkAlain Vigneault noted last night that the Rangers have one decision to make on defense and it is who will be the seventh defenseman.

As noted by the NY Post and Newsday, the battle is between Justin Falk and Stu Bickel while Conor Allen will be sent to Hartford on Sunday.

Bickel and Falk are both on one-year, one-way deals. Bickel is at $750,000 while Falk is at $975,000 and would cost a $50,000 cap charge if he was sent to Hartford since his salary is above $925,000.

The NY Post notes that Bickel brings a physical element to the Rangers, something that they need, and his versatility and ability to play wing may give him an advantage.

Prior to the game last night, Alain Vigneault told the team’s website that he was hoping to have an answer on the seventh defenseman by the end of the night and that both Falk and Bickel played well.

Read: Stu Bickel Is Hoping For Another Chance

Last season, Stu Bickel played 16 games with the Rangers before being sent to Hartford and playing ten games.

Bickel is in NY and skating as he tries to make the Rangers as a depth defenseman this season.

He told the Rangers website, “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a clean slate. I’m not looking to make excuses for last season. I’m in really good shape right now and I am happy for the opportunity.”

“It was a difficult year for a lot of reasons but I am not putting any thought into what happened last year. “

He is a UFA after the season with a cap hit of $750,000 and has also played forward in his career.

For more on Bickel, CLICK HERE.

Note: The Defensive Depth Has Been Replaced

Yesterday, in the NY Post, Larry Brooks noted that the Rangers acquisition of Justin Falk and signing of Aaron Johnson spelled the end of Roman Hamrlik, Matt Gilroy and Steve Eminger’s time with the Rangers.

Hamrlik was claimed off of waivers by the Rangers on March 6 and played 12 regular season games for the Rangers and two playoff games.

Eminger has played three seasons for the Rangers and signed one-year contracts with them the last two summers. He played in 35 regular season games and 11 playoff games.

Gilroy signed an AHL contract and played the first half of the season with the Whale before signing an NHL contract after the lockout ended. He played 15 games for the Rangers in the regular season.

Stu Bickel is also on a one-way contract for this season with a cap hit of $750,000.

News: Stu Bickel Clears Waivers (Playing For The Whale Today)

12:24PM: Bob McKenzie says that Bickel will play for the Whale today.

12:10PM: According to Larry Brooks, Stu Bickel has cleared waivers.

The Rangers have 30 days to send Bickel down to Hartford before they need to place him on waivers again.

Bickel was placed on waivers yesterday.

Ken Daneyko said on HNL last night that he thought Stu Bickel had the potential to be a good 5th/6th defenseman.

Dave Maloney said he wasn’t sure bout placing Bickel on waivers as he falls into the category of players who stand up for his teammates and could develop into a role player.

When asked about Bickel yesterday,John Tortorella said ,“it certainly isn’t helping him to be bag skated every day. We will see what happens.”

NEWS: Stu Bickel On Waivers

Elliotte Friedman notes that the Rangers have placed Stu Bickel on waivers.

Bickel has one more year on his contract with a cap hit of $750,000.

He has played under ten minutes in 14 of his 16 games this season. Bickel is averaging 5:31 per game this season.

He last played on March 8th against Ottawa. Bickel has three fighting majors this season.

If Bickel clears waivers the Rangers would have 30 days to send him to Hartford. After 30 days the Rangers would have to place Bickel on waivers again.

Read: Will Stu Bickel Be Taken Out Of The Lineup on Wednesday?

On Saturday, Stu Bickel played 5:32, had one hit and two giveaways to go with a fight.

On Sunday, Bickel played 14:15, had one hit, three blocked shots, a roughing penalty and was beaten by Joe Vitale on what ended up being Tyler Kennedy’s goal.

Steve Zipay writes at Newsday that he would probably insert Matt Gilroy into the lineup to replace Bickel.