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St. Louis offers move to center in wake of Stepan injury

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 02: Martin St. Louis #26 of the New York Rangers handles the puck in the corner against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 02, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Justin K. Aller

Martin St. Louis, who has played the wing almost exclusively over his 15-year-career, is willing to make a move to the middle if the Rangers need it.

From the New York Daily News:

Alain Vigneault received a text message Wednesday night from veteran Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis, hours after top center Derek Stepan had broken his left leg during training camp.

“If you need me in the middle, I’m ready,” St. Louis wrote, knowing Stepan will be out 4-6 weeks.

While Vigneault said thanks but no thanks -- for now -- St. Louis’ offer underscores how desperate things are for the Rangers down the middle. With Stepan hurt, Brad Richards in Chicago and Brian Boyle in Tampa Bay, the Blueshirts will star the season without three of their top centers from last year’s Stanley Cup run (only Derick Brassard and Dominic Moore remain).

It’s expected that former first-rounder J.T. Miller will get a shot at an increased role in light of the Stepan injury, as will veteran Matthew Lombardi.