4th liners the Rangers should now target
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05-18-2011, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Originally Posted by
Depending on what your definition of tough is: Other than Prust the Rangers don't really have anyone who can throw down the gloves. Shotblocking fine. Throwing checks fine. Keeping Lundqvist from getting run over--not so good. Sending messages when other teams mess with the better players--not so good either. IMO Prust is a middleweight and not enough. What I'd like is for the Rangers to find someone to help in this area who can take a regular shift and won't cost us a lot of cap space. Not an Orr or a Boogaard.
I love fighting as much as the next guy, but I'm not seeing the glaring need to engage other team's heavyweights in fights. I haven't seen a situation like we did few years ago when Brashear was out on the ice creating havoc and targeting every Ranger in site. You see less and less players in the league like the Brashear, Laraque, Worrell, Boogaard (r.i.p.) types. There's not as much of a need to have an "answer" to those types of players as there once was. I have to agree with the other poster above, this was one of the most physical and aggressive Ranger teams I can remember in a very long time. They went into the dirty areas of the ice, our defensemen got into opposing forwards faces when they hung out in the crease area, the team did not back down from skirmishes and scrums after whistles, and they stuck up for each other and created a team identity of toughness and solidarity. Rangers were ranked 1st in the league in hits.
Maybe you can find a heavyweight fighter who's not atrocious out on the ice, but at what cost? Maybe that roster spot is better served going to a player like Fedotenko who can contribute on the PK and in the offensive zone. Prust doesn't need to fight every guy who challenges him. I can't recall a situation this past season where we had to engage an opposing player in a fight to "send a message" or protect our guys. Earlier in the year when we played Philly, Boogaard was either a healthy scratch or he was injured, and Philly subsequently sat Shelley as a result. They obviously felt it would be a disadvantage to skate a player like Shelley in their line-up if we weren't doing the same on our end. I'm starting to favor that approach. Go with guys who can contribute on the ice first and foremost. Skating a heavyweight with limited hockey skills, can limit your depth up front in any given game. Can't roll 4 lines as easily and I think the Rangers in the coming years will have the depth to field 4 lines that can contribute in various ways out on the ice. I'd hate to see 2 forwards have their ice time drastically cut because one of their linemates doesn't have the conditioning or the defensive responsibility to play in Tortorella's uptempo/hard-skating system.
The more we have this conversation, it seems the shorter the list of 'acceptable candidates' is becoming. Not a lot of older guys still in the business. Seems a lot of the younger talent is more concerned about playing hockey than purely dropping the gloves. The league is changing. Unless there's an option out there willing to play for $700-900K max, I'm not sure I'm interested anymore.
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