Eminger Was Unnecessary

July 26, 2011, by

Steve Eminger performed admirably last season, especially when he stepped up in to a more prominent role due to injury. However, re-signing him this season was a signing for the sake of it, regardless of his minimal cost (disagreeing with The Suit here). Unlike many Rangers fan’s, I struggle to agree with the desperation to have the clichéd ‘veteran depth defenseman’. If the blue line is good enough its old enough and Marc Staal and Dan Girardi are that experienced already that they could impart their experiences on the others.

The only benefit I can see from the Eminger re-hiring is that it likely means a player with limited upside is in the press box instead of a genuine prospect. That said, I’d much rather not have an extra body in the way of Valentenko or Kundratek’s progress through the ranks. If these kids are genuinely NHL calibre and, as so often mooted, close to NHL ready why shove another player in their way? Let the carrot be close enough to bite at. Let these players be close enough to the NHL they can almost touch it. Eminger hinders this.

Another issue; the Rangers should be better next year and could upset some teams if when they make the playoffs (not on the last day of school this time guys…) but as I have stated multiple times they are still at least one season’s worth of development from truly making some noise. If that is the case then bring the kids up and let ‘em learn however if the Rangers are beginning (internally) to think ‘win now’ then Eminger isn’t the right calibre of veteran anyway.

At $800k per year Eminger can’t be a big mistake. He makes a small amount of the cap and is on a minimal term deal but I can’t help feeling that this was a pointless move. Give me the kids instead. I’m betting Kundratek can give me at least the same 6 points Eminger had and V-Tank can give me the physicality Eminger provides.  Unfortunately for Rangers fans it seems they’ll likely be showing off their talents in the AHL next season.


  1. joey says:

    more to playing defense in the NHL than physicality and points

  2. Matt J says:

    1) A right handed defenseman for us at this point in time isn’t bad.

    2) He’s reliable, and you know what you are getting.

    3) Do you want to bank completely on MDZ coming back better than ever?

    4) If the young kids step up he can be scratched from the lineup no problem.

    5) it’s only 800k.

    Eminger wasn’t unnecessary. He sets up competition in camp and doesn’t guarantee anything to the young kids, A little competition never hurt anyone.

    • Chris says:

      It’s not only 800k. If we have to move/cut/demote a player purely because of money and then we have Eminger sitting in the stands then its a lot more than ‘only 800k’.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Exactly, Matt. This is much ado about nothing. Simple expedience, bottom-line dollars and sense.

      Sure, Anton Babchuk, Cory Sarich, Bubba Beck would’ve provided an upgrade. But, as Matt said, we know what we got here, a veteran team-first personality, a la one of the ’94 Black Aces, at sub-$1M.

      Let’s see how it plays out at camp.

  3. The Suit says:

    If the youth is ready for NHL duty and Eminger goes to the press box, how is he in the way? That doesn’t make much sense to me.

    And it’s not like Torts plays veterans over youth. When the kids are ready, he goes with them.

    Sorry dawg, this seems like we’re stretching here…

    • Chris says:

      dude, if he’s in the box then its valuable money wasted. If he’s on the ice a kid is being blocked.

      I’d rather throw a kid in and find out he needs more seasoning then never find out at all. You know I don’t value pre season games against diluted competition, let alone this coming season against inferior European teams during a pre season when most kids wont make the trip anyway.

      • The Suit says:

        I don’t know if 800K in the box is money wasted. I mean most healthy scratches are going to cost you the same if not more. If he’s on the ice, it means someone a lot younger than him isn’t ready for primetime. I can see Zen’s point about perhaps Eminger not being that guy, but to be against the concept of a veteran 7th dman is a bit…interesting.

  4. Zen says:

    I am in agreement with this, but mainly because I don’t understand what so many fans see in Eminger. He stepped up at mid-season due to injuries and that was the extent of his productiveness this season. He was terrible to start and he sat while McCabe & Gilroy played at the end of the season. I don’t get why Torts wanted him back to be honest. I hope he is just our precautionary 7th D and not taking a spot away from a guy like V-tank. If the kids aren’t ready, then it is what it is.

    In general, I really don’t know why the team didn’t pay a little extra to get Babchuk and his bomb from the point on the PP. Though I like Wolski and want him to stay, I mentally could justify buying him out to get a PP shot on this team.

    • Zen says:

      Just to add… I didn’t think that a veteran D was unnecessary, but rather I just don’t understand why Eminger would be the guy. He is just a body who provides no redeeming qualities IMO.

    • Bleed Blue says:

      Right handed shot, all other prospects are left handed.

  5. HARLEMBLUES says:

    I agreed Chris. The competition in camp should be amongist the kids MDZ,V-Tank,Kundratek and Erixon.Marc Staal is an All-Star time 2lead. Turn this team over to Staal,Callahan,Dubinsky and let’s go forward Eminger we’ve done that already.This team is a year or 2 away from a real run a the cup Eminger wouldn’t even be here he just slows the developement of a young player who will.

  6. Section 121 says:

    Well, if you consider Valentenko, Kundratek, and Erixon are fighting for the last spot, when only one of them makes it, we don’t want one of the others sitting in the press box. I’d rather someone like Eminger sitting and the youth that don’t make the sixth spot can get good minutes in the AHL.

    And yes, I have full faith that MDZ will not be one of the ones fighting for a spot. I would start him on the 2nd pair with Girardi or Sauer. When this team makes it deep run in the next few years (hopefully all the way), it will be MDZ on the first pairing leading the charge.

    • Section 121 says:

      By the way, if you don’t agree with that statement, then this team is really not going to be a contender without MDZ playing that role and we should have drafted Cam Fowler.

      • Matt J says:

        Mcilrath and mdz looks nice. Next year mcilrath should be on this team. Girardi will not make it throughout the life of his contract.

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          I agreed trade Girardi when the time comes.

        • Hoggo says:

          I don’t see McIlrath on the Rangers until he’s spent at least a year in Hartford. Earliest I give him fulltime is the 2013-14 season, unless he’s called up as as an injury replacement in the long-term.

  7. Mikeyyyy says:

    The way our d plays we were lucky none were sidelined for long periods of time.

    And most players can’t play with broken testicles like Girardi did last year.

    So expect more injuries this year. Emminger will fill a hole and vtank/kundratek will see playing time.

  8. Sioux-per-man says:

    I look at it as an experienced insurance policy, if one of our top D get injured. I think Torts liked how he played last year, he played with some “Jam” back there, and didn’t make to many mistakes. Then when needed he was playing 20 minutes a game. As a 7th D man, for 800K, is a bargain with experience. He can always be moved for that price.

    Now who makes the team from the prospects? Erixon, Valentenko, Kundratek, Del Zotto. If they don’t play Valentenko soon they will lose him to the KHL. Mcllrath is years away, however Fowler isn’t – why we didn’t take him last year is beyond me.

  9. KC says:

    I’m sure they went out and signed Richards fully expecting to be a Cup contender with Kundratek getting 15 minutes a night! Really, you expect the Rangers to go with 4 1st or 2nd year Dmen when they obviously consider themselves an uppper echelon team?

    • Section 121 says:

      Well, like it or not, that’s what they will do no matter who plays – Sauer, McDonagh, Erixon, Valentenko, Kundratek, MDZ (mostly) are all going to be 1st or 2nd year Dmen. 4 out of 6 will play and Eminger will sit.