Anisimov’s Precarious Rangers Future

When the same thing happens season after season you begin to wonder whether a player truly is developing or whether he has already hit his ceiling. Artem Anisimov, every year with the Rangers, has had spells where he looks like a great piece for the future and then periods when he disappears.

Anisimov is pointless in twelve (yes, twelve) games prior to Thursday’s Penguins game. That’s almost impossible given his line mates for the majority of those games and even lately with a reduced role Anisimov is still averaging over 15 minutes/game on the season. That’s plenty of opportunity to make an offensive contribution, one that his team needs.

The Russian is still on pace to hit 40 points for the season but that’s just it. Is the talented forward topping out as a 40 point player or do people still see his skill set, his size and age and think (hope?) he can make it to a 60 point player? It’s looking less likely with every additional barren streak.

What’s more, Anisimov is moving himself into dangerous territory. Derek Stepan has made himself almost untouchable as he develops nicely this year. With Gaborik, Richards and Callahan going nowhere anytime soon and Brandon Dubinsky (prior to injury) showing signs of getting back to his normal, top six self, should the Rangers look to make a significant addition this season Anisimov may be the forward that gets dangled off the roster.

With the Russian’s poor play and the other aforementioned players security on the roster, Anisimov’s potential may play against him. Despite his up and down season his potential is still appealing to other teams as trade bait. A relatively small contract, youth on his side and a solid (but unspectacular) CV, Anisimov would be a solid starting point for many trades negotiations around the league.

As the Rangers continue to move towards the playoffs, Anisimov may either be auditioning to secure his Rangers future or become a trade piece. We discussed it at the start of the season that Anisimov may be in a play-off with Derek Stepan for a long term future in the top six with the Rangers. Right now, he’s losing hands down.  It promises to be an important few weeks before the deadline, for the Russian.

12 thoughts on “Anisimov’s Precarious Rangers Future

  • Jan 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    It’s worth noting that even with a 12 game (isn’t it 13 now?) slump, he’s still got as many even strength points as Brad Richards, and is 4th on the team in points/minute at even strength (2.01), behind only Gaborik (2.25), Hagelin (2.21), and Stepan (2.11).

    He’s also still one of the few Rangers in the black possession wise, and 5th among the forwards in GVT/PVT. All of that without recording a point in forever, and playing out of position most of the year.

    He also has the advantage that he could drop to a 3rd line center and play well, moving Boyle to a more natural 4th line spot.

    Lastly, the PP generates more shots with him on this year than any other forward.

    Yeah, he’s struggling awfully right now, and yes, it’s a terrible time for it, but I don’t think they’re ready to ship him out the door yet.

  • Jan 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    If he is just a 40 point player, then why not have him be our 3rd line leftwing? It’s not like Feds is likely to have that role after this season.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to unload guys like Arty, Dubi, etc. every time they slump. Before we ship guys out, it might make sense to see how Kreider, Thomas, etc. fair in the AHL first.

    • Jan 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      I like AA & Dubi, if a trade were to made a team has to give up talent to get talent in return. I’m ok with trading AA, Dubi has got a better upside and is still play great D.

    • Jan 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Very good point. I agree with the Suit.Every player in every sport go through slumps from time to time.

  • Jan 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm


    That is pretty solid down the middle. Problem is we have a hole in top 6 LW that once address (trade, Krieder, etc…) will allow AA to go back to center.

    Not once did you mention above that he has been playing out of position and how that could have an effect.

    • Jan 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Arty can play LW or C. I don’ think that’s his issue at all, since he’s put up points in both positions.

  • Jan 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    You don’t trade AA unless you get an upgrade that is young and would add to the core. If Sather finds that, then AA is expendable. Otherwise, he is great two-way player that will disappear in stretches.

  • Jan 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Isnt it funny how EVERYONE on this team dissappears for way too long at times. Could this be a coaching thing more then a player thing. Funny how Cally and Dubi use to deliver game changing hits when Renny was the coach… Where has that been???

    • Jan 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Back when Cally and Dubi had to fight has beens like Gomez and Drury for minutes or Staal and Girardi had to ride pine for Redden and Rozi. Yea those were good times for our youth. Boom.

      • Jan 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm

        You miss the point here. That would have happend on any team Those guys were vets and the kids were kids. We still have way more players going thru bad times for far too long on this team… And way too many of them at the same time…

  • Jan 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    nice work here Chris

  • Jan 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Anisimov aside there are a few players in a slump to include Cally, Richy and Dubi. But imagine once everyone starts clicking…to me that is the reason why a trade makes no sense to me….better have them slump now than in the playoffs

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