Minor addition, solid contribution

March 5, 2012, by

The title of the post; that’s how you can measure John Mitchell’s impact since coming to the Rangers at the tail end of last season. Not every player can be judged solely on points as Brian Boyle would surely agree.

Mitchell has come over to the Rangers and fits with how John Tortorella wants to play. He plays hard in the corners, uses his size to good effect while his work ethic and effort are unquestioned. However, Mitchell can use the puck effectively as well. In fact, 13 points in 45 games don’t do Mitchell justice even if they look better when considering his +14 rating.

Mitchell has been rewarded with powerplay time in recent games and while that’s perhaps more damning to other players – and the powerplay overall – as it is a reward for Mitchell, it suggests the coach has a high opinion of the big center. Mitchell has a good chance of being retained by the Rangers after this season because simply put he’s a low cost player that can contribute all over the ice. Getting cheap role players that can contribute is a critical aspect of a successful team in the cap era.

The Ontario native is another underrated addition by Glen Sather as the forward only cost a seventh round pick in this year’s draft and has made an impact for both the Whale and now, for the Rangers. Depth wins you hockey games and Mitchell is a solid bottom six role player for the Rangers who has surprised with hockey intelligence.

Mitchell played on poor Toronto clubs where he scored close to thirty points (or a 30+ point pace) and his junior and AHL careers point to some decent offensive ability. The Rangers have done in a good job in recent seasons of getting contributions from all over the roster and it is indeed one reason for their success this season.

When several of your bottom six forwards, role players, are all chipping in between 5-10 goals each respectively it eases the burden of expectation on the likes of Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan. With playoff opponents such as Boston, Pittsburgh and Jersey looming it will be critical to maintain a level of production from the ‘lesser lights’ on the roster. Players such as John Mitchell.


  1. Walt says:

    John has been a blessing this year. While not the most gifted player, he wears his heart on his sleeve, and gives a 100% effert every time on the ice. These role players are the difference in winning, or not in the play-offs. Look at Max Talbert, when he played with the Pens, got into a fight against a much bigger guy, got smacked around, but got his team going, and turned that series around. He even gets the winning goal in the finals to boot! Mitchell was indeed a good aquisition!

  2. Sioux-per-man says:

    Mitchell has clearly played his way onto this team. He is a Torts type player, with shoot out skills. I was surprised to see him on the power play yesterday, but why not. If he’s earned it, play him. When our bottom six forwards are Mitchell, Boyle, Feds, Dubi, Prust there is more scoring potential than you think.
    Another hard fought win.

    Chris – what is the Rangers best regular season record?

  3. Dave says:

    I’m shocked at how well he’s played this year. He bounced around a lot before he got here. He’s just a Torts guy, and that says a lot.

  4. Sioux-per-man says:

    We’ve had alot of great pickup if you think about it. Mitchell for a 7th rounder, Henrik was a 7th round draft, Prust was a throw in, Hagelin was a 6th round draft, and McDonagh was a gift from the Hockey Gods of Montreal. Still chuckle everytime his trade comes up for Gomez. Not only did that trade give us the cap space for Gaborik, they give us our #1 Defenseman. Makes me chuckle everytime. (No wonder they are the worst team in the East).

  5. Bobby Tux says:

    On a per game TOI basis, Mitchell has similar stats to Dubi. Plus as you mentioned Torts uses Mitchell on the shootist. HOWEVER, Dubi has a ludicrous contract for such a player. Mitchell should be signed for a multi-year contract at the correct price of around 1 million per tear at most. Dubi should be traded for good value just to get rid of that contract.