First off, apologies for the blog being down yesterday. There was a major GoDaddy outage, and we were affected by it. Naturally, during two months of no Ranger news, the day we have an outage is the day the Rangers make a move.
The organization decided that they want a third year of Steve Eminger, and re-signed him to a one year, $750,000 deal. Eminger, a right-handed shot, was seeing top-four minutes for a good portion of the season last year before suffering a separated shoulder. The injury cost him 21 games, and then an ankle injury cost him 12 more regular season and seven playoff games.
In 107 career games for the Rangers, Eminger has four goals, seven assists, and 50 PIMs. He’s not being paid to score, he’s being paid to be serviceable in his own end and provide solid depth defense. Looking at his GVT and DGVT numbers from last year, he did just that. His 1.2 GVT and 1.5 DGVT in 42 games average out to a 2.34 GVT and a 2.92 DGVT over 82 games. Using handy-dandy PVT, having Eminger as a depth defenseman gave the Rangers an extra point in the standings.
Looking at his advanced metrics (-.123 QoC, -3.4 RCorsi), Eminger was clearly used as a depth defenseman in regards to matchups. With Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, and Anton Stralman all but guaranteed starting spots, and Stu Bickel all initially penciled in as the final starter, expect Eminger to be the seventh defenseman this year.
When healthy, Eminger has been a serviceable depth defenseman for the club. His place on the roster appears to be a “downgrade” from what it was in previous years, but do not discount the fact that having Eminger there will keep some players from getting complacent on the ice. Eminger was the perfect fit for this kind of role.