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Stay or go: Steve Eminger

(Photo: Blueshirts United)

If there’s one problem that has plagued the Rangers longer than the broken power play, it’s a lack of depth on defense.

You’ll never confuse Steve Eminger with a Norris Trophy candidate, but the 29-year-old has provided tremendous support for New York’s top blueliners over the last three seasons. Whether Eminger was asked to sit in the press box or absorb major minutes in the stead of an injured member of the rearguard, he has shown up ready to do his job. You can’t ask for more than that from a guy that made $750k last year.

The real key for the Rangers is that Eminger must be retained with the intention of being no more than a sixth defenseman, and preferably a spare seventh or eighth. Nearly every true Stanley Cup contender has adequate subs on defense; the Rangers have not for several seasons.

Eminger knows New York and has developed friendships with several teammates. It should be no trouble to ink him to another contract for a year and under a million dollars.

Rather than bring in a wildcard D-man (see Hamrlik, Roman, Gilroy, Matt and scores of others), New York should stick with what has been a proven commodity.  Eminger doesn’t offer much offense from the back end, but he’s reliable positionally and has learned to maximize the somewhat limited talent he has.

Most importantly, Eminger has provided invaluable insurance in recent years and there’s no reason to think he can’t do so again. We all know the oft-injured Rangers need it.

37 Responses to “Stay or go: Steve Eminger”

  1. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Nice article, Suit : )

  2. joe719 says:

    I could have sworn that he was older than 29! As a 7th D man, sure, I’d keep him. He has proved an adequate stopgap until an injured player comes back. But that’s the only role I think he is suited for. His game seems to suffer the more his ice team increases. Used the right way, he can help. But will a new coach see the value in him that Torts did?

    • Rob says:

      Joe, this guy plays better when he plays more actually imo. The problem this year was he barely played through the regular season and consequently stuck out like a sore thumb in the playoffs at times. In years past and when he was with Anaheim, the more he played the better he got. Just my two cents..

  3. Tim says:

    Good article. I don’t think you give Eminger enough credit though, “the somewhat limited talent he has.” He held his own when he had to.

    • Randy says:

      I agree. While Eminger should not log a ton of minutes when he plays, I often loved what I saw out of him. He is creative with his skates and pivoting with the puck, and occasionally lays someone out. He shouldn’t be on our top 6, but to pay under a million for a 1 year deal to keep him around in the press box could be a worthy investment, because our defensive depth is extremely lacking.

      Anyone know what the deal is with Noreau? Not saying he is going to play this season, but just wondering what kind of potential he has.

      • Walt says:

        They signed Noreau to a ELC, will compete for a spot on the Pack next year. His skating needs improvement, could be a good shut down D-man, and has shown signs of being possibly a good two way player. His penalty minutes have gone down since he was drafted, because he kicks the crap out of people, and no one wants to challenge him. There was a good article on him at the Prospect Park web site, good read.

        As for Emmi, as a 6-7th defenseman, he is idel. Knows the players, been here for a while, seems happy here, and is inexpensive. I would keep him for all of the above reasons!!!

    • Joe says:

      Absolutely agree with Tim

  4. Sally says:

    This is pretty much off topic, but you know that guy Rozsival that everyone hated? I was listening to Barry Melrose this morning raving about he and his fellow d-men really stepped up last night and shut down the Kings. Can anyone tell me why we hated this guy?

    • The Suit says:

      Because Sather paid him $5M and Renney played him on the 1st unit over Staal, Girardi, etc. While Chicago correctly paid him $2M and Joel Q is playing him on the 2nd or 3rd units.

      • Sally says:

        Got it.

      • TxRanger says:

        To Renney’s credit though, neither Staal nor Girardi were the players they are now back then.

      • Dave says:

        Meanwhile, I was ridiculed when I said I thought they should bring him back on a low salary and bottom pairing role. Gee, I was right.

        • Joe says:

          Dave just stop, we still love you despite your sometimes wrong opinions…….before you crush me, I’m just having some off season fun

          • Dave says:

            The definition of an opinion is that it can’t be wrong. I just use facts and stats to back up mine.

    • Chris F says:

      There are only so many times you could watch Roszival fall down trying to turn around, or letting the puck chip past him along the other team’s blueline leading to a breakaway or a 2-on-1 before the hatred begins to set in.

      • joe719 says:

        Didn’t I see him shoot the puck into his own net the other night? Flashback to the countless tip-ins off his toe into his own net while in NY. I Remember Hanks icy stare every time! Good for him that he’s found a home; but I don’t miss him at all!

  5. Chris F says:

    Any clue what this team’s identity is going to be next year?

    Is the organization going to continue to build on the black-and-blue mentality that worked so well last year, or is the direction going to swing more in favor of offensive creativity and speed in light of the apparent fatigue the team showed this year in their intensity level?

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      I think this would be good material for a theoretical off season article. An in depth look at the philosophical direction of the franchise. Who will Glen hire as bench boss, what types of players does he bring on board, which do you think the right direction is…

      For a team that came so close in the spring of 2012, we have had a heavy amount of personnel turnover. Where does the BSB staff think we are headed from here?

  6. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Completely unrelated, and for this I apologize, but Larry Brooks wrote an article claiming Dan Bylsma would vault to #1 on the Ranger’s coaching list if he’s fired.

    I’d be curious the thoughts on this from the contributors of this blog if this does in fact happen.

    • Dave says:

      We haven’t thought about it because he’s not going to get fired. That said, he’d be my #1. He plays a 2-1-2 north/south game, is much more aggressive in the defensive zone, and would actually have a functional defense and goaltender in NY.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        I’d be surprised, but I can see the prospect gets you excited. Me too, but I agree that it would be a longshot that he’s available.

  7. TxRanger says:

    He makes some mistakes, but he is definitely not a liability.

  8. Walt says:

    With the list of talented players he has, and not win the cup, you can keep him. We are talking about keeping Emmi, and are worried about our defense, Bylsma has done a piss poor job with his defense!! Why would we want the Pens crap, excuse me, their coach?????

    • Dave says:

      Can’t fault the coach when the goaltender forgets that his job is to stop the puck.

      • Walt says:

        Dave

        They consentrate on offense only, and defense is a second thought to them. Vokoum hasn’t played that porly, the Flower is a loon, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they don’t trade him this off season.

        • Dave says:

          The current construction of that team is not for defense. They relied on outscoring because that’s how they are constructed.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          While I agree that the on ice product which we have been privied to witness this post season is underwhelming, given the star power the roster possesses, how do we have any clue as to what Bylsma concentrates on?

          For all we know, he heavily emphasizes defensive zone sytems, breakout schematics and the like, but his team falters in their execution. I wouldn’t assume it’s an afterthought of the coaching staff.

    • Mark says:

      Bylsma would be a good fit for the Rangers. He had a great defense in 09′ when the Pens won. Now his defense is not as solid and his goaltending is suspect. This is not his fault. If he were to be hired by Sather he would have a real defense and the best goalie in the league. He would fix the offensive issues!

  9. Tim B says:

    Stay

  10. paulronty says:

    Steve Eminger is a lot better than people give him credit for. He’s a true blue Ranger & I keep him for injury backup for sure.

  11. Mikeyyy says:

    Stay. Again under the right scheme he is a keeper

  12. Bloomer says:

    I vote for keeping Eminger he has been a reliable 7th. defenseman. Hobey Gilroy and Hamrik have to go. The status of Stall will determine if the Rangers need to acquire another defenceman or not. Moore and perhaps an improving McIrath give the club more depth then they had after the lock-out. One player I do like that may be available is Ian White. He has great skills and would be good on the powerplay and may come at a reasonable price.