Will Maxim Lapierre follow Vigneault?

(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

When a new head coach arrives at a club it’s not just coaching staffs that tend to follow. Players who have built relationships often do the same, and with Maxim Lapierre approaching free agency, the opportunity to join the Rangers seems a logical one for all concerned.

Lapierre is a hard working hockey player that adds depth to the bottom six and is exactly the type of hockey player that the Rangers need when you look at how they were eliminated by the Bruins. He adds size, grit and a solid work ethic. All these traits would help address multiple needs on the Rangers, and this is without considering the relationship he has developed with Alain Vigneault in Vancouver.

Vigneault will surely want a few of his own in New York and the opportunity to grab a player with a solid playoff background such as Lapierre’s, without giving up anything but free agent dollars, seems an ideal situation. At 28, Lapierre is not an aging veteran and, after a relatively modest regular season and a quick exit in the playoffs, it’s not likely he could command big money on the free agent market – no matter how thin it appears this summer.

The Rangers aren’t likely to make significant roster changes and are more likely to add proven depth to ensure they can compete from top to bottom with the likes of the Bruins. With Vigneault renowned for rolling four lines players like Lapierre will be needed if Vigneault’s approach is to succeed in New York.

Of course, the Rangers will have to deal with their own roster issues before addressing potential new recruits. This includes what the Rangers will do with players such as Ryane Clowe, Taylor Pyatt, and Arron Asham before bringing in other physical type players. That said, if Vigneault does indeed intend on rolling four lines, it’s hard to imagine he could not find a place for one of his own. Plus, the potential of Derek Dorsett and Maxim Lapierre lining up together immediately makes the Rangers a tougher out when the bottom six hit the ice.

Change is coming to New York for the second offseason in a row, but in what capacity has yet to be seen. It’s more likely that we see them make minor moves such as Lapierre, but then its not always the big bold changes that bring success.

25 Responses to “Will Maxim Lapierre follow Vigneault?”

  1. Cole says:

    I would welcome him with open arms. As you said I think a player like Lapierre is exactly what the rangers needed more of in the playoffs. If nothing else your 3rd and 4th lines need to be tough to play against and although they were at times during the playoffs they were not consistent enough imo

  2. Ren says:

    This would be awesome. I have loved lapierre ever since that mtl playoff run with halak, where I thought he was really instrumental.

  3. Todd says:

    Out with Pyatt and in with Lapierre. If this can be accomplished the Rangers become tougher ten fold.

    • Walt says:

      Todd

      I just called for the trash truck for Pyatt!

      A move like this is not that dissimilar than the Nonan, Mattiew trade with the Hawks in 94!

  4. ranger17 says:

    4th line Lapaere Boyle Dorsett It would work 3rd line Brassard zucc Kreider
    2ed line Cally Stepan Hags !st line Nash Clowe BR . BR is going to camp like or not . That leaves Miller Pyatt Powe Asham Lindberg Fast Haley. Would like Miller on the team .
    Tradeable
    Zucc
    MDZ
    Pyatt
    Powe
    Asham
    Eminger
    And any of the kids left on the farm

    • Chris A says:

      I don’t understand why you think BR is definitely coming to camp? The Rangers need to buy him out. They cannot take the risk that he retires early and they get stuck with at cap penalty of $6M to $17M depending on which season he retires.

      The Rangers can send BR packing this summer and walk away with a clear conscience. And BR will be happy because he still gets a decent amount of money from the Rangers and can go sign another long term deal with someone else.

      • Dave says:

        They still have next offseason to buy him out.

        • Zen says:

          If they are certifiably insane and run the risk that he gets injured (and can’t be bought out). The day the organization made the decision to bench Richards was the last game he will play for them.

          • Adam says:

            The window to buy him out ends on July 4th. We’ll know about BR’s fate soon enough.

        • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

          Too much risk. I say don’t push your luck with a move that has to happen.

        • Joe says:

          unless he gets injured. A HUGE consideration.

      • Mikeyyy says:

        Br might have sucked this season. But I have a feeling he will bounce back.

        Please remember part of the reason we have hockey this past season was his work. He wasn’t training he was helping pound out a new cba. Wait till mid next season. Then buy him out.

    • Centerman21 says:

      If they brought in La Pierre, they would then have to do something with a Boyle or Powe. Or leave one of them as healthy scratches to fill in as depth players. The thing is that we would need to get real solid scoring from that 3rd line. Our problem has been depth and scoring from bottom 6. La Pierre doesn’t score anymore than a Boyle or Powe. I like the idea of a big B6 Centerman but scoring from those lines is important. I hope AV is able to get more from those guys. And the guys you spoke of as expendable are looked at as expendable by other teams as well. Other teams usually don’t want your scraps. You know?

  5. Ray says:

    Still not convinced it will only be minor tinkering. My impression is that Sather and Tortorella had a major disagreement about the way forward. Leads me to suspect that one of the two didn’t think minor tinkering was the answer.

  6. Dave says:

    I haven’t watched much of Lapierre, but I’m assuming he’s a better skater than Pyatt.

    • Randy says:

      Lapierre kind of reminds me of Marchand…less talented and a bottom 6 guy, but he can skate, has some smooth hands, and is a huge pest…one of those guys you love to have but hate to play against. I think he would be a solid replacement for a guy like Pyatt b/c we gain speed and some agitation. Combine Lapierre and Dorsett and you’ve got some fast, pesky wingers that other teams will not want to deal with.

    • supermaz says:

      I’m a better skater than Pyatt, and I am 51 with bad knees.

  7. ranger17 says:

    Lapierre is a good skater and will score more and fights . Line of Lapierre Boyle and Dorsett / Clowe would be a very good 4th line

  8. howiehockey says:

    If BR is injured at the end of the 13’14 Season,
    the Rangers are stuck with him and his cap hit.
    If BR is not bought out in the next few weeks the Rangers are taking a very risky gamble.
    There will be several very good centers available
    due to buyouts of other teams.More than likely, Briere & Lecavalier to name just two.
    The Rangers are going to need the extra cap space for RFA’s & UFA’s of their own that they need to resign both this summer and next summer.

  9. howiehockey says:

    One other thing with regards to BR…I believe one of the reasons he was a scratch the last 2 games of the Bruins series was b/c the Rangers didn’t want to risk his being hurt and then being stuck with his cap hit. Yes, he was playing badly, but this was the underlying reason for the scratch.
    Beat writers who give you this manure abt his being on he team in 13/14 are the same guys who wrote Messier would be a great coaching candidate…it’s all BS to sell papers and have something to write about.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      You put the players you feel give you best chance to win in the playoffs and Richards wasn’t one of those players. That’s it. The underlying reason was he was not a fit on the 4th line.

  10. Bloomer says:

    Lapierre is a biter.

  11. Erixon20 says:

    Man I hate Lapierre but he would be a really good fit on this team. As for the Richards situation, does anybody think he will bounce back and be better than Step or Brassard? I don’t, and a $7mm cap hit is not wise for a 3rd line center. NYR can use that money to resign their RFAs and add a scoring winger for Step or Brassard.

  12. Bobby G says:

    I would love Lapierre on this squad. I think my preferred line combinations would look something like this:

    Nash-Step-Callahan
    Zucc-Brassard-Kreider
    Hags-Richards-Clowe
    Lapierre-Boyle-Dorsett

    Unfortunately, these combinations assume a lot. Assumes Kreider will be top 6 material, Zucc will resign, Richards isnt bought out and is good enough for top 9 minutes, Clowe is resigned, and Lapierre is signed. Obviously odds are not all of this will happen, but in a perfect world, I would really like this lineup.

    • Erixon20 says:

      I could live with that lineup. But I’m not sold on Zucc – who I do like – being a top 6 winger on a Cup contender. Could you see him cracking Chi or Boston’s top 9? And as much as I respect BR, it’s about the cap. I think his $7mm cap hit could be used more effectively by signing a scoring winger to replace Zucc, and a 3rd line center with a better all around game than current BR. That said, I am jealous of the team that will end up with a motivated BR on the cheap. Maybe even JT Miller or Lindberg gets a crack at 3rd line C. And Clowe moves up, Kreider down in my lineup until Kreider matures a little.