Best case/worst case scenarios for Ranger forwards in 2013September 25, 2013, by
Best case: Asham continues to provide comedic relief on Twitter and plays in a handful of games with the Blueshirts.
Worst case: New York is unable to find a taker for Asham on waivers and he spends the final year of his contract in Hartford.
Best case: The former fourth-overall pick puts it all together as a Blueshirt and records a 20-goal season.
Worst case: The Rangers learn why Pouliot has already played for four teams in his young career and the big forward is invisible most nights.
Best case: Richards is a man on a mission after a disastrous 2013 season and he proves all the doubters wrong with a big bounce-back effort.
Worst case: 2013 wasn’t a mirage and Richards plays like an over-the-hill veteran leading to his contract buyout.
Best case: Boyle rediscovers the scoring touch he found in 2010-2011 while becoming Vigneault’s go-to defensive forward.
Worst case: Dominic Moore does more in Boyle’s old role and Boyle is unable to find a home on the wing. He rotates in and out of the press box and is dealt at the trade deadline.
Best case: An injured shoulder does nothing to affect Hagelin’s lightning speed and he doesn’t ‘stink’ on the power play, in fact he becomes one of New York’s surprising offensive contributors.
Worst case: Hagelin’s strength doesn’t fully return and he’s surpassed by some of New York’s more offensively gifted youngsters.
Best case: 2013 was nothing more than a bump in the road as Kreider takes major steps toward fulfilling his considerable potential and becomes the Blueshirts’ #2 scorer behind Nash.
Worst case: Montreal saw something the Rangers don’t and Kristo’s development stalls in Hartford.
Best case: Powe shows some value as a penalty killer and sees spot duty on Broadway. Maybe he even scores a goal!
Worst case: Powe starts in the AHL and never again makes it back to the show.
Best case: Dorsett becomes Brandon Prust 2.0 and provides a spark every night while chipping in the occasional goal and protecting his teammates.
Worst case: Dorsett joins Powe, Asham and Taylor Pyatt in a rotation for the final spots on the wing.
Best case: Missing training camp doesn’t slow him down at all and Stepan flourishes under a more offensive-minded coach.
Worst case: The contract stalemate drags into the season and Stepan is a step slow after missing a crucial introductory period with Alain Vigneault.
Best case: Brassard’s performance after coming over from Columbus last year was no aberration and he becomes the team’s #1 center in Stepan’s absence.
Worst case: Brassard’s old feud with former coach Scott Arniel becomes a distraction and he returns to the maddening inconsistency that drove the Blue Jackets nuts.
Best case: Moore’s tremendous preseason is a sign of things to come and he fulfills the ‘Manny Malhotra’ role for Vigneault.
Worst case: A year away from the game is too much for Moore to overcome and he’s merely a depth forward.
Best case: The Swedish rookie earns a spot as a sub for New York’s two injured wingers and doesn’t give it back thanks to an impressive combination of speed, skill and tenacity that translates well to the NHL.
Worst case: Fast’s twig-like frame can’t handle the physicality of the North American game and he struggles in Hartford.
Best case: Miller puts nagging injuries behind him and contributes on both ends of the ice.
Worst case: Miller is behind the eight ball and is unable to get back on track until later in the year, pushing his full-time NHL arrival to 2014.
Best case: The feistier version of Zuccarello we saw last year combines with the faster Zuccarello we’ve seen this preseason and forms a more complete all-around player that finally produces consistently.
Worst case: Zuccarello continues to be little more than a possession driver and shootout specialist.
Best case: The Swedish rookie forces his way into the opening night lineup and shows that he belongs in the NHL as more than a defensive specialist and faceoff ace.
Worst case: Lindberg spends the year in Hartford thanks to New York’s center logjam and he watches fellow rookies Fast and Kristo thrive on Broadway.
Best case: Nash comes out with a chip on his shoulder after a disappointing playoff performance and makes a run at 50 goals.
Worst case: Nash is the team’s only reliable goal scorer and is worn down by opposing defenses as the year drags on.
Best case: Callahan misses minimal time and puts up career high numbers after Vigneault puts him in a position to maximize in the considerable offensive talent many people forget about.
Worst case: Callahan isn’t 100% when he returns and struggles to find his role under the new coach.
Best case: Pyatt is given new confidence from his old coach and carves out a niche in the bottom-six as a power forward.
Worst case: Stu Bickel beats Pyatt in a footrace and the veteran is relegated to the press box.