Best case/worst case scenarios for Ranger forwards in 2013

A bounce-back season from Brad Richards would be a huge boost for the Rangers

Arron Asham

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.

Benoit Pouliot

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.

Brad Richards

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.

Brian Boyle

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. ┬áHe rotates in and out of the press box and is dealt at the trade deadline.

Carl Hagelin

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.

Chris Kreider

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: Kreider continues to struggle at both ends of the rink and is given more time in the AHL while prospects like Jesper Fast and Danny Kristo leapfrog him on the depth chart.

Danny Kristo

Best case: Kristo makes GM Glen Sather look like a genius as he sees time in the top-six while Christian Thomas continues to play in the American League.

Worst case: Montreal saw something the Rangers don’t and Kristo’s development stalls in Hartford.

Darroll Powe

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.

Derek Dorsett

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.

Derek Stepan

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.

Derick Brassard

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.

Dominic Moore

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.

Jesper Fast

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.

J.T. Miller

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.

Mats Zuccarello

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.

Oscar Lindberg

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.

Rick Nash

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.

Ryan Callahan

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.

Taylor Pyatt

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.

12 Responses to “Best case/worst case scenarios for Ranger forwards in 2013”

  1. Dave says:

    Considering the way Asham has played this preseason, I’d say best case is winning the 4th line RW platoon.

  2. RC says:

    that was the most predictable article ever…did a 5 year old ranger fan write that? i love this site and most of the articles but spend your time on something useful…this was stating the obvious. sorry for sounding harsh.

    • Dave says:

      So don’t read it? We write what we want to write.

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks for the feedback RC! Given that the roster battles up front are the hottest topic of camp and that the last few games have gone well past most fans’ bedtime, I thought there was some value in providing a general summary of where everyone stands. It’s obviously not as in depth as a lot of the stuff you’ll find on this site, but I think there’s room for ‘State of the Rangers’ posts like this from time to time.

    • Mikeyyy says:

      I liked the article. Gives me a good insight without having to dig for info on these guys. Thanks Kevin. Keep it up.

  3. RC says:

    Kevin, I appreciate the kind feedback after my immature post.

    Dave, take a walk

  4. Evan M says:

    nice summation of our hopes and fears related to this hockey team

  5. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Worst case for Brad Richards is he gets hurt to the point where the Rangers can’t buy him out. That’s the nightmare scenario.