The Rangers were particularly sloppy against the Coyotes, were outdueled in net and on special teams. But no one will panic after one game that came on the heels of an awkward, disjointed preseason. That said there are a few players who are surely on shaky ground. One particular player who doesn’t figure to be part of the future is Taylor Pyatt.
Taylor Pyatt started his Rangers career in strong fashion and bookended last season with a solid playoffs, but Pyatt could be expendable on a team where cap space is a necessity. He cannot keep up on the ice and is as inconsistent now as the talented winger has ever been.
While Pyatt was not the worst Ranger forward on the ice on Thursday he was simply ineffective. No shots, no particularly strong shifts or physical play, nothing to demand the attention from the coaching staff or demand more ice time moving forward.
Last year Pyatt finished with 11 points in 48 games, which was an underwhelming return even for a depth forward on a low scoring, inconsistent team. When you factor in 3 points in his first 4 games and a 5 game point streak toward the end the season last year, Pyatt was invisible for the vast majority of the season offensively.
While Pyatt could realistically be part of Tortorella’s style along the walls and in the corners, the Rangers style of game is moving away from lumbering forwards such as Pyatt. They struggled to get in deep (in part, thanks to Mike Smith) against the Coyotes and Pyatt isn’t going to be a player that can help long term.
With a cap hit of $1.55m, removing Pyatt from the roster (whether demoted, traded or otherwise) answers a lot of immediate issues as well as allowing players such as JT Miller and Jesper Fast to learn at the NHL level. While taking a risk on Pyatt was a worthy gamble (costing nothing but dollars) It’s time to end the Taylor Pyatt experiment.