AnalysisRoster MovesState of the Rangers

How Todd White Fits

Glen Sather woke up earlier this off season, after a stormy fishing trip with his pal Brian Burke up North, and felt a little light headed. He set off to his office in New York and proceeded to go about his business. Glen was struck by lightning on his trip. Something had changed. He had acquired the voice of reason. No doubts, Glen Sather has had an (unexpectedly?) excellent off season. The Rangers have improved and haven’t sacrificed any part of the future going forward. Include Todd White in the new Rangers, short term.

Sather seems to specialise in low risk high reward trades. Todd White cost the Rangers absolutely nothing and potentially gives the Rangers genuine depth amongst the top 9 forwards. Before getting excited however it’s worth noting there’s a chance White cannot regain his 08/09 form where he had 22 goals and 73 points. Remember also, that he had a certain Russian line mate who went by the name of Ilya so White’s numbers were likely skewed.  However if White is physically fit (after his various operations) he has the ability to contribute 40-50 points so potentially he’ll make a nice addition…

What White does is consign, barring an outstanding camp, Derek Stepan and Evgeny Grachev to Hartford to begin the season. This is where they should be and they can gain chemistry, confidence and ice time before becoming Rangers. The reason White affects both is because Whites’ addition also has a rippling effect on the roster already assembled in New York. Most likely a center in NY, White means Dubinsky stays at wing to start the year – as Torts wants. With Anisimov (touted for a top 6 role) likely taking a scoring line center spot it means Prospal stays on the wing too. Next in line for a top 6 job is Erik Christensen so all this means Stepan and Grachev won’t be gifted anything. Legitimate competition in camp? Sign me up. Tortorella has indicated he’ll try Russian free agent Alex Frolov on Gaborik’s wing so assume the top 9 is tentatively this;

Frolov – White – Gaborik

Dubinsky – Anisimov – Callahan

Prospal – Christensen – Prust/Weise

Initial observations are this; The Rangers have legitimately added depth when you consider two thirds of last years top line may be on the third line. You can also see the added depth when you consider, barring strong camps, Avery and Drury are currently fourth liners. Where Prust and Weise fit in depends on another X factor; Mats Zuccarello-Aasen. MZA only makes this team straight away on a scoring line which drops Callahan and Prust/Weise down (not a bad thing).

Don’t rule out White centering the top line if he makes the team. He may not have played extensively on a line with Gaborik but there is familiarity there from the Minnesota days. He has shown he can hold his own with a superstar winger in Atlanta and his presence will allow better match ups for the still developing Anisimov.  White’s addition also adds experience to the roster. With Dale Weise, MZA, Ryan McDonagh and perhaps another rookie making opening night, another veteran isn’t a bad thing.

This Rangers side will be competitive. Gaborik and Lundqvist aside, it may not have an abundance of superstars but it seems like all four forward lines will have solid scoring ability. This Rangers roster is in better shape (in my humble opinion) than Montreal, Buffalo and Ottawa – all playoff teams from last year – and has the goaltending to compete against any side in the conference. While the Rangers are very much in a re-build phase it looks like my personal wish of a competitive, playoff bound team during the youth movement is a realistic hope. Good times.

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    • Prospal played alot at center but alot of wing too. Im really not sure where he fits because Sather and Torts both mention Christensen as a top 6 candidate, both mention Anisimov as a top 6 candidate and i have to assume at this stage, White was brought into play and i’d say he’s not likely here to play 6 minutes a game on the fourth.

      There’s a Chance White may not stick after camp and chances then are that Prospal will get the gig but in any scenario, camp has some legitimate battles lined up and that can only be a good thing.

        • another feather in Sather’s trade cap. Im surprised Atlanta didnt have something else other than White to give back. i know they had cap issues but he’s servicable even after a down year.

          • They don’t have cap issues, but they have an internal cap that affects their team. They will probably be right at the cap floor. The real money they saved goes a long way to paying Bergfors and Little, who are RFAs and still unsigned.

  • Another possiblity is that the Rangers are hoping White has a good camp and that some other team has a need for a center and the Rangers can trade White to them. That way, the Rangers get rid of 2 contracts (Brash and Riss) that no other team wanted and still get the youth movement roster spot and the cap relief of the 2.3 mil from Whites contract.

    • Good point.

      Don’t you think that if White has a good camp, then the Rangers would at least wait it out to see how he performs in the regular season? If he does have a good year, then the Rangers could make the playoffs.

  • Based on the coverage is advertising,(Gabby says White is a solid 2nd line center) and my expectations of Torts, I’m seeing the lines shaping up this way to start at least;


    Although, this is what I would prefer;


    My thinking is to have no more than one thirty-something on the ice at once. The game is too quick these days.

    PP 1 Frolov-Prospal-Gabby w/ MDZ-Rozy
    PP 2 Dubinsky-White-AA w/ Drury-Gilroy

  • I know it’s good to have options to choose from but I fear there is a real lack of identifying roles on this team. I envision Torts just floating along and changing the lines based on single plays here and there with no real game plan. We’re going to have trouble with consistency and scoring if the roles for each player are not defined clearly.

  • sec 121 heres a tweak of yours which id like.
    prospal dubi gabi
    frolov aa mza
    avery white calli
    boogyman drury prust

    • Insert Weise instead of Boogy for days when we need more skill, and it’s a solid #7 seed in the East.

      I think I just cried…

  • He doesn’t fit in. This deal was about money. Atl wanted to get rid of his contract. They can use Rismiller on their 4th line and waive Brashear and recoup the money next year.

    The rangers couldn’t do it because brash has a over 35 contract and ifthey demoted him this year it would have cooter against the cap. This way the rangers got rid of brash and rismiller and the cap hit. They can demote white without taking a cap hit. And use him as a spare forward when necessary in case of injuries.

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