Replacing Dubinsky and Anisimov

When the Rangers acquired Rick Nash, they did so by dealing two roster players that played key roles on the bottom six forwards. Losing Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov may not look like much, especially when they are dealt for someone like Rick Nash. However, it does lead to the discussion of how to replace these players, especially Dubinsky, who was one of the Rangers top defensive and puck possession forwards.

It seems logical to begin with Anisimov, who I believe to be the easier of the two to replace. Anisimov bounced around on the Rangers lineup from top line to fourth line so often, I’m surprised he wasn’t dizzy from all the pinballing around the lineup. Throughout his young career, he has shown flashes of offensive talent while putting up 30-40 points per season, almost entirely at even strength.

His defensive peripherals (.005 QoC, 2.9 RCorsi, 52.7 OZone%) aren’t spectacular, but they are still solid and show that Anisimov was still very reliable in his own end. He’s the type of two-way forward that could develop into a 50-60 point player if given the right opportunity and powerplay time. That said, he wasn’t going to get that opportunity with the Rangers. Jeff Halpern has comparable numbers (-.029 QoC, 2.9 RCorsi, 39.2 OZone%), but can add more in terms of veteran leadership and face off wins.

As for Dubinsky, his defensive metrics are far more difficult to replace. Dubinsky was a warrior for the Rangesr, must like Brandon Prust was, and still managed to contribute offensively (last season being an aberration due to an outlier in his career shooting percentage). While Dubinsky’s offensive numbers will surely be eclipsed by the incoming Nash (who will likely be able to cover for Dubinsky and Anisimov by himself), it’s his defensive numbers that are almost irreplaceable.

Dubinsky had stellar defensive metrics (.006 QoC, 41.8 OZone%), and was one of the top forwards on the team in puck possession (8.8 RCorsi). Those numbers alone are why the Rangers might miss Dubinsky on the ice a lot more than most may realize. Outside of Prust and Brian Boyle, Dubinsky was the most heavily relied upon forward to shutdown the opposition, and he did so to great success.

However, the Rangers may have their own internal solution, as Carl Hagelin is a noted puck possession monster with the same offensive potential as Dubinsky. Hagelin was babied a bit during his rookie year, and doesn’t have the same QoC or OZone% numbers that Dubinsky had (albeit a better RCorsi), but he was one of Michigan’s top two-way forwards, and it is likely that he would be able to slide into the same role Dubinsky had.

The reason why Dubinsky and Anisimov were sent packing were because the Rangers felt they did an adequate job in replacing them in the lineup, either internally or with key free agents. It is also the reason why the Rangers are being viewed as “winning” this Nash trade, as they dealt from surplus to address a need. Losing Anisimov and Dubinsky, two of the first homegrown players to be brought up in this new era of Rangers hockey, is tough, but to get you need to give. The combination of Nash, Hagelin, and Halpern help assuage the loss of Anisimov and especially Dubinsky.

At the end of the day, the Rangers are a better team with Nash, and that’s all that matters.

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  • 2013 Roster
    by Leatherneckinlv 3 minutes ago
    With the additions of Nash, Pyatt, Asham, Halpren, Haley and the subtractions of Dubinsky, Anisimov, Mitchell, Erixon and Prust do we have an upgrade? More talent at the loss of chemistry? Will the PK and shot blocking dip and the powerplay upgrade?

    Line 1:
    Nash at LW, Richards at C, Callahan at RW is a good place to start. This is the line that would have to set the example

    Line 2:
    Kreider at LW, Stepan at C, Gaborik at RW gives us a great line 1A. Stepan has had chemistry with both Kreider and Gaborik

    Line 3:
    Hagelin at LW, Boyle at C, Pyatt at RW
    This line is an upgrade over the linemates that Boyle had in Fedotenko and Prust
    We lose grit here however we gain a line with all aspects of the game covered. Speed and grit. Pyatt will score 10 goals and Hagelin will score over 10. Boyle will be an unknown here as he has the potential to net close to 20

    Line 4:
    Rupp or Miller at LW, Halpren at C, Ashan and Haley at RW
    This line is one that should be tinkered with constantly during the season. Players that shoiuld see spot duty on this line will be Lindberg at C and Thomas at RW. I prefer Miller get the LW spot and alternate with Rupp. Lets see what Miller has

    I would like to see Dominic Moore signed as a depth player. I liked him as a Ranger and think he would bring a lot to the plate

    On Defense

    1st pair:
    McDonagh and Girardi
    enough said there

    2nd pair
    Staal and Stralman

    3rd pair
    Del Zotto and Sauer (if healthy)
    Del Zotto and Bickel

    Bickel as 7th D man if Sauer is healthy
    with Sauer injured and Bickel paired up with MDZ then resign Eminger as the 7th D man

    In Goal

    Talbot if a call up is needed

    So there is still talks of Doan, Arnott and Semin however I think the perfect addition would be Moore to help out on the PK and face offs

    Rookies to get a taste of the NHL should be Miller, Thomas, Lindberg possibly McIlrath and Talbot

    Rangers are looking pretty good fellas

    • It’s clear upgrade. hagelin starts, at best next year 3rd line LW. That’s depth. The main core is still there.

      This team doesn’t fall apart in the dressing room because one light hearted Russian and a home grown kid have moved on.

      A young and leadership core of Hank, Richards, Callahan, Stepan, Staal/Girardi, Gaborik, Del Zotto are more than fine. That’s without considering the new skill in Nash.

      Don’t overplay the chemistry loss too much. There’s plenty still there and now much more goal scoring potential.

    • That line up says it all, three very sound lines, and a fourth that can be dangerious!

      I agree that Miller should get a good look at, and the unknown will be Lindburg. A good two way center, aren’t all the Swedes that way, and not afraid to get dirty. Really, we are in very good shape, even without Dubi, whom I’ll miss very much, and we should look for some help at the point for the PP.

      AA was a nice player, again I don’t believe that he will amount to very much more than where is now, but he won’t be missed nearly as much. He was never a possession guy, easily fell on his tail because no upper, and or lower body strength. And his inability to play every day, or every shift , was cause enough to let him go.

      Pyatt, Hags, Step, all can pick up some of the void left by Dubi’s going away. As much as I like Dubi, the trade is a very good one for us, and he had to go.

      Lastly, we have kids in the system, that can play on the cheap. No need to go out and sign any major deal for another player.

    • NO NO NO players like Thomas and Miller do NOT and I say do not belong on the 4th line. Let them play in Hardford where they belong. And a line with Boyle and Pyatt along with Haglins speed is gonna be darn right hard to get out of other teams O zone. Hell Boyle and his old line mates were hard to get out of the O zone These guys will be way harder.

  • this probably sounds stupid but is there still a possibility of zuccarello coming back. the loss of anisimov and dubi give him more space and is a much better offensive option than the current bottom six.

    i know he signed the khl deal but those things are tricky

    • I just don’t see where Zuccarello fits and why he’d come back with even more scorers in front of him.
      he needs a scoring role/line and he now has Nash, Gaborik, Callahan, Kreider and even Hagelin in front of him. I’d say the chance is about zero %

  • the system will change. It has to. Or all these guys need to learn it. I don’t expect a great start to next season.

  • Is anyone else concerned about how this influx of new talent will mesh with Tortorella’s aggressive, sacrifice-all systems?

    Can we honestly expect Nash, Gaborik, Richard, Stepan, Hagelin to excel in a system that glorifies use of the body, sacrifice, shot-blocking, etc.

    Doesn’t the system need to open up a little to allow the influx of talent to thrive? We no longer need to play “playoff hockey” for 82 games to compete, it’s no longer a matter of heart and will over talent. But, can Torts change?

  • I would still like to add another defenceman as the last pair. Bickel I hope you come to camp in shape and surprise everyone.

  • So they really are going into another season
    with 5 hole as backup. Ahhh well.
    And as I’ve mentioned before….Asham, “the traveler”
    will drop at the first sign of agression, but he’s not a slob…when he gets a guy down, he walks away, doesn’t try to punish. He has his own code of honor, and it is commendable.

  • AA was most effective when Torts left him alone. He has an incredible skillset and is very sound defensively. He just didn’t respond well being Torts’ whipping boy when things went bad. He’s gonna have a great career with a coach who just lets him play. I’m gonna miss him a lot. Dubi OTOH had little to no hockey sense, and I’m really not gonna miss him all that much.

  • kreider and hagelin are going to have good years so the loss of artie and dubi we can take . i think nash should be on the first line when gabby comes back quick question how far away do you think st.croix and lindberg are from being n.h.l. ready

    • I’ve watched Lindberg play many times last season and I don’t think he’s even close beeing NHL-ready. Most of the time he played in the 3rd or 4th line in SkellefteĆ„ AIK. Personally I think he will stay i Sweden for at least one more season.

  • I think Artie will develop into one of the best players for the Blue Jackets next season. He showed a lot of promise centering Dubi and Cally, that was our best line a few years back. I never got why Torts broke up that line and put him on the wing.

  • Dubi & Artie are good not great players and they both drove me CRAZY with their maddening inconsistency. Artie should score many more goals than he does. Kreider & Hagelin will make us soon forget them.

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