AnalysisAround the League

Rangers could use a depth forward

A depth forward could be on the radar for the Rangers.
A depth forward could be on the radar for the Rangers.

Looking over the Rangers training camp roster, one thing that really stands out is the lack of depth, particularly on offense. Right now, the following has been reported as Torts’ early line combos.

Line 1:
Carl HagelinBrad RichardsRick Nash

Line 2:
Marian Gaborik – Derek StepanRyan Callahan

Line 3:
Chris KreiderBrian BoyleTaylor Pyatt

Line 4:
Mike RuppJeff HalpernArron Asham

One would think the Rangers would probably like to add another forward to the mix, specifically for that 4th line. Rupp and Asham will certainly find themselves useful matching up against other enforcement-type 4th lines. However, we may have some issues against speedier 4th lines. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on Sather bringing in another body. This is something that Dave covered briefly this weekend.

I know the knee-jerk reaction is to bring up a player from the AHL, but I don’t see Sather taking kids like J.T. Miller or Marek Hrivik and sticking them on the 4th line to play 7-8 minutes a night. My guess is that when these kids are ready for full-time duty, they’ll be here.

With such a shortened camp, I also don’t see the Rangers making a trade at this stage of the game. Even if they are entertaining the idea, I don’t think we could cover every trade possibility in one post. That leaves us with Sather exploring the free agent market.

Looking over the UFA list at Capgeek, there’s plenty to be had on the cheap right now. There are several known quantities available in Blair Betts, Dominic Moore, Jed Ortmeyer, Radek Dvorak and Petr Sykora. All of whom are familiar with our organization and could probably be signed for under $1.5M. Personally, I like Dominic Moore of that group. Perhaps the Rangers will look elsewhere at some less heralded players like Jesse Winchester, Matt Bradley, etc.

Either way, I doubt Torts wants to go into the season with just 12 forwards. Whether they explore a trade, a free agent sign, etc. remains to be seen, but I’d expect an addition before the puck drops.

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  • Kris Newbury needs to be mentioned in this conversation. Newbury could fit in nicely as a roll player with a little sandpaper. He is well-suited to add speed and energy to the 4th line and he has some (66 games) NHL experience. I think the captain of the Whale deserves a chance before we bring someone else in. Plus, he’s already a New York Ranger (read free) and the Rangers don’t have a lot of $$$ left.

    According to capgeek, the Rangers only have $2,140,000 in cap space. If I were Sather I’d hold my cards for 15-20 games (at least) to do a thorough assessment of my team, and then make a move if necessary. $2M isn’t a very big chip, so I’d want to do my homework before I played it.

    • I’d prefer a forward with some speed. I like the idea that Katie Strang put out there with Dom Moore, but I doubt he would take a fourth line role here.

  • What they really need is a bruising defenseman that will make forwards keep their heads up when they cross the blue line.
    Nevertheless, the Ranger season will rest on Henrik’s shoulders…how many games did he steal last year?

    • I don’t see them acquiring a defensemen at this point. They have Girardi/McD, Staal/Stralman, MDZ/Bickel plus Gilroy and Eminger as reserves. Not to mention Dylan McIlrath being groomed on the farm as your bruiser.

      • Don’t forget they didnt have Marc Staal last year; he was a shell when he came back, but he looked somewhat like himself in the playoffs. I agree, a depth forward is more of a need at this point.

    • They are covered on defense for now. We may not like the reserve options, but they are options nonetheless.

      Plus, is Bickel not your bruiser?

  • A little off topic…… Rick Nash had 5 short handed goals a couple years ago. Does he see regular penalty kill time and if so do you think Tortz will use him on the pk?

  • W ould like to see Hags and Nash teamup on the PK
    Also as regulars on the PK Stefh & cally or Hags
    Pyatt and Halps
    Nash & Hags
    or even try Krieder and Hags speed to burn

  • Rangers now have 48 players signed. I imagine they’d like to keep at least one slot open for the trade deadline, so they may be reluctant to add…..We’ll see if anyone gets called up after tomorrow’s Whale game.

          • Is that actually true? Certainly Scott for example wasn’t acquired for a player, but for a draft choice. And some deals involve different numbers of players going one way than the other. Having no space at the trade deadline doesn’t tie your hands, but it does give you fewer options.

  • OKAY lets Amp this up a bit. I somewhat like the lines here. But why in the world would you switch Gabs at his point in his career over Cally???

    They have other options here. They could use lines like this

    Hags Stepan Gabs

    Nash Richards Cally

    Or like this

    Krieder Richards Nash since Nash has allready proven he can play both sides.

    If it was up to Me Ide switch Cally before Gabs or even Nash. And yes I know its early in camp and Im sure they will try other things. But I dont even think I would toy around with gabs here. And evenmore since he is comming off an injury.

    What do you think???

      • Agree with you Ricky, never would have guessed Torts and Sully changing Gabby’s position before Nash, Hagelin, etc. With that said, the more I think about it, the more I like Gabby on the left side.

        I think the switch will help him along the boards, as he’ll be receiving pucks on his forehand instead of his backhand. Plus he seems to get his snap shot off quicker from the left slot.

        If he’s better along the boards, hopefully it will help prevent injuries.

  • Lets say Blair Betts make his return. You have 2 very good 4th line centers who win faceoffs (Betts,Halpern). They are both extremely well defensively. Both would be very well on the pk. Lets say the Rangers make it to the playoffs, the defense would be excellent until Betts gets injured for a third time in the playoffs with the Rangers. If Betts is signed, Rupp or Asham might see the press box.

  • ok who has it easyer The Scorers or the Workers in this short camp??? Teams as a whole wont be 100% And the scorers will be rusty. But something has to give.

  • Always liked Matt Bradley with Caps. Good size and played with an edge. Not sure if he is available at a reasonable price from Panthers.

  • RANGER FANS……As I analyzed the Rangers Roster on Sun, I actualy came to the conclusion we are (2) Legitimate 20 Goal Guys Short, and ONE BIG D to move guys out of the net short…..I can’t beleive a team has not signed Jason Arnott yet, but “HEH GLEN” give him a call….He will not be sitting out there much Longer….He is Clutch, Good on Faceoffs, and a High Character Guy.

    RocketRoy – OHIO

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