Remember when the Rangers had depth up front? It seems like a long time ago doesn’t it? The injury to Derek Stepan has, of course, thrown the Rangers line-up into disarray. The team is missing its presumptive top line center, one of its better penalty killers and one of the better defensive players from the roster. However, Stepan’s absence cannot explain the relative stagnation of Chris Kreider, the sophomore troubles of Kevin Hayes and the up and down play of a handful of other forwards on the roster.
Right now, the Rangers are lacking clearly defined lines and an established top six. Any team would miss a player of Stepan’s ability but one of the underlying problems has been the Rangers inability to find a second top six right wing. Which brings us to a potential solution; Martin St Louis anyone?
Yes, St Louis was a shadow of his former self during the second half of last season; his clear regression directly led to his retirement but even last year’s edition of the future Hall of Famer would be a top six winger on this Rangers team. His leadership, defensive ability, and of course the potential offense he could bring would all be a boon for this Rangers team.
St Louis doesn’t just tick the boxes when it comes to the offense, experience and leadership he would bring but he also would likely not demand a major salary, would cost no assets to acquire and could step in to a line-up and system he knows well. For the Rangers there would be no risk other than a roster space given to a veteran player. Lets not forget even an aging St Louis was second in goals last year for the Rangers and he still hit 50 points for the season.
Of course, St Louis retired for a reason; he was seemingly done with hockey and was ready to walk away so there is absolutely no reason to believe he would even consider a return to the hockey spotlight. However, St Louis was motivated by a potential second Cup and enjoyed playing in New York. The tired legs will surely be refreshed after an extended period off the ice and his conditioning would surely not be an issue; St Louis was famous for his conditioning. It’s one of the reasons the diminutive wing stayed in the league so long in the first place.
Let’s assume for a minute that St Louis would be willing to come back for a six month gig and one very last chance at a second Stanley Cup. The Rangers have the need, they would surely be able to find enough cap space for the winger and his presence would surely help improve an underperforming and muddled line-up. The idea of bringing Marty St Louis back to New York has absolutely no legs to it other than it being one blogger’s idea of how the Rangers could improve their underperforming group of forwards. But with no risk and potentially a lot of reward, isn’t it an idea the Rangers themselves should be considering?