With their primary offseason moves finished, the NY Rangers now move to the PTO possibilities. There are always a few PTOs in camp, and usually one makes the team. Given how the team is constructed, we can make a few logical guesses as to who they might invite to camp on a professional tryout.
It’s important to remember that a PTO doesn’t mean a guaranteed roster spot. These are usually insurance fliers in case of injury or kids needing more time.
Everyone’s favorite ex-Ranger, Brassard on a PTO would fill a need. As it stands, the Rangers have Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, Filip Chytil, and Brett Howden as their NHL centers. After that, it’s a few kids (Patrick Khodorenko, Justin Richards, Morgan Barron), and a few AAAA players (Colin Blackwell, Kevin Rooney).
In Brassard, the Rangers would have a skilled veteran who can fill as an injury reserve or a depth center if none of the kids are ready. Since Kevin Rooney appears to fill the token tough guy role, Brassard would add some roster flexibility at the position.
Brassard would add some value as a three zone center, even if he’s lose effectiveness. He’d be a better option than say, Brian Boyle, who wouldn’t contribute much offensively. He’s also a more realistic PTO option than guys like Mikael Granlund, who are still UFAs.
The Rangers don’t have much defensive depth, and Greene can play both sides. He’s not all that good, but the Rangers love their veteran presence defensemen. And let’s be frank, if Greene makes the team and/or gets significant playing time, several other things went wrong.
Signing Greene to a PTO gives the Rangers flexibility if/when K’Andre Miller and/or Tarmo Reunanen need time in the AHL. As it stands today, if both go to the AHL, then it’s Jack Johnson and Anthony Bitetto as the 6/7 defensemen. Greene gives an added cushion in case of injury.
Vatanen has already been linked to the Rangers. The RD isn’t what he used to be, but he may be an option if the Rangers are able to find a taker for Brendan Smith. Smith still carries value as a bottom pairing defenseman, but the cap hit provides the Rangers with little flexibility.
If the Rangers shed Smith and Tony DeAngelo moves to the left side, then there is a hole on the right side of the blue line. Vatanen, on a PTO/low salary deal would be a decent option for the NY Rangers.
Because why not?