Taylor Pyatt has been the one exception to an almost universal rule
Countless factors go into individual player evaluations, but one quality continues to dictate how the Rangers construct their roster: speed.
It’s not exactly a new revelation, the altered NHL demands that players possess speed and skill as the league has phased out the plodding physical specimens that were impact players in the 1990s. But few franchises have put as strong an emphasis on skating ability as New York. Just look at three of the team’s most recent first-round picks: Chris Kreider, JT Miller and Brady Skjei. What do all have in common? Tremendous skating ability.
There’s simply no room on Broadway, especially under coach John Tortorella, for players that can’t outskate the opposition.
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Today we are going to take a deeper look at the Rangers recent moves. Though the team played better in Tampa the other night, the bottom six hasn’t been very consistent and clearly Torts and Sather thought a change was needed. Below we’ve put together a qualitative analysis, or as Dave likes to call it – the eye test. If there’s an interest in the quantitative/advanced stats-type stuff. Let us know. Dave can whip that together.
Rangers trade C/LW Mike Rupp for C/LW Darroll Powe & RW Nick Palmieri
What the Rangers lose – Size, fights, veteran leadership
I was one of the few advocates of having a guy like Mike Rupp in the lineup. Most people who didn’t play organized hockey growing up have a hard time evaluating 4th line guys, so I get the disconnect some fans had with his presence in the lineup. For me, Rupp was exactly what you need from a 4th line role player.
Rupper was a leader in the locker room, as evidenced by Torts constantly seeking Rupp’s input at key times (shown in 24/7). He stood up for his teammates (remember Tomas Kopecky sucker punching MDZ last year? Rupp was the first guy in). He also played well in a limited role during the playoffs, bringing a good forecheck and puck management.
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In the second big move of the day, the Rangers have called up forwards J.T. Miller and Brandon Mashinter from the CT Whale, and returned Benn Ferriero to the AHL. Despite impressing in his debut, Ferriero saw reduced time on the ice, and with the acquisition of Darroll Powe, the writing may have been on the wall for the forward. This won’t be his last trip to the NHL.
In eight games with the Whale, Mashinter has a line of 3-4-7 and has been one of the best forwards on the ice. Miller, the Rangers prized prospect, has a line of 8-12-20 in 37 games, and has really picked up his game since his slow start to the season.
The Rangers have recalled forward Benn Ferriero from the CT Whale for tonight’s game against Toronto. Ferriero, who was acquired this week from Pittsburgh in exchange for Chad Kolarik, has 92 games of NHL experience –all with San Jose– putting together a line of 14-8-22 with 25 PIMs.
Since it is expected that Chris Kreider is going to return to the lineup tonight, this move may be to replace Arron Asham, who is still being bothered by his groin injury.
Per Pat Leonard, Chris Kreider has a bone bruise/chip in his ankle. This would be why Ferriero was called up. Kreider is the only Ranger not on the ice, which means Stu Bickel is back to defense.
In a bit of a surprising move, the Rangers have traded forward Chad Kolarik to the Penguins for forward Benn Ferriero. The move struck everyone as a bit of a surprise, considering Kolarik’s strong play with the Whale in the AHL. Whale expert Laurie Carr (Beyond The Blueshirts) noted on Twitter that Kolarik may have requested the trade, especially after not receiving a training camp invite and seeing Chris Kreider get the call instead. While Laurie is obviously just thinking out loud, I’m inclined to agree here.
As for Ferriero, the 25-year-old forward was a 7th round pick by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006. The 5’11, 185 lb winger has 92 games of NHL experience, all with San Jose, putting together a line of 14-8-22 with 25 PIMs.