Just a few days ago I was feeling real good about the Rangers newly acquired depth F’s, Benn Ferriero and Jason Arnott. Then, just as soon as it happened, the Arnott deal fell apart after the veteran failed his physical and a few days after that captain Ryan Callahan appeared to have suffered a serious injury to his shoulder. Suddenly the Rangers went from having depth to desperately scouring the market looking for whatever scraps were left.
Fortunately for the Rangers and their fans Callahan didn’t suffer a dislocated shoulder as it first appeared. Instead it’s a subluxation and he’s expected to only miss 10 – 14 days. That helps but since the Rangers wanted to sign Arnott before Callahan was hurt it’s fair to assume they would still like to bring in someone else that can pitch in up front.
Soon after the news came out that Arnott had failed his physical, the Rangers announced that they would not revisit singing him. Clearly they feel like he’s damaged goods and have no desire to take a chance on his health. That leaves few, very few in fact, options for the Rangers to consider. Some names have been linked to the team since yesterday. Here’s a breakdown of the names I’ve seen.
Daymond Langkow – He’s 36 so no spring chicken but rebounded from a serious neck injury suffered in 2011 to post 30 points in 73 contests. Langkow is versatile, blocks shots, hits some and works his ass off. In many ways he sounds like he’d fit in well on this Rangers squad. He probably could bounce up and down in the lineup as needed and produce a few points.
Brian Rolston – If it hadn’t been for a solid, 15-point effort in 21 games for Boston at the end of last season I would have laughed at the mere mention of Rolston donning a Ranger sweater this season. But he showed he wasn’t completely finished during his time in Beantown.
Like Langkow, he brings some versatility plus he still has good speed and a solid shot. Problem is he doesn’t strike me as a Torts player. He doesn’t shy away from physical contact (86 hits last year) but isn’t much of a shot blocker. He’s also about to turn 40 and has broached the topic of retirement already.
Petr Sykora – On the bright side he returned from Europe and potted 21 goals last year so some of that skill still remains. On the down side, it isn’t hard to imagine Sykora getting on the bad side of Tortorella with his lack of physical play. He’s also 36 (sensing a trend ladies and gentlemen?) and not getting any faster.
(Editor’s Note: Sykora recently signed a deal with SC Bern of the Swiss League)
Zach Boychuk – He was placed on waivers today by Carolina and is just 23 years old. He’s also a former 1st round pick (#14 overall in 2008). Problem is another team desperate for help and with a higher waiver priority will likely jump on Boychuk.
Dominic Moore – In many ways he’d be the best option but unfortunately for Dominic his wife passed away earlier this month. It’s hard to imagine his mind is on hockey at this point and even if it was what kind of shape physically could he be in. He’s had far more important things going on than working out and staying in shape.
Gee, of all of the appealing options here I just don’t know what the Rangers should do. Truthfully, for fit alone Langkow is probably the best option here. As long as you’re not expecting him to be a 20-goal, 50-point scorer anymore, Langkow can be a serviceable player for a team.
It isn’t pretty ladies and gentlemen but sometimes you get lucky and a player no one expects to do anything turns into a useful player and key contributor. The Rangers look like they’ve already found a hidden gem in Ferriero and perhaps they can do the same with one of the above players or someone else completely off the radar.
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