Ranking the Rangers—Part One: 20-26
This will be a series of posts in which we rank players on the Rangers roster who played at least 10 games (Regular season/playoffs) as a Blueshirt in 2015-2016. Let’s get right into it:
26: Danny Paille
OH GOD SHIELD YOUR EYES!
Paille played in 12 games as a Ranger from Late-January into February, and boy were they memorable. Not in a good way.
Paille was a team worst 35.1% CF% with exactly ZERO goals and ZERO assists. His signing came at a time when the Rangers were looking for help on the penalty kill. All Paille did was make the already pathetic PK worse. There is no bright spot here. Watching Paille squirm out there, dragging Dom Moore down with him was painful. Although it took them a month, they finally did away with Paillie, but the damage had already been done.
25: Jarret Stoll
Coming in second to dead-last on the list is the very battle tested, Stanley Cup champion. The oh so experienced Jarret Stoll.
Stoll was brought in leading up to training camp to give the Rangers more experience, or something. He stunk then and he stinks now. The worst part about the Stoll experiment was that he was a Ranger for almost half of the season, playing in 29 games.
The gripe here isn’t with Stoll the man, I assume he’s a great dude (wait, a drug arrest?). My gripe is with Rangers management for getting caught up in unimportant things– like the fact that Stoll had won a cup before– as an excuse for his signing. There were (and still are) kids waiting in Hartford who could do AT LEAST as good a job as Stoll did as the fourth-line center. It was a waste of a roster spot that could’ve been filled by a capable youngster waiting to get his shot.
Instead, the Rangers opted to go with Stoll, who tallied one goal two assists, and had a sub-40% CF% in 29 games. He won some faceoffs though! Weeeeeeeee
24: Emerson Etem
Etem was the secondary piece in the Carl Hagelin trade (draft pick being the primary) but he just never made strides like we hoped he would.
To be fair, Etem wasn’t given much of a fair shot when it came to deployment and line mates—this is on the head coach. He played in 19 games as a Ranger, was a defensive liability and failed to turn heads when he did have the puck on his stick. In those 19 games, Etem didn’t score a goal and had three assists. His deployment didn’t help given that he was largely assigned defensive zone minutes (god only knows why). From the outside, it seemed like AV never wanted to give Etem a fair crack at things.
Alas, Etem didn’t do enough with the time he was given and was shipped off to Vancouver in a trade that netted Niklas Jensen, who looks to be primed for a training camp battle in the hopes of sticking with the big club in a fourth line role.
23: Eric Staal
This one stings.
E. Staal tallied three goals and three assists in 20 regular season games after the trade that brought him to Broadway. To say this was underwhelming would be an understatement. In the Rangers’ first round series vs. Pittsburgh, Staal was just downright bad. He was on the ice for 10 goals against and 0 goals for. Registered 0 goals and 0 assists in those five games. Womp.
For Staal the Rangers gave up Aleksi Saarela and two second round picks. This trade was a steal…for the Hurricanes. Not only did the Rangers give up a good prospect and two draft picks for a player that, well, stunk. They did it for one playoff win. A total loss on all fronts for NYR.
22: Dan Girardi
I didn’t want to place Danny G this high on the list. I really didn’t. The fact that Girardi is up here—with the likes of Jarret Stoll and Danny Paille—is… well…sad.
But it’s warranted. Girardi, injured or not, was downright awful this season. A player who has willingly thrown himself in front of 90 MPH slap shots is bound to have his injuries catch up to him eventually. That happened this year. Rumors have swirled that Girardi played much of the season with significant damage to one of his knees.
He went from a bad overall player who had a role for the Rangers in the two seasons preceding this one, to a total dumpster fire. Unfortunately, Girardi was one of the big reasons the Rangers struggled as much as they did. It took a while for the stubborn head coach to give Girardi a lesser role in the wake of his struggles. So part of this falls on Alain Vigneault for sure.
If he’s back next season, Girardi will have to prove that he’s not a one dimensional shot blocker who plays the puck like it’s a hand grenade. I hope he does, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.
21: Tanner Glass
Had this list been made a year ago, Glass would be dead last.
Tanner came up in the middle of the season and played 57 games, registering 4 goals! A drastic improvement from last season for sure.
Glass is what he is at this point. A fourth line checking winger whom the coach has been insistent on playing over young talent that can provide something positive for the team both now and in the future. There’s no sense in continuing to beat this into the ground. While he is guilty of having put up some awful possession numbers, Glass never makes dumb plays with the puck that see him as the direct culprit for GA’s. Kudos for that, Tanner.
Still, Glass was the worst full-time forward and had a part in making the Rangers a three-line team for the second consecutive season. Boy what I would do to have Brian Boyle back.
20: Marc Staal
At the beginning of the season, I was optimistic when it came to Marc Staal.
Coming off of a season where his underlying numbers were not quite up to snuff, Staal had a chance to reverse the narrative on his Rangers tenure. Before the season, Staal was a slow, aging defenseman who was massively overpaid. I hoped a season where Staal reverted to his once-ascendant form was coming. It didn’t come.
Instead, Staal was really bad. He looked slower, and made bad decisions with the puck. Like Girardi, Staal contributed to the Rangers’ back end’s inability to move the puck and help the transition game. If anything, Staal’s season was a step backwards for the 31-year-old lifetime Ranger. Now the Rangers front office will be forced to explore trade avenues in the coming summer. Not at all an ideal scenario.
Couple this with the fact that Staal’s contract may be what causes Keith Yandle to walk in free agency and, well… *throws up everywhere*
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Posted on May 13, 2016, in In the Crease and tagged Alain Vigneault, Dan Girardi, Daniel Paille, Emerson Etem, Eric Staal, Eric Staal trade, Jarret Stoll, Jeff Gorton, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, MSG, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NYR, Rangers, Rangers blog, Tanner Glass. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.