Though I am still on the side of wanting to see the NHL ban fighting altogether, I like the fact that the Rangers signed Michael Rupp to a three year deal as he does bring some positives to the NY Rangers.
First, Rupp is a workhorse.
Since becoming a regular full-time NHLer with the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins, in four of the past five years, he has played in more than 70 games. And during the past two seasons for the Penguins, he played in 81 regular season games.
During his time with Pittsburgh he averaged 11 goals and seven assists and 171 penalty minutes–placing him 27th in the league’s list of PIM for last season–with only one game misconduct penalty and 12 major penalty minutes.
He was third in hits for the Penguins with 181.
This tells me that while he does take his job as an enforcer seriously, he doesn’t fight for the sake of fighting. Plus he has real presence and smarts on the ice trying not to hurt his team when he does take a penalty.
Second, he has playoff experience. The Rangers need to continue to balance their youth with playoff-seasoned veterans.
In 18 playoff games with Penguins, Rupp was a +4, scoring his first playoff goal with one playoff assist. He won 63% of his face-offs against the Lighting in game five of that playoff series.
Third, Rupp is good for the community. It pays to see how players will fit in and ingratiate themselves with the fans, sports writers and the city.
While a Penguin, he was awarded the Baz Bastien Memorial “Good Guy” Award and the Edward J. DeBartolo “Community Service” Award.
The Pittsburgh chapter of the Professonal Hockey Writers Association selects a player for his cooperation with the local media–The Baz Bastien Memorial “Good Guy” Award.
The Edward J. DeBartolo “Community Service” Award is given to the players who have donated a considerable amount of time during the seson to working on community and charity projects.
All in all, Rupp should be a good fit and help the Rangers get to the next level–going deeper in the playoffs.
Welcome to the Blue Shirts, Michael!