Raphael Diaz is an offensive defenseman with good vision and above average puck skills for a defenseman. Having him in the lineup or more likely just on the team, gives Alain Vigneault a playmaker on the back-end able to make good first passes up ice through the neutral zone. Once set up in the attacking zone, Raphael Diaz has an above average shot which helps on the power play. Has Raphael Diaz earned another contract from the New York Rangers? Anton Stralman might price himself out of New York, that leaves a pretty large hole on the blue line. Specifically, a right-handed defenseman for the second pairing. If Anton Stralman leaves as an Unrestricted Free Agent, Raphael Diaz is not going to fill the position. Unless another right handed defenseman is found in free agency or by trade, Kevin Klein would have to move up to play with Marc Staal. John Moore would have to play with Rafi Diaz on the third pair.There wasn’t much lost defensively while Raphael Diaz filled in for John Moore who was out for two games due to suspension in the playoffs. I think there’s guys Glen Sather can find on the free agent market like Derek Morris. A right handed defenseman with a $2.75 million dollar cap hit last season. He played 19:26 per game with a minus two rating and eighty-two shots on goal. Anton Stralman is a possession monster so replacing him is tough but a guy like Derek Morris is a big defenseman at 214 pounds able to play second pairing minutes. Brooks Orpik is also a free agent Glen Sather can look into.Having Raphael Diaz as a 7th defenseman would be ideal but the top 6 is not full right now. John Moore is a Restricted free agent and the afore-mentioned Anton Stralman is Unrestricted. Raphael Diaz is also an unrestricted free agent who made $1.225 million dollars last season. He’s a guy that can theoretically play top six minutes for Alain Vigneault‘s puck pursuit, possession hockey. Joining the rush is part of his game and the point on the power play is his specialty.
Rather than sign Anton Stralman to four million or more on a long term deal, Raphael Diaz can help fill a (Scoring) hole on the New York Rangers blue line.His play on the power play is better than any other defenseman on the New York Rangers. Ryan McDonagh has gotten better every year in the National Hockey League and broke out in a major way this last season. Raphael Diaz is still a better power play point man. The fact Raphael Diaz will come cheap and the New York Rangers don’t have any offensive defenseman that can make a good first pass out of the defensive zone. We’ve all seen Raphael Diaz’s skill with the puck and that’ll open up time and space for the forwards to enter the zone.On the Power Play, Raphael Diaz is an above average point man. The 1-3-1 power play Scott Arniel has the New York Rangers playing has three different point positions. Raphael Diaz moves the puck well and can move around the formation on his Power play unit. Alain Vineault will want a defenseman that can make the power play better like Raphael Diaz. No offense to Ryan McDonagh but Raphael Diaz is still the better point man on the power play.