Mar 28, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin (52) shoots the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. The Sharks won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Defenseman: Matt Irwin (2014-2015 cap hit: $1.1m)
Irwin most likely won’t go that cheap once free agency begins, but if his price doesn’t increase by too much, having him on the roster wouldn’t be the worst of ideas. Problem is the Rangers are pretty set on the blue line, and with Dan Boyle remaining a blueshirt for one more year (unless he gets moved), it’ll be difficult for him to crack the lineup. Irwin had one less goal and 3 less assists than Boyle during this past regular season, but Boyle’s veteran presence and powerplay expertise outweighs Irwin’s immediate stat sheet similarities.
While signing Irwin is a stretch, re-signing Matt Hunwick is a definite. He’s probably the best 7th defenseman on he market by a longshot, so if the Rangers could maintain their defensive rotations for another year, Irwin isn’t needed and New York is fine on the blue line.