New York Rangers Round-Table: Who is Most Valuable Ranger?

In our second Blue Line Station New York Rangers Roundtable discussion, we look at which New York Ranger is the most valuable, considering all factors. That includes contract, production, age, and more. Let us know who you side with in the comments!

Brandon Cohen:

First of all, let me state this is one of those time’s I like to have the last name Cohen. I get to make my case first, so when you read the other arguments, make sure to keep in mind my wonderfully convincing points about….

Ryan McDonagh. Oh captain, my captain. An argument for McDonagh can be made with but one picture of Dan Girardi snowdiving in the corner, and McDonagh fending off two defensemen in front of Henrik Lundqvist. McDonagh has been tasked with playing with perhaps the worst defenseman in the NHL, yet remains the leader of the team. His value as the locker-room leader must be considered as well.

Most importantly, McDonagh is paid merely $4.7 Million to be captain, play over 22 minutes every night, play in all situations, lead the league-worst defense, and prevent the defense from out-mistaking the Rangers’ offense. As previously stated, he must do so while playing with Dan Girardi.

Perhaps most impressive is that McDonagh has already tallied more assists than last season despite Girardi only scoring eight points on the season. McDonagh is the only Ranger going to the All-Star Game, could be the best American defenseman in hockey, and is a steady force among a defense that should be cratering the Rangers completely. His value is highest of any player.

Garrett Gartino:

When discussing the Most Valuable Ranger one little Norweigan comes to mind. Yes, Mats Zuccarello is by and far the New York Rangers most valuable player.

Standing 5 feet 7 inches tall (on a good day), Zuccarello has consistently been the most productive forward on the Rangers for years now. Since rejoining the team full time in New York in 2013, he leads the team in several categories such as points (204), assists (136), and games played (281).

Another aspect of Zuccarello’s value comes from his affordable, team-friendly contract. In 2015, with the Rangers against the cap as always, Zuccarello signed a 4 year-$18million extension. His dedication to the team has been unquestioned since signing that deal well below market value.

Despite losing best friends Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello continues to be the heartbeat of the New York Rangers. The energy and passion that he brings on a game to game basis is second to none. He is the Most Valuable Ranger.

Tim Haggerty:

The most valuable player on the New York Rangers today is their goalie Henrik Lundqvist; and he has been since Jaromir Jagr left after the 2007-2008 season. Since then, Lundqvist has been an eight-time All-Star, Vezina winner, and even MVP finalist. Despite his struggles as of late, Lundqvist is a rock solid goalie. This season has arguably been his worst to date, but he still makes the New York Rangers so much better.

One thing comes to mind when you think of the New York Rangers and the playoffs: Lundqvist. He arguably becomes one of the league’s most valuable players come playoff time.  His numbers in the playoffs are stellar: 2.28 GAA, 92% save percentage, and nine shutouts. The Stanley Cup has eluded him throughout his career, but Lundqvist is certainly not to fault for that.

The New York Rangers are as good as they are this year because they are deep. Often times, it’s hard to pick out one player as the most valuable on teams like the Rangers have. However, I think it’s fairly clear that Henrik Lundqvist is the most vital piece of this roster.  

Karly Redpath:

Leading up to the 2016-17 season, the Rangers signed Chris Kreider to a four-year 18.5 million dollar deal. The 25 year-old-forward has established himself as one of the team’s most productive forwards, and in his last two seasons has tied a career-high 21 goals. He is looking to surpass that number in 2017, currently sitting at 17 goals on the year just halfway through the season.

Beyond how well Kreider has been playing, the two best things that came in inking this contract for the forward is first, that as the contract progresses the amount of money he is being paid will decrease. This means that if he decided to look at trade options he would come with less of a price tag and could be easier to move. Second, his deal includes an 11-team no-trade clause meaning that he would likely not end up playing for a division rival. Always an added bonus when you have a player with so much speed.

But for now, this contract makes Chris Kreider one of the most valuable Rangers on the roster this season. Because of the change seen in his play this season, it makes the next four years (hopefully more) with him very exciting.

Alexandra Russo:

At the young age of 23, J.T. Miller is proving himself worthy of being a top six forward. He started the season with a hot streak, and although it has worn off to an extent, he consistently maintains steady scoring.

Currently, he claims fourth place on the Rangers’ point totals this season, including 14 goals and 18 assists. With 32 points through 45 games, Miller is already on pace to outdo his previous season, which would make it his best season to this point.

His stats and more importantly, his level of competition, prove that he shows true potential and is capable of improving himself even more.

On top of all of this, perhaps the most important thing to remember is that he has a cap hit of only $2.7 million. The contract only goes into the 2017-2018 season, but it would be a wise decision for the Rangers to keep him on their roster, especially if he continues this type of play.

He has been called upon to log big minutes when teammates have been injured. Miller is a player capable of stepping up his game when it’s most necessary to do so, and for this reason, he is definitely one of the most valuable players on this New York Rangers’ roster.