The New York Rangers will likely replace Tanner Glass this off-season. Picking the right player to fill his role will be crucial to the team’s success.
Tanner Glass showed the New York Rangers everything wrong about the enforcer role throughout his tenure in the Big Apple. However, Glass also represented what the Big Apple is all about. The big-bodied winger finished his Rangers career (hopefully) with a bang, playing the best hockey of his Rangers career when it mattered most.
Though Glass was effective at the end of his time in New York, that came with a caveat. The enforcer stopped being an enforcer.
Glass will be an unrestricted free agent this off-season, and there have not been any rumblings yet of a Rangers return. Odds are New York will look elsewhere to fill the fourth line void, one that carries great importance to the team’s success.
Filling the role with a talented player rather than a Glass-replica is an essential step towards succeeding next season.
Glass Half Empty:
New York’s recent stretch with Tanner Glass employed as the team’s enforcer showed why acquiring an enforcer at all is a foolish decision. Glass regularly played out of position, buried his teammates possession numbers, and struggled to contribute offensively. Though he did stick up for his teammates, that did little to nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Signing a player like Chris Neil to replace Tanner Glass would be a major step in the wrong direction for New York. The Rangers play a game based on speed and skill, and players like Glass and Neil play based on size and intangibles. The players’ skill-sets fail to match the teams’ strengths.
Imagine a line of Michael Grabner-Oscar Lindberg-Chris Neil. Now I give you permission to message me profanities on Twitter, because I deserve that for making you think of such an awful scenario.
However, it is a realistic scenario if New York looks to replace Glass with a big body that can fight over the alternative.
Glass Half Full:
While acquiring a pure enforcer could spell doom for New York, acquiring a valuable fourth liner could push this team over the top. We saw the depth advantage push the Rangers over the Montreal Canadiens in the first round. It was no coincidence that Pavel Buchnevich played in place of Tanner Glass in those games.
While the Rangers may not need to acquire a replacement for Tanner Glass at all, the choice must be a talented player if they do. Sure, that player could be a bruiser, but they must be a bruiser with value as well.
In 2014, the Rangers used a mix of Daniel Carcillo and Derek Dorsett. Neither player wowed with their offensive skill, but neither player served as a detriment on the ice either. The key to replacing Tanner Glass is to avoid signing a player who is essentially Glass all over again.
As long as New York follows that guideline, the forward depth will be a significant strength once again.
*stay tuned for who we think the Rangers should acquire to replace Glass, coming Thursday 9 AM*