Saying Radim Vrbata is a good replacement for Rick Nash might sound crazy, but let’s take a second to think about it. In the last three season, Vrbata has scored 64 goals and added 81 assists. Nash over the same period of time has scored 80 goals and added 63 assists. Nash had his best season with the Rangers during these three years and still just barely finished with fewer points than Vrbata.
Vrbata, while having just turned 36-years-old, can still produce at the same level as Nash. He’s a cheap threat with very little risk involved. Granted, Vrbata did post 55 points in his 35-year-old season after a measly 27 with the Canucks. It may not all be peaches and gravy, but it could work out well.
Vrbata is also three inches shorter and about 25 pounds lighter. This size difference could prove important if the Rangers need someone to get to the gritty areas of the ice. Vrbata can’t use his body as a tool in the same way that Nash can, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Rangers have been relying on speed rather than size in recent years. While Vrbata’s size may be seen as a detraction from his value, it could be a major plus for the Rangers.
If the Rangers do decide to get older with their roster after parting with Nash for whatever reason, Radim Vrbata is the guy to turn to. He’s a cheap, veteran solution at right wing for the Rangers.