New York Rangers: Analyzing the center pool in free agency

Jun 11, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino (13) skates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Nashville Predators in game six of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino (13) skates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Nashville Predators in game six of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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ST. LOUIS, MO – APRIL 16: Jake Allen
ST. LOUIS, MO – APRIL 16: Jake Allen /

Martin Hanzal-

Dealt from Arizona to Minnesota in a huge deadline move last season, Hanzal is possibly the biggest name center on the market this offseason.

Pros: He has size. He is consistent. He’s got a decent amount of skill. Hanzal’s also very solid defensively. In short, he checks off a lot of boxes that make teams want a center like him. Hanzal isn’t an elite center by any means, but he could easily fill a third-line void.

For the Rangers, Hanzal would immediately add skill to their top nine. He has been in the league for 10 seasons now, but certainly, has a lot left. Maybe the most important aspect of Hanzal’s game that should have the Rangers excited is his career 51.8% win percentage in the face-off circle. The Rangers ranked 22nd in that category last year.

Cons: More so than any other free agent, money worries me with Hanzal. Just based on his size and the fact that he may be the top center on the market, Hanzal will probably be looking at a 4-5 year deal worth anywhere from $4.5-5 million.

It seems unreasonable to think that, but the Wild gave up a king’s ransom to acquire Hanzal, so that figure is well within the realm of possibility. The Rangers would be paying big money for a player whose production may never live up to it.