New York Rangers: Good general managers can still make bad decisions

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Cody McLeod
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Cody McLeod /

Just because the New York Rangers’ GM appears to have made a less than ideal signing doesn’t mean he is bad at his job.

On Thursday, the rebuilding New York Rangers made a cringe-worthy roster move by re-signing veteran enforcer Cody McLeod.

It was less than ideal because McLeod does nothing but fight. And when the Rangers needed someone to stand up for their teammates this past February in Nashville, McLeod sat there and did nothing.

McLeod is one of the worst forwards in the NHL. He’s slow, has hands made of rock and makes all of his linemates worse. If you don’t believe me, check out the chart and the replay below.

If the Rangers were to bring McLeod into training camp on a tryout then that’s one thing. However, giving him a guaranteed contract is not a good look. The hope is that he’s the Rangers’ 13th forward because even if he’s the 12th forward, he’d be bad for the development of the younger players.

With all of that said, people acting like Jeff Gorton is a bad general manager who needs to be fired because of this one move need to take a chill pill.

All general managers make bad signings or trades at some point. It happens.

Look at Steve Yzerman, for example.

On the trade front, he dealt Radko Gudas, a first round pick and a third round pick for Brayden Coburn. That deal was a really rough as Coburn has not been too good in his Tampa Bay tenure.

Related: McLeod is terrible, but that doesn’t matter

As far as contracts go, look at the Ryan Callahan contract, a deal that may be halting the Lightning from getting Erik Karlsson this offseason. Callahan’s six-year deal at $5.8 million annually has been an albatross. He’s played a combined 85 games over the last two seasons, only tallying seven goals and 22 points.

Now if Yzerman, the best general manager in the NHL by a fair amount, in my opinion, could make a few major mistakes, then don’t overreact to relatively minor one that Gorton made.

Let’s get another thing straight, the Rangers aren’t going to be competing for a playoff spot anyway this season. They may not want to fill the roster entirely of young kids. Instead, they may opt to have a few of them further develop their game at the AHL level and not rush them onto NHL ice.

There were plenty of better options available on the market to fill a fourth line role. Joel Ward, Kris Versteeg and Benoit Pouliot are all still out there and would’ve been better options.

Maybe David Quinn’s familiarity with McLeod, who played for him when he was an assistant in Colorado, made it easier to bring him back. Maybe the players in the locker room raved about him in exit interviews.

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I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how training camp develops. I’m rooting for McLeod to succeed this season. I just want him to forced to earn a roster spot just like the rest of the team.