New York Rangers: It’s Time To Give Tim Gettinger A Look

(Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images) /

With the New York Rangers fourth line struggling to produce, the Hartford Wolfpack may have the solution: rookie Tim Gettinger, who has exceeded expectations so far.

The New York Rangers fourth line has been a mysterious combination that has yet to find something that works. It has generally been a combination of Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, Vinni Lettieri or formerly Ryan Spooner…and everybody’s favorite traffic cone, Cody McLeod.

While it isn’t necessarily a bad idea to play younger, more offensively gifted players on the fourth line, they need to actually be used. The team cannot possess a fourth line that plays less than ten minutes per night with players this talented. Most of all, they cannot neuter those offensive players with a guy like McLeod.

The Hartford Wolfpack may have the perfect solution to this problem: Tim Gettinger. A big bodied power forward that isn’t afraid to muck it up like McLeod, but can put pucks in the back of the net and keep up with the more skilled members of the Rangers. To boot, his season with Hartford has been exceptionally good given his age and draft position.

Let’s take a look at what he is accomplishing so far.

Who, and What, is Tim Gettinger?

The Rangers fifth round pick in 2016, Tim Gettinger is a 6’6″, 220lb power forward from the OHL. A good skater for a man his size, Gettinger is a big, tough player that can score goals in a variety of ways, noted by his two 30+ goal OHL seasons. His style of play likens to what Rangers fans saw in Brian Boyle.

Gettinger began his first AHL season with the Hartford Wolfpack after having a strong training camp with the Rangers. All eyes were on him after he surprised with his preseason play, and Gettinger has delivered so far. He currently has seven goals and four assists for nine points in 17 games. His six goals are good for second on the team, and his nine points tie him for fifth on the team, fourth if you exclude Lias Andersson.

Gettinger scores a number of goals from right around the crease. He is an excellent screen and rebound scorer, using his large frame to take away opposing goalies’ sight. That style converts very well to what David Quinn wants his bottom six to look like.

Most importantly, though, Gettinger can keep up with skilled players. One of the biggest flaws of playing Chytil or Andersson with Cody McLeod is that no matter what those two do, once the puck makes its way onto the stick of McLeod, the play dies. All the effort his linemates made inevitably goes to waste, because McLeod simply doesn’t have the offensive acumen or foresight to anticipate their plays and passes.

While Gettinger may never be a top scorer on the team, he has the IQ to at least ride their coattails a little better. The Rangers have a logjam at forward right now, but if they can cut their ties with McLeod and use Lettieri as the 13th man, Gettinger may just be the perfect fit for the Rangers fourth line.

Gettinger has grown at an unanticipated rate, far faster than some older prospects like Ryan Gropp, who was drafted not only a year earlier but three rounds sooner. His skill set translates very nicely to the NHL, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in a Rangers jersey sooner rather than later.

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