The Rangers’ seven-game winning streak came to an end against the Pittsburgh Penguins and many fans are blaming one player for the loss. That player is Sammy Blais. Blais took a dumb penalty in the second period which resulted in the Penguins scoring a goal which gave them a 2-1 lead going into the third period. Blais was then benched for the entire third period and will likely come out of the lineup when the Rangers host the Islanders at MSG.
Many are now calling for Blais to be traded or sent down. Should the Rangers give up on Sammy Blais?
Blais was acquired last summer from the Blues along with a second-round pick in exchange for Pavel Buchnevich. This was one of the first trades made by General Manager Chris Drury and it is seen as the worst trade he has made. He traded away a proven top-six player who needed a new contract for a bottom-six player who played a tough and physical style of hockey. This is one reason why fans hate Blais. He is the last piece the team has from the Buchnevich trade.
Another reason why fans are turning on the Quebec native is because of his lack of production. He has yet to score a regular season goal as a member of the Rangers. We all know about the ACL injury last season that cost him a majority of the season and the playoffs, but fans are tired of waiting.
Even though it has been over a year, it seems as though he is not fully recovered and it shows on the ice. He has the occasional big hit, but the rest of his game leaves something to be desired.
This season, in 30 games, Blais has five assists. In 44 total games as a Ranger, he has nine assists. Ranger fans are not patient and want to see more out of him offensively. After his performance against the Penguins, it is likely that we see Julian Guthier come back in for Blais. Gauthier has shown more this season than Blais has and it has reached a point where fans want to see Blais either traded away or sent down to Hartford.
Many are asking for the Rangers to trade Sammy in exchange for Tyler Motte from the Ottawa Senators. Motte played very well for the Rangers last season and many wish to see him back on the team at some point this season. The question now is will GM Chris Drury part ways with one of the first assets he acquired, or will he hold on to him and hope that he can turn his game around? Only time will tell.