Remember when there were people genuinely upset that the Rangers did not re-sign forward Tyler Motte this summer and instead chose to bring back some of the other members of this bottom six instead? Well, Chris Drury liked him as a deadline pickup so much last year that he decided to do it again this year. If it works well once, you can do it again because you know the outcome right.
Motte tallied five goals and five helpers since his return to the Rangers roster but I think everyone knows that has nothing to do with why he was acquired. He’s here to do fourth-line things. He’s going to kill penalties, block shots, hit anything that moves, and try to help the Rangers rest their best players so that they can do the damage when they are on the ice after the lower lines wear out the opponents’ best players.
I joke about how Drury enjoyed the acquisition of Motte so much last season but it turned out to be an incredibly helpful trade for the Rangers’ playoff run. He was a big part of the Rangers’ ability to just survive. Everyone had to pull on that rope to get to the Eastern Conference Finals last year and there is no denying that Motte can do that with the skillset he has. It made him a great idea as someone who already knew the room.
While there is a limit to the strength of the impact of a fourth-line player like Tyler Motte, it is important for him to continue to help guide some of the younger players on this roster. He’s not going to break games open with outstanding flashes of brilliance because that isn’t the type of player he is. As I’ve already covered, his game is going to be playing on the PK, keeping scoring chances against to a minimum, and hitting hard.