The New York Rangers have an unpleasant situation developing. As we approach Christmas, the Rangers have a record of 22-7-1. With a record as good as that, it may seem all merry in the Big Apple, and it's true that there is very little worry about this roster right now. The keywords in that sentence are right now. There have been several key members of the New York Rangers out with injuries. Filip Chytil specifically is where this situation I'm talking about arises.
Filip Chytil started the season on the second line between Alexis Lafreniere and Artemi Panarin. That line was playing well, and then Chytil got hurt when he tried to lay a hit on Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesper Fast. In his absence, the Rangers saw Vincent Trocheck step forward and start to dominate the league between the Quebecois and Russian wingers. Since Chytil's injury, Vincent Trocheck has elevated that line entirely.
So, what do the Rangers do with the returning Czech forward? Filip Chytil signed a 4 year deal paying him $4.4375 million per year for the duration of the deal. He's set new career highs in goals, assists and points, and doubled his career high in points last season. He's too talented to be forced into the bottom six and play a grinder role. He's making too much money to play him outside of the top six. But with Mika Zibanejad and Trocheck ahead of Chytil, what is the solution here?
Chytil could play on the wing of Zibanejad and join Chris Kreider in the top six, but that then creates problems down the lineup. Do the Rangers just swallow the pill of paying a third-line center as much as Chytil makes? For an already cap-strapped team, this is a luxury that they may not be able to afford in the long term. Do the Rangers consider moving Chytil for an upgrade on other parts of the roster? That doesn't seem logical because the Rangers want to compete for the Cup. So what would you do with the developing Chytil situation?