New York Rangers rookie Matt Rempe needs to pick brains over brawn to continue his NHL career.

New York Rangers rookie Matt Rempe has just begun his NHL career and has already been engaged in multiple fighting majors. He has shown his toughness and willingness to engage, now it's time to show his ability
New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The old saying goes, “I went to a boxing match, and a hockey game broke out.” Well, in large part, New York Rangers hockey has seen some spirited bouts since Matt Rempe, the hulking 6’7” (but really 6’8”) rookie, made his NHL debut on February 18th. Rempe and fellow rookie 4th liner Adam Edstrom have injected size and physicality into a lineup that largely lacked those two features prior to their arrivals. However, Rempe has been the more physically imposing of the two youngsters, dropping the mitts in three of his first five games (and getting ejected in one of the other two contests). Rempe has proven he can slug it out with the best of them. Now it’s time to settle down and play some hockey.

For Safety:

It’s evident that Rempe’s trend of three fighting majors every five games is not sustainable. The human brain is simply not durable enough to endure such trauma.

But going forward, there needs to be more thought into whether or not to drop the gloves on Rempe’s part. Whether he initiates the fight or not, he has to be more thoughtful about it.
After his fight with Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Nicolas Deslauriers on Saturday, Rempe sought Columbus Blue Jackets enforcer Mathieu Olivier.

The fight didn’t end well for Rempe, who was dropped by a right hook from Olivier. Rempe left the contest for a bit before returning to the bench. No doubt some medical examinations were required before Rempe could return to the ice. At what point does Rempe, who’s just 21 years of age, begin to feel the effects of continuous trauma to the head?

Rangers fans have seen Filip Chytil, who is by no means a fighter, end his season prematurely because of recurring head injuries. The level of force required to cause brain damage is not as significant as it may seem. And after the first concussion, the next is always easier to sustain, and so on.

Rempe has shown he can and will trade blows when the time calls for it. The youngster must understand that he should pick his battles more carefully. No more seeking out the most brutal guy on the opposite side of the ice. It’s time to lace up skates for purposes other than fisticuffs.

He needs to show his ability, that he can play in this league as a pro that is there based on merit. The age of the enforcer has all but ended; thus, Rempe must show that he can play. Fighting and the occasional big hit can’t be his only characteristics. One goal and an assist in his first five games is a decent start.

He still needs to be more involved in play and less focused on extracurricular activities. His long-term health and well-being will thank him for it.