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Ex-Rangers Around The NHL: Who Would You Like Back?

Marc Savard has long been viewed as the one that got away

Marc Savard has long been viewed as the one that got away

In the past Blueshirts’ brass has gotten heavy criticism for trading away young players before they’d gotten a chance with the organization.  Some were traded away just before they emerged as stars, like Marc Savard, while other departures, like Mikael Samuelsson, carved out niches for themselves soon after leaving Broadway. 

Savard’s career could be over after a string of concussions and at age 34, Samuelsson is nearing the end as well.  While Savard has long been thought of as the one that got away, there aren’t many ex-Rangers that that can be said about anymore.

Armed with one of the better rosters they’ve had in years, it’s tough to name too many guys the Rangers would like to have back.  Here’s a look at the former Blueshirts sprinkled around the league:

Left Wing

Pascal Dupuis

Lauri Korpikoski

R.J. Umberger

Chris Higgins

Vinny Prospal

Jody Shelley

Though left wing is probably the Rangers’ weakest position, the team would probably only like to have Korpikoski and Umberger back.  Korpikoski was dealt two years ago for Enver Lisin, who managed just six goals in one year with the Rangers before heading over to Russia.  Korpikoski was a solid two-way player for New York but didn’t discover his offensive game until last season when he racked up 40 points.  He’d be a very nice player to add to the Rangers’ young core.  Umberger’s rights were acquired for Martin Rucinsky in March of 2004, but the two sides were never able to come to a contract agreement.  Umberger has scored 50+ points in three of the last four seasons and would be a good fit on the Rangers’ top line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.  Of the others, Prospal’s time with the Rangers was clearly at an end while bottom-six players like Dupuis, Higgins and Shelly didn’t last long on Broadway. 


Manny Malhotra

Dominic Moore

Nik Antropov

Marc Savard

Scott Gomez

Olli Jokinen

Blair Betts

Chris Drury

Matt Cullen

Tom Pyatt

This list is chock-full of swings and misses by GM Glen Sather.  Though beloved by the Blueshirt faithful, Blair Betts isn’t even an appealing option anymore with Richards, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle entrenched at center.  Drury retired on Friday and Savard is also near the end of a great career, but the rest of these guys are mostly over-the-hill veterans unable to handle the pressure of New York.  Malhotra and Moore can both still play, but there’s no room for them on the current Rangers’ squad.

Right Wing

Jaromir Jagr

Ales Kotalik

Mike Knuble

Mikael Samuelsson

Radek Dvorak

Colton Orr

P.A. Parenteau

Adam Hall

The possible return of Jagr was a hotly-debated subject at the beginning of the summer and though he could have added offensive punch this year, it’s hard to get too bent out of shape over missing out on a 39-year-old.  Kotalik was a colossal failure in New York and though several of the others are still competent veteran players, none of them would make a huge impact on the Blueshirts.  Gaborik, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Prust are locked in for the Rangers and though having a veteran like Knuble instead of Mats Zuccarello on the third line might be nice, Zuccarello isn’t someone to give up on just yet.  Some would say that Parenteau never got a fair shake in New York and obviously had ability, as demonstrated by his 53 points last year with the Islanders, but as an undersized winger he was unable to secure a spot on the Blueshirts over three seasons with the organization.  Parenteau has offensive ability, but some of his production last year was a result of the significant ice-time he received on an awful squad.  With the Islanders emerging it will be interesting to see how Parenteau performs with more competition this year.


Paul Mara

Fedor Tyutin

Derek Morris

Tom Poti

Matt Gilroy

Bobby Sanguinetti

Michal Rozsival

Jason Strudwick

Mike Mottau

The Rangers have more good young defenders than they know what to do with and each has the potential to be better than any of these players, with the possible exception of Morris, this season.  Maybe one of them would be a better seventh defender than Steve Eminger, but only Morris has any appeal for regular playing time.


Al Montoya

Jason Labarbera

Montoya began to show signs of his long-forgotten potential last year for the Islanders, but with Marty Biron under contract either of these goalies would be planted in the AHL.  Labarbera already toiled in Hartford for most of five years previously in his career and he’s not much of an upgrade.  Montoya would be a nice young insurance option to have, but not on the NHL roster.

Ignoring salary cap implications, who would you like to see back in blue?



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Posted by Kevin Baumer | August 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

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