Monday, August 15, 2011

Predicting who will play left wing on the top line..

     There has been much debate to whom will have the pleasure of playing the left wing on the clubs top line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.  Candidates include such as Brandon Dubinsky, Sean Avery, Derek Stepan, and Wojtek Wolski.  Considering how well the "wolf pack" line plays together it doesn't make much sense to break up that line. Although John Tortorella will most likely give that scenario a look during training camp it should not be the answer. Cally, Artey and Dubi have too much chemistry and took much of last years scoring load onto themselves and succeeded.
     As for Sean Avery he is very inconsistent. He also tends to put himself into tort's dog house by taking bad penalties. Plus his offseason activities haven't pleased the rangers.  So he does not seem like a good fit to be playing with such high profile players. 
     My favorite option would be Derek Stepan. Now that the rangers have a true number one center, and the second line is set with Anisimov. The third set with Brian Boyle, this makes the most sense. You don't want to have such a promising player, playing 4th line minutes that would be a waste of talent.  So why not put him on the left wing next to two of top players in the league.  It would make sure he gets top playing minutes. It would help having two centers capable of taking important face-offs.  It would make sure it doesn't fall victim to the sophomore slump, and he could truly learn from one of the best on how to be a consistent top line center men.
    Wojtek Wolski is probably the choice that will see the best look. Considering the amount he makes. It would be crazy to have him playing 10-15 minutes a game on the fourth line.  Considering his 3.8 million cap hit it is unlikely that Glen Sather would allow torts to play him on the fourth line.  Another option being a trade. Most likely trade candidates being Wolski and Christensen, as these players are very inconsistent and would be good for teams looking to clear some cap space and secondary scoring.  Teams that might be interested in this trade would be The Washington Capitals, as rumor is there are trying to shop Alexander Semin, and it would definitely clear cap space.  Or teams like The NY Islanders and The Winnipeg Jets. Who could both use extra scoring. Either way the rangers have two elite players and come camp we should know who will get the first look on that line.

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