Friday, July 17, 2009

Rangers Forward Lines if Season Started Today

Barring any other changes made by Glen Sather in the next few months, the New York Rangers forward lines will likely look something like this:

Gaborik - Dubinsky - Callahan
Higgins - Drury - Kotalik
Avery - Anisimov - Lisin
Brashear - Boyle - Byers

Dubinsky has to be re-signed (get it done already!) as he's a RFA, as is Lisin, who was just acquired this week from Phoenix.

The only position that is a lock in my opinion is that Marian Gaborik will be on the first line (knock on wood: as long as he remains healthy). The rest of the players are all interchangable, on any given night Brandon Dubinsky could be the first line center or the third line center, just as Callahan could be a top line player or a second line winger.

Evgeny Grachev, Jordan Owens, Andres Ambuhl, Tyler Arnason and Aaron Voros also have legitimate shots at making the team but in all likelihood the only positions currently up for grabs are spots on the third and fourth lines.

I actually think that the Rangers will carry 13 forwards most of the season because I think that in John Tortorella's system, many nights Donald Brashear could be a healthy scratch.

What do you think?


Brian said...

They look pretty reasonable, although I am sure that Gaborik will be at RW, not LW. He has been a RW his entire career, he is not about to start lining up on the left. If any of our 4 (or 5, couting Zherdev) were to switch over, I think it would be Lisin.

Puck Central said...

I had a brain fart when I wrote that I guess. That could seriously change the lines up. I still think that Sather has a few more moves up his sleeve and at this point who knows who is even going to make the roster.

Derek said...

The fourth line worries me. Again, this team by filling it with vets refuses to allow other kids to have much of a chance. What about Brodie Dupont or Parenteau? If Arnason gets more of a look, I'll eat my shoe.

Puck Central said...

Derek - There's a legitimate chance that there will be several rookies in the lineup next season. Byers/Gracehv/Anisimov/Gilroy/Lisin/Bobby S -- all have a shot at cracking the lineup. Not sure how much more youth you expect. I do agree that Arnason should be in Hartford, I think he was brought in for depth.

Brian said...

I think as of right now Anisimov is a definite, as well as Lisin (is he technically a rookie?) and Gilroy. I think they will give Grachev another year to see if he is the real deal. Byers could possibly lock up that 4th line wing spot if he can PK, or Parenteau as well. Sanguinetti could get a long look as well.

And Derek - If Arnason comes into camp and proves that he can be more of an asset than Byers or another player, what would be wrong with that? You need to put the best team on the ice, and if Arnason is part of that, I have no problem with that. Besides, the 4th line doesn't get much time on a Tortorella team.