Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rangers sign Pyatt

On Day Three of free agency, Rangers President & GM Glen Sather made a solid move in signing Taylor Pyatt to a two-year $3 million contract. The 30-year old former Islanders' first round pick won't blow anyone away but he'll go through a wall for teammates. He's a battler who brings needed size to our checking line.

Editor's Note: I almost forgot that I sorta called the signing on Twitter. So much so that a couple of people quoted me. Not too bad. :P

Maybe Pyatt didn't exactly turn out into what scouts envisioned. A power forward. However, he's carved out a nice career with four previous teams (NYI, Buf, Van, Phx) as an energy guy who can contribute offensively. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native has hit double digits in goalscoring seven of 11 seasons including five straight prior to '11-12 when he fell just shy with nine. He's also put up three 30-plus point years including 31 in '10-11 when he notched 18 goals and six game-winners in the Desert.

While we shouldn't expect too much offense, one thing Pyatt does well is go to the net. An area the Rangers lack consistently. It can't just fall on Ryan Callahan and Chris Kreider. Assuming he's back (well hopefully) Brandon Dubinsky should be a part of it along with Brian Boyle and Artem Anisimov. Pyatt adds size with his 6-4, 228 frame which could be used on the power play.

He may not be as good as Brandon Prust, who was a PK fixture but Pyatt should fit in with Boyle and maybe Dubinsky on a tough third line. That's my hope if Scott Howson continues his lunacy. With our team losing Ruslan Fedotenko (1-year, $1.75 million) to the hated Flyers, another part of the club's identity is gone. At least Sather prepared by landing Pyatt and inking pest Arron Asham. Even if I'm not fond of giving Asham two years, he'll play hard and battle anyone. Plus he can light the lamp occasionally. I'm more curious to see what the organization's plans for Micheal Haley are. He can do more than fight. Guess it all depends on how everything shakes out.

Our team still hasn't addressed scoring. Whether it's due to Slats waiting on Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan, who knows? Either way, they'll cost probably two roster players, a prospect and pick. Even if Howson comes down to Mike Del Zotto and Dubinsky, do you really want to break up our core for a cap headache? There's no disputing Nash's finishing capabilities, which could fill a void with Marian Gaborik out the first two months. I just wonder what the thinking is if they really trade Del Zotto. Even if he still needs work in certain areas, it's hard to replace a young defenseman who scored double digits in goals and put up over 40 points. I'd only consider parting with Derek Stepan if it was for Ryan.

Meanwhile, Anton Stralman is waiting on Sather. He was a good player for us in the regular season and postseason. Plus he's young. They would be making a mistake if they didn't re-sign Stralman. A capable righty shot who can play power play and knows Tort's system. Get it done.

The club also reached terms with rookie free agent Kyle Jean, who impressed during rookie camp. I'll have more on this in the next post.

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