I feared that the Rangers would evaluate their loss to the Kings and say “we got to get bigger and meaner”. The early returns on their 2014 off-season seem to suggest that is exactly what Glen Sather’s conclusion was. The Rangers seemingly went out of their way to draft size over skill in the early rounds of the 2014 draft (though that’s not entirely certain). They saw fit to sign Tanner frickin’ Glass to a 3 year contract, presumably for his face punching ability. Now there are rumblings that the Rangers are connected to Steve Ott, who lacks the ability to be a good hockey player in recent years, but is ‘tuff’.
I’ve been clamoring for the Rangers to sign a third line center for the entire off-season. It’s vital that they do so. But not Steve Ott. Do not sign Steve Ott. There are centers who have been better in recent years and add much more to the team other than being a ‘gritty character guy’.
The Rangers took what may prove to be a major step back in their ability to compete at evens with the addition of Dan Boyle and loss of Anton Stralman. In context, that move was made clearly to address the power play, which is a real problem, as opposed to this imagined one of the Rangers not being tough enough. Make a move that continues to address the power play, since Boyle alone doesn’t entirely fix the problem.
Signing Ott makes perfect sense though if I put on my Drunk Sather face. “Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard are too similar. Their names are both Derek! We need to add a dimension of intensity down the middle!”. No, please do not sign him.