Thursday, July 5, 2012

Whither the PK?

The Rangers' character-3rd-liner pool took another hit today, as Ruslan Fedotenko signed with the Philadelphia Flyers (yet another reason to like them and then immediately get angry at yourself for liking them). It's a 1 year, $1.75 million deal (a $350,000 raise over last season), and, much like with the Prust deal, while I can't be angry with Fedotenko for taking that deal or with Sather for not offering it, I'm still sad to see the guy go.

For what it's worth, to make up for the depth hemorrhaging we've been doing this week (Mitchell, Scott, Prust, Fedotenko, and Zuccarello), we did sign a little bit more than just Asham, Haley, and Newbury, whom I mentioned Tuesday. We agreed today to terms with some kid name Kyle Jean, so look for that to potentially matter in a few years, or not. But more importantly, we signed erstwhile Coyote Taylor Pyatt to a 2-year deal at $1.55 million per year. I think I'd rather have Pyatt at $1.55m than Feds at $1.75m, so I can't really complain.

But let me try: Fedotenko and Prust were two of the club's top penalty killers last season (and Mitchell was a pretty responsible forward in a jam as well). They've been nominally replaced by Asham and Pyatt. First of all, I'd never use the word "responsible" to describe Arron Asham for any reason. I'd use other, less savory ones. But here's my real point:

Last season (including playoffs), Prust and Fedotenko combined for 296:17 of shorthanded time on ice, and yet finished the season only a combined -2. Meanwhile, across their two respective teams, Asham and Pyatt, who combined for 1752:29 on ice, played a total of six shorthanded seconds between them. So, as excited as I am about seeing Taylor Pyatt suit up, I still think this offseason has not been kind to the New York Rangers thus far, especially on the PK.

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