Is Mike Knuble One of the Answers to the New York Rangers' Problems?
The last time Mike Knuble donned a New York Ranger sweater, it was in the heat of the "Dark Ages," a seven year stretch of disgusting management and mediocre play. During that time the Rangers saw the departure of many young, promising players in favor of older, decrepit has-beens ready to gallop off into the sunset.
Mike Knuble was one of those players.
Having played the better part of two seasons, scoring fifteen goals in a full eighty two games in his first, and only nine in his second, Knuble was dealt at the deadline for a no-name grinder by the name of Rob Dimaio. The latter would go on to play a whopping twelve games in his Ranger career, netting one goal while Knuble went off to score over two hundred, with teams such as the Red Wings, Bruins, and Flyers.
With Knuble as a free agent and the Rangers desperately needing cheap scoring, should they make a push for him?
At thirty seven years old he is obviously not in his prime any longer, but he is coming off a season in which he scored twenty seven goals; a total more than anyone on the Rangers.
He not only brings goal scoring ability, but the intangibles that John Tortorella loves as well. He is a big body that loves to drive to the net and score garbage goals. He also can kill penalties and bring leadership into the locker room. Rangers' beat writer Larry Brooks suggested that he could alleviate some of the pressure on the quiet captain Chris Drury—that alone could help.
The main reason for the Rangers to make a push is affordability. Markus Naslund retiring left this team with an extra four million dollars to spend, and Knuble only made $2.8 million last season. At his age he won't be due for a raise so look for a salary at or lower then last year's. That is a price that this team can afford.
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