On the ninth day of free agency (July 9) the Rangers sent Aaron Voros and prospect Ryan Hiller to Anaheim in exchange for 26-year-old defenseman Steve Eminger. Eminger has played seven NHL seasons for five different teams (WSH, PHI, TBL, FLA, ANA) and now joins the Rangers. Last season Eminger tallied four goals and 12 assists for a total of 16 points in 63 games for Anaheim.
Before the trade the Rangers had a total of five defenseman who played for the Rangers last season (Del Zotto, Girardi, Redden, Rozsival, and Gilroy). Now, with the addition of Eminger, the Rangers have a defenseman who they can use in any situation.
Eminger can play a decent offensive game, even as a quality shut-down defenseman. If head coach John Tortorella wants to use him on the power play, he can. If Torts wants Eminger to play on the penalty-kill, he can. He's a utility defenseman.
What will Eminger bring to the Rangers?
As I mentioned before, Eminger can be used as a utility defenseman. He can play on the power play, penalty, as a seventh defenseman, or even a Jason Strudwick-type player. By this I mean he's a player who can be used as a seventh defenseman or a 13th forward.
Another player who could be used as a utility defenseman is Matt Gilroy. He can play both defense and offense, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Torts use him as a "Strudwick-type player."
Back to Eminger
Eminger will be an asset to the Rangers' defense, and should the Rangers not re-sign Marc Staal, Eminger will likely dress for all 82 games this coming season. He will bring talent and a veteran presence to New York's defense.
If Eminger fails to play at the standard the Rangers need him to play at, they can either deal him at the deadline, or let him walk next July when he becomes a free agent.
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