On July first of this off season, the Rangers made a free agent acquisition that not many felt was important. By bringing in Aaron Voros, a left winger from Minnesota, people felt that he would be a gritty addition to the bottom-half of the lineup.
But now, after reading training camp reports from writers such as Larry Brooks and Sam Weinman, to name a couple, I think Aaron Voros might find himself in a much more prominent role in the New York Rangers' lineup, and that is on the first line.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, I was in love with a first line of Nigel Dawes, Scott Gomez, and Nikolai Zherdev. But after a week of training camp, reporters and the coaching staff noticed something about Zherdev that could have been expected, and that was his unwillingness to go into the corners and get the puck.
Even though as a goal scorer, he wouldn't be expected to do the dirty work, but no one else on the Gomez line did it as well, including Gomez himself. I should have seen that coming; Gomez is the playmaker and should stay near the center of the ice. Zherdev is the goal scorer and should be near the front of the net.
I don't know if Nigel Dawes was ever paired with the two I just mentioned, but if he was, would we realistically expect a flea like himself to grind in the corners to get the puck to his linemates?
The answer is simply "no." We can't expect anyone on that line to change the way they play, so my solution for a first line would be having Voros on the left wing with Gomez and Zherdev. In case anyone hasn't seen Voros play and just thinks he is another goon with the likes of Colton Orr, think again.
Not only can Voros fight, but he can hit, shoot, and, most importantly, skate. If he wasn't fast, the line wouldn't work and, although he doesn't have blazing speed, he isn't much slower than Dawes.
He would add grit, size, and protection to a very small and speedy first line. That's my prediction, as I would really love to see this Voros kid on the first line.