by Patrick Hoffman on 07/18/11 at 09:00 AM ET
This is what the New York Rangers appear to be after locking up Brad Richards (via Free Agency), Brian Boyle, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov and Erik Christensen.
Brad Richards is definitely the club’s No. 1 center, something the team has been lacking the last few seasons. The team hopes he will be able to get winer Marian Gaborik back to the way he played a few seasons ago when he scored over 40 goals. Richards is someone, if healthy, who can put up a lot of points and that is exactly what the Rangers will be paying him to do.
Brian Boyle recently resigned with the team for three years totaling $5.1 million a season. Boyle scored over 20 goals last season and proved to be extremely valuable both on and off the ice. If he continues to improve like he did last season, this will prove to be an extremely valuable signing.
Stepan is coming off a terrific rookie season. He scored big goals, played hard at both ends of the ice and showed that he has the potential to be an extremely valuable player to the Blueshirts.
Anismov is also coming off a solid season. In his second year in the NHL, Anisimov had 44 points (18 goals and 26 assists) and showed a lot of chemistry with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, a line that can be formidable in 2011-12.
There is also Christensen. He may not be the team’s most consistent center but he is someone that can make plays and win games in shootous. With that said, he will have to be a lot more consistent if he wants to earn more ice time under Tortorella.
It is nice to be set at the center position so hopefully, the team’s other positions will fall into place.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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