Apparently Glen Sather and John Tortorella agreed with me in regards to Vinny Prospal. In a previous post I floated the idea of the Rangers looking at Prospal to address their lack of depth at the Center position. When I first mentioned the idea I met with some comments that gently reminded me that Prospal and Tortorella didn’t necessarily get along in their time together in Tampa. I rationalized the potential reunion by pointing out that Prospal enjoyed some of his best statistical seasons while playing for Torts in Tampa. The Lightning even re-acquired Prospal from the Ducks after Prospal had signed with Anaheim as a free agent. It figures that Torts liked Prospal enough that he signed off on then Tampa GM Jay Feaster’s move to bring Prospal back.
Prospal figures to fill one of the top 2 center spots with the Rangers. He may even be fortunate enough to skate with Marian Gaborik. This development could result in Prospal continuing his trend of following up a lackluster season with a good season. After recording just 45 points in 82 games, Prospal should easily be in line for 60+ if playing with Gaborik for a full season.
Obviously I like this move for the Rangers as it gives them depth up front. Brandon Dubinsky can play on the 2nd line or with Gaborik on the #1 line. Drury can slide in at a wing on any line while I still see Artem Anisimov making this team and skating on the 3rd line. Prospal isn’t a first line Center but he certainly makes the Rangers better offensively.
Another note of interest for Rangers fans; Mark Messier has been hired as a special assistant to Sather. Messier has been very vocal in his desire to get back into the game in a front office capacity. He is approaching his new position with open eyes. He realizes that despite his 25 years of playing experience he still has a lot to learn on the business side of the game. The “Moose” will approach this job with the same intensity and level of dedication that he put into his on-ice career. It’s great to see Messier back in the NHL and it’s especially good that he is back where he belongs; with the Rangers.