With power play quarterback defenseman, Marc-Andre Bergeron, on the free agent market this summer, and with the New York Rangers struggling immensely on the power play these past few years, can Rangers new head coach Alain Vigneault and a small pick up of Bergeron be what the Rangers need in order to get past their power play woes?
Bergeron is definitely someone to consider in my opinion. Yes, he is now 32 years of age, but he comes cheap since no one will sign him for over $1 million, unless you are the Philadelphia Flyers, and it is highly unlikely anyone would give him more than a one-year contract — unless again you are the Flyers. Before the New York Islanders got Mark Streit, I remember seeing Bergeron do well as their power play quarterback and later he did the same for the Tampa Bay Lightning as he helped ignite their power play and bring them to within one game of advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals before they were eliminated in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins in the 2010-2011 season. Now he is not the greatest on the power play, but he moves the puck well and has a great slap shot, which a lot of the Rangers’ defensemen lack as they have to lead the league in shooting the puck wide. Plus any help the Rangers can get in the power play department for a low price would be very beneficial I would think.
The big negative, however, on Bergeron is his inconsistent play and being prone to injury. Bergeron, in his entire career spanning back to 2002, has never played a full 82 game season or even this year’s strike shortened season as he only managed to play 25 of the 48 regular season games. This is all because he was either hurt or played so bad defensively that he needed to be sent down.
Overall Bergeron is an offensive defenseman that really cannot do anything else, as he is very limited skill wise. He does, however, have an impressive slap shot and works a good power play which could be valuable to a team like the Rangers. But with Bergeron’s liabilities to his defensive game, is signing him to a one-year, $1 million contract worth it to Vigneault’s system and the Rangers? Just something to think about as free agency is upon us for the summer.