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New York Rangers: Top 5 Players Who Need A “Clean Slate” Under Alain Vigneault

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New York Rangers: Top 5 Players Who Need A Clean Slate

New York Rangers: Top 5 Players Who Need A
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

On the New York Rangers' first day of training camp, new head coach Alain Vigneault had a gift for every single one of his players.

This gift was a t-shirt with the words "Clean Slate Grab It" on the front of them.

Now I do not know if Vigneault made that saying just for the Rangers or that is just his thing when he goes to a new team, but either way, this saying can definitely be applied to this Rangers team.

Many players on this Rangers team had some similar, yet some different problems from last season that need to be wiped clean, so to speak.

A lot of the Rangers were not necessarily on the same page with the organizations' previous coaching regime, led by John Tortorella. Also, some players new to the Rangers would like to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with their new team in red, white and blue as well.

So without any further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy the "Top 5 New York Rangers Who Need A "Clean Slate" Under New Head Coach Alain Vigneault" slideshow. Please proceed by clicking next and feel free to leave any and all comments below. Thank you.

Steven Carollo is a New York Rangers’ and sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn, and join his Google network.

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5. Benoit Pouliot

Benoit Pouliot
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Benoit Pouliot was recently acquired by the Rangers this summer though free agency and is said to be on their third line once the season starts.

Pouliot is only 26 years old and has a lot of scoring upside, but has failed to be consistent throughout his seven years in the NHL and has never played a full 82-game season in his career. He only played in 34 of last season's 48 games.

His lack of consistency and proneness to injury is what Pouliot would like to wipe the slate clean of and start a more consistent career from this point forward with the Rangers under Vigneault. If he can stay healthy, he can be a 20-goal scorer in this league, and that ain't bad for a third liner.

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4. Dominic Moore

Dominic Moore
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dominic Moore started his career with the Rangers and is back in the red, white and blue after six years.

Moore is a fourth-line center who has always been a real solid player and hard worker. His goal scoring over the years has improved, and should prove to be a real big boost for the Rangers' fourth line this upcoming season.

So why does Moore need a clean slate?

Well, Moore sadly did not play all of last season due to the passing of his wife Katie, who tragically succumbed to her battle with liver cancer. A new beginning and clean slate in the NHL is just what Moore needs to take his mind off of things, and every hockey fan around the world should be rooting for this man to succeed.

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3. Michael Del Zotto

Michael Del Zotto
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Del Zotto seems to be one of the players every fan blames if the Rangers lose. While that is not always the case, Del Zotto has made some glaring defensive mistakes over the years that just leaves your head shaking.

Last season, he played 46 out of 48 games and only tallied three goals and 18 assists. I know it was a shortened season, but if you are an offensive defenseman, you have to do more than that. With Vigneault's style of play to be more offensive and uptempo, Del Zotto needs to wipe the slate clean of the past and start anew with a great season this year, or his games with the Rangers could be numbered.

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2. Chris Kreider

Chris Kreider
Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

No player on the Rangers had a weirder year than Chris Kreider.

It seemed like every other day Kreider was either sent down to the AHL and then called back up to the Rangers. The reason for this was because of former head coach John Tortorella, who seemed to show no trust in the youngster because of his defensive stuggles.

Talk about hurting a kid's confidence.

Under Vigneault however, Kreider should be utilized better and be in a lot of good offensive positions where he can shine and score goals since he is a goal scorer, not a defender. Kreider does need to work on his defense and backchecking, but at the same time should not be discouraged when he makes a mistake.

With Vigneault at the helm, Kreider has a chance of becoming a scoring star, so he definitely needs to wipe the slate clean of the past and take this year as his first season and only focus on the present.

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1. Brad Richards

Brad Richards
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

What can I say?

After signing a gaudy nine-year, $60 million contract with the Rangers last summer, the now 33-year-old Richards looked like he was 43 just last season.

Not only were all of his point totals down, but he looked awfully slow and seemed 10 steps behind everyone. I mean, maybe he thought the season was going to be canceled and the NHL and Players' Association weren't going to agree on a 48-game schedule, so he decided not to work out in the offseason?

After his dreadful year last season plus rumors of Richards not seeing eye to eye with Tortorella on more than one occasion throughout the entire 2013 season, no player on the Rangers needs to wipe the slate clean and start a new beginning than Brad Richards.

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