The New York Rangers have to do some line shuffling again with Ryan Callahan out of the lineup. But no one expected Alain Vigneault to replace the heart and soul of the Rangers with Taylor Pyatt, right?
Pyatt is expected to play with Derick Brassard and Brad Richards on the Rangers first line. This is a shocking move as Pyatt is not even close to the type of player Callahan is. In order to have that line be productive the Rangers need to put a fast up-tempo player there. While Pyatt will do great work below the goal line, he is too slow to be on a line that thrives on speed and cycling.
A player like J.T. Miller would be a good fit on the top line for the Rangers. What Miller lacks in experience and age he makes up for in hockey IQ. He is one of the smarter players on the Rangers roster and will rarely make a mistake. Also if he were paired with Richards and Brassard he would be able to showcase his great creativity. Another player that could replace Callahan is Jesper Fast. Fast hasn’t received big minutes as he has been on the Rangers fourth line. But he is also another young player who has good speed and is creative.
While it is clear that the Rangers will not be able to completely replace Callahan, they need to find a player who won’t be a huge drop off on their first line. The Rangers have some good options but Pyatt is not one of them.