New York Rangers Should Claim Zenon Konopka Off Of Waivers

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday the Minnesota Wild announced that they placed center Zenon Konopka on waivers.  Okay, so why should you care if you are a fan of the New York Rangers?

Well, Konopka is an enforcer that plays with a lot of heart and passion in his game which I believe is greatly needed on this Rangers team.  Now I know the Rangers have an overabundance at the center position, but what the Rangers do not have are centers that are good at winning faceoffs, besides Brian Boyle.  And not only is Konopka good at faceoffs, but he is even considered around the league as a faceoff specialist.

Konopka might not put up much offensively with his best offensive year coming with the New York Islanders back in 2010-11 with two goals and seven assists.  After reading that last sentence you are probably wondering why I am even considering the Rangers going after this guy since the Rangers struggle immensely to score goals.

So yes, the Rangers do struggle to score, but in order to improve goal scoring the Rangers have to make a couple of trades sometime this season.  Most likely you will not find a player who will considerably help  your team score goals off of waivers.  Konopka is just a small piece of the puzzle that I believe would definitely help the Rangers in some areas.  I already said how he can help with faceoffs, but I cannot stress enough just how important and underrated winning faceoffs are.  Winning faceoffs leads to more puck possession which usually leads to more shots on goal, then more goals, and finally leads to more wins.  But besides faceoffs, Konopka is a pure agitator and enforcer which is really something the Rangers do not have outside of Derek Dorsett on occasion.

Still don’t want Konopka?

Well, I have one more reason why the Rangers should go after him.  His contract with the Wild this season is less than $1 million, $925K to be exact.  So honestly, what do the Rangers have to lose by claiming Konopka off of waivers?  He will not help offensively, but he could fill the void of many other problem areas the Rangers have such as winning faceoffs, toughness, and heart.

Being a winning hockey team does not mean going out and overpaying for the best players in the league. Instead it is usually the team with the best balance that wins games and gets points, and adding a player like Konopka can definitely move the scale in a more favorable position for the Rangers.

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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