The fans, media and critics have been saying it all season long: the New York Rangers are soft. The mental and physical toughness that has come to define them in years past is non-existent, and the word identity isn’t even on their radar.
The one player that came close to defining that toughness, Derek Dorsett, will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken fibula. As a result, the Rangers needed to add a tough guy, and did they ever get one.
On Saturday, they acquired Daniel Carcillo from the Los Angeles Kings for a seventh-round draft pick. Carcillo is notorious for being one of the NHL‘s biggest agitators. His antics on the ice have drawn the ire of nearly every opponent he has played against in his career. He certainly drew the wrath of Rangers fans when he pummeled Marian Gaborik in a fight as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010.
Now he’s on the Rangers’ side, and they need him. The question is, what kind of impact will be bring to the team? Will he bring the impact of a Sean Avery, whose brash nature single-handedly made the Rangers tougher and more feared? Or will he be a Donald Brashear, another notorious agitator that made zero impact on the Rangers while taking dumb penalty after dumb penalty?
For the Rangers’ sake, they’d better hope he brings Avery’s impact. That said, Carcillo is well-known for taking stupid penalties, so if he continues to do so, he will hurt the Rangers more than help. We’ll see when he makes his Rangers debut on Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Rangers needed toughness, and they added an infamous agitator. Will it make them a tougher team to play against?