The New York Rangers could not come to terms on a new contact with forward Benoit Pouliot before 12:00 a.m. this morning. The 27-year old winger didn’t have to wait long for an offer, as the Edmonton Oilers signed Pouliot to a five-year deal worth around $4 million per year. The Rangers’ brass, mainly GM Glen Sather, were smart to let Pouliot walk, especially if that was the contract he was looking for.
Pouliout was the fourth overall pick back in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, but he never panned out to be the player many thought he would be. He has played on five different teams since being drafted and found his most success with the Rangers. The line of Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard and Pouliot was formed in December and became the Rangers’ best line for most of the year. They had great possession stats and even became the Rangers’ second power play unit.
However, Pouliot is not worth the contract he received from the Oilers. He is the type of player who should not be given long-term contract because of his lack of focus during games. He became the king of offensive zone penalties during the playoffs which is something that hurt the Rangers. He also only had 36 points, which seems like a lot more when you are playing in a market like New York.
The Rangers were in a tough spot coming into this offseason. They had a lot of players to sign and not a lot of cap room to do it. Pouliot was a great fit for this Rangers team and had some great moments, but he is replaceable. The Rangers were smart in letting Pouliot walk.