The New York Rangers are not only getting less physical, but they’re getting smaller as well. Brian Boyle, now a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was a huge body at 6-foot-7 that New York needed big time. Now with him gone, the Rangers seem a little small and should sign someone similar in physical frame.
So what about Dustin Penner? A 31-year-old winger who is 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, he’s played for three teams in the past two years and was traded to the Washington Capitals midway through the 2013-14 NHL season. Last year, he tallied up a total of 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists). He’s a forward who would help give the team more depth at the position. One of the red flags with Penner is his inconsistency. There are moments where Penner is almost invisible on the ice and others where he’s all over the puck, laying people out on the ice.
Penner would probably come at a cheap price as well. A two-year deal worth maybe around $2-3 million per-year wouldn’t be out of the question for him. He brings championship experience (he was with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012) and some offense. While calling up younger talent and letting them develop is a good formula to winning championships, you need to have some veterans on the squad as well. With every J.T. Miller you call up, you’ll need a Martin St. Louis to help mentor him and mold him to his potential.
He’s a risk, but with a small contract it wouldn’t be that much of a gamble. New York took a gamble on Benoit Pouliot last year, and it worked out in their favor. They gambled by trading then-captain Ryan Callahan for St. Louis as well. Gambles need to be taken in order to win championships, and Penner, while he can be questionable, brings size that New York desperately needs.