In the offseason, the Rangers made some moves that have benefited them and it has been a big reason why they are where they are today. Some additions to the roster that catch an eye are Kevin Rooney, Colin Blackwell, Keith Kinkaid, and Philip Di Giuseppe.
The Rangers went after players because they lacked depth and at the start of the 2021 NHL season, they were the youngest team in the league. Veteran presence is something this team has lacked since trading all of them for assets and draft picks.
Keith Kinkaid was signed on a 2-year contract with the Rangers as the third-string goaltender. If Igor Shesterkin went down, Kinkaid was the next goaltender in line to pair with Alexander Georgiev. Kinkaid held his ground in his first game coming in for Alexander Georgiev in Pittsburgh. He stopped 16/18 and had a .889%.
Colin Blackwell, who has probably been the best signing of the 4 mentioned, has put himself on the 2nd line alongside Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. He is having the best season of his career and his stat line showed a career-high in goals, assists, and points. He brings some grit despite his size and something he could work on would be his stick handling. However, no one expected this type of season from Blackwell.
Kevin Rooney, former New Jersey Devil who signed with the Rangers, had a solid year and was a good 4th line player, and did a really good job on the penalty kill. He brings some physicality, but isn’t a guy who is going to throw the body often like Islanders’ Matt Martin or Cal Clutterbuck.
Phillip Di Giuseppe, who hasn’t had a lot of playing time because of the number of wingers they have, at the start of the season in the Pittsburgh series looked like one of the best two-way forwards the Rangers had. Di Giuseppe is a solid two-way forward who also plays very good defense and brings some speed to the lineup.
Photo By: Bruce Bennett