Hi let me just start off by saying i'm new to Blueshirt Banter and SB Nation. After surfing the web for a few Rangers blogs I found a few good ones, and this is definitely one of the elite. I decided to join because it's very easy to use and it also is very legitimate unlike a lot of the other blogs I found. Also with fan posts it makes it very easy to be able to speak your mind which is nice.
Anyway here are the candidates to play with Gaborik and Richards:
Brandon Dubinsky- Pros: The guy is solid all around and could bring some grit to the first line as well as scoring ability without any issue. Cons: This would be the end of the "homegrown line" with Cally and Arty, and could disrupt the balance of the other 3 lines.
Wojtek Wolski- Pros: The kid has great hands, and can definitely score. He could really benefit from having two other elite forwards on his line to help take some pressure off of him. Cons: He's inconsistent and also does not play much defense I.E. constantly hanging back when the puck is in the defensive zone.
Mats Zuccarrello- Some might find this one surprising but here are the Pros: Has one of the best sets of hands on the team and is quick, and has a really nice scoring ability. Cons: He hasn't figured out how to position himself properly on the ice to his advantage because of his size. Also, his cap hit could be too much.
Artem Anisimov- Pros: can really get down low in offensive zone in the dirty areas, and is also quick enough for outlet passes something Brad Richards can give him. I think Anisimov is primed for a breakout year, and Richards can truly make him more of a threat scoring wise. Cons: Again breaking up the "homegrown line", and also Anisimov might be better served as a center.
Sean Avery- I know there are a few people that say he would fit well on this line but I can't find a reason why. Maybe you could tell me why.
Christian Thomas- A real shot in the dark, but if he makes the squad his shot and speed could really make him a good fit on the line. Downside is do you really want to put a rookie on a line with two all-stars?
All of the above mentioned players are reasonable choices (excluding Avery in my mind), and could fit well on the line. It only comes down to who could benefit the abosolute most from Richards and Gaborik. Although I must say in terms of Wolski is if he is not on the top line he should not be on the team, as he fits nowhere else on the roster. If either Anisimov or Dubinsky take the spot on that line, then Stepan becomes the 2nd line center.
Let me hear your thoughts.