NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 26: Michael Haley #18 of the New York Islanders fights Stu Bickel #41 of the New York Rangers in the first period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on December 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
When the New York Rangers announced they signed Michael Haley, it turned a lot of heads, and had a lot of people wondering what Glen Sather was doing. I for one, was confused just as much as everyone else, but after looking at some videos on Haley, I think John Tortorella should give this kid a look.
With Brandon Prust departing for the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers lineup took a big blow on both the offensive and defensive side of the ice. Prust was very aggressive on the forecheck, and played solid defense in his own end. This is where Michael Haley comes into play. While Haley may not be as reliable in the defensive end as Prust was, he can definitely pick up the slack on the offensive and forechecking side of things, where Prust left off.
Now I'm not saying Haley is going to score 30 goals this year or anything absurd like that, but he will definitely lessen the impact of Prust departing. Unlike Prust, Haley has some speed to his game, which as we have seen, can work wonders in the offensive zone (queue Carl Hagelin).
Follow after the jump for some more.
I came across this video while searching for stuff on Haley, and this is a perfect example of what I'm trying to get across. Haley is aware in his own end, picks up the puck and burns down the wing. He absolutely flies past the defesenman, and walks in to score the goal. Speed played a large factor in the goal, something that the Rangers bottom-six lacked during the year.
Not to mention, he can also throw it down at any point during the game, just like Brandon Prust. He may not be as big as many of the other fighters around, but he sure can leave his mark. I know we brought in Asham to handle the fighting, but when you have a guy that could potentially have the complete package as a grinder, you don't want to pass that chance up.
After watching those two videos alone, Haley is already showing some signs of Brandon Prust. Haley has some speed in his game, is willing to drop the gloves at any point during the game, and can put the puck in the net from time to time. What more can you ask from a third/fourth line guy?
I may be crazy with all of this, but what do you guys think? Is it worth giving Haley a shot? Does his game resemble that of Brandon Prust?