It was a curious enough move when Glen Sather gave Tanner Glass a three-year, $1.45-million per year deal this summer. Glass had some of the worst possession numbers in the NHL last season, and not many can see a role he fills on this team. I gave Alain Vigneault the benefit of the doubt on this move, but now I feel as though Vigneault might not have had much to do with the signing at all.
We'll, let's start with the most recent bit of news from the Rangers. According to multiple rumors, the Rangers and UFA Ryan Malone have engaged in talks to bring the recently arrested forward to Broadway on a tryout basis. Malone was recently arrested on DUI and cocaine charges. Since then he pleaded no contest to the DUI and the cocaine charges might get dropped if he completes a pre-trial intervention. But let's move past that.
If the reports are true, and the Rangers brought him in on a tryout, then the're potentially adding a bigger forward with an ability to score 40 points and add a little snarl too. On a tryout basis -- or even a two-way deal -- it's a low risk, high reward move that can only help the team.
That's still to be confirmed, though. Two moves Sather did pull off is luring coveted NCAA free agent Kevin Hayes to Broadway in a major coup and signing Matthew Lombardi for depth. Hayes was a no-brainer move that makes the team so much better and deeper for years to come.
Lombardi is a good depth signing who might make more of an impact than most people think. Either way, I think he's a really good option on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Lee Stempniak. Yesterday I posted a story on how Hayes might push Stempniak down to the fourth line, which effectively pushed Glass out of the lineup. That was before the team even started talking about Malone.
It needs to be noted: the Rangers are at 51 contracts (once Ryan Graves' contract slides they will be at 50) which is the maximum. So a move would need to be made just to clear enough contract space to bring Malone in. But if the Rangers do, aren't they pushing Glass -- who they brought in this year -- out of their own lineup? Aren't both Lombardi and Malone better options than Glass right now?
Even if we assume only one of J.T. Miller or Hayes make the team (and I still think both will) there's little to no room for Glass -- even without Malone.
It's a good thing, of course, since not many people want Glass to see minutes with the big club this year. But the Rangers did bring him in which means they had some type of a plan for him. The Hayes opportunity dropped into Sather's lap and couldn't be planned for. Lombardi and Malone (again, if it happens) are different.
Typically we don't know what's going on under the surface. This is another situation like that. It makes a lot of sense for the big picture, but doesn't make sense when it comes to Glass.
Which, actually, makes sense in terms of building a successful team.