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New York Rangers Analysis: An Anchor Named Tanner Glass

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Enough is enough.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

I know that we have gone over the obsolescence of Glass more times than we can count, so if you don't want to discuss or read another article that goes into why he's a detriment to the team this article isn't for you and you should stop reading now.

Last season Glass dressed in all of the Rangers 2015 Playoff appearances over players who would have done more to help the team win games, including James Sheppard (currently an UFA).  In addition to being a mainstay in the lineup during the playoffs Glass dressed in 66 regular season games while Jesper Fast appeared in just 58. When Glass is in the lineup both Jesper Fast and Emerson Etem are watching the game in suits and I can't even put into words just how asinine that is.

Tanner Glass has dressed in two of the Rangers four games thus far. Against the Blue Jackets he was surprisingly solid but last night, against the Jets, he was toxic to his linemates.

Note: Obligatory (but intentional) small sample size warning.

Glass in the Lineup (stats from war-on-ice)

Game

C+/-

F+/-

Hits Given/Taken

TOI

SH TOI

vs CBJ

2

2

7/2

12:19

0:23

vs  WPG

-12

-9

4/3

10:39

1:37

Look at his game against the Blue Jackets! This is a very telling example of two issues with hockey analytics; 1.) A small sample size, and 2.) Context.

The Rangers' third line was great against the Blue Jackets (to the tune of two Oscar Lindberg goals) and the pressure they put on helped the fourth line do some heavy work. It's worth mentioning that Glass had fresh legs after the team had played the Blue Jackets the day before on the road. One solid game in metrics is not enough to undo one of the most infamous active histories in possession performance. Glass was solid on Saturday and an absolute mess last night.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tanner Glass: Solid on Saturday. Miserable yesterday. &#10;Jarret Stoll: Not good either night.&#10;Jesper Fast: Playing solitaire.</p>&mdash; Dave Shapiro (@BlueSeatBlogs) <a href="https://twitter.com/BlueSeatBlogs/status/654296593965940736">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Credit: @IneffectiveMath

Anyone could notice just how rough of a game Glass had against the Jets last night, but what about Saturday? Glass was on the ice for a Rangers' goal against the Blue Jackets, let's take a look at it.

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zxMVsUGgbx0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

On this play Dominic Moore backhand deflects a cross-ice pass from Jarret Stoll out of mid-air and puts it against the grain and through Sergei Bobrvosky's legs. It was a sensational and improbable goal and just one more reason to love Dominic Moore. In case you missed it, this was Tanner's Glass contribution to the play:

Moore Stoll Glass

Eye of the tiger.

To be fair, Glass was just where he needed to be on that play- driving to the net and raising hell. However, this chance was generated by Stoll, Moore, and Keith Yandle who picked up the secondary assist. You need players to go hard to the net like Glass did in the video above, but the bottom line is that anyone can make this play. Both Emerson Etem and Jesper Fast can and will make this play, especially with their ice time now in serious question this season.

He's easy to like and will do whatever he is capable of doing to help his team win a hockey game, unfortunately the things that he is capable of doing are not correlated to winning games.

I want to take a moment to stress what I think is an important point. My criticism of Tanner Glass and the way he plays hockey is not an attack on him personally. Off the ice and in the locker room Glass is an exceptionally good person and he is beloved by his teammates. He's easy to like and will do whatever he is capable of doing to help his team win a hockey game, unfortunately the things that he is capable of doing are not correlated to winning games. This is not a critique of Tanner Glass the person, it is a critique of Tanner Glass the hockey player.

Even if having someone who can drop the gloves, throw big hits that pull them away from their assignments in the transition game, and routinely face-wash opponents with the palm of a hockey glove after the whistle are ingredients for winning a hockey game (they are not), Glass isn't the best player at his role in the league, in the division, or even on the Rangers. The justification for having Glass in the lineup is to have someone out there to help police the game, protect his teammates, take the body, and occasionally kill penalties on a team that has more penalty killing forwards than it knows what to do with. Chris Kreider is more physical at least just as reckless, McIlrath is bigger and stronger, and Viktor Stalberg does all the things that Tanner Glass can do other than fight with no glaring weaknesses in his game.

Put a guinea pig in Emerson Etem's pocket and put him on the fourth line instead of Tanner Glass and the Rangers don't lose any size in the lineup

There are only four forwards on the roster who are shorter than Glass and nine that are lighter than him. At 6'1" and 213 lbs Glass is, in fighting terms, a middleweight. As per the New York Rangers' official roster page, the difference in size between Glass and Etem is one pound. Put a guinea pig in Emerson Etem's pocket and put him on the fourth line instead of Tanner Glass and the Rangers don't lose any size in the lineup. They would, however, gain some offensive upside, some speed, and a pair of hands that could get some work done when Stoll and Moore get the puck out of the defensive zone and go on the attack. Granted, Etem comes with his own set of issues, but having him out of the lineup isn't going to solve any of those issues and it goes without saying that Etem can offer a great deal more than Glass in the offensive and neutral zone.

With Raphael Diaz apparently having until the end of the month before he jumps to play hockey in Europe and Dylan McIlrath on the 23 man roster, the decision that should be made here is clear- Bury Tanner Glass in the minors to create $950,000 of cap space or, preferably, trade him to a cap floor team. For those that are curious, buying Glass out is not a great option for the Rangers.

Buying Out Glass is not a Pretty Option (hockeyfanager.com)

Season

Salary

Cap Hit

Buyout

Savings

Buyout Cap Hit

2015-16

$1,000,000

$1,450,000

$333,333

$667,667

$783,333

2016-17

$1,000,000

$1,450,000

$333,333

$667,667

$783,333

2017-18

-

-

$333,333

-$333,333

$333,333

2018-19

-

-

$333,333

-$333,333

$333,333

Carrying eight defensemen instead of seven isn't the end of the world when players like Jesper Fast and Emerson Etem are watching Rangers games from the stands right now. The Rangers also have players like Brian Gibbons, Jayson Megna, and Ryan Bourque in the minors that would all be better options than Glass in the lineup. Will the team lose some nasty with Glass out of the lineup? Sure. Does it matter? No.

There is admittedly a bit of hyperbole in the following statement but in the two games that Glass has dressed for the best things he did for the team were going hard to the net for the Moore goal against the Jets and taking Mark Scheifele off the ice for two minutes when they traded slashes and were given coincidental minors. These are not skill plays. These are plays that any hungry player in the AHL can make no matter their size or how good or bad their hands are. They are not the kinds of plays that are worth $1.45 million on the salary cap.

Alain Vigneault continuing to give Glass the nod over better options has gone from a suspect coaching quirk to a glaring mismanagement of the assets available to him. There was no good reason for Glass to have been in the lineup as much as he was last season and in the 2015 Playoffs and nothing has changed since then other than the fact that there are a few more options at Vigneault's disposal. Enough is enough, Glass needs to spend a long stretch of games in a suit until the team can find a way to move him in a trade or bury him with the Wolf Pack where he might do some good mentoring young players about the person you need to be away from the rink.

Thanks for reading.