When Filip Chytil was announced as healthy scratch ahead of last night’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens, it seemed all but certain that the Czech teenager’s time in New York was coming to an end. As if it needed any more confirmation, Jeff Gorton opted to bring in another veteran forward to shake up the team’s depth options:
NYR claims Adam Cracknell on waivers from DAL.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 9, 2017
Steve Zipay later confirmed McKenzie’s report on Cracknell.
While it became clear that Filip Chytil wasn’t quite ready for the NHL, and that the Rangers needed to find an actual solution to their dearth of center depth, claiming Cracknell is an uninspiring move:
Adam cracknell (waivers) looks like a decent defensive fourth-liner. pic.twitter.com/7Tu3NAnN3C— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) October 8, 2017
While he isn’t a legitimately bad forward in the mold of Tanner Glass, Jarret Stoll, or Daniel Paille, Cracknell doesn’t solve any of the major issues plaguing the Rangers right now. The end of the Chytil experiment means that Kevin Hayes will likely slide into the top six and take over as the team’s 2nd line center, while J.T. Miller or David Desharnais will anchor the team’s 3rd line. In short, Jeff Gorton still has a glaring hole at the top of his lineup, and there doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight (or is there........)
Claiming Cracknell is a mixed bag in terms of what it means for New York’s 4th Line. On the plus side, it likely means that the team has no interest in extending a contract to Andrew Desjardins, and his time with the team should come to an end shortly. On the downside, it shows that Alain Vigneault and Gorton don’t see enough in any of the team’s prospects, such as Vinni Lettieri or Cristoval Nieves, to warrant a recall from Hartford.
Overall, claiming Cracknell seems to be a minor shuffling of the deck chairs, as the team’s search for a top six center continues in earnest.