Bobby Farnham isn’t the only NHL veteran joining the New York Rangers training camp on a PTO. Today Larry Brooks reported that the Blueshirts have invited former Chicago Blackhawk Andrew Desjardins to camp.
Andrew Desjardins will be attending Rangers camp on PTO. 31-yo center played last two seasons in Chicago.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) September 13, 2017
Desjardins had zero goals and one assist in 46 games with the Blackhawks last season. In 2015-16 he fared much better, scoring eight goals and five assists in 77 games. The year before Desjardins won a Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015 after being traded from the San Jose Sharks.
Desjardins is a fourth line center with very little offensive upside. He averaged only 9:24 TOI per game last season with the Blackhawks and is officially on the wrong side of 30. So why are the Rangers giving him a shot? He’s a career 53.5 percent faceoff man and a veteran of 408 regular season games. He’s also capable of playing every forward position. Sounds a lot like a candidate for the Rangers 13th forward.
It’s no secret that the Rangers are looking for answers down the middle. But the odds are stacked against the former Blackhawk earning a contract with the Rangers.
The problem is that Desjardins is branded as a physical defensive forward, but his shot suppression numbers nosedived last season. It’s worth mentioning that he missed significant time early last season after blocking a shot and being sidelined with a LBI. His analytics from the 2015-16 season were far better.
If nothing else, he will bring competition into camp and challenge Lias Andersson and Cristoval Nieves for a chance at making the team. He’s been around the block and knows his role.