Rangers invite Andrew Desjardins to camp on PTO

Blueshirts add another veteran to training camp

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.

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.