Depth Players New York Rangers Should Chase in Free Agency

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIJune 18, 2014

Depth Players New York Rangers Should Chase in Free Agency

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    The New York Rangers fell short of their ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

    But, with just a few tweaks to the roster, the Rangers could find themselves playing for a championship next season.

    Depth is so important in the NHL, especially those who contribute timely goals or big plays.

    Which depth players should the New York Rangers chase in free agency?

    Read on to find out. 

Daniel Winnik, Center

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    With the Rangers potentially having to guard against the losses of Brian Boyle and/or Brad Richards, the team needs to re-up down the middle.

    Daniel Winnik could be that guy. Playing with the Anaheim Ducks last season, Winnik had six goals and 24 assists, while averaging a little over 15 minutes of ice time. He also averaged an impressive 2 minutes and 31 seconds on the penalty kill.

    Not a flashy guy, Winnik gets the job done. He could fit in on the fourth line, and while he's not as tall as Brian Boyle, at 6'2", 213 pounds, Winnik has good enough size to be an adequate replacement, if necessary.

    A one year deal worth a few million could turn out to be really valuable for the Rangers. 

Mason Raymond, Left Wing

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    The Rangers need more balanced scoring, and Mason Raymond can provide it on the cheap.

    The 28-year-old winger had 19 goals and 26 assists for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season.

    A former Vancouver Canuck, he is very familiar with Alain Vigneault. Raymond had his best season as a pro in 2009-10, where he scored 25 goals and had 28 assists for the Canucks under Vigneault's leadership.

    He can play on the power-play and could have a similar impact as Benoit Pouliot did.

    Raymond would come relatively cheap, probably on a one-year deal. Should Pouliot leave in free agency, Raymond would be a perfect replacement. Even if Pouliot stays, Raymond would add balance and depth to a Rangers offense that needs it. 

Tom Gilbert, Defense

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    Tom Gilbert has long been underrated, and with Anton Stralman potentially leaving for greener pastures this offseason, Gilbert would be a nice replacement.

    He scored three goals and had 25 assists for the Florida Panthers, while playing 21 minutes per game.

    Gilbert has offensive skill, although he will probably never reach the 45-point plateau he reached in 2008-09. That said, he's a solid puck-mover who is responsible in his own end.

    John Moore seems primed to get more minutes next season, potentially on the second-pair. Gilbert could be a nice fit on the third-pair.