Barclay Goodrow a steady New York Rangers performer

When the New York Rangers signed experienced forward Barclay Goodrow to a six-year contract in July 2021, the chief intent was to add a veteran player who’d participated in multiple playoff series and won a Stanley Cup (with the Tampa Bay Lightning) — in part because he had first-hand knowledge of what makes a team successful over a long postseason run.

Although Goodrow has been primarily pegged as a left winger during his career, he has the versatility to play both wings, as well as center — and he’s mostly played either left wing or center for the Blueshirts, although at times we’ve seen the nimble forward play right wing, as well.

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Why Barclay Goodrow is important for the Rangers

One of six alternate captains for the Rangers, the Canadian forward, has just begun his third season with New York. Prior to joining the Blueshirts, Goodrow had played six seasons with the San Jose Sharks and two seasons with the Lightning. During his tenure with the Sharks, the Western Conference team made the playoffs twice; while the Eastern Conference Lightning went to the playoffs in both seasons in which the now 30-year-old played for them.

Goodrow’s play style isn’t only versatile in terms of position; the veteran player digs out pucks at the boards, plays defense when called upon, and has no problem landing a timely hit when necessary. When NHL teams talk about “grinding” and “grit,” Goodrow may not be the first player that comes to mind — but he certainly isn’t the last, either.

Especially on a team in which the top six forwards are primarily skill players, and not of the mucker nor enforcer ilk, it’s important to have some gritty players in the bottom six just to keep other teams honest. The Canadian forward wears the “A” because, in his own quiet way, he represents the grit, perseverance, and leadership required to stay the course over a championship run. Goodrow is a true team player, and he’ll never miss an opportunity to stand up for a fellow teammate — even on the ice.

Blueshirts management recognizing Goodrow’s value

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With a career plus/minus rating of +29 in 498 games played, having served 443 penalty minutes with 341 blocked shots and 817 hits on an average ice time of 13:34, it’s pretty clear how the former Stanley Cup winner profiles. The veteran has also scored 56 goals and has earned 101 assists over the course of those 498 games.

But what the stats don’t show are the intangibles a player like Goodrow brings to a team. Not afraid to defend his teammates on the ice, and grinding in every game to support his team both offensively and defensively, it’s become evident the Rangers’ front office and coaches value both the veteran’s versatility and the team culture he helps create.

When asked in September whether he thought the Rangers have the personnel to pull off the tough style of hockey head coach Peter Laviolette would uphold, general manager Chris Drury said:

“I think we do. (Blake) Wheeler plays hard. (Tyler) Pitlick plays hard and Jimmy (Vesey) has certainly transformed his game to play harder. We know (Barclay Goodrow) does. (Nick) Bonino is not scared of the greasy areas of the game. I think we do have a lot of pieces that can play like that and will push our skill guys to play like that.”

Keeping Goodrow seems to be non-negotiable for now

At an AAV of $3,641,667, there’s no doubt the 30-year-old forward is commanding a notable chunk of the Rangers’ salary cap; and as a perennial bottom-six player at that salary, it’s been rumored on and off that he may be the subject of a trade to upgrade the team.

Although these rumors have mainly arisen amid speculation about acquiring other players who might help the Blueshirts on their Cup journey, there have been no indications from either the Rangers’ coaching staff nor their front office that Goodrow is on the trading block. With the lower salaried acquisitions of some other gritty players in the offseason, it’s easy to see why speculation may have begun yet again. But unless signaled by the Rangers themselves, it’s unlikely moving the alternate captain will occur any time soon.

Deborah Seymour grew up in New York City and studied in the City University of New York system for... More about Deborah Seymour

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