A closer look at trade target: Mike Santorelli

Mike Santorelli battles Matt Hunwick for the puck (Getty)

Mike Santorelli battles Matt Hunwick for the puck (Getty)

The Rangers face the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight and we’re about to get a closer look at Mike Santorelli in action. Larry Brooks of the NY post wrote about Santorelli yesterday:

[su_quote cite=”NY POST” url=”https://nypost.com/2015/02/09/leafs-winger-santorelli-would-fit-well-in-blueshirt/”]A. The Blueshirts have an extremely limited amount of cap space on hand and thus decided to carry the minimum 12 forwards for the time being; B. The Blueshirts don’t have a winger playing in Hartford who management believes can contribute; C. The Rangers won’t need an extra forward for the rest of the trip because they will be leaving Toronto with Mike Santorelli, the Maple Leafs’ pending unrestricted free agent who is being shopped by the club and whom the Blueshirts covet as a rental property to solve their third-line and bottom-six issues.[/su_quote]

Of course, he said of the 3 options that A. makes the most sense while C. is just “tantalizing”.

Mike Santorelli infographic (ESPN)

Mike Santorelli infographic (ESPN)

So what do we know about the 29 year old pivot? He has 11 goals and 29 points in 54 games, while averaging about 15 minutes per game. At 6′ tall and 189 pounds, he’s not very big or very small. His cap hit of 1.5M would be the perfect fit for the Rangers as per Brooks.

[su_quote cite=”NY POST” url=”https://nypost.com/2015/02/09/leafs-winger-santorelli-would-fit-well-in-blueshirt/”]Santorelli’s cap charge of $1.5 million is the perfect price for the Blueshirts, who appear to have approximately $1.25 million of space on hand that would compound to more than $2 million at the March 2 deadline.[/su_quote]

His versatility of being able to play on the wing is also a plus. Vigneault is probably more interested in his speed. If the objective in acquiring Santorelli is to replace Tanner Glass, I’m all for it. If it is to fix our face-off problems? My answer is different.

Now for the downside. The Rangers still rank near the bottom of the league in face-offs and Santorelli is struggling in the circle. While he would be an improvement over Hayes in the dots, his 46% this season isn’t really the answer. For those who subscribe to fancy stats, his Corsi For percentage (possession) is 46.9%!

Also, what would Santorelli cost? If the answer is a 3rd, 4th or 5th round draft pick, I’m all for it. If the answer is JT Miller the answer I will give is “HELL NO!” My overall feeling is I’m not exactly giddy in acquiring Santorelli, whom the Rangers coveted in the offseason.

Regardless, my mind could be changed tonight with the good ol’ eye test. Until then, here are some highlights.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cybZk98qm0″]

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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