Possible PTO candidates for the Rangers to consider next month
There continues to be plenty of talk surrounding the start of the next NHL season. As of right now the target date of January 1 still holds and that would mean training camps would open mid-December.
As we’ve written here already, the Rangers are done signing any UFAs for next season. That doesn’t mean they can’t give several players still hunting for a contract a Professional Try Out (PTO).
Here are a few candidates:
Derick Brassard, C (33 years-old)
Big game Brass will become Big Bargain Brass for the team willing to give him a 1 year deal at $1 million. He scored 32 points in 66 games last season but really showed something for the surprising Islanders in return to play. Maybe a reunion with the Rangers is in order?
In 18 games this past summer, Brassard notched two goals and eights points. He helped the Islanders get to the Eastern Conference Final. If you are looking from some bottom six clutch, Brassard is your guy.
Brian Boyle, C (35 years-old)
If we are talking about reunions, another player familiar with the pressures of playing in New York is Brian Boyle. He’s another center that would come in for one year at less than one million.
In 39 games for the Panthers last season he scored six goals and 15 points. Boyle would also be a vocal leader in the locker-room and help the 4th line and PK.
Ben Hutton, D (27 years old)
The Rangers could possibly want more option on the left side of the defense. Young Ben Hutton could be the answer, at least on a tryout basis. He notched 16 points in 65 games for the L.A. Kings last year but is now a UFA.
I suspect someone will lock up Hutton on a deal soon. However, if he is still around in December why not bring him in.
Devin Shore, C (26 years-old)
The 6’1″ center showed some promise early in his career with the Dallas Stars. In his first two full seasons he scored 33 and 32 points respectively. Since then he has bounced from Anaheim to Columbus and now to UFA.
This 2nd round pick, 61st overall could be someone to give a look at training camp for the 4th line. You never know, worst case you could sign him to play for the Wolf Pack on a two-way deal.
Andreas Athanasiou, C (26 years-old)
Here’s a bargain 26 year-old center the Oilers did not qualify. Athanasiou is a player with promise who scored 26 points in 55 games. He could maybe even step up to solidify the Rangers third line if needed. That is of course if he’s still around by next month.
Athanasiou plays with speed and at worst can play on the 4th line and at wing. Penalty killing can always use guys with wheels too.
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