Rangers need Morgan Barron to be a quintessential bottom six role player
The New York Rangers are going to look different next season. One way or another, at least the forward group could be in stark contrast to what we saw last season. As the Blueshirts seem to be right back in the thick of Jack Eichel trade talks, we may see less action than expected on the free agent front for players like Jordan Martinook or Casey Cizikas.
That’s why Morgan Barron needs to step up and be the quintessential bottom six player the Rangers badly need.
Rangers need role players
The New York Rangers are moving away from trying to figure out what they have, to want they want. That was the clear and distinct message from the new leadership group led by Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant.
“It’s hard not to watch these playoffs and notice the physicality, the energy, the effort and the intensity it takes to win and to succeed and we’re certainly going to need to play that way to have success in the regular season and in the playoffs,” Drury said. “We’re always looking at ways to improve the lineup, to add different pieces, just like every team in the league, and every team in the league is watching these playoffs – you know we all want harder players to play against and we’re no different.”
You can see that the Blueshirts simply have too much of the same thing in their lineup. Skill is a great thing to have, but you need balance. Changes are needed, and I’ve been writing for months that the team knows that all these young players and prospect can’t play here.
One player the Rangers have on the roster that already fits the bill is Morgan Barron.
Morgan Barron was built to be a role player
The Blueshirts media guide lists Morgan Barron as a center, although he was recently converted from wing. At 6-4, 220 lbs and 22 years-old, Barron can play a physical and heavy game. There’s also an element of offense as he scored 21 points in 21 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack last season. I would not bank on Barron being a point a game player at the NHL level because he obtained many of those points on the power play in the AHL. It’s unlikely with the wealth of talent up front that Barron will be on one of the Rangers PP units.
In his brief 5 game stint with the big club at the end of the year, he scored a goal in 13:41 of average ice time. He also used his size very well accumulating 12 hits in those contests. Regarding draws, he went 9-18 for 50%. The sixth round pick from 2017 should have an immediate role and impact on the team’s bottom six next season for Gerard Gallant. Whether that will be at center or wing isn’t yet known.
One thing that many people don’t talk about is Barron’s leadership skills. In college he served as a tri-captain for Cornell in 2019-20 and led the team in several categories. He was their goal and points leader and helped the team to a 23-2-4 record as they won the ECAC Regular Season Championship.
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