Ryan Lindgren is the glue that holds the Rangers together
The setting for defenseman Ryan Lindgren was Madison Square Garden in February of 2020. The opponent was the Boston Bruins and the agitating Brad Marchand. An incident occurred during the game where Marchand viciously cross-checked Lindgren from behind after he and now retired B’s captain Patrice Bergeron went at it front of the Rangers net.
“He’s not gonna be a player who’s gonna have a very long career,” Marchand chirped afterwards. “So I’m not overly concerned about him.”
Marchand went on to say that he hopes Lindgren does a great job but he doesn’t see it happening. Fast forward three seasons and those statements can go on the wall of “Freezing Cold Takes” as Lindgren has not only turned into a top pair defenseman but one of the biggest warriors in the NHL.
Ryan Lindgren is quintessential Rangers glue guy
You won’t see Lindgren lighting up the scoresheet like his defensive partner Adam Fox or possessing the effortless speed of K’Andre Miller but the intangibles and willingness to sacrifice his body is what makes Lindgren possibly the most important man on the Rangers blue line.
For many casual fans of the NHL and even the Rangers, Lindgren’s name may not get mentioned when asked about the core of the roster but he is the glue that holds the team together. His gritty mentality has rubbed off on players like Jacob Trouba, who’s second in the league over the past two seasons when it comes to shot-blocking.
“He’s a warrior, that’s all he is,” said then Rangers teammate Ryan Reaves during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. “He’s obviously a little uncomfortable, but you can’t take him off the ice, especially in a playoff series. He’s a big player for us. Obviously, huge on the kill and just in key defensive times. He’s really big for us, so hats off to him, he’s grinding.”
It seems like throughout his entire career in the league, Lindgren has played with some sort of scar on his face. Whether it be a black eye from taking a high stick, or bumps and bruises that you can’t see underneath the uniform.
The only recent Ranger that comes to mind that can be compared to Ryan Lindgren is Dan Girardi. Someone who was criminally underrated during his time in New York, and often thrown under the bus when things went south during the end of his tenure with the Rangers.
“That’s just the kind of player he is,” Chris Kreider said. “That’s just how he’s built. I don’t think we expected anything less, but at the same time, I think the proper word is inspiring. He’s a warrior. He’s the kind of guy that you want to be in a foxhole with you.”
There’s no doubt that the players rally around Lindgren, who battles for every inch of the ice. He’s the quintessential glue guy and his value is immeasurable.
Lindgren will be up for a new contract come July 1st, 2024, and you would have to believe it will be a substantial increase from his current 3-year $9 million contract that he is on right now. With the salary cap expected to rise at the end of the 2023-24 season, the Rangers must make room for a guy that has personified grit and toughness since stepping onto the Madison Square Garden ice as an unscared 20-year-old back in 2019.