What Adam McQuaid brings to the Rangers Blueline

Adam McQuaid comes to the New York Rangers from Boston with certain skills not usually seen by the rest of this roster.

Tenacity, playoff experience and physical strength to force even the toughest of forwards off of the puck. McQuaid is a fighter, having fought six times last season, and chuck knocks with the best of them. The number one storyline that I would like to hear about, is the relationship between Cody McLeod and McQuaid. They threw down three of those six times last season.

In five postseason trips with Boston, McQuaid appeared in 68 games. He has gone the distance twice, once winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, and then again in 2013.

Who does he replace?

There is a lot of defensemen in this system that are available to join the seven defensemen for this upcoming season. Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Neal Pionk and assumably Adam McQuaid are locks for this upcoming season. It now comes down to Tony DeAngelo, Branden Smith, Fredrik Claeson and Rob O’Gara for the last two spots.

Not known for scoring high amounts of points, McQuaid brings several other positives to the rangers up-and-coming blue-line. With Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei and the possibility of Neal Pionk and Tony Deangelo bringing the puck up and down the ice, there needs to be a solid back line. Marc Staal and Rob O’Gara are defensemen designated to keeping the puck out of high scoring areas. McQuaid is a good addition to help those two out down low. He has shown in his time in Boston that corner pressure was one of McQuaid’s strongest areas.

Bringing in the brawler from Boston could very well be a sign that an offensive d-man approach under Coach Quinn is not as it seems.

Defensive Prowess

McQuaid has had 870 hits over his 462 career games while in Boston. He was a force to be reckoned with, taking the body at will against the best in the game. if he wasn’t using his body to pummel the opponent, it was used to get down and not let the puck through to the Bruins Goaltender Tukka Rask. He had a staggering 746 blocks over his career as well, including 144 just two seasons ago.

The only area of concern however, is injury. McQuaid plays a physical game, and injuries are a result of it. He hasn’t had a full 82 game season, and only reached 60 or more games in five of the nine seasons.

What can we expect

Adam McQuaid isn’t going to turn this franchise around, but he can be a big part. Down low pressure is a key weakness last season, where a lot of pucks were stuffed from the slot. McQuaid can be an enforcer when needed, and a defensive leader to a young core.

McQuaid is a UFA after this season with the Rangers, the last year of a 4 year $11 million dollar deal. being a contract year in a new organization, expect him to bring everything he has in every game.

The soon to be 32-year-old also believes that this team shouldn’t be ruled out by any means. Despite the direction of having a younger core and banking on raw talent, instead of experience, McQuaid sees the New York Rangers as competitors, as reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

“I know [the Rangers] traded a lot of guys at the deadline last year but I don’t really see this team as a rebuilding team,” said the righty, who will turn 32 on Oct. 12. “I think there’s a ton of potential and skill here even if it is a younger team. It doesn’t change my outlook on things.”

 

 

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