New York Rangers should take a chance on Patrick Marleau

Patrick Marleau, Toronto Maple Leafs. New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Patrick Marleau, Toronto Maple Leafs. New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers have spent the last two trade deadlines divesting themselves of free agents to be. This summer they are again shopping veterans whose contracts are up at the end of next season. To add some experience to a very young team GM Jeff Gorton should bring in Patrick Marleau.

The future looks very bright for the New York Rangers. As the team struggles to rebuild, recent drafts and trades have brought the team a boatload of good young prospects. In a few years, players such as Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba, and Igor Shesterkin will be leading the Blueshirts back to Stanley Cup contention.

In the meantime, recent stars of the team have been traded away. Mats Zuccarello, JT Miller, Ryan McDonagh, and Kevin Hayes have all been shipped out of town. The Purge looks like it will continue this summer as Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Vladislav Namestnikov are all on the trade block. Additionally, if they can’t find a taker for Kevin Shattenkirk, the team may buy out the remainder of his contract.

One of the side effects of all the turnover is a team lacking in experience. Should the trend continue, the team will have very few experienced well-seasoned players on the roster. 26-year-old Mika Zibanejad will likely be the next team captain. Young players need the veterans to lean on and to learn from.

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That’s why New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton should sign free agent veteran forward Patrick Marleau. The soon to be 40-year-old has tallied 508 goals and 574 assists over a19 season NHL career. Last season with Toronto he put up 37 points including 10 on the power play.

In order to cut payroll, the Maple Leafs traded Marleau to Carolina earlier this week, who subsequently bought out his $6.25M contract. That left the three-time all-star a free agent. Both his talent and experience are qualities the young New York Rangers need next season. Aside from that, they could also use Marleau’s production and he would come at a greatly discounted rate.

One other very important thing Marleau brings to the table is his durability. He hasn’t missed a game in the last 10 seasons. That’s exactly the kind of determination and work ethic that would set a good example for the New York Rangers up and comers.

The Blueshirts have a long tradition of bringing in future Hall-of-Famers at the end of their careers. Guy Lafleur, Mike Gartner, Marcel Dionne, and even the greatest of them all, Wayne Gretzky were all worshiped by the MSG crowds in a Blueshirts sweater before they hung up their skates for good.

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If Gorton is going to make a play for Marleau, he better hurry. The future Hall of Famer has designs on going back to San Jose where he spent his first 17 NHL seasons.