The New York Rangers have had their toughness questioned in recent weeks and that criticism, combined with injuries to Michael Grabner and Kevin Klein, has resulted in the team recalling Tanner Glass and Steven Kampfer from Hartford of the AHL following their 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Kampfer’s recall makes some sense given Klein’s uncertainty, and it can’t hurt to have an extra defenseman with the team, especially with no roster limit after the trade deadline.
But Glass is the name that is going to get the the most attention here because he became a pretty polarizing player among Rangers fans during his first couple of years with the team. The organization obviously loves the physical play he provides, but aside from that physical play there really isn’t much that he is bringing to the table. That should be a concern for Rangers fans if Alain Vigneault decides to insert him back into the lineup.
With the way the NHL game is evolving there really isn’t much room for fourth-liners that can only hit people and throw their weight around. If anything, one of the Rangers’ greatest strengths this season has been the fact they have been able to use three or four lines that are all capable of providing offense.
Their biggest weakness has been their defense, and their lack of ability to generate offense from there and move the puck. Toughening up your fourth line isn’t really going to solve that.
Glass has spent the entire season in the AHL to this point and has six goals and nine assists in 57 games. In his first two years with the Rangers he had five goals and 13 points in 133 games.
Kampfer has played two games in the NHL this season (one with Florida, one with the Rangers) and last appeared for the Rangers on Feb. 28 against the Washington Capitals.