It’s a good time to be a right-shooting d-man free agent
So I was thinking something watching the Rangers’ power play last night...
No, it wasn’t, “Boy, that does not look like a very confident power play.” Though it definitely didn’t.
It was this: If you’re a right-handed shooting defenseman that can play a regular number of five-on-five minutes and help a team’s power play, you’re going to be a hot commodity this summer.
Because the Rangers -- with all due respect to Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman, Kevin Klein, and Raphael Diaz -- don’t really have one of those double threats. Or, at the very least, they don’t have one that’s doing a very good job of it at the moment.
And the Rangers aren’t alone. The Red Wings made no secret that they’re in the market for “a top-four right-handed shooting defenseman.” Detroit’s power play hasn’t been the same since Brian Rafalski retired.
The Vancouver Canucks, meanwhile, were forced to dress seven defensemen on occasion this season, just so power-play specialist Yannick Weber could be available. Vancouver’s power play hasn’t been the same since Sami Salo took his booming shot to Tampa Bay. (And similarly, since right-handed shooter Mikael Samuelsson was traded.)
Read this post on the Phoenix Coyotes for more on the importance of right-handed shooters to teams’ power plays.
Then, after you read that, read MLive’s list of players the Wings could target this offseason, whether in free agency or a trade. Safe to say, Matt Niskanen is going to get PAID.
Finally, just in case you’re not sold yet, here are the top 10 d-men in terms of power-play points during the regular season. Notice anything about seven of them?