John Mitchell was not a player anyone really expected to touch the ice in a Rangers jersey at any point this season, but that changed on November 25 of 2011 when he was recalled by the team from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL to play against the Washington Capitals, along with Carl Hagelin. Mitchell would never look back to the AHL from that point on, sticking with the Blueshirts for the entire season and playing in 63 games over the course of that time. Surprisingly enough, he went on to play in 18 of the Rangers' 20 postseason tilts as well.
The Good: John Mitchell is not someone who will potentially cost you a game, which is something that is sadly a plus for a fourth line player on the Rangers. He could take faceoffs, he was committed defensively and, for the most part, he knew where to be at all times. He learned the system quickly upon being recalled by the team, and he did (sort of) contribute offensively with five goals and 16 points.
Mitchell became a player that head coach John Tortorella gained trust in, so it wasn't necessarily a shock to see him out there in crucial situations. For example, he won the faceoff that led to Marc Staal's overtime winner in Game 5 of the semifinals against the Washington Capitals. Also in that series, he made a huge shot block that led to Marian Gaborik's triple overtime winner in Game 3. So Mitchell certainly did have his moments as a New York Ranger.
The Bad: The main problem with Mitchell is that he can be replaced and will not be missed. There are plenty more individuals just within this organization alone who could fill his role and bring more to the table than he did throughout the past season. Mitchell is not an offensive force or someone who stands out for any specific reason. He's just sort of a 'meh' player if that makes any sense to you; he's boring, bland and doesn't possess any special talents.
Not to mention that Mitchell is already 27-years-old, so it's not like he is young and just starting out in this League as a rookie. To me, he's a career AHL player that the Rangers need to drop from their roster if they wish to be considered serious contenders.
Highlight of the Year:
Overall Assessment: Due to become an unrestricted free agent in July, it is very unlikely that his career as a member of the New York Rangers organization will be going any further than it already has. He is an easily replaceable player for the Rangers and the team needs all the roster space they can create for new, more effective additions as well as for younger players ready to make the jump from the AHL/Juniors into the NHL.
Report Card Grade: C
RANGERS EXTEND QUALIFYING OFFERS
#NYR Rangers have extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Zuccarello, Stralman, and Del Zotto
Aside from John Mitchell, the only other pending UFA that the Rangers fan base seems to be divided about is Ruslan Fedotenko. Both players are bottom six players –an area of strength for the Rangers– and both do more than their offensive stats suggest. Players like Fedotenko are evaluated beyond their offensive numbers. It’s the defensive metrics that really show where Fedotenko’s...
The RFA paperwork has been submitted. And after the smoke cleared, the Rangers made qualifying offers to Anton Stralman, Michael Del Zotto, and Mats Zuccarello. Stralman, MDZ, and Zuccarello were the only three RFAs at the NHL level.
NHL qualifying offer rules dictate that players earning under $660,000 in base salary be qualified at a 10% increase in base salary, players earning...
Glen Sather is renowned for his usually small circle of trading partners. That circle often includes clubs where a connection to either former staff (Maloney, Phoenix) or teams where Sather has history such as Edmonton. Perhaps there is an opportunity for Sather to revisit his former club once again.
The Oilers are crying out for defensive help while the Rangers need an injection...
(New York Rangers)
It seemed kind of odd that only one member of the New York hockey media reported that New York Rangers had extended qualifying offers to their own restricted free agents. No way to confirm this nor was there any word regarding any of the restricted free agents playing for the CT Whale.
Really there has never really been any doubt that the Rangers were going...
One position the Rangers might like to improve on is their wing depth, specifically in the form of power forwards. New York boasts a handful of gnat-sized forwards that possess bundles of talent, but could struggle to match up against bigger NHL players. There are a few players that could be available at pick #28 that bring size and skill and may catch the Rangers’ eyes.
So Zach Parise does not want to become a New York Ranger; okay let's move on. Where is it written that the New York Rangers can only add high-priced players to address their needs?
I can play general manager just like the rest of you and I'm thinking that there a lot of options sitting out there for Glen Sather and some of them aren't going to cost...
The New York Post’s Larry Brooks offers takes on three very specific topics this morning, focusing on the New York Rangers’ attempts to win the Rick Nash sweepstakes, the high likelhood of Alex Radulov cashing in with CSKA Moscow instead of remaining in the NHL, and the equally high likelihood that New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk was dealing with a significant to severe...
Forgive me if I am not so politically correct today as really some of the ideas making the rounds in the New York Ranger universe are pushing the limits of reality. House hunting is beginning to push me to the end of my sanity.
I'm beginning to think that as punishment for those who keep going rumor crazy is that they be required to try to buy a house...
Delivered to your inbox
receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web.
Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!
Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.