Found June 26, 2012 on The Rangers Tribune:

RuppMike Rupp's first season with the New York Rangers was an adventurous one that left fans with mixed emotions when it comes to the big number 71. He has his positives and negatives, as every player does, but when you analyze his game as a whole, the negatives far outweigh the positives. But is that how an enforcer should be judged? Should he be compared to himself? That's what makes analyzing the game of a Mike Rupp so difficult, but I took my best crack at it below. 

The Good: Mike Rupp continues to be one of the meanest intimidaters in the game at 6-foot-5, 243 pounds. He's often criticized for not fighting as often as he should, but that's a result of opponents simply not wanting to drop the gloves with a guy of his size and stature. They say in this day and age that a player of that type is no longer needed on the roster of every hockey team, but Rupp and his snarl did come into use a handful of times over the course of the season (see Marty Brodeur incident in Game 4).

Rupp also brings a veteran presence to the locker room, which is something we heard head coach John Tortorella praise on multiple accounts this past season. There's a sense of calmness there that can really help out the younger guys, and look, he even tied the game for the Rangers when in an 0-2 deficit in the Winter Classic with all odds against them. That was huge on such a big stage. 

The Bad: Mike Rupp does not contribute anything more than the two things listed above, to put it plain and simple. He recorded just four goals and one assist this past season, he only had 31 shots on goal (!!!!) and was a minus-1 overall rating. He cannot be put on the ice in a penalty-killing situation, he would be useless on the powerplay, he cannot take faceoffs, he's ridiculously slow. So yeah, I'll just stop murdering him there. 

Highlight of the Year:


Overall Assessment: Mike Rupp is certainly a player who the Rangers can do without. He does not contribute much other than his size and intimidation, along with his veteran leadership presence in the locker room. The Blueshirts have him locked up for the next two years at $1.5 million per, so for now he isn't going anywhere. Whether or not he will be beat out for a roster spot in training camp is another story, but it's not as if he is hurting the team by skating on the occasional fourth line shift that head coach John Tortorella assigns. To put it bluntly, he's one of those 'whatever' players. 

Report Card Grade: C


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