Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 10/23/14

ATLANTA - JANUARY 07: Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the New York Rangers against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on January 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
When the Rangers acquired Rick Nash, they did so by dealing two roster players that played key roles on the bottom six forwards. Losing Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov may not look like much, especially when they are dealt for someone like Rick Nash. However, it does lead to the discussion of how to replace these players, especially Dubinsky, who was one of the Rangers top defensive and puck possession forwards. It seems logical to begin with Anisimov, who I believe to be the easier of the two to replace. Anisimov bounced around on the Rangers lineup from top line to fourth line so often, I’m surprised he wasn’t dizzy from all the pinballing around the lineup. Throughout his young career, he has shown flashes of offensive talent while putting up 30-40 points per season, almost entirely at even strength. His defensive peripherals (.005 QoC, 2.9 RCorsi, 52.7 OZone%) aren’t spectacular, but they are still solid and show that Anisimov was still very reliable in his own end. He’s the type of two-way forward that could develop into a 50-60 point player if given the right opportunity and powerplay time. That said, he wasn’t going to get that opportunity with the Rangers. Jeff Halpern has comparable numbers (-.029 QoC, 2.9 RCorsi, 39.2 OZone%), but can add more in terms of veteran leadership and face off wins. As for Dubinsky, his defensive metrics are far more difficult to replace. Dubinsky was a warrior for the Rangesr, must like Brandon Prust was, and still managed to contribute offensively (last season being an aberration due to an outlier in his career shooting percentage). While Dubinsky’s offensive numbers will surely be eclipsed by the incoming Nash (who will likely be able to cover for Dubinsky and Anisimov by himself), it’s his defensive numbers that are almost irreplaceable. Dubinsky had stellar defensive metrics (.006 QoC, 41.8 OZone%), and was one of the top forwards on the team in puck possession (8.8 RCorsi). Those numbers alone are why the Rangers might miss Dubinsky on the ice a lot more than most may realize. Outside of Prust and Brian Boyle, Dubinsky was the most heavily relied upon forward to shutdown the opposition, and he did so to great success. However, the Rangers may have their own internal solution, as Carl Hagelin is a noted puck possession monster with the same offensive potential as Dubinsky. Hagelin was babied a bit during his rookie year, and doesn’t have the same QoC or OZone% numbers that Dubinsky had (albeit a better RCorsi), but he was one of Michigan’s top two-way forwards, and it is likely that he would be able to slide into the same role Dubinsky had. The reason why Dubinsky and Anisimov were sent packing were because the Rangers felt they did an adequate job in replacing them in the lineup, either internally or with key free agents. It is also the reason why the Rangers are being viewed as “winning” this Nash trade, as they dealt from surplus to address a need. Losing Anisimov and Dubinsky, two of the first homegrown players to be brought up in this new era of Rangers hockey, is tough, but to get you need to give. The combination of Nash, Hagelin, and Halpern help assuage the loss of Anisimov and especially Dubinsky. At the end of the day, the Rangers are a better team with Nash, and that’s all that matters.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

2014 World Series: Game Three live blog

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

8 NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also 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!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

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.