Tanner Glass has been a giant question mark for me the entire season. In my opinion, Glass should have been buried in the AHL after about 20 games. AV had other plans keeping Tanner involved in the 4th line that showed very little promise and even less production through the entire year.
I have to admit that Tanner Glass plays with the passion that most do not. He never takes a shift off, always finishes his checks, and works in the dirty areas. The problem lies in the fact that the current NHL demands much more skill from these fourth line “work-horse” type players. The league has shifted to a much more open ice, high skill, fast paced game and this has rendered the “enforcer” almost extinct. Unfortunately, Tanner Glass is still labeled as this type of player. The same holds true for his linemate, 4th line grinder, Dom Moore. League wide, their roles are being replaced with players who can supply the same toughness, but also net 10 goals, while adding speed and offensive awareness.
Glass was a offensive non-factor last year scoring 3 goals and adding 3 assists in 57 games. Glass often went unnoticed for entire games while his tough-man role seemed to dwindle this year. The Rangers have been a “soft” team for quite some time, but this past season it seemed even our one tough guy Glass, was hesitant to jump in to defend his teammates. Instead players like Kreider and Miller filled in the void and risked injury to make a statement. That is unacceptable when Glass is available on the bench.
With one year left on his contract at a cap hit of 1.45 million, the Rangers would be wise to either package him in a deal this off-season or lose him in the AHL. The Rangers have talent in the youth with the likes of Jensen, Megna, Gropp, and Hrivik. These names deserve a fair chance at filling in for the fourth line role to prove they belong in the NHL. They should get a long look at camp in order to replace Glass come opening night.
The Rangers should avoid having Glass or any other “enforcer” or “grinder” on their fourth line for the season next year. Instead they should focus on infusing the bottom two lines with youth, speed, and motivation to push the pace and crash the net (take notes from the speedy Hagelin line from Pittsburgh, god i miss him). In doing this, we can enable Dylan McIlrath to assume the tough guy role. With off-season moves right around the corner only time will tell, but hopefully we have seen the last of Tanner Glass.