On the heels of the tremendous successes the New York Rangers have witnessed with Donald Brashear and Derek Boogaard in the past two seasons, they are determined to add yet another enforcer, with the signing of Mike Rupp this afternoon. Rupp, a 30-year old fighter, has signed a three-year deal worth $4.5 million. Fans will remember him, not for his fighting ability, but for the fact that he seemed to score a goal every time he faced the Rangers while a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. If this is a case of “Can’t beat em? Sign em!”, then I am elated with joy. After all, it worked so well with Chris Drury.
I am not going to rip this deal, however, because he comes on the cheap, can fight and hit, and even chip in a goal here and there, with more regularity that any other enforcer the Rangers have brought in. According to TSN, ten teams were going after Rupp this afternoon, and the Rangers were the high bidders. Lucky us. From Joe Aiello: “I love how we win all these bidding wars. We are like the spoiled rich kids.”
If Rupp can somehow find a way to net five to ten goals and protect Gaborik and Lundqvist, like Boogaard was brought here to do, then it will be worth it. Overall, if you are waiting for a blockbuster deal from the Rangers, keep in mind that Gomez, Drury, Redden, and Gaborik were also signed after 6pm EST if memory serves me correct. The Rangers have a habit of waiting until the early evening to make a splash, so stay patient.
In 497 career NHL games, Mike Rupp has 49 goals and 40 assists for 89 points. He has also racked up 656 penalty minutes.