Well, people(NYR) fans, we knew this day was coming, a day not many ever thought was going to come, but a day the realistic fans saw in hindsight. It is not out of the ordinary for the Rangers to shop their top players at the deadline or mid-season, we saw former “C” Ryan Callahan walk a few years back, Cam Talbot, Derek Stepan, Anthony Duclair, Keith Yandle, Brandon Dubinsky, Marion Gaborik, Brad Richards, all these players were either traded or the Rangers allowed them to walk, and these players had a significant impact on the Rangers roster(besides Duclair). Which means the Rangers are not afraid to let anyone walk.
Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers are all in on selling at the trade deadline and essentially anyone is fair game. Therefore, the players that draw the most interest are Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello. These three players carry a veteran presence and are players that can add depth, and production to any line up in the NHL. McDonagh carries a cap hit of 4.7 mil, Zuccarello 4.5 mil and Nash 7.8 mil that expires this season.
Some other potential names in the mix of things are Michael Grabner, the Rangers leading goal scorer, and most consistent player as of late, obviously draws some interest due to his size, speed and goal scoring niche. Grabner has a cap hit of 1.65 mil that ends at the end of this season. Nick Holden, David Desharnais are other potential names, players that the Rangers can swap for mid to late round picks looking to add depth and veteran presence on the back or front end. Another option the Rangers should be looking towards is maybe buying out Marc Staal’s contract, a whole 360 for this team is needed and I think now is the right time.
Nothing is set in stone but for a team that has made the playoffs every year for the past seven years, to walk away with no Stanley Cup is concerning. The reasoning is quite obvious as to why the Rangers want to fire-sell at the deadline, one to acquire first or second round picks, two, to acquire NHL-ready talent, three to bring up some of their prospects to develop at the NHL level. Lastly to overall bring a younger look, fresh look to this organization is not a terrible idea.
The Rangers chose, Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson in the first round of the 2017 NHL draft, two players that have been successful where they have been this season and enjoyed a storied World-Junior run, and two players that are borderline NHL-ready, that given enough time and opportunity will develop quicker rather than later.
How ready are you for the Rangers to shake up the roster and completely re-build this team for the next three seasons? Personally I see no harm in it, every team goes through re-building stages, and has their rough patches, this core has been together for quite sometime now and have nothing to show for it besides a President’s trophy and Conference Championship banner. If we are thinking long-term and want this team to be contenders in the future, and for years to come, this is the right move and something I am in total agreement with.