The New York Rangers are in full pack your sh*t mode. They have literally sent five guys to all different places and have received a laundry list of picks and some prospects. They sent Michael Grabner to New Jersey, hey Grabs, pack it up. Nick Holden to Boston, hey Holden go be a cone somewhere else. Rick Nash to Boston, hey Nashty, go put some pucks on net. Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller to Tampa Bay, just pack it up to whatever.
All seriousness, though I was a bit upset to see Nash, McDonagh, and Miller go, three guys that spent a decent amount of time in New York and definitely impacted the roster. Although Grabner did as well, but he was not a long-term Ranger and also a pending UFA this offseason so he had to go. Holden, well was not good, let’s say that.
If you are a Rangers fan are you upset with three 1st round picks (2018), two 2nd round picks (2018), two 3rd round picks (2018) and possibly another 1st round also if Tampa Bay wins the Stanley Cup this season. They also received, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, Igor Rykov, Rob O’Gara, and Vlad Namestnikov and Ryan Spooner. Essentially, six picks, five prospects and two NHL ready players who are relatively young and developed in the NHL for three UFA’s at the end of this season and RFA at the end of this season and one RFA in 2019-20.
The firesale has begun and the rebuild is in full effect, the pack your sh*t edition may be in full effect and something many Ranger fans did not want to see but many saw this coming and for those that understand the need to look long-term know how this helps and those who don’t will sit and cry for the next two to three years. So be it, pack your sh*t too than. The Rangers now have 3 million in cap space while they still have some players to resign next year none will be receiving hefty contracts, leaving them with essentially a decent amount of cap for a free agent or big signing in the offseason.
Ok, so Namestnikov has 44 points this season playing alongside Stamkos and Kucherov so will see how that works out, Spooner has 25 points in 39 games and 2.85 mil cap hit. Also, Brett Howden a former 1st rounder in the 2016 draft, has been contributing nicely at the WHL level this season he is also 19-years-old played in 58 games 81 points for Moose Jaw Warriors in 2016-17 and 58 points in 38 games in this season also “C” Captain last three seasons. Not terrible. Also a former first rounder in 2016. Libor Hajek 20-years-old played for Czech Republic U20 team. Also WHL Saskatoon Blades 33 games with 25 points. A laundry list of experience in major juniors and on the international stage. Also a 2nd rounder in 2016. These shows they are two ALMOST NHL ready.
The pack your sh*t edition ends for now but in four months when the offseason begins the Rangers will be livid on the free agent market and also probably looking to trade some other pieces.
The Rangers line up most likely looks like this as well now,
Chris Kreider- Mika Zibanejad- Pavel Buchnevich
Jimmy Vesey- Kevin Hayes- Mats Zuccarello
Vladislav Namestnikov- David Desharnais- Jesper Fast
Cody McLeod- Ryan Spooner- Vinnie Letteri
Brady Skjei- Neil Poink
Marc Staal- Rob O’Gara
John Gilmour- Tony De’Angelo
Spooner could possibly center line three, I’d hope but anyways the Rangers have now got a little deeper in the center position, because one Howden is a center as well and when he is ready(a year or two) the Rangers centers will be Zibanejad, Spooner, Howden, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil(either him of Andersson will center) and now Hayes can go back to his left wing spot and the Rangers when these young AHL/WHL players are ready will have four to five solid centers not even including what they do with their three first round picks and two second-round picks. We can assume the Rangers go after some forward depth in the draft which means, with three first-round picks, one or two of these guys they draft have to be somewhat NHL ready within a season or two and the rebuild takes what, two to three years instead of six to seven like some teams.
Yeah, the Rangers made the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons, won a President trophy finished among the top three numerous times and made trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, Stanley Cup, but still have no Cup to show for this success. The Rangers, if they did not choose to rebuild now, would have waited on McDonagh to age, signed him big and no team would have taken an aging defenseman contract(i.e. Marc Staal) and possibly received less for him, let Nash walk, Grabner walk and get nothing for them. The Rangers saw that at the moment some teams were looking to add some forward depth and defensive depth they had the pieces to shed and realized with an aging goaltender a Cup run was not likely. Now the Rangers have the option to draft in the first round three times for the first time in god knows how long.
Ok, I’ll admit it is weird to look at the Rangers 2014-15 President Trophy win and realize holy cr*p there is literally five players who remain on the roster form that team and one of them is Marc Staal. Well ok, yeah, the next two or three years may be painful but think about how young and exciting this team will be to watch in 2022, 2023 and on. I don’t know about you but if you are not looking long-term right now and actually think the Rangers were able to compete for a Cup with how good the Predators, Jets, Penguins, Flyers, Capitals, Golden Knights, Sharks, Ducks are this year then you are some sort of lunatic who obviously has to be hit with some reality. And here is your reality check, the Rangers pack your sh*t edition is your reality check. Sorry 9-year-old reading this or some 40-year-old keyboard warrior out there that is triggered right now, but get over it, if you don’t like it go pick dandelions in the outfield, where you belong, and hey while you’re at it, pack your sh*t too.
Follow along on Twitter @santageetee for some alarming and thought-provoking tweets. Blog sleeps for the night now. Night, night, Let’s Go Rangers.