The New York Rangers are in a very interesting spot as an organization right now, they have one of the best goalies of all time still in his prime but do not really the talent for a Stanley Cup. This limbo is probably the worst place to be as a sports organizations. You cant blow up the whole roster and let Lundqvist end his career with a last place team but you also do not have the assets to make impact moves.
The Rangers went for it in 2014, and they went big. It almost won them a cup, losing 4-1 to the Kings in the Final. Re-watch those games and you will see how close they were to winning the Cup. One post here or there every game and it is 4-1 NYR. They were so close in ’14 they had to make a run again for it in ’15. Between those two years the Rangers made “win now” trades and they locked up players long term. Those trades/signing are really costing them now. They were the right moves at the time but it puts the organization into this limbo real bad.
There is nothing we can do about the Girardi and Staal contracts so we will leave it at that. They should of handled Yandle better but not crying over spilled milk. This hasn’t stopped new GM Jeff Gorton from doing the best he can with what he was given.
Jimmy Vesey was the most coveted college kid in all of hockey this summer, #VeseyWatch took control of hockey twitter last week. The Rangers came out the winner here and it is a big win! Go us! But sometimes twitter gets too excited, some made it seem like we were getting a Stamkos/McDavid level players. So lets be clear, Vesey is not even close and never will be. He is a great pick up but he is a third liner college (Harvard) kid, ala Kevin Hayes a few years ago. The Rangers need him to contribute early and often, the ideal scenario is he plays like Oscar Lindberg did last year in the beginning of the year. If that happens the forward depth in New York is DEEP.
Vesey was the big off season win for Gorton but he locked up younger kids like Miller, Kreider and Hayes for a few more years and traded away fan favorite Derek Brassard for a younger version of Derek Brassard. This has allowed NYR to be in limbo but also have a real eye towards the future. This core of players along with Brady Skjei and Pavel Buchnevich give Rangers fans promise for years to come. But the best part is it allows New York to think about contending the next 2 years at the same time.
This leads me to believe Gorton is not done. With Vesey added the forward position is rather stacked. Talks of trading Rick Nash have been around for the past year now and he is still on the roster. The Rangers need major help on the defensive side. They can not allow opposing players to just take every shot possible at our boy Hank. The next step is to use our forward depth to make moves for D men because we know Staal and Girardi will be around for a while and wont be getting better. (Side Note: I think Girardi has a much better year in ’16 but ignore this is he sucks even worse). Moving Nash is coming, my guess it happens at the trade deadline to the Ducks. Gorton wants to see what he has right now but this move is coming. I also think guys like Fast and Lindberg shouldn’t buy NYC apts and could be on the move too.
The Rangers will be in the playoffs next year. They have made the moves this off season and left the door open for more moves because they know all it takes a hot playoff goalie to win the Cup and for now MSG still has one of the best in the pipes!
Also published on Medium.