Today, March 8th 2018, General ManagerJeff Gorton and Glen Sather held a press conference to announce that a FULL REBUILD is underway! Also a letter to the fans was sent out on social media explaining all moves made will be made to make the Rangers better in the future and not to save this season, like the Stepan trade. G.M. Gorton stated that " we may lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect. While this is part of the game, it's never easy. Our promise to you is that our plans will be guided by our singular commitment: ensuring we are building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup Contender.
Defenseman Brendan Smith was put on waivers today. If he clears (there are many teams looking for a right side defenseman but will they pick up his whole contract is the only question), the Rangers will figure if it motivates him or sned him down to save the caproom to add Neal Pionk and give him a look. So far this season, the Rangers have given Boo Nieves, Anthony DeAngelo,Vinnie Litterieri,Alexander Georgiev, and Filip Chytil some games at the NHL. The rest of the season will see alot more of "the future" get a look while hopefully the Rangers drop in the standing low enough to get Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Brady Tkachuk, Filip Zadina, Adam Boqvist, Oliver Wahlstrom, or Rasmus Kupari among a deep draft this summer.
The Rangers are no longer 1/2 pregnant....the baby is now due and the Rangers will grow with the moves over the next 2 weeks and this summer!
LET'S GO RANGERS!!!
The Rangers need to make a commintment to either blow it up rebuild or to sell prospects and pray for the playoffs, doing this the " 1/2 pregnant way" isn't working, either your pregnant or your not.......either the Rangers rebuild or their not, it;s that simple. I have been writing for weeks that the Rangers need to sell...sell...sell as this team has no chance at winnng this years ultimate prize, the infamous Stanley Cup. Whether it be because of the injuries to Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, Marc Staal, Jimmy Vesey, or now back Kevin Hayes; it;s just one of those seasons. When the game s on the line, it;s either a post gets hit, a weird deflection gets past Lundqvist, or the refs miss a call (like the Forsberg penalty for a late hit that was also a headshot that he was suspended 3 games for); It;s just one of those seasons that all teams have. It was a great run with this core of players, but the message was sent ths summer when Stepan was traded and only a prospect and the #7 overall pick was brought back in exchange. The message was clear, the core is changing.
Many reports are saying that the Rangers have asked Rick NAsh to give his list of teams he won't be traded to, or the teams he will be trade to depending on the report. The one thing that is fact is that on MSG TV Rick Nash said that it was expected even though he was upset with the request as he knows that it was probably coming becasue it's a business decision for the Rangers. The quote I found particularly definite was when he talked about telling his 3 year old son that "he can't root for the Rangers ANYMORE." It's one this to be traded at the deadline of your unrestricted free agency year and then resign with the Rangers like many experts are saying, but it's another to say "anymore". It makes one wonder if the Rangers have told Nash that there aren't plans of bringing him back this summer when they spoke to him about his trade list. After looking at teams in the race and who could use a big winger to either help a playof push or to give amazing depth to a playoff shoe-in, I would think Anaheim(who Getzlaf was seen having an in-depth conversation with Nash during the game during a stoppage when the Rangers played out in Cali), Columbus (Favorite star returnng home to lead team to a playoff spot), San Jose (where overseas teammate from the strike Joe Thorton plays), Colorado (who during the game it was on TV of Nash and McKinnon having an in-depth conversation and with the Avalanche so close to a playoff spot and finally playoff money it would seem they would clearly make a move for a bgtime player), Los Angeles (Nash loves the big city feel of New York-so maybe L.A. could be a cheap imitation), or even NASHville (just think of the marketing and NAshville seems like a strong Cup contender again this season. The Rangers are reported to be willing to eat 1/2 of Nashs salary so they should get back a 1st round pick, 2nd round pick(1st if he resigns), and a top level prospect.
Ryan McDonagh, captain, seems to be on the move per the rumours. McDonagh has another year left on his contract at a cheap rate, so his return should help the rebuild bigtime. He should bring back close to what Keith Yandle did when the Rangers traded for him with a 1st round pick, 2nd round pick, top level prospect, and a young defenseman. The top team looking for him would seem to be the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rangers and Lighting have made big trades before together. Toronto , Colorado, and Dallas should also be in the hunt for his services. Add Minnesota now that Brodin will be out for a few weeks with a broken hand and it's McDoangh's hometown team.
Who would expected Michael Grabner to have such a successful time in New York? He has been the replacement for Carl Hagelin the Rangers were lokking for except Grabner can score. With him becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer, he will be gone by the trade deadline. He should bring the Rangers a 1st round pick. Dallas, Los Angeles, and Toronto are my favorites for landing him.
Nick Holden has been playing top 4 minutes all season, whether that helped the Rangers or not is up for discussion. But with him again being a UFA this summer, he'll also be gone. Like Grabner, Holden makes less that $2 million for this full season, so he can be a fit anywhere. Toronto is still looking for a dman and have little caproom so he is a perfect fit. He would also be a great fit back in Colorado where the Rangers got him from and Patrick Roy said when he came to the Rangers that N.Y. got one of our top defensemen. He should bring back a 3rd round pick at least.
The last of the UFA's for this coming summer is David Dasharnais who is at only a $1 million dollar caphit for the whole season. Pittsburgh is looking for a 3rd/4th line center along with Toronto, Winnipeg, Carolina, and Vegas could use his veteran leadership on a young team. he could bring a 4th/3rd round pick on a good day.
Now is where the harder moves would come: Mac Staal- the Rangers would have to eat 1/2 his salary and add a draft pick to get a 3rd round pick back or have to put him in a larger deal but any move seems impossible as he is on the IR with a cervical injury. Carolina, Minnesota (both with brothers playing there) or Dallas (they seem to like older dmen to play with their solid youth on defense in Dallas). If he isn't traded, he will likely be a buyout by the start of next season.
Jesper Fast is a player that does a great job and doesn't get recognition for it. Every team can use a player like Fast, especially during the playoffs where two-way play is a key. Dallas, Vegas, St. Louis, and Carolina are the best fits and he should bring back a 2nd round pick.
Brendan Smith is a 2nd/3rd pairing on a good team and the Rangers just resigned him this offseason. He brings a stay at homementality and toughness when allowed to play his game. He isn't allowed to play his game under this coach as the Rangers are only allowed to play "between the whistles" which hampers what he is best at. I could see Toronto taking a shot at this right handed defenseman, hell they liked Phanuef at 3 million more a year. He could bring back a comparable contract and a 3rd round pick.
And then their is the sentimental fan favorite Mats Zuccarello who has another year left on his deal like McDonagh does. A team like Anaheim, Los Angeles, Tampa (remind them of MSL), or leadership in Vegaswould be great fits. The Ranger fans would be upset as they would with McDonagh, but in a FULL rebuid they would overall understand. Zucc would bring back a 1st rounder, a young NHL player, and a prospect. Just out of respect for what Zucc has done for the RAngers, he should be given a shot at the Cup.
None of these moves would mean anything if the Rangers stay with Alian Vigneault behind the bench as the way he has brought young players along has been terrible. Older players like Glass, Desharnais, Klein, etc. have alway been on his ice when the game was on the line, so if the youth movement has begun, a coach that will play the kids needs to be brought in. Chris Drury is seeming to be doing a solid job with the kids down in Hartford as when Boo Nieves, Vinnie Littierri, Peter Hollan, and Anthony Deangelo have been brought up, they have fit into the NHL well.
t would seem as if the Rangers are turning to a new youth core with Brady Skjei as the star. With him on the backend will be veteran Kevin Shattenkirk and young Anthony Deangelo. At forward Chris Kreider is the elder statesman at 26 with Kevin Hayes,Mika Zibanajed, J.T. Miller, Pavel Buchnevich, and Jimmy Vesey as the core up front. Next year awaiting fulltime action will be 2017 1st round picks Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil who will have a year of Drury's tutoring under their belt. Vinnie Letteirri and Boo Nieves will be along for the full ride in the NHL next year.
The big question will be if goalie Igor Shesterkin will come over from the KHL next season. He still has another year on his KHL contract but it's unsure if it has and NHL out-clause. If so, the slow transition of becoming Henrik Lundqvist's successor will begin slowly. That could also bring back fellow Russian defenseman Alexie Bereglazov (who is on loan to the KHL this season) and a rumor of ex-NHL star and soon to be alowwed back in the NHL as a free agent Ilya Kovalchuk who was rumored to the Rangers last summer but wasn't a free agent at the time.
The Rangers future can look bright if some of the trades are made and a coach is put behind the bench that is will to let the kids play in key momenst to gain experience. A year without the playoff wll be new to Rangers fans who watched this older core of players, but sometimes a step back and a reboot is needed to take two step forwards with a new core learning their way!
LET'S GO RANGERS!!!!