This is the final part of a three-article series ranking the best performers on the Rangers this season. If you want to read the earlier parts of the series, click here for part one, and click here for part two.
Without further ado, let’s get to the top 12.
BONUS: The Fans
The Blueshirt faithful.
Although the crowds at Madison Square Garden lacked the volume they’ve displayed in the past, the Rangers had the second highest winning percentage on home ice this season. They came in behind the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals—an accomplishment that we, the fans, should take solace in. Read the rest of this entry
Last night, Larry Brooks posted a column full of updates about the Rangers and their plans for the future, throwing gasoline on the fire of trade rumors and setting up what could be a potential roller-coaster of an offseason.
First off, Brooks wrote that the Rangers do not plan to buy out Girardi and eat dead cap space, which is understandable to an extent. But they also have not asked him to waive his NMC, and don’t plan on doing it. The 32 year old defenseman has four years left on his contract with a $5.5 million cap hit.
You know where I stand on this deal, and if the Rangers plan on having Girardi penciled in as their top pairing, right side defenseman, then the team isn’t going to improve at all. I understand why you wouldn’t want dead cap space right now but there should be an effort made to try and infuse youth and new, more skilled players into the defense. Read the rest of this entry
Welcome back to another mailbag article, where I answer reader questions and give my honest opinion on the topic. With the Rangers being knocked out of the playoffs much earlier than usual, I might be doing more of these to fill the gap between now and the start of the season.
Check on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement for the next edition, and ask me questions about anything Rangers or NHL.
With that in mind, let’s get started!
What are your predictions for Staal, Girardi and Nash in 2016? Will they be kept and will they improve? Or will they be dealt and if so, what do you see coming in return? – Kevin Kelly
Just three days ago, the Florida Panthers announced that they had agreed to a one year deal with 24 year old defenseman Erik Gudbranson. On the surface, it didn’t seem like a big deal at all.
But signing Gudbranson means that the Panthers now have seven defensemen under contract (Ekblad, Gudbranson, Kampfer, Kindl, Kulikov, Matheson and Petrovic). The team is fully embracing the youth movement, going with a roster that is full of newer and younger players, and they’re keeping a select few veterans around.
One of the vets that now seems like a lock to leave Sunrise, Florida is defenseman Brian Campbell. “Soupy” has been one of the offensive leaders from the blue line in his five seasons with the Panthers, scoring 27 points or more in each season, and recording a career high 53 points (4-49-53) in the 2011-12 season. This past year Campbell scored six goals and 31 points in 82 games. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been addressed many times before, but there’s going to be quite a lot of changes this offseason for the Rangers. Alain Vigneault addressed it on breakdown day, and some of the players alluded to it as well.
This team as it stands has a lot of problems. There was the rapid decline of some of the players, seemingly a lack of a full 60 minute effort from the players on a consistent basis, and what Vigneault described as a “puck-moving problem.” All of that, coupled with the defensive breakdowns, atrocious penalty kill and lack of line chemistry was all evident in the team’s five game series loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.
Part of the change the Rangers will experience will come in the form of a new lineup. There are A LOT of upcoming free agents, both RFAs and UFAs, and not a lot of salary cap space to sign all of them. Some tough decisions will have to be made, and it could potentially help shape the next era of Rangers hockey – for better or for worse. Read the rest of this entry