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Quick Hits: Derek Stepan trade value, AV’s comments on the team, and Beukeboom getting promoted?

Bobby Bevilacqua

alain vigneault 10-10

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

With the Stanley Cup Finals underway (Game 2 tonight on NBC), there isn’t a lot to talk about with the Rangers until the offseason rolls around. Apart from European and College free agents, not much action has happened and there are just rumors flying around right now.

Everything that can be said about the Rangers has been said. A week or so ago, Larry Brooks surprised everyone by saying that there’s almost nobody that is off limits in a trade, with Lundqvist, Buchnevich and Skjei being the only untouchables. But Alain VIgneault backed that statement, going even further when talking to reporters at a golf tournament in Canada yesterday. Read the rest of this entry

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Food for thought: Is it wise to spend so much money on defense?

Bobby Bevilacqua

McDonagh and Girardi Warmups 10-16

The Rangers have spent a ton of money to build a strong defense, as well as in net. But in this league, and after looking at recent Cup champions, is it worth it? Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

For the New York Rangers, defense is and has been the name of the game. Whether it was the blue-collar hockey played under John Tortorella, or the faster, speed game employed by Alain Vigneault, defensemen have been crucial to the team’s performance and success.

That reflects in the team’s salary cap as well, where a large portion of the available money is spent towards creating potentially a top-three defense in the entire league. With players like Ryan McDonagh, Keith Yandle, Marc Staal and Dan Boyle populating the defensive core of the Rangers, they form a very versatile and effective group that can shutdown anybody in the league, as well as generate some offense too.

But having so many talented defenseman on one team means that they all get paid for their high level of talent. This also stretched into goaltending, as the Rangers have arguably the best goalie in the NHL in Henrik Lundqvist. On defense alone, the Rangers have $26.75 million invested in their seven defensemen, with Dan Girardi ($5.5) and Marc Staal ($5.7) making the most amount of money. Add in Henrik Lundqvist and the new backup, Antti Raanta, and the Rangers have $36 million going towards the back end. That’s more than half of the allotted salary cap, without spending a dime on the 12 forwards that play every game. Read the rest of this entry