Before the offseason started, there were talks about Jeff Gorton and the Rangers doing some minor tinkering and potentially entering the first phase of a rebuild. The team looked to have some major flaws and holes, an aging blue line and issues to address before opening night.
But Gorton made a lot of small, smart depth signings during Free Agent Frenzy, a trade for Mika Zibanejad, brought aboard a highly coveted NCAA prospect in Jimmy Vesey, and even made some changes to the coaching staff and management.
The moves made in the offseason show that the Rangers aren’t looking to rebuild and exit the first round this season, they’re looking to contend. 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
With the Rangers eliminated from the playoffs, the time has come for crazy trade rumors. Already, fans are claiming that a Talbot trade would bring in the first overall pick, or Taylor Hall (hint: never going to happen), and there is clickbait galore claiming knowledge from “insiders” about some crazy trade that could happen.
The Rangers have the luxury of being a big market team, as well as one of the more wide-spread fan bases in the league, with Rangers fans all over the country. Because of this, they’re usually more susceptible to heavy criticism, lofty expectations, and yes, crazy trade rumors.
A few days ago, the Rick Nash trade rumors seemed to be grouped in with the rest of those crazy trade scenarios. But as time passes, the talks of this being a possibility haven’t slowed down, and may actually have some truth behind it. Read the rest of this entry
It feels as if Chris Kreider has been a Ranger for a very long time. After making his debut in Game 3 against the Ottawa Senators in the 2012 playoffs, he has since been grouped in with the rest of the “core” group of the New York Rangers organization.
But it’s hard to realize that this was only Kreider’s second full year in the NHL. Despite playing in the 2012 playoffs and through the lockout-shortened 2013-14 season, he was still considered a rookie, and was getting some attention for the Calder trophy award, presented to the league’s best rookie.
A lot was expected of Kreider this year. After playing in parts of three seasons, fans and hockey analysts expected to him to continue his development into one of the premier power forwards in the league. And for the most part, he delivered, growing as a player and teammate throughout this season. Read the rest of this entry
A promising season led to postseason disappointment for the Rangers, falling short of their Stanley Cup goals, and losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They came just 20 minutes shy of a second consecutive Stanley Cup Finals berth.
After acquiring Keith Yandle at the trade deadline, many believed that this put the Rangers in a “win-now” mode. The players had these same expectations, which is why they too seemed disgruntled during their exit interviews yesterday.
A lot of people thought that this was the year that the Rangers would finally recapture the Stanley Cup after 21 long seasons. But there were injuries, failed game plans, as well as a strong Tampa Bay team standing in their way.
Hindsight is 20/20, so here is what the Rangers needed to do differently or better in order to win. Read the rest of this entry