February 18, 2012

With Trade Deadline Looming, should the Rangers Make A Big Splash?

With the trade deadline looming, the topic on everyone’s mind is what will the 1st place New York Rangers do? There has been massive speculation that the Rangers are the front runners to land Rick Nash, from the Columbus Blue Jackets, who the Rangers play this Sunday. With the constant rumors flying, Ranger fans are having debates left and right all over Twitter and Facebook. There are many people who feel that the Rangers will benefit from adding another scorer, the likes of Nash who has been a perennial 30 goal scorer and at age 27 he is still in the prime of his career. This season Nash has 18 G and 21 A in 33 games. The problem with acquiring a player of Nash’s stature is what it will cost your franchise. Some of the names flying around as compensation for Nash are Brandon Dubinsky, Michael DelZotto, prospects Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and Tim Erixon. Is Nash worth tearing apart the current roster and the future of your organization? Not to mention that Nash’s contract is a very substantial one, in which he is owed 7.8 million dollars a year for the next 4 seasons. That being said the Rangers have players the likes of Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan and Vezina and MVP Candidate Henrik Lundqvist that will be free agents after next season, and they will need to have the Cap Space to retain those players. With the current CBA set to expire this September, the uncertainty of the new agreement could also have an effect on the future Cap. For proof of that look at the previous lock outs by the NFL and NBA.

With that being said yes, it would be nice to add a player the caliber of Rick Nash, but it is not worth tearing apart the current roster and the future of your franchise. I know right away fans are going to say, “Well the Rangers made moves in 94 that led to their Stanley Cup Championship”, and believe me I understand that. That was then this is now, that team as great as it was, made those deals and left their franchise barren. The deals the Rangers made in 1994 set them back at least 10 more years, because if you remember, it was all downhill after that. Neil Smith who was heralded a genius for his moves lost his job shortly after, and the Rangers have not won a Stanley Cup since then.  The players they acquired at that time were Veteran players, who were will to put their own statistics aside for the good of the team. They made their big run, won the Stanley Cup and that was it 1 Cup.

Now to the current Ranger team, this team if you have been watching has been developing since the arrival of John Tortorella. It took some time, but now every player on this roster and even the players in Hartford believe in this system. This is a team, that if you watched HBO’s 24/7, you saw that they genuinely care about each other and play for each other. It all starts with the Captain Ryan Callahan, the way he plays the game all around, his grit, and determination and all out style is what personifies this team. Every player from stars like Gaborik and Richards to rookies like Carl Hagelin and Stu Bickel play the same way. Blocking shots, playing disciplined and physical hockey. Everyone has bought in to the system, and it has been successful, as you can see by the Rangers Eastern Conference leading 79 points and top seed. If there is a move that needs to be made, it should not be a move that will disrupt the team chemistry, or the future of this franchise. It should be a small move that would improve an area such as the Power Play, and it should not be at any expense. It’s going to be an interesting few days Ranger fans, hold on tight!!!

By Joe Clewell

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