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The Rangers Have Depth, But Will They Need More Talent?

August 22, 2011, by

The Rangers improved their roster this off-season. They added players for the future (Tim Erixon) and players very much for the now (Brad Richards) and the future, of course. However despite possessing a young roster, plenty of organisational prospects to look forward to, and some legitimate elite skill, do the Rangers have enough to compete consistently with the Pens, Capitals and Tampa? All three teams have elite skill and cornerstone players for the foreseeable future and figure to be contender’s long term.

The Rangers do possess their own trump cards. The Rangers out match all three clubs in net, as Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t need to look up to any goaltender in the league, certainly not in the East anyway. The Rangers also figure to have the deepest set of defenders of all these teams , both now and long term; if you are of an optimistic nature. However, despite a blue collar, pretty skilful set of young forwards, do the Rangers possess enough pure skill to go to toe to toe with the above trio? Acquiring Brad Richards to go with Marian Gaborik; is that enough long term?

Naturally a lot of this post can’t be answered right now. No one knows how Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov will develop or how the likes of Kreider and Thomas will cope when they eventually get to the NHL. However it’s fair to say none of the above equal the triumvirate of Crosby/Malkin/Staal or can match the trio of Stamkos/St Louis/Hedman. Nor do the young Rangers match up to Ovechkin, Green and Backstrom. These clubs also own quality young players like the Rangers do with Callahan, Staal or Dubinsky but these clubs have more elite, all star talent than the Rangers.

This post isn’t directly about Zach Parise, we’ve gone there recently, but he is relevant once again. Do the Rangers need to go out and add more elite skill next summer or do you think depth can outduel top end skill? It might seem a bit soon to question the Rangers ability to contend with the current crop and personally, I am very high when it comes to the Rangers future, but you can be rest assured Sather and management will be looking beyond this coming season as well.

The Rangers are blessed with a quality young roster thanks to patience, good drafting and some savvy signings. Whether they have enough skill to go deep and win a Cup – the ultimate goal, well we’ll find out over the next season or two. It might mean Sather going after a serious investment (or not) next summer.


  1. Walt says:

    Washington and Pittsburgh have plenty of big name players, signed to long term, big money contracts. This creates a problem in that they are in no position to get the necessary players to carry their teams should they go down.

    Personally I like our set up, and if we can get one more marquie player fine, but not at the expense of letting go of the back bone that this team is made of. If we can’t pay these guys, and have to settle for some second rate players, it is counter productive, and we don’t win, so why throw away good money?

    Pittsburgh is in a tight spot, with the KID going down, and possibly not starting the season on time. He had a history of concussions in the past that was kept under cover, and he may not be the player he is in the future. Malkin is coming back from major knee surgery, and may not be the player he was. Yet they are both signed for the long term, at a cap hit somewhere in the $6.5 to $7 million per year, each. All their eggs were in one basket, and they may not be able to get players to fill in the blankes. Now I don’t feel the slightest bit sorry for them, but that happends when you go for big names in the CAP ERA. I find it ironic that they are putting out all this cash, and for years they were so cheap, and it may bite them in the rear ead this season.

    • The Suit says:

      Agree 100%.

      I’ll add that with the cap potentially set to decrease after the next CBA, now might not be the time to throw money around. Plus we should wait and see what we have in Christian Thomas and Chris Kreider. Those guys could be top end talent.

      I’d look to 2013 offseason instead…

      • Jurgenno88 says:

        in my defense… I never insisted they need to add right away but they may be inclined to add a piece like the Pens and Caps have, in the next off season or two.

        Hopefully not needed, but I was bring a potential scenario into focus.

        • The Suit says:

          Oh I know, just adding my 2 cents and charging $2 like a good capitalist

          • John says:

            Mention Zach Parise and free agency makes my heart palpatate in an unhealthy and slightly peculiar way. He’s Ryan Callahan with more offensive skill. What’s not to love? I would take him over Gaborik any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But, I think the Rangers have a good set up at the moment. They may not have the elite talent to match, but they have unmatched, flexible depth IMO. If Gaborik and Richards perform as planned, they don’t need to add a guy like Parise and would be better suited continuing the course w/ their own young talent on the wings.

          • Marty K says:

            It’s tough to hypothesize about talent v. depth but the Bruins, Canes & Ducks all won recent Cups with grit & depth with stellar goal tending over elite talent up front. The Bruins all had players (except the injured Savard) of Dubi’s & Cally’s like ilk & stats. On the other hand all the other post lock-out teams that won the Cup have had a big name or three.
            I feel right now our biggest void is that our 1st line lacks a solid LW which makes it fall short of the elite talent mark. Our 2nd & 3rd lines however exemplify depth, grit & guts so no problem in those departments.

    • Jurgenno88 says:

      While those injuries may catch up with them Walt, it hasn’t stopped them adding to their core. James Neal being a great example of a fine addition. Same goes for the Caps who in the past 12 months have added significant depth to their star players. Pre-season, Caps are my tip with Vokoun in net.

  2. Zen says:

    This team needs one more elite scorer. Whether that is a free agent or one of our prospects, then so be it. The problem with waiting on prospects is that some of our top players have a shelf-life of elite-ness that needs to be taken into consideration. If the right player becomes available, you go get him. Plain and simple.

    • Matt J says:

      I’m thinking Loui Eriksson. Impossible to get, but if acquirable get him. Great cap hit for a player of his skills.

  3. Matt J says:

    Well the Bruins just won the cup based purely on depth, so it’s doable but very unlikely.

    I think we are one winger away from being a contender. But hey if Wolski and Gaborik step up I might change my mind.

    Our third line needs some work though. Feds-Stepan-Avery/MZA/EC. That’s not gonna cut it. Give Stepan a real winger to play with.

    • Marty K says:

      Zook-Step-WW showed great chemistry last year. Too bad the experiment didn’t last long enough. That should be our 3rd line. The key is 1st line LW …..

  4. Sioux-per-man says:

    I’m thinking we are one Parise away from being a “Stanley Cup Champion”. I think we will contend this year. Personally I would like to think we are a top 4 team.

    That said we need a POWER PLAY that can score. Once this is fixed, we win 10 more games than last year, and Hank doesn’t have to win ALL the 1 goal games.

    Who scores on the top line with Richards and Gaborik? Who ever it is will have a career year. It would be nice to have a “Parise” player there. But Stephan and Parise could make a solid 2nd scoring line. Then you have Cally-Artie-Dubi line as well.

    Once this team can roll three SOLID scoring lines and/or score 3 goals a game, Rangers win 3 out of 4 of those games. Hank just doesn’t give up that many very often.

    Perhaps we’ve fixed that problem with Richards coming in. It sure is nice to have HOPE!
    And it will be fun to see who breaks out this year? Who is going to step up and be the missing link?

    • Zen says:

      A “Parise” would definitely push us into that group of favorites… no doubt. It would be nice to have a strong shot on the PP too.

  5. The Suit says:

    Who knows, maybe Dubi answers the bell this year!

    • Zen says:

      Ha! Isn’t that what people say every year? I’ve given up on that.

      • The Suit says:

        Thats too bad, most forwards pop their for 4th-5th season. Plus he scored 24 goals this past season. He could prob sniff 30 with Richards, Gab, and more PP time.

  6. pavel says:

    I would say we should get Parise, but I don’t see how we’ll have the cap room for him. Which sucks, because if there was ever a time for Sather to hand out a giant contract, it’d be for Parise.

    • Zen says:

      We have many expiring contracts this coming year that would easily add up to enough cap room to accommodate Parise and a bunch of kids (which we likely have coming in next year).

  7. AronV says:

    Wait are you saying


    is better than

    Michalek-Martin ?

    I respectfully disagree

    • Dave says:

      Where the hell did you draw that conclusion?

      • RAL says:

        At the top. I’ll take the NYR defense over that of Tampa, but Letang, Orpik, Martin, and Michalek, and Green, Hamrlik, Carlson, and Alzner are better top fours than Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, and Sauer. Long term the Caps picture is probably a bit better than NYR’s, too.

        • scrangersfan says:

          I disagree,I like our D more then any other you have posted.I would not trade Stahl over anyone and the other youngsters will only get better.We nee offensive players who can put the puck in the net consistantly.Our defense with Hank in net is as good as anyones.

  8. Tim-May says:

    As we saw last year the Rangers were able to outwork many teams that had much more talent on the ice than them. If they can have Richards and Rupp work as hard, and all of last year’s crew progress their talents and still work as hard, they could put up 6 more wins, which would give them 50 and a good playoff spot. Whether or not all I just mentioned is enough to win in the playoffs really is determined by how the teams are playing at that time. How many times in the last 15 years did we see a 7th or 8th seed like Edmonton knock off a top seed. That’s the good thing the NYR have going for them, their work ethic.

  9. rob sahm says:

    the bruins won the cup this year with a hard working team and grinders and a great goalie the hurricanes a few years back had the same type of team the rangers have but they to had a great goalie so it is possible to win the cup with just a good hard working lunch pail team.

  10. Eric says:

    Rob beat me to it just above — a team with depth and top-notch goaltending and defense can go far in the playoffs, the Bruins being just the most recent example. The Rangers have enough talent to get to the playoffs, and once there, they can compete, especially if Henrik steps up.

  11. timranger1 says:

    I think our time is now,we have alot of organizational depth,but how good it will really be,no one knows. What we do have, is a world class goalie, team depth, and “some elite talent”. This is the time, to go out, and get us an elite left wing, or another elite player for our team, and go for it. I would love, zach parise on the rangers.he is gritty, can score, is a leader on and off the ice,he’s an american, ya gotta love the guy, in spite of the god awful jersey he wears now.. Glen, go out and get us another elite talent, give up some of our d depth, and lets get us a cup,I am tired of bieng hopeful we will do well, every upcoming season since 94, I wanna f***ing parade through the canyon of heroes,we ranger fans deserve nothing less…