Welcome to the musings. It’s not a game day, it’s the offseason and that depresses a lot of us. Let’s see if we can collectively raise some spirits shall we?
The way the Bruins are absolutely controlling the Penguins – probably the most skilled and talent laden team in the league – makes you wonder about the Rangers Bruins series doesn’t it? Maybe Tortorella wasn’t the (main) issue. In terms of execution, the Bruins are the best team in the league.
Here at the site, we’ve already begun to touch on free agency, internal movement and candidates to bring in. Looking at the free agent list, it’s incredibly underwhelming. The Rangers need to move forward and try to win while they have Lundqvist, of course they do. However, they really shouldn’t chase name players and throw money around because they have a sense of urgency. That would be suicide.
Assuming they make it to free agency, here are some players I’d consider under the right circumstances: Clarke MacArthur, Tyler Bozak, Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell. There’s a chance none of them get to free agency but all address needs on the Rangers.
Another guy that could benefit from a change of scenery? The once promising Mason Raymond, winger on the Canucks.
Sifting through the free agency list and it’s hard to find players that either a) are not too old/past their prime, b) don’t address team needs better than what is already here and c) come with significant question marks that make them legitimate risks. Even some appealing candidates like those above have risks attached.
Having glanced at the Rangers prospect system recently, it got me thinking that the Rangers would benefit enormously if just one prospect such as Dylan McIlrath or JT Miller or even Christian Thomas stepped up and demanded to be on the roster through his play.
Speaking of Dylan McIlrath; he was considered an important prospect before the season and there has been some concerns (mainly health related) about his progress but if the big kid could make the Rangers that would really help address the frailties in front of Lundqvist. On paper, he’s exactly what this team needs and would mean the team doesn’t have to throw free agency dollars around to get it.
I do offer a little chuckle when I read report cards around the Rangers fan base. I think Rangers fans are often guilty of over estimating apparent success. Hell, even I was a touch too positive (perhaps). However, I recently saw Callahan given an A+, Ryan McDonagh given an A+ and Zuccarello getting a B+. All three played well, but Callahan and McDonagh had tough stretches and Zuccarello certainly wasn’t close to an A grade player. I think all three have room for improvement based on their play this year and that’s exciting not a criticism.
I hope Glen Sather knows what he’s doing as Dallas Eakins getting a second interview with the Canucks sure makes it look like one less candidate for the Rangers position like very soon.
While a few have prospects have been injured or not progressed as quickly as some hoped it’s worth noting that there’s possibly (depending on individual circumstances) a ton of potential talent at Rangers camp this September: Ryan Bourque, Christian Thomas, Miller, Kreider, Lindberg, Fast, McIlrath, Hrivik, Yogan and St Croix to name a few. That’s not considering college kids or draft picks and while not every prospect can make it that’s still some fine potential looking to make the grade. Reason for optimism?