Jeff Gorton is entering his first full offseason as the GM of the New York Rangers, and he couldn’t be tasked with a more difficult offseason. The Rangers have toxic contracts, a system that doesn’t fit some of the players, and the worst of them all, a combination of the two. But with rumors abound that they are taking offers on pretty much everyone, the big concern is making splashes for splashes sake.
It’s pretty clear where the issues are on this team. For those that need a refresher, it’s summed up in one tweet:
1st in shooting%
7th in goals
14th in PP
21st in scoring chances against (5v5)
25th in high-danger scoring chances against (5v5)
26th in PK
— HockeyStatMiner (@HockeyStatMiner) June 12, 2016
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that offense (note: the forwards) are not the problem. The defense hemorrhaged shots in quantity and in quality and had one of the single worst penalty kills in recent memory (for the Rangers, at least). If numbers aren’t your thing, then you surely noticed the inability to get out of the zone, to have a sustained breakout, or to limit the cross-ice pass.
Don’t take that the wrong way, there is no one on this roster that is untouchable –save for Lundqvist and the rookies– and a lot of this talk it based on the return. But without addressing the real problems, the Rangers will have more of the same next year.
We’ve spent a good amount of cyber ink on the defense and that things need to change. I don’t want to re-hash everything and at this point in time, you all know where I stand with the current roster. But one tweet has summed up how frustrating some of the rumors we’ve seen can be.
All the forwards seem to be in trade discussions, yet we haven’t heard a peep about the guys that appear to no longer be a viable option for continued success of the Rangers. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Unless it’s a huge blockbuster like Nash or Eric Staal, the Rangers usually keep things quiet until they make their move. So maybe it’s a good thing that we haven’t heard any defensemen mentioned yet.
But be forewarned: Making moves just to make moves and make a change is not the right course. The right course is identifying the issues and solving the problem. The problem is the defense, and it’s been painfully obvious to everyone that has watched this team. But can this team make the right move to address these issues?
We will find out in two weeks. For better or for worse."With rumors abound, Rangers focus should be on issues, not splashes",