Here we are, just six days from the trade deadline. The Rangers haven’t made any moves yet, but the rumors are abound. All signs point to Alain Vigneault being dismissed at some point between now and the draft. Ryan McDonagh resubmitted his list of teams he will accept a trade to. Rick Nash submitted his a while ago as well. Michael Grabner keeps scoring, and we keep going cha-ching. Nick Holden will even fetch something.
But for now, we wait. The Rangers are in no rush to make a move yet. The offers are coming in. Nash and Grabner keep scoring. Value keeps going up. Other trades –like the Kempny to Washington trade– are setting the market for others. Jeff Gorton, is (hopefully) surveying the lay of the land and not rushing to trades.
The interesting thing to note is that the Rangers are focusing on getting higher end talent that is close to the NHL. That can be a dangerous game to play, since it might signal Jeff Gorton is aiming for readiness over elite talent. Of course it could mean readiness and talent, a guy like Eeli Tolvanen does fit both.
One thing we have learned from the past 10 years as Ranger fans is that depth is a critical piece of building a contender. The Rangers teams that made Cup runs had a ton of depth. However elite talent, the Crosby’s, Malkin’s, Kopitar’s of the world, is needed to continually be contenders. That’s the key. That’s what this version of the Rangers was missing.
If Gorton is targeting readiness over potential elite talent, then it is a mistake. But if it’s targeting elite talent that is ready for the NHL over first round picks, then it is a strategy that could pay quick dividends. It’s a fine line to ride, but I see the logic in trying to rebuild on the fly, like the Yankees just did.
The waiting period, this calm before the storm, is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. This is the first time the Rangers are sellers in the life of this blog, so it’s exciting to cover. However Gorton is already 0-for-1 in selling trades, so there is legitimate fear when combining that fear with the potential trade strategy news.
Sit back. Have a drink. Enjoy watching guys like Nash and Grabner on Broadway while you still can. Perhaps Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello as well. This is the last week we will see the Rangers as they are currently constructed."The calm before the storm",