Could the Rangers’ start prompt a search for blueline help?

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The irony of the Rangers unimpressive start is that this team could really benefit from Wade Redden on the bottom pair. His passing ability and experience would have been a boost to the bottom pair. Clearly though, that was never going to happen. All jokes aside, two bad losses doesn’t mean a general manager should blow up his roster and beg for help elsewhere.

However, maybe the two losses have reinforced (or exposed) a need in the eyes of Glen Sather. Countless twitter fans, media types and pre-season’ predictors expressed varying levels of concern at the bottom end of the Rangers blueline depth. Basically the concern was – is there any?

Stu Bickel has been horrible thus far, Matt Gilroy is surely just an emergency measure (based on his at best mediocre play with the Whale), and Steve Eminger would have the same problem shaking off the rust that the current defense corps is encountering. So will Sather be tempted to look for an upgrade outside of the organisation and is it needed?

Don’t count on any help coming from the AHL. The sole legitimate prospect on the blueline – Dylan McIlrath – needs serious game time at that level before being a viable option. He’s unlikely to be seen at the Garden this year. Don’t count on Bickel suddenly transforming into Jeff Beukeboom overnight either. The current defense will only improve through practice, players playing to their talent levels, and through the forwards getting on the same page as their defensive colleagues. Basically, if the organisation isn’t happy with what’s on the blueline now, they may well start to look for alternatives.

Two losses does not spell disaster, nor does playing Stu Bickel, or one of the current healthy scratches.  This defense may very well be one unfortunate injury/absence from a potential panic situation. This team has a ton of talent, solid depth (generally speaking) and an all world goaltender ready to be the backbone once again. Just don’t expect Sather and co. to be idle. There’s every chance the organisation is looking at options, and so they should.

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  • But the thing is we knew Stu Bickel was a liability all along going into this season. Everyone knows what he is and isn’t capable of. He is not an every day NHL defenseman.

    Matt Gilroy is meh. Probably not good enough either based on his play with the Whale.

    Steve Eminger on the other hand was effective before his injury last season. He wasn’t great and he didn’t do anything flashy but he was serviceable. I’d like to see him get a few games and see what happens.

    But what would it cost to get a “Joe Corvo” type defenseman? A veteran defenseman on an expiring contract. Probably not much. These are the defenseman we should be looking at.

  • I agree that we should be looking at low cost defensemen, especially with a looming, smaller cap.

    Bickel can’t skate well enough for NHL standards and isn’t the answer. He’s willing but he’s not even intimidating so there’s no real redeeming feature. Hopefully with some more teaching he improves but think he has a limited ceiling.

    Chris Campoli?

  • If your going to make a acquisition. Staal to Carolina for whatever you can get. He’s leaving anyways. Might as well get some return on him.

    • While I agree Staal will be going to play with his brothers that move would weaken the already weak defense. Jamie McBain is the defenseman to target from Carolina. Right handed shot, 24 years old, University of Wisconsin Alumni.

      • maybe he doesnt like his brothers cause they used to pick on him when they were kids. maybe they never would push him on the swing

      • Well. When his brother got traded there was a quip about how they all celebrated. Including marc.

        And who wouldn’t want to play on the same team that your 3 other brothers are playing for, and be in the place where your parents spend most of their time with your family.

        We have staal till the end of next season. If he is potentially going down there after his contract expires. And he doesn’t want to be the cornerstone of the franchise….it’s time to trade him.

        Remember dubi and AA were core players and thy got the boot.

  • i think the worst d man on the team is Staal he is a give away machine and he skating and balance is average at best

  • If they are looking for D men to replace players because the ones we have now are still rusty then who could we pick up at this time that also wouldnt be rusty?

  • It sounds like a good idea but the last time Slats traded for a defensemen was at last years trade deadline. That was LW/Defensemen enforcer John scott. He played 6 games. And the Rangers sent one of their lower round draft choices. I dont know if other ppl feel this way but that was kind of a waste of a draft pick but what if that pick was actually good and surprised everyone like Dan Girardi who wasnt even drafted. If the Rangers do consider trading for a defensemen, he needs to actually be good in his own zone. And he needs to play (i know its not a full season) but i dont wanna waste players/picks if they arent going to play. I would trade Eminger and maybe Bickel. Keep Gilroy.

    • I agree with this. If we do trade for a defenseman, he better be a good skater and not some shit goon like John Scott. He was certainly a waste of a pick.

  • I’m appalled by the talk about Staal. It wasn’t long ago he was our best defense man, then Ryan and Dan emerged. Almost all rangers have some rust right now. When it shakes off, you’ll be kicking yourself for even considering trading Staal, who is a big reason the Rangers are considered to have an excellent top 4 tandem on defense.

    • People tend to forget that pre-concussion he was our “shadow” guy and gave Ovi and Crosby fits in key games.

  • I love how one bad night or two has a player packing his bags in NY. Staal is going nowhere unless he comes out and tells the Rangers he wants to join his brothers.

    Other then being a great PP QB or a great point maker. Staal is the next best thing to the perfect D man. He will get his game together and you saw signs of that tonite.

    Unless he brings back a player we need so bad like a great PP QB I dont see him going anywhere.

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