Rangers template for success shouldn’t change as deadline nears

It's all part of the plan.
It’s all part of the plan.

Back in the offseason I spoke frequently about the Rangers need to acquire players who fit their team template. The three main ingredients needed to restock the Rangers were roster balance, skating, and effort. As the deadline approaches, the Rangers should stick to those three ingredients when evaluating their own team and what’s available on the marketplace.

As for Tortorella, you may not like his personality and you may disagree with his coaching systems and strategies, but whether he stays or goes (I vote he stays!), the foundation he’s laid for this roster should and likely will remain intact. With that said, let’s look at few pieces and see where upgrades could potentially be made.

Marian Gaborik

I’ve said it in almost every post-season report card I’ve written about Gaborik, but his skill set can fit any team concept. It’s not just the fact he can score goals, it’s how he scores goals. Gabby doesn’t want the puck until the last third of the ice. When he’s on a roll, he’s snapping shots the second he receives the puck. Executing the creative stuff like Nash, Ovie, or a Malkin isn’t in his wheelhouse.¬†Problems start to occur when he physically (often due to injuries) or mentally (due to his own head) can’t get to the area of open ice needed to get that shot off the way it has to.

So what does this mean for his future as a Ranger?

It all depends on who’s available, for how much, and if a team expresses interest that he’s willing to accept a trade to. The Rangers are still looking for balance. If there’s a player, or a package of players that will bring back offense, plus our key ingredients (balance, speed, and effort), then I’d consider moving him. However, if there’s no deal to be made, I wouldn’t overreact either. All of those missed shots are bound to start going in at some point.

Brad Richards

Should his play not turnaround, I could see where this amnesty buyout talk might pick up steam, but that’s months away. At this point his contact is immovable, so he likely stays through the deadline.

Brian Boyle

Boyle is a solid defensive center, but as Dave and I have said time and again, he’s best served as a 4C, not a 3C. Of course, Halpern is doing just fine as a 4C and at a much lower cost. In my opinion, Boyle doesn’t bring offensive balance, his skating isn’t strong, and his effort level is hit and miss.

The Rangers could use some pop on offense in our bottom 6, as Powe (0 goals), Halpern (0 goals), Miller (2 goals), Pyatt (4 goals), and Haley/Bicks¬†(0 goals), aren’t cutting it offensively. However, all of those guys possess the other ingredients. Obviously Boyle on his own won’t generate much interest, but a package could be worth exploring.

Chris Kreider

I know a small contingent of Rangers fans have already moved on from hoping he’ll live up to the hype. I’m not one of those tweeners because Kreider’s potential hits on all of those ingredients. Once he fixes a few of those defensive issues in the AHL, he’ll be up here contributing. Additionally, if Gaborik actually were to get moved, this would all but cement the fact that Chris would be taking Marian’s role.


There isn’t one player on defense I would trade at the deadline. We’re thin on defense till Staal gets back, so there’s no point trading any of our full-time blueliners.

As for everyone else, the rest fit our team concept and have played well under Tortorella’s tutelage. This team is far from perfect, but if we make a few moves to upgrade our offense without sacrificing these main ingredients, a Cup will be ours sooner than our current record would indicate.

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  • Suit,

    I like the optimism, but what’s available for a first line center if/when Brad Richards is amnestied (with that cap hit and level of play, realistically how can he not be amnestied)? Those players don’t typically hit the FA market, and the Rangers do not have any prospects that fit that profile.

    The reason for the lack of offense in my opinion starts with Brad Richards and finishes with a lack of depth on the back end.

    • We do have an interesting prospect at center in Oscar Lindberg, currently playing in Sweden, and, from what I hear, putting up some good numbers.

      • We’ve been discussing Lindberg a lot here. Check the Around the Farm posts (another one at 4pm today). Lindberg is a regular there.

    • If Richards gets the second amnesty (remember, they can do this at the end of next season), then Stepan will be able to take the reins.

  • Suit–

    This is why I like you. You talk sense. SO FEW RANGERS FANS RIGHT NOW ARE USING SENSE.

    Thanks for being level headed.



  • While the team is balanced and strong, they are still a bubble team. Bubble teams often tweak their line-up to add a spark down the stretch. I would love to add a guy like Matt Duchene from Colorado.

  • Well said. Especially true about Gabby and Boyle. Boyle is a shit skater. The only reason he had the 20 goal season 2 years ago was that he planted himself in front of the net and cleaned up scraps. No one really does that on the rangers anymore. Gaborik isn’t a hands guy but he can move and obviously has a laser of a shot.

    Enough of the negative doomsday talk, let’s hope for big W today to regain some much needed confidence. We need to unleash the offensive beasts we have, and not in the 3rd period or when we’re down.

  • Great post Suit! Nuts and bolts!

    Sense is Great, but as fans isn’t “PASSION” what it’s all about? Sometimes passion overtakes sense, it shouldn’t but it does, I think passion is much more fun. In almost all aspects of life. However, I will admit, passion can and does sometime lead to mistakes.

    Some thing I read on Hockey Buzz:
    “According to three, yes three, sources today the Rangers and the Jets are talking…meaning each team gets current NHLers from the other and not prospects. I know the Rangers are VERY high on Evander Kane…as is the rest of the NHL….and there is Dustin Byfuglien sitting out there as well…The Rangers have some very strong complimentary talent as well as a few superstars….one of which I am told would be “amenable to change.””

  • Two comments, one not observed elsewhere I think. The trade deadline is late. If the Rangers wait until deadline day, it may help them in the playoffs, but is unlikely to add more than a point or two to the season total. A deadline day move won’t get you into the playoffs. If Sather is going to act, he should do it now.
    Point two, you can’t win with two lines that don’t score at all and two lines consisting of slightly above average scorers (+ Nash). The Rangers need real offense now – say Zuccarello and Kreider both – or somebody. The team concept needs guys who are committed to the system,but they don’t have to be great at it.
    The great Oiler teams allowed Grant Fuhr to stop breakaways. We have a good goalie. If the Rangers can get more chances by giving more chances, they should do it.

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