State of the Rangers

The Rangers cannot afford to trade Derek Stepan

Derek Stepan needs to be kept in a Ranger jersey.
Derek Stepan needs to be kept in a Ranger jersey.

It’s the time in hockey season where rumours are rampant. Ryan Callahan is apparently already half way out the door, the Rangers are apparently in bed with Martin St Louis and apparently Glen Sather will ‘check in’ on Ryan Kesler. All of these rumours have legs to some degree, so when you hear Derek Stepan’s name mooted as a piece Vancouver may want back for any Kesler deal, it does make you question the moving pieces.

The Rangers, for the long term, cannot afford to move Stepan. Not just because he is a home grown, quality player but because too much change is never a good thing. Consider the likely departure of Brad Richards in the summer. Consider also the expiring contracts of Brian Boyle and Dominic Moore. Then throw into the mix the still uncertain future of Derick Brassard (How much is enough? Is he even kept?). There is a legitimate chance in all of this then that the Rangers entire center ice unit changes. Until you realize no team in their right mind  would change an entire position over one deadline/off-season. Right, Glen?…

Successful teams have continuity. They make changes but they don’t blow up and start again, and expect to have prolonged success. Derek Stepan may be playing out an inconsistent season, but he’s a quality young player at an affordable price who is a vital part of this organisation. Would Ryan Kesler be a great addition? Absolutely. A quality American center who can play big minutes in every situation at a pretty cheap price, at least for the next 2 years? Sign me up.

If the Rangers want to continue to build toward a Stanley Cup and Glen Sather feels Ryan Kesler will help bring a Cup to NYC; then it needs to be Stepan and Kesler, not Stepan or Kesler. Its one thing to consider swapping captains. It’s another to continually rip apart the core of your franchise. The deadline is certainly a time for change and for tinkering with your roster, it’s not for radical overhauls.

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  1. Good perspective on the turnover potential.

    When did six years become the standard contract? I want Cally and Girardi – but for six years? Who is going to save these GM’s from themselves because someone will give both of them that. Let’s hope Glen can knock something reasonable out in the next few days.

    The MSL situation is mind-boggling. As a Ranger and Lightning fan living in Tampa – I don’t know what to think. I was begging for Glen to call Stevie the last two years about Marty when the Lightning were going nowhere at the deadline. This year Marty has held this team together for two months, Stamkos is on the way back and Ben Bishop is the man. For sure Yzerman and MSL have rift and rightly so. I don’t think there is any doubt Marty asked out in January. But I just can’t see him pushing for it in the middle of a playoff run. He is way too classy of a guy. But yet – nobody is denying it.

    I would love to see Marty in The Garden but I would sure hate to NOT see him in Tampa for the playoffs…

  2. I totally agree. There is a problem which comes from the misconception that Callahan is a great asset which the Rangers don’t want to lose for nothing. The Rangers don’t own Callahan; they have the rights to his services for the next four months and the rights to a very good but not great player for a small fraction of a season and the playoffs is not worth a great deal when it comes to acquiring players like St. Louis and Kesler.

    The Rangers should either keep Cally for their own playoff run – or trade him to a rival for a top draft pick or two and hope that Miller can replace Callahan seamlessly and nobody gets hurt.

  3. Cant be afraid to make roster changes that may affect the results of this season & postseason if it helps the franchise in the long-term.

  4. The rangers are winning why the move this for that guy talk. If it aint broke don’t fix it. Relax ranger fans and enjoy what you have and thank your lucky stars your not leaf or fishstick fans.

  5. Has anyone forgotten about Boyle & Stralman; both of whom are UFA at end of this season?

    Callahan a goner; OK, but not for a 38 year old. Rangers are not winning the Cup this year.

    We lost our 2013 #1 pick for 29 yr old Nash and our 2008 #1 Del Zotto for 29 yr old Klein. Get a younger player or a #1 to start replenishing our farm system which is ranked like 27th in the NHL.

    Even with JT Miller, Rangers have only three of their #1 draft choices to on board show since Sather was brought on board like 14 years ago.

    Rangers can’t keep giving away their $1s and #2s for guys that just don’t last like Bure, Zerdhev, Lisin, and Clowe.

    1. I am a Cally lover, but with UFA he will not generate much interest if he does not sign. Therefore the Rangers are strapped for opportunities. The fact that David Clarkson signed for 35 Mil. and Ryan Clowe the same type of money has shown the GM’s are falling for this long term deal thing that has backfired on the league.

  6. Nice write up Chris, no way they should move Step!

    Now for next season, I see Oscar Lindberg as either the 3rd, or 4th line center for us. Maybe, if the asking price isn’t too steep, Boyle is re-signed for a reasonable price, and he gets slotted for the 4th line, with Oscar on the 3rd!

    1. What planet does Boyle have any leverage? He is the 12th forward at this point….and I would much rather see JT Miller in there

      1. He could ask can’t he?????

        JT Miller does not belong on the 4th line, no way Jose!!!!!

        1. No, JT Miller does not belong on the 4th line…He can play on any of the other lines and that’s fine with me. He can play. He doesnt skate in the mud like useless Boyle….Thanks for thumbing down all of my comments.

  7. CONTINUED- And unless I am mistaken, our #3, #6, & 7th picks this season have already been traded by Sather. Time to start refilling our cubbards.

    1. Yes, you are mistaken. The Rangers are without their 5th (for Ryan Clowe) and a conditional 7th Round pick (which we traded for Dan Carcillo).

        1. Lol. I’m so used to us trading picks I totally forgot to look at the other column that shows what picks we’ve acquired – like the higher 5th for Wellman! Looks like we have everything but a 6th (the Falk trade) and a conditional 7th (Carcillo). But we’re also listed as having given up a conditional 7th in the Mashinter trade.

  8. I would trade Stepan for Kesler, But i don’t think Canucks would. But Frank is right, they need to start getting better at picking players in the first round (although Kreider is looking good and should not be in any trade considerations that don’t include a name that begins with Sidney or Steven).

  9. I would trade Stepan for Kessler faster than the speed of light. Stepan is HORRIBLE…. How on Gods green earth did he MAKE the USA team and Opksko DID NOT?

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