Twitter broke last night when Larry Brooks published his article with his latest in Rangers rumors. Brooks is the only beat writer with real sources, even if he is about 50/50 on what he breaks. This time around, what he broke was a series of absolute doozies that rocked Rangers Twitter last last night.
Brooks’ first bomb was that the Rangers have no plans to buy out struggling defenseman Dan Girardi. They also have no plans to ask him to waive his no-move clause either. We’ve spoken at length on Girardi, and you know where we stand. But I do want to point out that you can want certain players traded for the benefit of the team and still be a fan of that team.
The second bomb was a little smaller, as Brooks pointed out something that we all fear. The Rangers likely will be forced to let Keith Yandle walk because they will not be able to afford him. This we knew was the route the Rangers would take, despite all the hopes that they would learn from the Anton Stralman debacle. Sigh.
The third bomb was of the nuclear variety. We knew the Rangers would be looking to deal Rick Nash. But Nash threw gas on the fire, throwing in names like Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, and Ryan McDonagh. Actually, Brooks said that anyone not named Henrik Lundqvist, Pavel Buchnevich, and Brady Skjei is open for discussion.
By not dealing Lundqvist, the Rangers can never truly tank. By not dealing Girardi –or Staal, or both– they can never be a true Cup contender. This is more of the same from the team, just with a different angle. They will try to retool, which is what was expected, but this method was not what folks had in mind.
There is likely more to the story than what Brooks reported. Perhaps Jeff Gorton truly does believe that Girardi’s fractured knee cap –which they allowed him to play through despite having Dylan McIlrath on the bench, which was incredibly irresponsible– impaired his play to this extreme level. Perhaps he does actually rebound.
Perhaps this is just smoke. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. This is going to be an interesting and potentially insane offseason for the Rangers. But it may not be in a manner most were hoping.