The New York Rangers are Rebuilding and What That Means

So a lot happened yesterday, including this letter the Rangers sent to their fans.

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This right here is PR 101. Michael Scott always said to control the story,

and that is precisely what the Rangers did. They got out in front of a fire sale dumpster fire before fans had a chance to lose their shit and I respect it. It was refreshing to see the Rangers management take accountability for this joke of a season and get us all on the same page. At the press conference Gorton and Sather held, they were asked about Alain Vigneaults future and answered appropriately:

They cannot flat out say AV is toast unless they were planning on doing so that day. On the other hand, this isn’t exactly a gold star a teacher puts on a homework assignment. My hope? The Rangers will fire him immediately in the offseason. My guess of what they do? They give AV a chance to coach a new group of younger players that will inevitably fail come next November and he will be fired by Christmas.

What Now?

Now that the Rangers have said anyone is available, be ready for some fire works to pop off. It is reported that the top two places for Nash to land is Nashville and Dallas.

In my mind, I think Grabner will fetch a first round pick. Where? A team like Carolina or Boston would be interesting where Grabner would be a hell of a depth player and sure up the PK. Boston, in particular, are having an outstanding year. Adding Grabner would only make that lineup even deeper and stronger.

This quote:

“As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character. This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect. While this is part of the game, it’s never easy.”

makes me uncomfortable because I would have to believe this is directly related to McDonagh and Zuccarello. Although I don’t see them traded before the seasons over, barring an insane return, I think its safe to say that their time in this organization is coming to an end. McDonagh has been a tremendous player for the Rangers who played hard night in and night out. A magnificent skater, Mac has been the Rangers best defenseman since Brian Leetch. By now, everyone by now knows my feelings for Zucc and I wanted to take the time to say I pledge secondary allegiance to whatever team is blessed to acquire him. Zuccarello has had the largest heart on the Rangers for years and will forever be my favorite player.

Darren Dreger says there are some teams interested in picking up these two and I’m all for it, at the right price. I would need teams to severely over pay for these two, but like the Rangers have said, no one is untouchable. Having said that, I think that if Chris Kreider never had that blood clot issue, his name would’ve been brought up almost just as much as Nash and Kreider.

It’s very hard to generate realistic trades. Don’t believe me? Paul fucking Gaustad once got a first round pick and Zac Rinaldo was once traded for a 3rd. You literally never know and all you can do is speculate. With Nash and Grabner being traded, I’m hoping you’ll be able to say the Rangers obtained 2 first round picks and a solid prospect. Depending on the whereabouts of McDonagh and Zuccarello, the Rangers potentially could have 4 first round picks in this years deep draft. What I would want? While obvious and just as unlikely, anyone with a brain would want Rasmus Dahlin. The Rangers are currently 22 points out of last place (I just lol’d having typed that) and would seriously have to make moves to move towards a number one pick. If Dahlin can not be had, I’d take a look at Brady Tkachuk. It’d be awesome for the Rangers to bring in a young, tough, skilled player, to help create a stronger core. It’s out with the betas and in with the Alphas.

Having said all of this, Elliot Freidman thinks that this may perhaps be a very, very quick rebuild. Per Fan Rag Sports:

“If Ryan McDonagh gets traded, we’re going to look at the deal and we’re going to say, ‘Oh, that’s why.’” indicated NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman during a Friday morning radio hit on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590. “I think they’re willing to listen on McDonagh, but I think they believe that if they do it, the price has to be heavy. So I think that that might give us a better explanation on why they decide to do it.

“But the one thing that’s kind of out there, and we’ve talked about it a little bit, is if they trade Nash or they trade Grabner… McDonagh, if he’s gone he’s gone for another year-and-a-half because he’s got another year under contract. But the question is, is Nash going to go and come back. Is Grabner going to go and come back.

“And one of the subplots of the Olympics – last year Ilya Kovalchuk, you had to go through New Jersey if you wanted to come back. You had to make the deal with him, and he went back overseas. This year he’s an unrestricted free agent. It’s believed his target is the New York area. And if I had to rank them in order, I’d say probably for him Rangers 1, Islanders 2.

“So what happens if they make deals, they get all these pieces, and Nash comes back, and/or Grabner comes back, and say Kovalchuk comes over. Plus, they’re going to have cap room and you know what happens when the Rangers have this situation. Maybe they’re looking at Boston and saying, ‘Hey, if we get some kids and we can add some pieces to it depending on who comes back or if Kovalchuk comes over,’ I wonder if they’re looking at this as a very, very quick reset and seeing if they can give it a shot next year.”

At this point, the suggestion was made to Friedman on 590 that the Rangers would call John Tavares during free agency this summer in that scenario.

“Absolutely,” agreed Friedman. “You know what. I wouldn’t be surprised – if he doesn’t sign with the Islanders, and I’ve said a lot that’s my No. 1 option of what I think he wants to do – if he doesn’t sign with the Islanders, the Devils have a lot of cap room too. Don’t you think both the Rangers and the Devils are going to say, ‘If you don’t want to move, we’re right here.’”

Even though all things mentioned above seem straight from an NHL 18 Be a GM mode, can you imagine if all of that happened??

The best part of this is that NO ONE knows what is going to happen. This is the most excited I’ve been since the cup final in ’14. The weirdest thing is watching the Rangers play and not expecting a win night in and night out. Having said that, I do miss the days of being the underdogs, it helps keep you humble. If the Rangers do this and do this right, we may be back to what we’re accustomed too sooner than you think.

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