Coming into the 2011-2012 season, the New York Rangers were not expected to have a great deal of success.
Sure, it wouldn't have surprised anyone if they made the playoffs grabbing a low seed late in the season, but that was about it for the organization.
Making matters worse were the injuries that haunted the Rangers' struggling defensive squad, making doubt even more apparent.
But look where the Rangers stand now.
They are the best team in the Eastern Conference, and they are hot on the heels of the Detroit Red Wings, only a mere three points behind them in the standings while also having played three less games to date.
A major part of the Rangers' success this season can be credited to the depth and well-distributed talent of the team.
Known in recent years for making high-priced, low-reward trades, the Rangers have begun to turn themselves around. Just look at Carl Hagelin, a homegrown guy who, in his rookie season, has proven himself to be a fine NHL player.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Rangers have come up in discussions of quality players like Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan and even Ray Whitney.
As great as these players are, and as much as I would enjoy seeing them in a New York uniform, none of these trades are what the Rangers need right now, however.
Sure, picking up an established player may provide the edge the team needs for a Stanley Cup-winning season. But, what comes after that?
Years of paying off the high cost, and holes in the roster because of the expense of one of the established superstars currently on the block.
Thanks, but no thanks.
The Rangers are finally figuring themselves out as an organization. By now, they should understand that having enough talented defensive prospects in the AHL—having people to bring up to the big leagues who could successfully fill holes—that's the key to victory.
Sure, a superstar would be nice to have for the Rangers and, as a fan, I wouldn't mind seeing it.
But when players like Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Del Zotto or Hagelin, along with prospects like Chris Kreider are put on the chopping block, is a deal for one player really worth it?
I say no, and I think the Rangers are better off keeping things the way they are.
One superstar may increase the chances for a Stanley Cup this season, but a core of young, talented players nearly guarantees a playoff presence for the next 10 seasons.
Feel free to comment, I would love to hear your opinion on the matter.