Last year, the New York Rangers were the talk of the NHL offseason when they signed free-agent center Brad Richards to a nine-year, $58.5 million contract. This year, they can possibly grab the headlines again. With star winger Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets being shopped around, many believe that the Rangers and Nash will be united.
It seems like a perfect fit. The Rangers need scoring and a more effective power play, both of which Nash can provide. With the early offseason storyline of Marian Gaborik needing surgery on his shoulder, all Ranger fans are in panic mode.
But it is just that, panic. The injury to the 41-goal scorer will be a blow for the Rangers, but let’s hold off on Nash, who would be a huge blow to the Rangers' salary cap. There are other viable options for the Rangers who can and will help with the scoring load and come at a cheaper price.
One option is current Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla. Sure, Iginla is old in hockey terms (34), but his 67 points this past season show that his age does not slow him down. He also adds a toughness and grit that you don’t get with Nash. Iginla is someone who wants to win, and the Rangers have shown they can do just that.
Another viable option is Anaheim winger Bobby Ryan. Earlier in the season, Ryan was being shopped around and the Rangers were in the hunt to acquire him. Ryan is 25, which is two years younger than Nash, and a cheaper option ($2.7 million cheaper according to capgeek.com).
Finally, why not keep the current roster? Sounds like a cop out, right? It’s not.
The Rangers are a young team, but so much can change in a year for a player. For example, last year Michael Del Zotto seemed to be the most inconsistent players on the Rangers roster. This year, Del Zotto posted 41 points and had one of the best plus/minus ratings in the NHL (plus-20).
Take a chance and see if other young players can progress like him. The Rangers have plenty of young players, like Ryan McDonagh, Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin. Maybe they, too, can have breakout years.
New York is known as “the city that never sleeps”. With all the news and rumors around the Rangers and Rick Nash, many fans will have sleepless nights. Fans, I assure you, rest easy. The Rangers don’t need Nash to bring them to the cup.
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