New York Rangers Free Agency 2012: 5 Top Reasons to Play for the Blueshirts

Ben Lippel@thewritebenContributor IIIJuly 21, 2012

New York Rangers Free Agency 2012: 5 Top Reasons to Play for the Blueshirts

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    "I'll never be your beast of burden. I'll never be your beast of burden. Never, never, never, never, never, never, never be."

    The Rolling Stones seem to have a song for every situation. And "Beast of Burden" fits the New York Rangers' ill-fated quest for Shea Weber like the glove he used to shove Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass during the playoffs. 

    So, he signed that mega money madness 14-year, $100 million offer sheet to play for the hated Philadelphia Flyers. That's a lot of cheese steaks, folks. 

    So, playing in New York City wasn't exactly his cup of tea. 

    One of the best defensemen in the NHL would rather toil in front of Ilya Bryzgalov, and deal with some of the most unforgiving fans in all of sports. 

    So what.

    Sure, the inhabitants of Ranger Nation may be feeling a sense of rejection right now. 

    In their minds, why wouldn't any player want to lace 'em up for their beloved Blueshirts?

    To tell you the truth, I agree.

    The Rangers are a proud Original Six franchise that came within six wins of hoisting Lord Stanley's hardware last Spring. Many key pieces are already in place. More are on the way. The organization is heading full-steam ahead in the right direction.

    There are lots of reasons to want to play on Broadway. And here are the top 5 that Shea Weber, and all the other big names who opted to be beasts of burden elsewhere, missed out on. 

The Core

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    In order to build a house that'll stand the test of time, you must have an incredibly sturdy foundation in place. A foundation that helped the Rangers win 61 games combined in the 2012 regular season and playoffs. This one isn't too bad:

    Ryan Callahan

    Dan Girardi

    Marc Staal

    Michael Del Zotto

    Chris Kreider

    Ryan McDonagh

    Brandon Dubinsky

    Brad Richards

    Marian Gaborik

    Derek Stepan

    Brian Boyle

    Artem Anisimov

    And last but certainly not least...

    Henrik Lundqvist

    Sure, Gaborik and Richards have no trade/no movement clauses. But as far as the other parts of the core are concerned, Rangers General Manager Glen Sather would be wise to hang onto them.

    Unless of course, an offer came up that he couldn't refuse. Callahan, Lundqvist, Girardi, Kreider and McDonagh are virtually untouchable.

The Captain and His Crew

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    When it comes to leadership, the Rangers ship is in good hands without a doubt. 

    Ryan Callahan as captain: hard to find a better one.

    Brad Richards, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal as alternate captains. 

    They provide the skill and the will the make the Rangers one of the best and one of the toughest teams in the NHL.

The Coach

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    John Tortorella is the ideal head coach for the New York Rangers.

    He's brash.

    He's bold.

    He's bellowing.

    And he knows how to maximize every ounce of talent that his team possesses.

    The temperamental Tortorella already has a Stanley Cup on his resume, as he coached the Tampa Bay Lighting to the top in 2004. He certainly has the goods to guide the Rangers there, too.

The Crowd

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    Rangers fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in all of professional sports. Madison Square Garden was a bubbling cauldron during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. The fans are an imposing force that could intimidate the toughest of teams.

The King

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    Now that he's got an Olympic Gold Medal and a Vezina Trophy in his back pocket, Henrik Lundqvist will be aiming to surround his throne with a much bigger prize in 2013. 

    Any player that doesn't want to earn his ice time in front of No. 30 is surely missing out on something special.