It's funny to think that the New York Rangers are now a top-heavy hockey club when it comes to both offense and defense.
Sure, in 1994, 1997 and immediately following the lockout of 2004-05, the Rangers had what would be considered elite talent on their scoring lines and, maybe to a lesser extent during the Jagr years, top defensive pairings.
But what those teams also had was depth. When the third and fourth lines rolled out, nobody was worried about a letdown. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
Last year, the Rangers had the opposite; their top lines were lacking, but they boasted some of the best team depth in the league.
If this team is to make another deep run int the playoffs, the role players are going to have to step it up. As any hockey fan knows, these types of players make names for themselves during the playoffs, as they provide invaluable contributions that can be the difference between winning and losing.
Here are the four role players the Rangers will need to step up during this season if they're going to make a splash come the spring.