5 Opportunities New York Rangers Missed This Offseason
The New York Rangers were pretty quiet this offseason, making just a few depth signings.
What could they have done better? What opportunities did they miss to improve the team?
It was not a perfect offseason, and there are still significant holes on the roster.
Read on to find out the five biggest missed opportunities for the Rangers this offseason.
Improving the Power Play
The Rangers had one of the worst power plays last season, and they did not make any significant personnel changes.
While new coach Alain Vigneault should provide some sort of spark, the Rangers still have the same roster that looked so inept with the man advantage.
One option could have been to sign Marek Zidlicky, a true quarterback who had 11 power-play points last season.
Instead, he re-signed with the New Jersey Devils. The Rangers still don't have a true quarterback who can dictate the action.
The Rangers will hope that Michael Del Zotto can turn into the power-play quarterback that many have envisioned, but until he proves he can, the Rangers would've been better off with someone like Zidlicky.
Buying out Brad Richards
When the Rangers decided to not buy out Brad Richards, it meant they were going to have to lay low during the offseason.
They've done that, making just a few depth signings.
But had that money come off of the cap, the Rangers could've really improved their team.
They could've been in the market for someone like Michael Frolik and could've gone for bigger fish like Nathan Horton.
Instead, they're stuck with the same roster that looked so lost against the Boston Bruins.
If Richards can find his game again, then this was the right move. But right now, it looks like a big missed opportunity. The Rangers could've used that money to plug holes throughout the lineup.
Improving Defensive Depth
The Rangers acquired a number of depth defensemen this offseason. None of them, however, inspire too much confidence.
Justin Falk has probably the best chance to play. He played in 36 games last season with the Minnesota Wild. Aaron Johnson and Danny Syvret are more suited for the AHL.
The Rangers were exposed when Marc Staal got hurt. They simply did not have enough depth. Steve Eminger was asked to play a larger role than he's capable of, and it hurt the team.
And while the Rangers now have more depth on defense, they do not have better depth. If one of the main defensemen gets hurt, the Rangers will be in the same predicament.
They should've gone after a veteran defenseman who can play at a moment's notice, and play well. They did not do that, and it's a big missed opportunity.
The Rangers had the cards stacked against them, as they did not pick until the third round of the draft.
But with three picks in that round, they did not find an impact player.
Adam Tambellini will play the next few seasons with the University of North Dakota, while Pavel Buchnevich will spend at least the next few seasons in Russia.
Anthony Duclair, who probably has the best chance of the three to make a huge impact for the Rangers, is only 17. If he does make an impact, it will not be for a few years.
The Rangers could've traded up to select someone who had a chance to contribute sooner. Instead, they'll have to wait at least a few years to see if any of these picks pan out.
The Rangers were smart not to re-sign Ryane Clowe at the price he got with the Devils—four years at $4.85 million per year.
That said, the Rangers would've benefitted from having Clowe on the roster. While his goal output has declined in recent years, he has the type of big body up front the Rangers have lacked.
He can park in front on the power play as well as bring energy with big hits. The Rangers do not have anyone like that on the roster anymore.
Clowe was overpaid by the Devils, and he is a significant injury risk. But he was very good when healthy with the Rangers. Because they lacked cap room, they were unable to sign him.
It would've added more depth and more grit to a Rangers roster that still needs it.