How to Improve the New York Rangers
There have been many issues discussed with regard to the New York Rangers this past season. However, with some great, young talent in the organization and a strong head coach, there is an interesting sense of optimism surrounding this team.
But, there are many flaws. Here are a few easy, yet common sense, things that this team can do...
Acquire Dany Heatley
A no-brainer, to say the least.
Many teams have been quoted as saying that they wouldn't want someone of his character on their team. Considering he is averaging over a point a game over his career—I'm willing to take the risk.
To acquire him won't be easy, but it can be done. Ottawa's biggest hole is on defense, and more specifically, a puck moving defenseman.
The trade: Roszival, Sanguinetti, and Zherdev for Heatley.
Losing Sanguinetti hurts, but with the acquisition of Gilroy, the progress of Del Zotto, and the high chances of either Corey Potter or Mike Sauer making the team next year, Sanguinetti has become expendable.
Monetarily it just about works out, and if not, Zherdev can always be moved by Ottawa. In this deal, the Sens get two puck moving defenseman, and a winger who might score 30 goals for them over the next few years.
We, in turn, acquire the scorer we desperately need.
Move Up in the Draft
The Rangers need scoring forwards, without question. As this past season has taught us, Scott Gomez is not that forward. In fact, he's not too much of anything.
He's also expendable, considering that the Rangers have Dubinsky who could use more ice time, and Korpikoski and Anisimov will probably be on the roster full time next year, and both can play center.
Phoenix is a team that the Rangers have traded with plenty, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it happen again. Don Maloney was quoted as saying that he thought this was one of the deepest drafts in years, and he wouldn't be averse to moving down.
The trade: Scott Gomez, the Rangers' first (19 overall) and third picks for Ed Jovanovski, and the Coyotes' first (sixth overall).
Jovo has to come our way to balance out the salary. However, we need a defensive stalwart; someone who can hit, play nasty, and do all the little dirty things a Marc Staal can't yet.
You bring in Jovo (who Mike Barnett, the former GM of Phoenix and now the assistant to Glen Sather, who signed him) and allow both Mara and Morris to walk.
His contract is also shorter than Gomez', so even though the money's around the same, the length is not. Phoenix also just traded Steven Reinprecht, and having a Stanley Cup winning player helping to mentor can't hurt.
Gomez would slot in nicely, playing with some of Phoenix's big guns, like Kyle Turris, Shane Doan, Peter Mueller, etc.
With that sixth pick, mind you, the Rangers have the opportunity to select a big time scorer, like Evander Kane. They could even select a premier power forward in Braydon Schenn.
How about a speedy winger in Marcus Paajarvi-Svensson? A definite improvement on our forward prospect corps.
Bring in a True Leader
I'm sure a lot of people with disagree with this. However, the problem with the Rangers continually has been a lack of leadership in the locker room.
Do you think that would truly be an issue with Chelios there? I wouldn't want him to be a regular, by any means. You plug him in as a seventh defenseman, and have him play 30-40 games.
That's not where his impact would be however—just the value of his vocal help on others like Staal, Girardi, Del Zotto, etc. would be priceless, especially since he'd probably do it for half a million.
Sign Ian Laperriere
In his first run in New York—albeit brief—Laperriere was great. He is similar to Ryan Callahan in terms of effort—maybe not in terms of scoring however.
When you talk about grit, heart, and hustle, he should be at the top of the list. $2 million might be enough to sign him for a year or so. He is a Tortorella type player, no questions asked.
Antropov looked good—for most of his time in New York. However, he's not cheap, and throughout his entire career he has proven to be inconsistent.
This is exactly what we don't need! Inconsistency never breeds success—it breeds expectations that can never be met.
Sorry Nik, you're gone, as are Mara and Morris. As much as I liked the both of them, unless they're willing to take pay cuts—and they won't be—they're gone as well.
Our Team: Renovated
Gotta love Ryan Callahan. He's the model I am using to determine who's a good fit, and who's not. If they can play in a similar type of way, I want them on my team. If not—good riddance.
Here are our lines, using Hartford call ups, from what I've done:
Korpikoski Dubinsky Heatley
Avery Anisimov Callahan
Laperriere Drury Sjostrom
Orr Betts Dupont (or Byers)
Others like Dale Weise, or Evgeny Gratchev will be given a look as well.
Jovanovski Del Zotto (or Gilroy)
Redden Potter (or Sauer)
Chris Chelios would be the extra, probably splitting time with the rookies.
Comments or thoughts?
Lets go Rangers!