NHL Analysis: the New York Rangers' Present, Future

Mr. ControversyCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2010

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 27: Tim Kennedy #13 of the Buffalo Sabres cuts around the net as Martin St. Louis #26 and Mike Smith #41 of the Tampa Bay Lightning defend at HSBC Arena on March 27, 2010 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The New York Rangers signed Tim Kennedy yesterday to a one-year deal worth $550,000.

Last year while playing for the Buffalo Sabres, Kennedy tallied 26 points, 10 goals, and 16 assists.

The 24-year-old winger is 5’10" and 176 lbs. Although small in size, Kennedy does like to take the body of the opposition.

He brings speed and has a very quick release.

I personally have only seen him play a handful of times, but I was impressed by his aggressiveness and the way he handled the puck. As quickly as he received the puck, it was flying of his stick and towards the net.He has tons of potential, and he is still very young.

I have mixed feelings on this signing.

I mean, we cannot have a full roster of star players or four lines filled with brawlers. But does Kennedy fill a role that is needed?

The Rangers roster is already filled with second and third line players just like Kennedy, along with a minor league team filled with talent as well.

So is he what the Rangers needed to go after?

When you scroll down through the Rangers roster, one major issue still pops out: a troubled and weak defense.

Marc Staal has still not been re-signed, and sad as it is to say, he was their best defensive player last year.

You have to wonder what is going through Henrik Lundqvist’s mind knowing as of right now, this defense will be led by Dan Girardi, who is not that impressive to begin with.

As proven last year, this team is not equipped with the players to outscore teams 7-6 in order to win.

Hank cannot stop everything by himself.

As much as I am all for bring in young talent, another forward was not needed, which makes the signing of Kennedy a waste.

It will not matter how many goals the team can score if they cannot keep the other team from scoring more and defense should be a No. 1 priority for this Ranger team.

This season is a very important season to many players.

We are not just talking how they want to win the cup or have the team be better than last year. For many, this might be a do or die situation in regards to their continued presence in New York next year.

This season is just as important to the Rangers organization because at the end of this year, they will be in trouble.

There are 17 players whose contracts expire next year. Here is the list.

Sather would be looking to re-sign Alex Frolov if he has an extremely good season with or without Gabby.

But I am sure a good year would mean he will be looking for more money.

Ryan Callahan is another fan favorite whose contract expires next year.

Cally had 19 goals last season and if he has a decent year he too will be looking for more money.

Many fans and writers think he will be the next captain of this team, but at what price?

Vinny Prospal who is 35 years old will most likely not be coming back after next year.

But hey, who really knows?

Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Gilroy I believe are in the same boat come the end of this season. They both need to have a good season or they will be gone. If they do have a good season, the Dubs will be looking for a raise.

Steve Eminger and Tim Kennedy will also be up for review and that will also depend on how well they do this season.

Artem Anisimov—who I believe will have an awesome year this season—will be at the end of his contract as well.

Chad Johnson. Matt McCue, Dale Wiese, Jeremy Williams Dane Byers, Mike Sauer and Brodie DuPont are all minors but are expected to make this Ranger roster any season now are all at the end of their contracts after this season.

Brian Boyle is yet another Ranger who desperately needs to have a good season; his contract is up at the end of this season as well.

Yes there are more than that, but these are the most important ones.

That is 17 players, nine of which will be playing for the Rangers and eight young upcoming players in Hartford.

With Redden, Drury and Rosy still on the pay role, and Girardi’s added salary and if they sign Staal the Rangers will run into some issues next year cap wise once again.

Most of these players will possibly not be back.

Nevermind the fact that next year’s unrestricted free agency list looks quite impressive.

It is going to be very interesting to see what unfolds this season.


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