The New York Rangers “re-tool” strategy is off to a slow start as the draft came and went with just one trade made by the Rangers for Nick Holden, a defensemen. Post draft when general manger Jeff Gorton met the media he said the Rangers were “close” on numerous trade fronts and continue to be.
During the draft, a report came out that the Rangers were going to be big players on impending free agent Steven Stamkos. Considering the Rangers are close to the salary cap limit and still have some RFAs to take care of, came as a surprise but does give you some belief that the Rangers do indeed have a plan already in motion to try and dump salary to get Stamkos.
There is no doubt Stamkos is a hot commodity entering the July 1 free agent market, and several teams, if not all, have said they would be interested. Stamkos would be a nice addition to the Rangers but you have to wonder who would be around him if this retooling has to take place in order to get him?
There is no doubt he can make the Rangers better but it all depends on the players around him. If the Rangers play it smart and can get middle tier forwards to even out the bottom two lines then it would be a serious discussion for the Rangers to make another run towards a Stanley Cup. (Yes folks, window is still open.)
The defense needs major help now that Keith Yandle is officially a former Ranger and the Rangers are said to be shopping Marc Staal and or Dan Girardi to help clear some of that space for the aforementioned Stamkos.
The real question I’m sure many will ask, should the Rangers get Stamkos? No matter what, you have to inquire about one of the bigger players out there, but if it means Rangers can’t do anything if they try to get him then there’s no reason to be a player for him. The only way as mentioned is to bring him in if there’s a roster filled out around him.
Leading up to July 1st will be interesting. The Rangers have 5 days to get the ball rolling and given the slow start it seems the pressure will be on once the days get closer to Friday and no other moves have been made.
If the Rangers are truly serious and can make a serious pitch, then I don’t see why they wouldn’t be in the top 3 for him. For what it’s worth, if the Rangers do make an offer it might have to be a backloaded contract in order to fill out a roster even trying to trade to dump salary.
Sit back and fasten your seat belts because this week will be a roller coaster for all New York Rangers fans.