This offseason should be a busy one (as usual) in New York as the Rangers look to achieve their goal of becoming younger. Here are 5 hypothetical moves that they could make.
5. Resign Keith Yandle
General Manager Jeff Gorton should be looking to do whatever he can to resign Keith Yandle. Yandle was finally given the opportunity he deserved at the end of the season and he shined as arguably the team’s best defenceman down the stretch. Yandle posted 47 points in 82 games this season. Yandle showed his offensive and defensive abilities and his durability playing in every game. Yandle has become a reliable defenseman and a consistent offensive producer and still at 29 years old, he deserves an extension.
4. Buyout Dan Girardi
Dan girardi just finished the second season of his six year, 33 million dollar contract, and if you watched a single game last season it’s pretty obvious that at 32 Girardi is on a significant decline. Girardi’s hard-nose, wear and tear style is finally taking a toll on him. Girardi’s reliable shot-blocking days are behind him. Although Girardi has never been an offensive defenceman, he only put up 17 points in 74 games this season, and with the league and the Rangers style (especially defenceman) becoming increasingly offensive Girardi just doesn’t fit in. If possible a buyout would be huge for the Rangers freeing up much needed cap space to possibly sign Keith Yandle and others.
3. Resign Their Youth
Chris Kreider, JT Miller, and Kevin Hayes are all set to become free agents this year and it’s crucial for the Rangers to keep them. The Rangers have few draft picks in the future and not many prospects in the system, therefore the team’s future lies in the roster already. Although Kreider and Hayes had down years, they’re still developing and improving. Miller finally emerged as the offensive weapon he was regarded as and he should only improve next season. Miller, Hayes, and Kreider being 23, 24, and 25 are not only key players now they are all this team has to look forward to.
2. Give the Young Guys A Chance
The tide is turning in the NHL the torch is being passed from today’s aging teams like the Rangers, Kings, and Blackhawks to the up and coming teams like the Lightning, Penguins, Blues, Islanders, Stars, and Panthers. While AV’s strategy of playing his veterans worked for two years, it doesn’t anymore and the Rangers need to adjust. The Rangers don’t have any major promising prospects they still have a few guys to be excited about. However, to do this AV has to say goodbye to his beloved defensive- minded, non-creative veterans. Guys like Dan Girard, Tanner Glass, Domonic Moore, Viktor Stalberg, (not really a veteran but still) Jesper Fast, and Marc Staal must go. The Rangers can’t only give their young guys a chance to make the roster, but they need to be given a real chance to impact the game and give them an opportunity to become important members of the team. Players like Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei, Nicklas Jensen, Ryan Gropp, Robin Kovacs, Malte Stromwall, Ryan Graves, Dylan McIlrath, and Marek Hrivik must be considered for roster spots. If the Rangers would like to continue at an elite level then they must see what they have with their young talent.
- Trade Rick Nash