A Superstar is Needed to be Successful in the NHL
In our day and age, the term “successful” only gets awarded to your club if they end the season as Stanley Cup Champions. All other outcomes leave a bitter taste in your mouth, as it should, but while taking a look at previous Stanley Cup Champions, it’s clear why they finished the season on top.
For any team to go a full season through all of the ups and downs, and come out on top 100+ games later, a superstar is needed as the backbone of the team. While taking a look at the Rangers teams while they had their stretch run of solid seasons, the missing point was the same each and every season: a star. Yes, they had guys like Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and others, but no one that took control of the team and carried them, like previous Stanley Cup Champions have had. That is why the next couple of offseason’s for the Rangers are more important than any other draft pick compensation. Acquiring an established superstar, like Artemi Panarin, can turn the franchise around and take it to the next level, through the regular season and further.
If you don’t believe that a team must have a superstar to go all of the way, just take a look at the past decade of Stanley Cup Champions:
2008- Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom. 2009, 2016, 2017- Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin. 2010, 2013, 2015- Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews. 2011- Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron. 2012, 2014- Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty. 2018- Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom.
The trend isn’t a mistake. As a team, you must have the one, or two, or more guys you can turn too when the team it most. Who were the Rangers supposed to win the Stanley Cup with back in 2014? Someone else was needed besides Henrik Lundqvist, after all, the leading scorer in that deep playoff run was defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Rick Nash had 10 points in 25 games and Brad Richards had 12 points in 25 games, and this wasn’t a one-time fluke, either.
The Rangers must spend the money to get the reward, as there are plenty of proven goal scorers, whether it’s in game one or game 100. The team has the prospects to have a bright future, but the team needs the superstar to lead the way.
Artemi Panarin is that star now, but the future superstar will be drafted this summer at #2 overall.