Depth On Defense Is Rangers Organizational Need

Ryan McDonagh is now out 3-4 weeks (Getty)

Ryan McDonagh is now out 3-4 weeks (Getty)

Ranger fans knew their team had an organizational weakness in the form of depth on defense. Ten games into the season the Rangers have a major problem on the blue line. Dan Boyle goes down after forty-one minutes of game 1, then John Moore gets himself suspended and the Rangers are down two of the bottom four defense.

It only took ten games of the 14/15 season for the injuries to the Rangers defense to mount!

[su_pullquote]The New York Rangers have put defenseman Dan Boyle (broken hand) on the injured reserve list. The defenseman was injured opening night and the move is retroactive. He is expected to return from the broken hand in mid-November. Rotoworld.com[/su_pullquote]

The New York Rangers had already lost two top six defenseman in the first nine games but Saturday, another two defenseman went down in one period during game ten against the Winnipeg Jets. Kevin Klein was hurt blocking a shot off his foot leading to what the team has called a contusion the moment. A contusion is a deep bruise or possibly a bone bruise. Hopefully it’s not a fracture or a broken foot which would keep him out long-term.

It has been reported the New York Rangers are looking to trade for depth on defense. Friedman: Rangers interested in Hurricanes’ Sekera | theScore.

Ryan McDonagh was hurt retrieving the puck in his end with Evander Kane forechecking him into the corner. McDonagh was trying to spin away from the hit but Kane foresaw the move and hit Mac square in the upper body, resulting in a separated shoulder. Ryan McDonagh suffered the same injury at the end of last season from a similar hit from Alexander Burrows in the same corner. McDonagh was back in the lineup for the playoffs only missing the last five games of the regular season. This time is worse since it’s the second time he’s injured the same shoulder. The team has released its official report on Ryan McDonagh.

The New York Rangers could go to the well and call up at least one prospect from Hartford!

The Rangers defense will have to play at least four more games without John Moore due to suspension and it’s possible he could be traded. Dan Boyle could miss another one to weeks, while Kevin Klein is likely to miss some time also. Calling up prospects like Conner Allen or Dylan McIlrath aren’t going to fill Ryan McDonagh’s spot on the top pair or even top four. Glen Sather, unfortunately may be forced to part with picks, prospects, along with a roster player for a team to trade a veteran defenseman. NY is tight on the cap.

Sekera is a smart defenseman with great skating ability. Has fine passing ability and puck skills, which makes him a quality powerplay option. Somewhat lacking in size, he can have problems with big forwards. – Ulf Andersson, EliteProspects.com

It was an amazing effort for the four remaining defense to help shutout the Jets. Over a long period the Rangers can’t go with those four as the top two pairings. They’ll need help from somewhere, be it a trade for a veteran or a rookie that comes up and surprises. Or maybe both. [su_pullquote]Allen is a defenseman with good size and a fairly well-rounded game. Can be a physical force. Has a solid outlet pass, but lacks top-end qualities in any area. – Erik K. Piri, EliteProspects (2013)[/su_pullquote]

On the farm the Rangers have lefty, Conor Allen who is a good puck moving defenseman. He’s not flashy in either end but he gets the job done and plays the game with a bit of a mean streak. A good skating defenseman that can move the puck and plays a physical brand of hockey but not to get caught out of position.

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The other AHL option the Rangers have on defense is long shot Dylan McIlrath. He’s a right-handed shot and can do some of the things the Rangers need on defense like clear the crease and play with a mean streak. Although until he improves his skating, a cup of coffee will be all he’ll see unless he suddenly learned to skate like Ryan McDonagh.

Both Allen and McIlrath were absent from today’s Wolf Pack lineup and expected to be heading to NY.

Andrej Sekera is A gritty player and he carries a reasonable cap charge of $2.750 million. He is also on the final season of a four-year contract. Sekera would be a UFA at season’s end and if in the next day or two a deal was struck to bring in a defenseman, it could mean John Moore finds himself in Hartford or playing for Carolina to bring Sekera here. The Rangers are low on remaining cap space which you can read about on that link. A contract may have to be sent back to the other team to make the financial part work.

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I began watching the Rangers in 1990 when I was 9 years old. Soon after a lifelong friend of... More about Bob-O

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