Has the Rangers foundation been built and can it hold for seasons to come
Happy Labor Day! Summer’s fading away and that can only mean one thing, hockey season is finally approaching. The New York Rangers have used this offseason to establish a sturdy and dependable foundation for the coming years… or have they?
Locking up Skjei, Namestnikov, and Spooner, was a solid start, to say the least. Over the next two seasons, these three will have to put up or shut up.. There are still a plethora of concerns still left on the Rangers roster. What to do with Zuccarello, how much will Lundqvist be used this season, as before mentioned, what is the plan with Hayes on his one-year-deal? There is a high area of concern for Rangers fans for this upcoming season and throughout the duration of this rebuild.
Knowing that he will have a spot on the Rangers roster for years to come has to feel good for the 24-year-old. That sense of security has to give him some motivation for the upcoming season to be a better all-round d-man.
He will be the vocal leader, alongside Shattenkirk for the younger defensemen. The Rangers have some up and comers that could make a splash at the tail end of this rebuild, like First Round picks this year in K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist. Once they develop at the college level and in Europe, there names will be called.
After being dealt to the Blueshirts from a playoff contending Tampa Bay Lightning squad, his production and overall performance was lackluster. If he can show some flashes of his time in Tampa with the Rangers, he can be a worthy trade piece.
Sure he isn’t lining up with Two Allstars anymore in Stamkos and Kucherov, but he is around guys that can still make plays. Have him center a line with Zuccarello and Buchnevich or even Kreider and Buchnevich.
The Hayes signing really only has one indication, trade bait. If he shows consistency and constant impactful shifts night in and night out, an extension can certainly be talked about. But, with this organization in a full rebuild, Hayes can be used to supplement the flourishing farm system.
Last season was a year of career highs for Hayes. showing some more of that this season would be good for a cup contending team that needs a 2C. In return for the Rangers, comes youth and upside that can round out some holes in this roster.
Where this team will be, depends on the mature growth and sustainability of the young kids. Chytil, Andersson and Ronning at the front end and Hajek plus Lindgren on the backend. Who they come to be will decide the next few years success.
For this upcoming draft (at the moment) we have, possibly, two first round picks and a second or vice versa of one first round and two second rounders. Our own and Tampa Bay, depending on a very possible Stanley Cup victory.
So… have they made the necessary moves?
All in all, there is no way we can tell until it pans out in a few seasons. It will come down to this “foundation” of players, like I mentioned above, to play to their true potential. While the players are learning, Coach Quinn will be learning as well. For Quinn, it will be tough to go to the media about a young team with no direction, no goal.
Its New York Rangers Hockey. The pressure is high and the expectations are higher. We all want this team to succeed right away but the reality is that they likely won’t. They will struggle, and ultimately fail more times than succeed. This is supposed to happen.
For now, fans must root them on and be ready for the brunt of it when they struggle.