Jeff Gorton HAS to Hit This July for the Rangers

Sather, JD, Gorton (NYR)

The New York Rangers are already lightyears ahead of the team they were one summer ago. Between trading assets for players like Jacob Trouba or Adam Fox; and signing (Vitali Kravtsov)/drafting talented forwards (Kaapo Kakko) the team {on paper} is vastly improved. This without a doubt is a testament to the job Jeff Gorton has done thus far.

Journalists are supposed to not be biased, but luckily I’m a blogger so as a sidebar. I am a massive Jeff Gorton fan, from the honest press conferences, to his drafting, to the trades he makes I really find it hard to say a negative thing about the job he has done.

However, there is always a flaw. When it comes to signing free agents Gorton has been hit and miss. On the one hand Mika Zibanejad is one of the biggest bargain contracts in the league. Brendan Smith and Kevin Shattenkirk have left plenty to be desired.

Back to the Future

This tweet made me think, and as scary as that may seem, the wheels were turning in the ol’ brain. No matter who the Rangers acquire this summer the ripple effect will be felt going forward. Having an outside lens on the Toronto Maple Leafs situation, (which this tweet was referring to), has made the severity of a summer acquisition. To put it simply, last season was the must win season for Toronto. Bringing in a superstar when your homegrown talent was in contract years, has now came back to bite the Leafs.

For Jeff Gorton, there may be a big fish on the market however, what will happen when the young players need their own contracts? It’s so important that if the team accelerates the rebuild. Should the team acquire a major player, they need to be aware of the fact that in two years Brett Howden, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil and Libor Hajek will be pending RFA’s. That is of course if they don’t bridge a player like Tony DeAngelo. Temper excitement folks, on paper the Rangers may be closer to a contender than last year, they are far from a Cup threat. The Maple Leafs should be a perfect example of how the big ticket signing has ripple effects.

A Dollar Today..

It’s easy to get caught up in the current situation. They are a team that has plenty of salary cap flexibility. I’ve seen many people say that they can “afford” anyone. They may be able to do so today but the seasons go by fast and money runs out quickly in a hard cap sport like the NHL. As much as acquiring an elite talent (we all know who I mean) would be awesome, it CANNOT come back to cost the teams building blocks.

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