Key Questions for the Rangers in 2019
There are a lot of questions being asking throughout the season so far, and a plethora of things that could not only make headlines in 2019 but will affect the Rangers future.
Win or Lose?
With the Rangers in a rebuild mode, like any other team when they are pressing the reset button, it’s hard to root for the team to do well. When the team struggles, as most teams due during the rebuilding period, that only means that the team will have a better chance at moving up in the draft and getting a top prospect.
About halfway through the season, there are debates on a regular basis regarding where we stand as a fanbase. Do we root for the team we love? Or hope they struggle knowing that it will pay off in the long run. Tanking or pushing for a playoff spot still remain on the table for the Blueshirts, and will continue to be on the table through the new year.
Who Will Be Traded?
The biggest storyline for the club will be who will be moved at the deadline. The biggest name circling is Kevin Hayes. Hayes currently has 33 points in 39 contests for the Rangers, and has shown flashes of what a $6.5 million-plus player should look like. But of course, the flip side of the table is a nice one to fantasize about.
The package for Hayes, a big centerman with the ability to pass the puck better then most, could include picks and prospects the Rangers can’t refuse. With Hayes being the conductor of the trade train, right behind him is Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello, who is now 31 years old and showing signs of slowing down, seems likely to be on the move as the Rangers turn the team over. No matter who on the roster might get traded, the Rangers are definitely going to be in plenty of trade talks this year.
Who Can We Sign?
To look past the rest of this season and into the offseason, one thing the Rangers will be apart of is recruiting free agents to New York. The team has more cap space compared to any year in recent memory, and are already making waves with one big name player in particular, Artemi Panarin.
Panarin’s skill is undeniable and the Rangers haven’t had a consistent goal scorer like him in a very long time. Aside from soon-to-be free agents, to look in-house, Kevin Hayes could see big money thrown at him from the Rangers.If not traded by the deadline, I would assume that indicates that the Rangers are sold on Hayes and will match what he is asking for, which is rumored to be close to the $7 million mark. It all depends on what type of package the Rangers could potentially acquire for Hayes, and if they feel like he’s more valuable to the team, they will re-sign him.
Where Do We Stand?
It’s a tough state to be in as an organization. There’s a lot of questions regarding who will see playing time, should be win or lose, and who can we get to make our team better now and in the future. As far as a storyline in 2019, the Rangers will be front-and-center regarding all moves. So to say where the Rangers will stand throughout 2019 in a huge question mark.
Depending where they finish this season, a high draft pick seems to be important, as well as trading main guys and acquiring more talent in the offseason. So as far as where the team will be in the beginning of the 2019 season, that’s to be determined.