New York Rangers 2020 Resolutions

(NYR Twitter)

As the new year/decade arrives excitement comes with it. Every year social media gets flooded by ‘New Year, New Me’ content; a new decade should enhance this excitement tenfold. Yet, typically these resolutions end up falling by the wayside and excitement turns to disappointment. When it comes to the New York Rangers, there is plenty of excitement. Yet after reflecting on a decade of success; there still is a feeling of disappointment. A close but no cigar feeling, if you will. So as the new year and what’s more new decade hits, the organization has some things to resolve.

The big things that need to be resolved in 2020 will be, coaching, leadership and extensions.

Replace Lindy Ruff

Lindy Ruff was hired to help the defense in the summer of 2017. Going back to that time in the decade, the Rangers had just lost to a {on paper} inferior Ottawa Senators team. However a player like Brady Skjei looked like a shining star. Nick Holden seemed like a quality second pair defenseman. Since then Skjei has been rather hot and cold. Players like Nick Holden (look I know) and Kevin Shattenkirk looked lost. Not to mention the team defense has helped make Henrik Lundqvist looked like a late thirties goaltender.

Having a veteran voice on a new coach’s bench seemed like a great idea. However like many things in life, hindsight is 2020 (pun intended) and the Lindy Ruff tenure should come to an end. This is Ruff’s last year of his contract and he has expressed a desire to be a head coach next season.


Zibanejad (Getty Images)

The Rangers need to enter the new decade and understand what the definition of leadership will be going forward. Some leaders show a fierce and fiery example. These are the Ryan Getzlaf, Jamie Benn, Zdeno Chara, Alex Ovechkin types.

The other option would be the Logan Couture, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Aleksandar Barkov types. These are the players that want the puck on their stick when it matters. The players that can lead by getting the team to believe in overcoming a game seven four goal deficit.

It seems like the league will be going into more of the “best player” as captain model. The team deserves a captain, most likely it’s the second option and Mika Zibanejad will get it. Regardless this decision is imperative going forward. However I don’t believe it needs to be taken care of before the end of this season. Just before the 2020-21 season.


Digging deeper into the leadership, there are some contractual decisions that need to be made. The contractual decisions need to be made much sooner than a letter on a sweater. Three key forwards are on their last year of their contract (Chris Kreider, Jesper Fast and Ryan Strome). With only one (Strome) not ready to hit UFA come the summer of 2020.

Getty Images

Bias aside, the biggest question mark is Jesper Fast. Kreider should be dealt. Short of an unprecedented run before the trade deadline. Kreider is more valuable on another team. Think of a Kevin Hayes type of yield. That turned out to be a gritty fan favorite player and a coveted defenseman that will be a huge part of the future.

Strome, has seemingly found his home on his third team and second in the state. At the time of writing Strome has 68 points in 101 games. Not mention that he is on pace for 75 points this season (76 if you round up). Strome seems to be enjoying his time on broadway and his connection with Artemi Panarin seems to be paying off handsomely. Regardless of whether or not the team wants to over pay for one more year in the summer or try to give him a four or five year deal, I’d be hard pressed to see Ryan Strome not playing for the Rangers next season.

Fast, however, is an anomaly. Contending teams need Jesper Fasts to be able to succeed come playoffs. However the Rangers are not entirely far from being a perennial playoff contender. Also getting back to leadership, is Fast a leader? Yes. Is he a leader for the young guys? Personally I’d say yes, and I think after Mika, Fast is the heart and soul of the team. Yet will a guy as physical as Fast suffer from a Ryan Callahan situation? Will he ask for too much term and scare the Rangers away? Fast is the biggest question mark of the free agents for the Rangers. Needless to say, I want Fast getting that Colton Sissons contract. So I can cry my eyes out when he gets his turn to skate with the cup. Yet, if a team pulls a Don Corleone then all we can do is remember him from a distance fondly.

Happy New Year (Decade)

To all readers, contributors, Rangers fans, hockey fans, to the Rangers and of course to Jesper himself; I hope for nothing but a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and Decade!

The future will be very bright! I would know I have 2020 vision!

Editor’s Note: I apologize for not editing out an obvious “Dad Joke” – Anthony

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