Rangers moves are for today with a concern for tomorrow

Keith Yandle (NHL)

Keith Yandle (NHL)

The Free Agent frenzy is in full swing and the Rangers have made moves on a hectic day 24 hours before the deadline. The biggest of the trades was the first one the Rangers made. A shocking blockbuster trade that secures the Rangers blue line for the foreseable future. Glen Sather sent Anthony Duclair, John Moore, a (2016) first round pick, and a second round pick (2015) to Arizona. The Rangers acquire defenseman Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, and a fourth round pick in 2016.

This deal makes the Rangers better on the back end now but they are certainly gambling the future by trading another first round pick and a young prospect with NHL talent. In a post from last week here on FullTiltNYR.com. I argued the Rangers needed to focus on the back-end before they addressed anything else. It seems Rangers management felt the same way since their first and biggest move of the season was for a defenseman. They made some smart moves to add depth up front but this original deal secures the defense.

The Rangers acquired a very good young RW to soften the blow of losing Duclair!

Sather made a trade with the Jets to acquire right-wing Carl Klingberg. The Rangers sent Lee Stempniak to Winnipeg in the deal likely to clear salary for other moves and flexibility. According to BlueshirtsUnited.com Klingberg, 24, has split the 2014-15 season between Winnipeg and the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League (AHL). He has skated in 51 AHL games this season, registering 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points, along with 41 penalty minutes. He led St. John’s in shots on goal (152), was tied for first on the team in goals, and ranked fourth in points. Klingberg also appeared in two games with the Jets this season.

An extremely hardworking player with top notch skating skills. Klingberg has very good size and accelerates incredibly well. He likes to drive to the net and although technical skills and hockey sense are slightly above average, at best, he creates a lof of scoring chances simply by using his quick feet.
Furthermore, Klingberg forechecks with great intensity and is a pain in the butt to face with his aggressive and physical play. He has good timing in his hits and takes good care of his responsibilities in all three zones. Could develop into a decent scoring forward, but is perhaps more likely to become an excellent role and checking line player. (Elite Prospects 2009)

Carl Klingberg

Carl Klingberg

Carl Klingberg was originally selected by the Thrashers in the second round, 34th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

This trade is probably a sign that right-wing Jesper Fast is near returning to the lineup. The left handed heavy New York Rangers need right handed forwards in the lineup and Lee Stempniak held the 4th RW well.

I’ve never seen Carl Klingberg nor do I know him but he sounds like a score for the Rangers after losing two young players including a fan favorite in Anthony Duclair. He is a great skater and is a relentless forechecker that likes to drive the net. On top of all this Klingberg is a right handed shot the Rangers need. He plays well in all 3 zones. What’s not to like about this kid? Read on about the rest of the moves the Rangers made on the busy day of trades the Rangers made.

Many fans (Including Anthony) wanted Rangers management to find a centerman before the deadline. Glen Sather found one when he sent a 4th round pick to San Jose for C James Sheppard to help the Rangers win some more draws. Sheppard is a big centerman with good possession and scoring numbers. With the Sharks he played an average TOI of 13:30 per game. This was a very saavy trade by Slats on the heels of the headline deal he made for Yandle.

Sheppard is 6′-2″, 215lbs and a left handed shooter who played on the left-wing for the Sharks. It never hurts to have wingers that are able to line-up at center in the event of an injury. I personally think Kevin Hayes should remain in the middle because of his size. I think Alain Vigneault will leave Hayes to play center at 5 on 5. Either J.T. Miller or James Sheppard can stand in at the dots situationally when there’s a favorable match-up.

James Sheppard is set to make NYR debut (nhl)

James Sheppard is set to make NYR debut (nhl)

Sheppard, 26, registered 5 goals and 11 assists for 16 points, with 28 penalty minutes in 57 games with San Jose’. Sheppard tied his career-high in goals this season. He has won 267 of 534 faceoffs he has taken this season (50%). With San Jose, Sheppard started only 40.8% of his even strength shifts in the offensive zone. His on ice Corsi for is a very respectable 49.6%. With the Rangers he will get the same zone start percentage if he is on the fourth line. If AV puts him with the third line, he will start 60% of his shifts in the offensive zone and his point production will increase as will his possession percentage. Of course, that number could fall closer to 50% because of his abilities to win draws.

With all the trades made today, it’s hard to argue that there was a bigger move made than the extension Mats Zuccarello signed. The fan favorite signed a four year $18 million dollar contract today that’ll keep “Zuc” on Broadway through the 18/19 season. The fact that Sather was able to get Yotes GM Don Maloney to retain half of Keith Yandles contract gave Slats the room to extend Zuc. That’s why Anthony Duclair had to be included in this trade. No way the Rangers had the space to afford Keith Yandle’s entire contract this season or re-sign Zuccarello.

A friend compared these trades to the ones Neil Smith made in 1994. He traded young forward Tony Amonte and Mike Gartner to Chicago and Toronto in two separate deals. The Rangers brought in Stephanne Matteau, Brian Noonan and Glenn Anderson.

There was also the trade earlier in the year with Hartford for Nick Kypreos but these were grizzled veterans being acquired for young players like Darren Turcotte. The Rangers traded away some young players in their prime for experienced playoff performers and it worked. It looks great when one of those players wins the Eastern Conference Finals for you.

If the Rangers fall short of their goal of a Stanley Cup, trading Anthony Duclair and John Moore could hurt. All in all I like the moves made and most fans should too. It’s not every year you have a core that went to the Eastern Finals 2 out of 3 seasons including a Cup appearance.

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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