Rangers Post Mortem: Start the moving trucks because these folks gotta go!

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The true Rangers showed up for round two and lost embarrassingly in 6 games to the Ottawa Senators. Unfortunately the Blueshirts fooled even me with their round 1 win against Montreal, but the team that was just 1 game over .500 since February 13th finally revealed themselves.

Now we are left with trying to breakdown what went wrong. Lucky bounces for Ottawa? Sure! Bad breaks for the Rangers? Yeah, that too. Still, this was a winnable series that was blown by the coaching staff and several top level guys who were basically no shows.

This team needs an overhaul at the top, not tinkering on the bottom 2 lines or buying out 1 defenseman. No, this team needs a major shakeup because if they go into next season with just a minor tweak here and there, the results will be same as we’ve seen the last two seasons.



I have defended Alain Vigneault since the masses called for his head just 2 months into his tenure as head coach. However, his inexplicable over reliance on Marc Staal and Nick Holden in these playoffs warrant dismissal. How many goals were they on for? How many in the final 2 minutes? Let’s just say, it was more than a few.

Furthermore, his inability to correct the issues on the PP since basically the middle of this season add more evidence to the case against. Three power play goals in 12 playoff games? What adjustments did he make? None! What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

No matter what the Rangers do with personnel this offseason, it could be rendered meaningless without a key change in philosophy and direction. If they don’t, this team will go nowhere.


The pain game. Stepan out indefinitely.

Six points! That is what the team’s so called #1 center mustered this post season. His inability to win face-offs just dumps salt onto a gaping wound. His 6.5M AAV against the cap is too much for my liking, but could be just right for a team like Minnesota or Winnipeg. And if the NYR want to change this team, he is their best trading chip!

This is the summer to move him because come July 1 he has a no move clause that kicks in. That can’t happen! The Rangers need to use Stepan to revamp the defense in a meaningful way. There is a match out there, I assure you and the Rangers need to find it and make it happen.


Marc Staal (Getty Images)

Moving Marc Staal is problematic to say the least. You can’t expose him to the expansion draft, and you can’t buy him out due to the hit to your cap. Trading him is also tough due his no trade clause, but Jeff Gorton needs to tell him we want you off the team.

Yes, it’s harsh and it’s unfair but the reality is that he is hurting us. Ask him to waive, pay half his salary and get what you can for him. His game has fallen off the side of a cliff this season and there just doesn’t appear to me any uptick left.


I am on the fence with this one. Dan Girardi played some of his best hockey in years for the Rangers this post season. If a new coach who understands how to utilize Girardi is hired and Marc Staal is off the books, I think the Rangers need to keep him.

However, should the Rangers be unable to move Marc Staal then Jeff Gorton will be forced to buy him out. On the positive side, his play these last few weeks could make him a trade candidate which would help the Rangers tremendously from a cap perspective.


Nash (Getty)

Oh! You think that a bit harsh? I’m sorry for you.

In 73 playoff games with the Rangers, Nash has amassed 38 points! What’s the matter “new age hockey fans” that seem to pride yourselves on the understanding of advanced analytics? Is that not a BIG ENOUGH SAMPLE SIZE FOR YOU?!!!

Here’s the problem…at 7.8M AAV he represents over 10% of our cap hit. He has also become a 20 goal scorer in the regular season. Sorry, but that isn’t worth the price tag. The issue is that this is the last year of his contract so if you do trade him, you won’t get much and may even have to eat half his salary.

DO IT! I don’t care when, but he can’t be on this team past the NHL trade deadline. Enough is enough.


Do I really need to explain this one?


I love the game Tanner Glass brings. His play this post season should earn him an NHL job next year for sure. The Rangers need to find a younger, faster, and slightly more skilled version of Glass for the 4th line next season.


It’s time to make these changes. No, none of what I posted is easy and comes with peril. Who replaces AV? Daryl Sutter is available but is he the right answer. Is trading Stepan the right move? That’s another tough one to answer since he’s been a solid player for the most part.

The bottom line is that there is something fundamentally wrong with this team. They do well in the regular season but struggle in the playoffs. At the end of the day, no one cares about regular season accolades. It’s all about the Cup.

A trophy the Rangers have only won ONCE since WWII!

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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