The Rangers stand at the precipice of change as we enter trade deadline week

Jeff Gorton (Getty)

The Rangers are now standing at the precipice of Mount Rebuild. It is time for them to jettison the appropriate personnel and give their dedicated fanbase true renewed hope for the future. The “letter” was just not good enough.

How We Got Here

NYR Rebuild TL?

The Chances of Trading Ryan McDonagh increases daily

The trading of Ryan McDonagh would easily be a huge game changer for both franchises involved in the deal. Thus far the 2 teams most mentioned are Tampa Bay and Boston. Let me add one team that should not be overlooked and would love to bring McDonagh home, the Minnesota Wild. They also have the assets to do it and currently hold the last wild card spot in the West. Matt Dumba and a 1st round pick as the centerpiece of the deal may be just the move the Rangers need.

Rick Nash is being aggressively chased by as many as 6 teams

Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, and Winnipeg are all rumored to have inquired about the UFA winger. The belief is that Nashville and Dallas will be competing hardest for his services and the Rangers will do well with whomever wins the bidding war.

Mats Zuccarello Trade Possibility is Slim

Cytil and Zuccarello (Danny Wild/USATSI)

While it may make sense for the Rangers to move their veterans, I have heard chatter that the organization is looking to keep Zuccarello. Matter of fact, if McDonagh and Nash are indeed moved by the deadline, Zuccarello would likely be awarded the captaincy.

The thinking is that Zuccarello is not only a huge fan favorite, but well loved by his teammates and a mentor to younger players. If the Rangers are truly rebuilding, they will look to Zuccarello to lead the way.

Expect the Rebuild to start with smaller deals

Nick Holden and David Desharnais will likely be the first to go. A team willing to give up a 1st rounder for Michael Grabner may cause that shoe to drop first, although the best offers for him seem to be high second rounders. We will see.

Alain Vigneault’s Future

Will the recent string of embarrassing losses finally cause the Rangers to cut ties with Vigneault? I have no definitive answer to give, but if the organization wants its season ticket holders to buy into the rebuild concept before tomorrow’s deadline to pay for next year’s tickets…they should.

Or maybe this death stare by Lundqvist sealed the deal.

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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