What does the Rebuild mean for the Rangers?
Well Rangers fans, if reports are to be believed, upper management has decided it is indeed time to rebuild the franchise and it couldn’t have come at a better time or during a better draft year. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you all: if the team truly commits to the rebuild there is going to be a lot of losing in the next few years and a lot of growing pains for the younger players that will be worked into the lineup. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though and it will be absolutely beautiful when this team comes out of it.
Many of you may be wondering just what exactly happens now. What does a rebuild really mean for a franchise, which players are going and who will stay to help them in the future? Well for a franchise to truly rebuild some of the fan favorites and core guys will most likely be dealt. Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and others will be offered to teams and the goal for the Rangers will be to obtain as many picks and as many young prospects as they can for them. McDonagh and Zuccarello will be dearly missed if they are indeed traded away but hockey is a business and they are the Rangers most valuable assets.
Nash, Grabner, possibly even guys like Nick Holden and Brenden Smith may be dealt as well. Kevin Hayes and JT Miller may stay but if the offer is big enough well… you know the saying… if Wayne Gretzky can be traded anyone can be traded. It’s important though to note which players will be staying over the course of the rebuild and ready to help this team win a cup when it’s time.
The players that should remain here over the course of the rebuild should be Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil, Brady Skjei and Igor Shestyorkin. Now obviously the Rangers will keep more than those six over the course of the rebuild but as far the team is concerned, every other player should be at available for trades. Those six are the only untouchables this team because of the what they mean to the Rangers now and the building blocks they can be for us as the rebuild takes shape down the line.These next few months are going to be very interesting in terms of seeing what this team does. If they truly do commit to the rebuild that the trade deadline and draft day will be very hectic and exciting days for this franchise. One of the things they must do is get a top five pick at the NHL entry draft this year. Why? Because each of the top five players in this draft has franchise potential.
The Top Five
Rasmus Dahlin is the best defensive prospect in the world and some scouts are saying he could be better than Erik Karlsson. Whoa. That kind of player is franchise altering and if the Rangers have any shot at number one they have to take it. Go check out some highlights of this kid on YouTube. Jaw-dropping stuff. The four following players are nothing to scoff at either.
Andrei Svechnikov has all the talent in the world and has the looks of an elite sniper in the NHL. Filip Zadina, who has played with Filip Chytil before in international competition, is of the same mold as Svechnikov and looks to be another dynamic, elite winger. Following those powerhouses is Brady Tkachuck. Brother of Matthew and son of Keith. Tkachuck has all the makings of a number one center in the NHL; he’s a big body and has some great skills with the puck. Rounding out the top five is Swedish defenseman Adam Boqvist. He will be the first defensemen picked after fellow countryman Rasmus Dahlin and he has all the skills to be a bonafide number one defensemen in the NHL. Clearly a top five pick would be amazing for the Rangers this draft.
Now there’s one player I’ve failed to mention so far and that’s Henrik Lundqvist. It will be up to the King if he wants to stay during this rebuilding period. He isn’t getting any younger and will be approaching 40 when this team is ready to compete again. When Lundqvist is consulted whatever he desires should be done. He’s earned that right. If he wants to go to a contender than GM Jeff Gorton should be working the phones to get him to one. If he wants to stay, than we keep the King and he will hopefully get one more shot at a cup down the line with us. He’s earned whatever fate he decides on.
Stay with us at foreverblueshirts.com over the next few days as we discuss trade scenarios going forward. This rebuilding process is an exciting time for the team and while there may be some sadness with players leaving, the Rangers will come out of this as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.