The inevitable fallout from the New York Rangers losing to the Carolina Hurricanes
David Quinn was too emotional to say what was obvious, this was a good experience for the Rangers. Eleven Blueshirts made their playoff debuts against Carolina and it was a growing pain for sure.
New York Rangers inevitable fallout
The good news is this, New York now holds one of the magic balls to land #1 draft pick Alexis Lafreniere. If they do, the Rangers may have a legit contender in no time.
However, there are a number of issues the Rangers will need to address now. We will start with the proverbial “elephant in the room”.
Henrik Lundqvist’s future
I first reported the rumor of Lundqvist retiring this morning at Forever Blueshirts. That was followed by a similar story this afternoon from the NY Post by Larry Brooks. Both stories in essence break it down as follows.
The next NHL season is going to start almost four months from now. Lundqvist spent a lot of time in Sweden during the pause and practiced with his brother Joel at Frolunda’s training facility.
Here’s what I know, the SHL season will start before the NHL’s. Henrik Lundqvist may very well retire and join his brother for one season with Frolunda. After that, he could make one last ditch for the Cup with a contender at 40.
A Lundqvist retirement will be a final gift to a franchise he’s given so much to. Should he do so, the Rangers will regain the full $8.5 million. Don’t get it wrong, Henrik wanted to finish his contract here, but the fallout from the pandemic may have changed his plans.
The Rangers blue-line can’t have both Marc Staal and Brendan Smith on it
New York’s defense was exposed in all three games of the series against Carolina. What was easy to see is that both Marc Staal and Brendan Smith turned over the puck way too often. In truth, the Rangers best defenseman was Ryan Lindgren.
Next season, Staal and Smith will combine for a $10,050,000 cap hit. Either one of them will be a candidate for a trade, or a buyout in a worst case scenario. Staal has a clause in his contract but may be willing to go to a contender next season.
Simply put, it is time to give K’Andre Miller a strong look on the blue-line in 2020-21.
Saying goodbye to Jesper Fast
As sad as it was that seeing Lundqvist almost in tears at the end of the series, it will be sad to see Jesper Fast going out the way he did. Unfortunately, the last we saw of Fast was getting rocked by Brady Skjei and being dazed.
To make matters worse, Fast was so foggy that he lost his man, Jacob Slavin who scored 1:01 into game one. The Rangers will need to let Fast walk and focus all the money they have into re-signing their RFA’s (DeAngelo, Strome, Lemieux, and Georgiev)