How Should Rangers Approach The Balance of 2009-10 Season
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12-31-2009, 02:26 PM
Tired and bitter..
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Land of no calls..
I'll go ahead and support looking toward the future, though not to the extreme that most are advocating. In short, I'm not for "tanking" but I do support the idea that we should not be trying to salvage this season by making drastic moves.
In a nut shell: Buy low and look ahead towards the 2011 season.
Unfortunately, this team is poorly constructed, poorly managed, and in my opinion, poorly coached as well. We're not deep enough to provide the secondary scoring that is necessary to make a run in the playoffs, and we're not seasoned enough either.
I think this season can be meaningful, but meaningful in hindsight. In other words, this could be the season that sets us up moving forward and we can look back on it and say, "Yeah, that's when we turned the corner."
We have a stable of good, young defensemen. Staal, Del Zotto, Girardi, Sauer, Sanguinetti, McDonagh, Heikkinen, Gilroy, etc.
We're developing a nice group of forwards in Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov, Grachev, Stepan, Kreider, Werek, Bourque, Byers, etc.
We have a goalie who is now entering his prime years.
We're poised to make a name for ourselves, but not this year. These players need time to develop and grow. It's foolish to repeat last season where we gave up a high draft pick for a pending free agent. If we're making moves, we should be looking at players with upside who are struggling.
Peter Mueller has become the poster-boy for that notion around here, and I definitely support the idea of bringing him in for the right price. I'm also a fan of Patrick O'Sullivan in Edmonton, and Kris Versteeg in Chicago -- who isn't really struggling, but is likely to be a cap casualty in the summer. All 3 are skilled, offensive-minded players that can compliment the group of defensively skilled forwards we have right now.
Now, while you might look at this move as contradictory to my original idea of building for the future, it's not the case. If these players rebound here in NY, we're in great shape moving forward. Say we acquire Mueller and O'Sullivan. Both have 60-70 point upside in my opinion. If they get back on track this season, we've added two impact forwards to the lineup who are under 25 years old. If they don't, then we can afford them another year of development while we wait for our offensive prospects to join the team, and we've most likely added an additional top-10 draft pick to our prospect pool.
Shop players like Prospal, Higgins, and Girardi at the deadline. If Prospal likes NY, and enjoys playing with Gaborik, he can talk to us in July.
I think it's the wiser play for this organization.
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