This is the first time that it is legitimate to expect the Rangers to be a very good team heading into the season since the mid-90s.
Agreed, though it seems to me that pre-lockout you always had one or two powerhouses and a whole bunch of dogs competing in the EC. Now it seems like teams 1-10 are all going to be very good and some like a fully healthy Penguins squad downright dangerous.
The Rangers are going to need to be more than just good to even make the POs. Fortunately the last two seasons have taught them this lesson well, so again they should be more mentally prepared to fight for every point.
The only thing we're not really sure about is a pwp qb defenseman--whether or not Del Zotto or maybe even Erixon can help that out. Richards might have a role as one point man. Staal's offense is improving but he's not really that slick with the puck on the pwp.
Apart from that the Rangers seem to be setting themselves up for bigger things. All the moves this summer enhanced the team in one way or another and the contracts were all in line with where they should have been--though we got Richards for cheap considering market value.
Richards was a coup. Erixon as well. The RFA's are all key players. Rupp is a good addition because Prust is not a real heavyweight and Rupp can play. Fedotenko also was a very good re-sign.
Would have liked Krieder signing but I guess you can't have everything. We have some really nice prospects. Rangers need to go deeper into the playoffs this time around and a better regular season standings wise is the best way to do it. Our team is young and there's more youth on the way and even if we don't have an elite young talent we've got a good young base and a bunch more that are going to join them in the next few years.
I haven't felt as positive about this team in a long time.