Good to see that Sather and Co. are getting some recongition after usually being at the head of criticism from the media. All the moves they've made have been smart and good ones. Hall a good PKer, 3rd/4th liner. Cullen an up-and-coming forward. We know what Shannie can do. Finally...Ward is a solid D-man. What more could've we asked for out of this off-season. Personally, I'm 100% pleased.
Plus, we've gained a lot more then we've lost. We lost a good face-off man in Rucchin but have gained one in Cullen (who has more scoring potential then Rucchin). We lost Moore but gained a similar player (who put up more points last year) in Hall. We've lost Marty Ruchinsky but have gained a lot more skilled forward in Shannie.
It seems to me that often times these ratings are influenced significantly by what the team has done the previous season. For example, rating a team's prospects tends to be higher for teams that have had some successful picks in the past, regardless of whether their current prospects are really that good...the opposite is also true.
I think the Rangers success last year, and the comparison to what they've done in the past has been taken into account here and I'd consider this a comparative rating to what they've done before, moreso than comparisons with other clubs.
I'm relatively pleased with the way they have approached things, but I don't know that I'd give them an A because they overpaid for Cullen, they've brought in another 2nd/3rd tier type player in Ward and are adding a fairly old forward in Shanahan. In the grander context, the Ward and Shanahan moves are relatively low risk in the context of commitments, whereas the Cullen move is a bit more of a reach (confirmed I believe by Maloney himself).
They kept the team together for the most part, which I actually think will help them, especially when you consider how much turnover they've had in the last 10-12 years, though they actually got rid of three of their four longest tenured players in Rucinsky, Poti and Purinton.
by making the playoffs last season, the rating would've been a 'C' and we would've heard more about bringing in some older people (Ward and Shanahan) and adding a guy with a career year for four seasons instead of getting a good rating. I used to think TSN was the greatest source of hockey info, but as the years have gone on, I decided not to re-up my subscription because their analyses always seemed a bit weak.