The Rangers Did The Right Things at the Deadline
By Patrick Hoffman
When the New York Rangers' brass sent a letter out to their fans back on February 8 essentially waiving the white flag on the season, many did not know what to think.
At the time, the Blueshirts were only a handful of points out of a playoff spot. Heck, the team was not even that far out of one of the top three spots in the Metropolitan Division.
With that said, however, if you were an objective Rangers' fan, you could see that this team was not going anywhere. It's core was getting stale and the team generally looked out of sync.
This is why the team's work at the trade deadline should be deemed a success by it's fans rather than as a huge mistake. This is especially the case when it comes to the deal the Blueshirts made with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In the Twitterverse, many Ranger fans are saying that the team did not get enough from the Tampa Bay Lightning when they dealt both team captain Ryan McDonagh and forward JT Miller. I am not one to mock Ranger fans, but in this case, I am calling them out as homers.
These homers are not looking at the big picture because if they did, they would see that this deal is a big win for their favorite hockey club. The team got back a young 25-year-old 20-goal scorer Vladislav Namestnikov, forward prospect Brett Howden, and defensive prospect Libor, Hajek, in addition to a 2018 first-round draft pick and a conditional second round pick that could potentially turn into a first round pick if the Lightning manage to win the Stanley Cup this year or next year.
In looking at the whole picture, the team got younger, faster, and now have a few more promising prospects to go along with guys like Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson. That's a good thing.
What's also great for the team and their fans is that because of the work the organization did at the deadline, including the deal they did back on February 25 with the Boston Bruins, they now have a plethora of draft picks, which should bode well for the future.
This team now has the following because of what they did at the deadline:
- First round picks from the Bruins and Lightning
- Solid prospect defensemen in Hajek and Ryan Lindgren (acquired in the Bruins' deal)
- Was able to move an aging forward in Rick Nash, a forward that may have already hit his ceiling in Miller, and a defenseman in McDonagh that brought in solid prospects and a talented forward who is already having some success in the league right now.
Obviously time will tell if these moves pay off for team general manager Jeff Gorton, but I think he should be applauded for his fine work at the deadline as he has put this team in a good spot to have more success in the future.
That is all that should matter.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.