Monday, February 27, 2012

Deadline Day 2012

That clip, if you didn't know, is from Star Wars. The Rebels needed to accomplish their mission of destroying the Death Star. To do that, someone had to fire a shot down an exhaust port to destroy the Death Star - an extremely difficult task, even without Darth Vader and his wingmen firing from behind.

Atop the Eastern Conference, the Rangers under fire from the teams behind them and they need to stay on target no matter the temptation to panic and pull out. Getting a shot to win the Stanley Cup is a monumental task and one that the franchise has been working towards the last few seasons. Glen Sather and company have done it by using Jedi mind tricks and making brilliant trades, as well as taking Yoda's Gordie Clark's wise advice in drafting youngsters.

This team is in a better position than it has been in nearly 20 years. To ignore the blueprint brought by the Bothan spies would be folly. Giving up a sizable portion of the future for another version of Marian Gaborik is not the answer. There is no need to bring in more big name bounty hunters players when a few more solid soldiers would be enough to help the cause.

For all of the talk about the inept offense, the Rangers simply need their skill players to be their skill players. By adding more complimentary players, they can do that.

By adding a guy like Sammy Pahlsson, Brian Boyle can return to his fourth line center role. The oversized softie succeeded when playing fewer minutes and when facing the other teams' lower lines. And the benefits of Pahlsson are many, as I've mentioned. Another option would be Paul Gaustad but the Sabre didn't fight when Milan Lucic ran Ryan Miller and when he did fight, well, we saw Brandon Prust knock him down. Gaustad's teammate Derek Roy would take some of the pressure off of Derek Stepan but Buffalo would surely want too much.

Should Sather decide to improve the wing, Pahlsson's old Anaheim teammate Travis Moen would bring grit and experience while Colorado kid David Jones is capable of adding some tertiary scoring. Former Ranger Mike Knuble could be welcomed back to Broadway but at 39 years old and with 12 points in 57 games so far this season, you have to wonder what he has left. Anyone added up front will need to be a rental as kids like Chris Kreider, Andrew Yogan, Ryan Bourque and perhaps even Jesper Fasth (if he heals) should be given a fall audition at the big boy camp. My guess is that Michael St. Croix, JT Miller, Christian Thomas and Shane McColgan will all need time on the farm or more time in junior but you never know, maybe one can challenge as well.

There is also serious need back on the blueline. Everyone loves the offense added by Del Zaster but someone has to stay back and that someone is certainly not Anton Stralman, nor the slowly-recovering Marc Staal.

Restricted free agents like Theo Peckham and Alexei Emelin both tantalize but both of their teams are more likely to re-sign them rather than send them elsewhere. So that leaves the unrestricted guys. Mark Eaton might be worthwhile if Sather could find it inside himself to deal with the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Islanders. But seeing as that stench would never come off of Eaton, guys like Greg Zanon of Minnesota and our old friend from the Devils Johnny Oduya are options. Zanon is one of the best shot blockers in the business and Oduya has been a solid citizen for the Jets this season. Should Colorado decide to deal Shane O'Brien, the Rangers would be wise to put in a bid. SOB might enjoy the New York nightlife a little too much but if he can be kept in line he could be a good asset to add.

And even though he is not a free agent this summer, Washington is supposedly shopping Roman Hamrlik. However, as the folks in DC found out, Hamrlik is not the answer. To anything.

But the question of what are the Rangers going do will be answered by this afternoon. Let's just hope they stay on target.

1 comment:

Kingrich45 said...

I think now is an appropriate time to revisit this article;

I also just got Rangers/Hurricanes tickets for Thurs on stub hub for $15 including shipping and fee's; it's good to be in an NHL city with a shitty team you don't care about... Let's Go Rangers