After the hideous exit in last year’s playoffs, most Ranger fans wanted drastic changes made to the team. I would say Mr. Glen Sather has fulfilled our wished. Sather has made "smart" moves this off-season. The Rangers have gotten bigger, faster, and stronger. There are no more dead weights like Daws, Prucha, Zherdev (Presumably), Gomez, etc. The additions of Gaborik, Lisin, and Kotalik will all help the Rangers on offense with their tremendous speed and scoring potential. Brian Boyle, and Donald Brasher are the massive tandem that will deal with the Pronger’s of the Eastern Conference. And maybe the highlight of the off-season, The trade of Scott Gomez. Not only the salary dump and getting a local kid in Chris Higgins, the acquisition of highly touted prospect Ryan McDougnah makes me wonder if Bob Gainey was intoxicated the night prior.
Marian Gaborik will provide the scoring that the team so desperately needed last season. He is a top echelon player in this league. However, he must stay healthy. I would imagine that Glen and the NY Rangers medical staff have done their homework and physical tests before signing Gaborik. When he returned for the last stretch of the season last year he was dynamic and I think Ranger fans should expect nothing less.
I liked the signing of Kotalik for one reason. He is a familiar face for one of our overpriced players in Chris Drury. Kotalik will presumably play on a line with Dru and hopefully will be a renaissance for both players. The Enver Lisin trade is also an interesting acquisition. Lisin is another talented player who needs to get his act together. His offensive skill is undoubted; it’s the other aspects of the game that need work on. Lisin is probably the replacement for Zherdev, and comes at a cheaper price tag. Chris Higgins is a local kid, and I believe will become a fan favorite at the Garden. He can kill penalties and has a nice scoring touch.
It was difficult to see Paul Mara, Sjostrom, and sometime in the near future Blair Betts signing with other teams. But changes were made and we now have to accept them. All in all, Glen and the Rangers get a solid A. Sather improved the team. They are now faster, more sufficient offensively and more physical. I do have my doubts about our defense, losing both Mara and Morris could prove to be detrimental to the team. But I am interested to see what our young kids can do. Matt Gilroy and co. should have a very important training camp ahead of them.