FanPost

Log jam of forwards; acquiring a defenseman?

The Rangers have an improved powerplay, a revived Marian Garborik, but are not necessarily a 'scoring team.' They still have trouble scoring at times, as scene by a recent two-game losing streak against Dallas and St. Louis. But, despite all of that, the Rangers have a large number of forwards and certainly depth, or 'expendable players. Let me explain.

There are players that lead our offense that are not for sale. Those include Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, and Brandon Dubinsky (yes Dubinsky, don't care how he's been, we just committed to this guy), and IMO, Carl Haeglin (he really seems like a quick, talented player, and an 'intangible' teams need in a cup run). But that's seven forwards, enough for two plus line. Then you have guys like Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp; tough guys (Prust does more, like kill penalties) but have their niche on a roster. Add those two the list above, and you're at nine, enough to fill out three lines. I'm going to throw Ruslan Fedotenko into this top group because I do not see him as much of a trade asset, or a player to be moved. But now, let's look at this group of players, and consider some other things, long-term.

Brian Boyle
Eric Christensen
Sean Avery
Mats Zuccarello-Aasen
Wojtek Wolski
John Mitchell

Above is a group of six players that I feel excluding Avery, could garner us some value in return if we do look to make a move for a defenseman. Normally, I am not a proponent for trading for a veteran player, or a player with an expiring contract, and renting them for half a season. However, considering that above group is so large, and, we have guys on the horizon like Christian Thomas, Chris Kreider, and others, that second group may not have a future beyond the 2012 season anyway. I don't think anyone looks at the Bryan McCabe move from last season as something that dramatically altered the outcome of our season, but then again, we were not including the level of pieces I just listed. I don't know, just a thought. Especially with Steve Eminger's situation looking bleak, and with two of our top defensemen down with concussions, an injury who's timetable is impossible to predict.

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