Let me start this with saying that I think the Canucks are the biggest winners today. Amazing team but a pretty rough bottom 6, with the Higgins and Lapierre additions I don't think there is a better constructed team in the league.
You are probably saying why does Coleko think that the Rangers won this deadline? All they got is a throw away from the Maple Leafs. That is exactly why they won! They didnt do anything!! The Rangers are a team on the rebuild and trading away our young players/prospects for a proven veteran at this stage of the teams development would set us back several years and keep us in purgatory for the indefinite future.
People forget that this years team wasn't expected to make the playoff at the start of the season and the success they are experiencing should be seen as a bonus and a great sign of things to come, not a call to mortgage the future to go for it all. Look what has happened with the Colorado Avalanche. Last year they were poised to begin a long rebuilding process but because of a handful of over achieving youngsters and a goalie playing out of his mind they made the playoffs. Nothing wrong with that right? Well yes there is. The Avs unlikely success lead to unrealistic expectations this year and has led them to trade away several key parts of their rebuild. The moves most likely set them back several years, not something I want to see happen to the Rangers.
Do the Rangers need scoring? Yes. Could they use a little more pop on the backend? Yes. Are those things we need now? NO. Why you ask? Because the Rangers still really dont know what they have yet. Like many developing teams the Rangers still don't know what they have, and should be content to stick it out until they know then make moves accordingly. Some of the questions that will be answered over the next few years:
Is Dubinsky a legitimate top 2 line center?
Is Derek Stepan a a top line player?
Is Brian Boyle's season a fluke, or has he emerged as a legitimate force?
Is Henrik a goaltender that can win the big game, or is he a guy who will eventually get critisized for regular season success but falling short in the playoffs. (such as Luongo, Nabokov, etc.)
Is del Zotto going to fulfill his potential, or was his rookie season a flash in the pan?
Is Zuccarello going to blossom into the offensive player he shows flashes of being or disappear like Prucha?
Is Ryan Callahan the second coming of Adam Graves or just a really good grinder?
And the questions on players like Anisimov, Grachev, Mcdonagh,and McIlrath will also be answered over time.
It sounded like del Zotto and Stepan were the 2 main players that teams were asking for today. In my opinion seeing either of those players traded today would of been an absolute nightmare. Stepan seems to be loved by most in the Big Apple at this point but del Zotto is another story. He has struggled this year and quickly has fallen out of favor but people forget he isn't even legally able to drink yet. Last year he was a 19 year old running an NHL power play; pretty impressive stuff. I think he is a player that still can blossom into a Brian Leetch type and not trading him at this deadline will look like one of the franchise's best decisions 5-10 years from now.
As for the player most rumored to be coming to the Rangers, Brad Richards. Not only do I think its great that we didnt get him this deadline, I also think we shouldn't even consider bringing him in this summer. While he is a great player, he is to old and is only effective if placed with the right types of players. Richards struggled his last 2 years with Tampa and his first full year with Dallas and I fear he would also struggle on a team with few offensive options on wing. Richards is primarily a set-up man while the Rangers biggest need is goal scorers. Coming in and asking him to be something he is not is the reason we had to rebuild in the first place, its what the Rangers have been doing for decades. With Stepan, Dubinsky, and Boyle down the middle I think the Rangers will have a very formidable trio down the middle in a few years; but if Stepan and Dubinsky prove to be unable to take the reins as a #1 center man then it should be time to go out and grab one. As for now I wouldn't mind seeing the Rangers grab a little more offense on the wings this summer and see how this team looks so when Drury's contract comes off the books we know exactly what we need.