MONTREAL, CANADA - NOVEMBER 14: Brad Boyes #22 of the Buffalo Sabres shoots the puck past Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens on his shootout attempt during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on November 14, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Sabres defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
It's February which means that the All Star break is behind us, the playoffs are in front of us and that also means that the trade deadline is coming up on February 27th. Its a frantic time of year where it seems like everyone and their mother who has an internet connection is coming up with another trade rumor.
And while the Rangers may be in first place (as of the time of this writing) we all know that they are far from being the perfect team, no team is perfect no matter what their fanbases tell you. Everyone has their idea of where they want the team to improve.
So we here at Blueshirt Banter will be bringing you a weekly feature on where we think the Rangers should improve and who they should target as the deadline approaches.
When I look at this Rangers team I see a great goaltender, a young and solid defensive corps and an offense that is just not quite there yet. This is the area I think the Rangers really need to improve if they really want to be a Cup contenders. This team already has the top flight sniper and elite playmaker and have the players to make up a solid top offensive line.
After that though, they have a lot of pieces but no real secondary scoring line and that is where the Rangers need to address.
Take a jump with me and check out my list of probable targets.
Please note: These are just ideas of players the Rangers could go after. This is nothing official just spit balling here
1. Dustin Penner
Yeah, I know, I know. He's a shell of his former self and has really dropped off in production the last two years and apparently can't eat pancakes correctly. However, I still think that Penner would be a great addition to a Rangers team that forechecks aggressively and could use a big body that can put the puck in the net (he has scored 30+ goals before). I think that Penner could really do for a change in scenery and has too much history in the Western Conference and a trade to the Rangers could be what picks up his game.
2. Bobby Ryan
A really long shot, but I think that Glen Sather could use his Jedi Mind Powers to try and get Bobby Ryan without selling the farm for Ryan. We all know what Ryan brings to the table, offensive talent up the wazoo, strong on the puck and his skates and young to boot. A pipe dream to be sure, but its always nice to dream ain't it?
3. Brenden Morrow
Actually not as far fetched as some might think, Morrow is a solid offensive winger who has a nose for the net, can put up 25+ goals and is another veteran presence in the locker room. Also, he's played with Richards before and the chemistry they have could be beneficial if a deal is made. Although I do not think that the Stars are willing to deal their captain if they are still close to the playoff hunt.
4. Brad Boyes
With the Sabres toiling in the basement of the Eastern Conference, we could see Buffalo being sellers at the deadline with Boyes being a cheap diamond in the rough, a Dustin Penner-like player, Boyes is a big, burly forward who goes to the net and knows how to finish. Just seems to be inconsistent at times but playing with guys like Callahan and Stepan can really create havoc for opposing defensemen.
5. Mikhail Grabovski
The real dark horse in all the trade deadline craziness. If Burke really is shopping Grabovski around I would love for the Rangers to get involved on the very talented center who can also slot over to the wing if need be. The Toronto media is talking Grabovoski down as a third line center, and if the Rangers can somehow get Grabo from the Leafs for relatively cheap (Burkie loves Americans and Dubi is from Alaska right?) then they should jump at this.
Well those are my five potential targets for the Rangers to go after at the deadline and I know that a lot of you guys would laugh at some of these guys on the list, I'd like to hear who you guys would like the Rangers to see go after going down to the deadline.