With the NHL trade deadline less than a week away the New York Rangers are currently analyzing their squad to see where the team needs improvements and what the team can afford to part with. We've talked about adding offense and we've also talked about adding some defensive depth, but what about experience?
This offseason the Rangers brought in Brad Richards, a player who not only has a Stanley Cup ring but also has a Conn Smythe Trophy under his belt as well. He's one of the few Rangers with significant playoff experience (63 games), however. Marian Gaborik has 34 games under his belt, Ruslan Fedotenko has played in 88 playoff games, Henrik Lundqvist has 35 games worth of experience and Marc Staal and Dan Girardi both have 22 and 32 games respectively. Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky have played 27 and 22 games respectively.
Join me after the jump for more.
While it's true that the Rangers have six players on the team who have quite a bit of playoff experience, it's also true that in key areas the Rangers are lacking. Guys like Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, Anton Stralman and Carl Hagelin all will enter the postseason with little-to-no playoff experience.
But is that a big enough deal to make a move at the deadline?
The Rangers do seem to have a good mix of experienced and younger players on offense, especially with the experience guys like Callahan and Dubinsky have gotten over the past coupe of years. Players like Richards and Fedotenko can help prepare the younger guys for what's coming and steady the ship when things start to move in the wrong direction.
The Rangers' defense, however, is a different story.
Only Staal and Girardi have any real playoff experience. It certianly helps to have a quality goaltender between the pipes who has been there before to help steady the nerves, but it's still something that's worth looking into.
I saw in yesterday's defensive thread that many of you pointed towards the Rangers not being interested in Pavel Kubina as a sign that the team would be avoiding a move for a veteran defenseman. I wouldn't be so sure based on that information. A few of you said that his relationship with John Tortorella was a reason why you were surprised the Rangers didn't make a move for him.
I think it's the reason they didn't.
I think Tortorella knew what Kubina was going to bring to the table, and knew the price he was going to cost (he ended up costing Philadelphia a second and fourth round pick along with a prospect), and knew he wasn't worth it. Glen Sather might look to go away from the beaten path a little bit here and maybe look for a veteran defenseman who isn't a big name.
Either way, how much stock do you all put in the experience, or lack of experience, the Rangers have on this team?