It's Trade Deadline season, and that means a lot (as you can tell from our very own site) of rumors, headlines, tweets, and discussions about who could be traded where.
In past seasons the discussions were about who the New York Rangers needed to trade for, what types of players the Rangers had to have, and the additions the Rangers must make in order to even make the playoffs.
This season is a completely different story. The Rangers are playing their best hockey in perhaps over a decade, and the feeling among many is that this is the type of team that can win a Stanley Cup without any additions.
That feeling does not stop the rumor mill, however, nor should it. The talk of the fans is about the Rangers chemistry, their "identity" of being the "out work you," "out play you," and "all for one one for all" type of team that fans can appreciate more than any other type of team.
The Rangers are in first place, and certain players are still receiving scorn from some fans. Brian Boyle is not producing on the score sheet, but his checking ability and defense has been essential for the Rangers this season. Mike Rupp has not done much, but his fighting, protecting his teammates, and ugly goals have helped the Rangers win games.
Players like Boyle and Rupp are the type that some fans want to replace with the Jeff Carters and Rick Nash's of the NHL, in order to help the Rangers score more. That is completely understandable, and something I will not argue against.
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My point is, the Rangers identity is not just a narrative. Every single player has contributed towards this terrific season so far, even Brandon Prust, and heck, even Ruslan Fedotenko and Stu Bickel!
Before you say that the Rangers should just ship these players out of town for scorers, think about the state of the team. Will replacing Brandon Dubinsky in the lineup with Jeff Carter help the Rangers that much, to the point that it is worth the blow to the team's chemistry and success?
I don't have the answers to those questions, but I do know one thing. Any deal the Rangers make this Trade Deadline better be made with a LOT of consideration beforehand. This team is not one you want to mess with.