The New York Rangers are acting strange. They’re making smart, savvy moves that seem to support an overall change in the organization’s philosophy when it comes to analytics.
Bringing in Brandon Pirri was a remarkably smart move; not just because he’s a young, solid player who can help right now, but also because at worst he’s the type of guy who nets you solid assets come the trade deadline.
The only question when it comes to his acquisition is, well, what the hell is Jeff Gorton going to do with the four thousand forwards he now has on the roster?
For what it’s worth, Elliotte Friedman seems to believe Gorton has a move or two in the plans — although whether or not it happens is another story.
Elliot Friedman on NHL network when asked if the Rangers have something bigger lined up: "Jeff Gorton has his hands in a lot of things(cont)— John Dundon (@jDundon29) August 25, 2016
@jDundon29 whether he's able to make anything happen, that's a different story"— John Dundon (@jDundon29) August 25, 2016
And this is where things get interesting. The Rangers are still floating around the Kevin Shattenkirk rumors, and the persistent Rick Nash speculation isn’t going anywhere, either.
The Rangers have way too many forwards for way too few spots -- and I’m not even including Tanner Glass here — and that’s BEFORE Oscar Lindberg returns from his injury around November. Logic dictates something has to give, although who is the real question at this point.
I think Nash tops the list of forwards who the Rangers might be shopping, but some quality depth players (think Marek Hrivik types) just lost any real chance of making the team, too. Seeing a bigger package wouldn’t be surprising, especially since the forward group is now a position of strength for the team.
The real question is whether or not Gorton and company are going to try and maneuver the defense. I can’t imagine Gorton can find a way to get rid of Dan Girardi, but Marc Staal might have some value now. Although if not, bringing in a defensive player to raise the water level (and relegate Girardi and Staal to the third pairing) seems to be the backup plan. Like it or not, that’s sort of what we’re looking at here.
Thoughts on this, guys? What do you think the Rangers are targeting?