Breakup Day Takeaways

The infamous locker cleanout day more dramatically referred to as breakup day. It’s the NHL equivalent of the last day of school where you write HAGS in everyone’s yearbook and clean out your locker but instead of the excitement that surrounds that day, this is one filled with disappointment and somber reflections. 

We’ll start with the easy question filled with hopeful optimism, Chris Kreider believes this group can go all the way.

Further to that point, K’Andre Miller was asked a similar question and feels that the Rangers are currently constructed to achieve that goal. 

Similar thoughts were expressed by Barclay Goodrow who still sees a bright future for this team. 

One of the more anticipated conversations regarding the health of Adam Fox was one of the first stories to come out this afternoon. While Fox made it a point to refrain from it being an excuse, he did admit that the collision with Nick Jensen in Round 1 “reaggravated” his knee injury from earlier in the season.

The good news is that Fox does not expect to require any offseason surgeries. 

As it turns out, Fox wasn’t the only Rangers defenseman dealing with a notable injury. Captain Jacob Trouba suffered a broken ankle this season which clearly had a larger impact on his play throughout the regular season and into playoffs. 

We’ll have plenty of time in the coming weeks to unpack that major story but the initial reaction is that the Rangers coaching staff, medical team and front office really dropped the ball here and should have shut him down longer. You had capable reinforcements in Zac Jones and Chad Ruhwedel post trade deadline. Not only was Trouba playing poorly but he likely prolonged the healing process and risked his long term health in doing so. Easily the most concerning report from the day. 

In less shocking news, Blake Wheeler might be considering retirement. The veteran winger will turn 38 this summer and has 1,172 games under his belt on top of coming off a pretty serious injury. 

Mika Zibanejad was asked about what the Rangers need to do in order to improve after this season to which he gave a very solemn answer about needing to “get better at what we do” and using their experience to navigate the road forward. 

Zibanejad was also asked a hard-hitting question regarding what the ideal right wing to him and Kreider looks like. He didn’t really give much of an answer but did allude to the importance of them finding someone who can help them generate more 5-v-5 offense. 

Alex Wennberg mentioned that he would love to stay in New York and is anticipating having those discussions down the road. 

Vincent Trocheck spoke on the bond this group established this season, the feeling surrounding their shortcomings and provided insight on his moment with Igor Shesterkin after Game 6.

Jonathan Quick also had some thoughts on the team’s shortcomings, speaking to the level of belief this group had in each other right to the end. He also went into his relationship with Igor Shesterkin. 

Jimmy Vesey, who did not get to finish the series against the Panthers suffered a separated shoulder which shouldn’t require surgery. 

Artemiy Panarin had some touching points to make regarding the overall support he encountered playing for the Rangers throughout this run.

Igor Shesterkin was asked about his big contract negotiations that will be lingering as he is eligible to sign an extension this summer. 

In a more serious response, the Rangers star goaltender was hard on himself and extremely appreciative of the Rangers fanbase. 

This injury list grows as Ryan Lindgren mentioned he cracked a rib in Game 6 of the Carolina series. He also reiterated how much he loves New York and wants to be here.

Kaapo Kakko had some candid reflection in his responses. Mentioned that the plan is for him to play with Mika and Kreider over the summer, continued to sing the praises of this group but wasn't necessarily confident he'd be back.

Lastly, fan-favorite Matt Rempe had lots to say about his plans for the summer as he hopes to become more of a well-rounded, full time option for the Rangers fourth line.

And there you have it. There may be some more quotes and interviews that come out as the day goes on which we'll update as needed but closing in on two-and-a-half hours, we have plenty of answers from the majority of this roster. The big takeaways certainly revolve around the injuries to the D-core but overall, this group seems optimistic about the future and will take another ECF loss as a painful lesson to further prepare them for achieving the ultimate goal. We'll take a deeper dive into some of these stories as the off-season officially kicks off. In the meantime, hopefully this collection helps with coping that the run has come to an end. (I don't blame you if it doesn't.)