Over the past couple of weeks, reports have surfaced that the New York Rangers are looking to be major sellers at this year’s trade deadline.
While most of the reports surfacing are from bloggers and writers who have no direct contact with the team, the rumors took a sharp turn when writer Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that the New York Rangers are expected to sell at the NHL Trade Deadline.
In light of how this season has gone, this report is not surprising. Changes are necessary for the Rangers and these rumors provide some semblance of hope
If the organization is indeed taking the approach, they should commence a mindset set around tanking and rebuilding. Other than flaunting the pieces they aspire to trade, such as forwards Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Mats Zuccarello, and defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Nick Holden, the Rangers should prioritize playing young players over slower veterans with no future in the organization.
If, or when, these aforementioned trade pieces are moved, this will free up even more space for the kids to play and to contribute for the rest of the 2017-2018 season.
Forwards Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson, along with defensemen Anthony DeAngelo and Neal Pionk, should be called upon to play solid minutes to make mistakes and to grow early. This move would jumpstart the early stages of the rebuilding process. It also allows the organization to see if the youngsters can handle the NHL. While Chytil and Andersson should not have much of an issue transitioning to the NHL, question marks surround DeAngelo and Pionk.
But this is why the Rangers should play these young men. If they are going to rely on the future, these are the kids they should start with. If they don’t have what it takes, move on. That’s the beauty of the tank. When the kids play, the organization can evaluate them at the NHL level instead of continuing to guess and evaluate them on their play in inferior leagues. If a couple of these prospects don’t pan out, oh well! They helped the team tank, and the Rangers were able to see their capabilities sooner rather than later.
New York must allow themselves a shot at some of the best defensemen in this upcoming draft. A player like Adam Boqvist, whose play resembles Erik Karlsson almost to a tee, can change the course of this organization. Other defensemen such as Evan Bouchard and Noah Dobson, are other supremely talented young defensemen that can help the Rangers on the back end. If the Rangers accumulate picks, a skilled forward can be added to the team as well.
The moral of the story is: to tank while making time for the prospects to play simultaneously. This would be a win-win situation for the team. Not only do they raise their very own draft position through the tank, but they allow their current prospects to get a head start on the learning process.
This plan is in the best interest of the organization. Whether they enact the plan, or not, remains the question.