Jeff Gorton
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers, namely Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather, finally addressed poor play and their intentions in regards to a full rebuild. 

“As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character. This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about & respect. While this is part of the game it’s never easy.” – Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton.

In other words, the New York Rangers rebuilding has officially begun.

Now the hard work can begin.

The New York Rangers organization admitted today their dissatisfaction with the teams play this season is a statement that was followed by a press conference. The Rangers, in essence, sent a warning out to its fans and maybe the players themselves. They wanted everyone to know that in order to make a change to youth and speed, some familiar players will be moved.

Only Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal have full no-trade clause’s in their contracts.

New York Rangers

Here is the letter announced via the New York Rangers Twitter account:

“As a member of the Blueshirt Faithful, we consider you a part of the New York Rangers family, and always want to ensure we share important news about the organization directly with you. Today, we want to talk to you about the future.As you know, since the 2005-06 season, we have been a highly competitive team. We have played 129 playoff games, won the Presidents’ Trophy, reached the Conference Finals three times, as well as the Stanley Cup Final.

While we’re proud of all those accomplishments – we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York. So as we do every season, we have been continuously evaluating our team, looking for areas that can be improved to enhance our chances of winning We began the process of reshaping our team this past summer when we traded for assets that we believe will help us in the years to come.

As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill, and character.This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about & respect. While this is part of the game it’s never easy. Our promise to you is that our plans will be guided by our singular commitment: ensuring we’re building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.

There are no fans like Rangers fans. You are passionate, loyal and true. You fill The Garden every night, and we always know there will be a strong showing from RangersTown in every building across the League.

We do not take your support for granted. We appreciate that you have always stood by us, and we ask you to remain by our side as we undertake this exciting new chapter filled with promise and change.

We will keep you informed as this process takes shape. Thank you for the incredible loyalty, pride and respect you show to the New York Rangers, each and every day.”

In case anyone was wondering what the status of head coach Alain Vigneault currently is, GM Jeff Gorton touched on the topic briefly as Newsday’s Steve Zipay tweeted, “Gorton supports AV, says he has faith in him, but will not say, at this point, whether there will be a change behind the bench next season.”

Rangerstown had a busy day today as it started off with the call-up of defenseman Neal Pionk from the Hartford Wolf Pack. He skated in practice today and will wear number 44. Pionk will be in the lineup tomorrow night when the Rangers host the Calgary Flames tomorrow night at the Garden. Unfortunately, this means someone needed to be moved to make room for Pionk.

In what has to be the worse birthday’s ever, Brendan Smith was waived by the Blueshirts and will be sent to Hartford should no other team pick him up. Smith Played very well after the Rangers acquired him from the Detroit Redwings at the trade deadline last year, but has been nothing but poor this season.

Prior to free agency, the Rangers and Smith agreed to a $17.4 million contract. As this season wore on Smith struggled and was even benched for seven straight games at one point. Today it appears his Ranger career may be over less than a year later.

Zipay also tweeted what Alain Vigneault had to say regarding Smith’s status.

“Everybody that’s followed him since he’s been here, there’s no doubt that he has played better for us in the past, and this year he got off to a slow start, we worked with him in a number of different ways, and he seemed to be having a hard time to find his game, so at the end of the day, this might be a little bit drastic here, but coaches and management felt that this was the way to go for our team right now.”

Jeff Gorton did tell Matt Calamia of NYRangers.com that the discussion of calling up Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil has been discussed.

“We’ll have those conversations as we go along here and give people a chance to see what they can do and help us make decisions moving forward.”

With all of this news about disappointments and trading, let’s not forget all is not at a loss. As of Thursday, the team is only three points out of the second wild-card position. The playoffs are still within reach, maybe with some fresh young energetic players, the Rangers could surprise us all.

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