New York Rangers Loaded Up After Successful Offseason
Not too long ago the New York Rangers ascended as a prominent NHL team, knocking on the Stanley Cup’s door year after year behind all–time great goalie Henrik Lundqvist. After failing to cash in, the Rangers consequently fell apart, selling key pieces such as Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh, and most recently, Jimmy Vesey. With so much talent flooding out the Garden doors, the Rangers appeared destined for a long and grueling rebuild, on the contrary to the contending years which they enjoyed earlier just a few years ago.
— SNY (@SNYtv) February 24, 2019
While the Rangers indeed looked to start over this offseason, they did so at an impressively fast pace. Fueled with draft picks which turned into a potential stars like Kaapo Kakko and Matthew Robertson, the Rangers took a swig from the fountain of youth, adding talented pieces poised to play many years into the future for New York. The team also swept in and managed to land arguably the league’s two most coveted free agents, defensemen Jacob Trouba and “the bread man,” Artemi Panarin.
What an exciting time to follow the New York Rangers. They’re doing everything right with their rebuild, then getting a little luck in landing Artemi Panarin.
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) July 1, 2019
“It’s now a new challenge ahead of me. It’s not like I made it; it’s like it’s starting again, I guess. It’s time to prove my worth and prove what I’m capable of doing.”
Grab your morning ☕️ and get to know #NYR defenseman Jacob Trouba.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 20, 2019
The New York Rangers just really just messed around and added Artemi Panarin, Kaapo Kakko, Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox this offseason
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) July 1, 2019
With the Rangers undergoing such a quick makeover, the 37–year old Lundqvist now seems like the only remaining piece apart the regime which came up just short of a championship in 2014 and also won a President’s Trophy the following year. However, Lundqvist no longer operates as the team’s goalie at the exceptional level which he frustrated opposing offenses with for years. Lundqvist finished off his worst statistical season last year, expanding youngster Alexandar Georgiev’s chances to take over in goal sooner rather than later.
Despite his inopportune placement apart the New York youth movement and unclear future, the Rangers legend still illustrates optimism and even noted the team’s quick move to regain a place under the league’s spotlight. Lundqvist stated after the draft, “You see teams having a tough year add a few pieces, and just like that, you change the dynamic, and you’re in the mix.”
Although Rangers GM Jeff Gorton checked off box after box this summer, giving reason for Rangers fans to throw on their blueshirts once more, ongoing speculation still surrounds the team. With so many moving pieces, the way in which the New York’s recently assembled talent operates together remains unseen.
President John Davidson cautioned fans as he stated, “Everyone thinks the Rangers are back in. We aren’t anywhere yet. The puck hasn’t even been dropped. I caution everyone that if you’re going to be very, very young, there are going to be growing pains.”
Either way, the Rangers appear headed toward the right direction, now setting the standard for teams looking to rebuild at a high level.