The New York Rangers are in the midst of continuing their rebuild and reports say they are interested in bringing in character guys and guys who play much harder than they did last season. Any signing the Rangers make should be a one year commitment only. Although the Rangers have a lot of cap space, they also have a lot of restricted free agents. Whether its signing unrestricted free agents or worrying about their own restricted free agents they have to be careful what contracts are given out with an eye on upcoming NHL free agent class that can be as star studded as this year’s MLB free agent class.
The Rangers goal this season should not be to attempt to bring in guys and then try to sneak their way into a playoff spot. This is New York, ultimately we dont care about playoffs, the goal of a New York team should be to win a championship. The Rangers are nowhere near that at the moment. What sense then does it make to bring in players (maybe outside Tavares whom they didn’t even request a meeting with) for a multi year commitment? The Rangers did that with Michael Grabner and although he performed well, what exactly did that do for them in the end? The Ranger are nowhere close to a championship this season. The goal this off season should be to continuing to attempting to build the team with as much high end talent as possible.
While its true NHL free agent superstars rarely hit free agency, the odds next year are better that at least a few of them will shake loose because there are just so many impact players and so many teams who don’t exactly have a ton of cap space. This list includes guys like Tyler Seguin, Arteri Panarin, Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, Drew Doughty among many others.
The Rangers have almost 30 million in cap space this Summer but they should be very careful with how they use it. They have to make a decision on guys like Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei who probably should be part of this solution but guys like Spooner, Namestnikov and the other restricted free agents they have should not be. The Rangers can’t get stuck in the same cycle they were in the past where they were paying good money to players who are simply not going to win you a Stanley cup if they are who you are relying on.
If you’re the New York Rangers wouldn’t Arteri Panarin and/or Tyler Seguin look good on Broadway? The Rangers need to make moves this off season with an eye on the star studded class that could await the team after the 2018-2019 season.