Rangers Season Ends
So what now? Obviously, there will be changes and the biggest question is probably whether or not management has seen enough of John Tortarella's act. Personally, I have. Having said that, I do think it was a truncated season and that Torts needs his long training camps to get himself and his teams ready. So if they want to give him a mulligan, I guess I will understand. I just don't trust him with the kids coming up, what's more, I don't understand why they have never fixed the power play or went back to a more aggressive offense once their talent base grew. Remember "safe is death" in Tampa? Safe was all there has been with the Rangers. I won't be surprised; however, if they force him to hire a power play assistant or dump Mike Sullivan.
On the roster side, they have a bunch of expiring contracts and a few players they have to extend like McDonagh and Stepan. They will almost assuredly their remaining buyout on Brad Richards, so they will have plenty of cap room - even though the cap is going down. Stepan's ascendance and Brassard's emergence has made this a no-brainer. The third and fourth line C's can either come from the system - JT Miller or Oscar Linberg - or come from trades or free agency. The Rangers will have plenty of room and chips for either. They also need a right shot D. That too could be a trade or free agent. They have a pretty easy decision to make on Clowe, too. Btw, god bless his health going forward.
What the Rangers are sorely lacking right now are draft picks. They have a bunch of threes, but no first or seconds, and that's a shame because it is a deep draft with lots of first and second round value. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they moved quickly to secure more picks. They could do this by moving players - or combining them with picks (present and future) to get into those first two rounds. Now's the time when they usually start making their moves, so don't be surprised if they do something before the draft.
I think some of the current players who are under contract, like Brian Boyle and Michael Del Zotto could end up elsewhere by way of trades. MDZ is a big time talent, but he's been really inconsistent and you have to give to get in NHL trades. As long as the get back was good, I wouldn't spend too much time wondering what might have been. The arrival of John Moore has also helped in that regard.
Kreider's heroics in the playoffs are just the tip of the talent iceberg that's should start arriving from juniors, the minors and overseas as camp opens. Let's just hope they're not all blocked, and that none of them have to go through what Kreider had to go through this year. If that means a new coach, so be it.