Did Rangers Bet Farm in Stanley Cup Bid?

RangersMADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NY – It was a busy run-in to the trade deadline for the New York Rangers. Cigar-chomping GM Glen Sather and company were wheeling and dealing to strengthen the Blueshirts for a deep playoff push.

The mayhem started with news that the snow-soaked New Yorkers had acquired defenseman Keith Yandle from the Phoenix Arizona Coyotes, who was basking in the desert sunshine. All the Rangers had to give up was an arm, a leg, a pint of blood and a pound of flesh to get Yandle. The Rangers traded away John Moore, Anthony Duclair and a first round draft pick to the ‘Yotes. A steep price to pay for a defenseman that was minus 35, albeit for a terrible team. John Moore is a third line defenseman, but he’s 24-years-old and there’s definitely room for him to grow as a player. Anthony Duclair is a 19-year-old left winger that will make an impact in the NHL next year. He was the organisation’s (Candian Spelling) best prospect and now he will have the chance to shine – and sun – in Arizona.

New York Rangers v New Jersey DevilsIn Sather’s mind, the emergence of JT Miller rendered Duclair’s services on the wing redundant. Miller couldn’t crack the squad at the beginning of the season. Now he’s a regular on the third line. I still don’t think they should have traded Duclair but it will all be worth it if this season ends with the Rangers parading Lord Stanley’s Cup down the Canyon of Heroes.

Shortly after hearing about the Yandle trade, news started to spread that Lee Stempniak had been traded to Winnipeg for a minor leaguer and a bucket of practice pucks. This move was solely to clear salary and a roster spot for someone. Most people assumed correctly that it would be a center. But nobody thought it would be James Sheppard. I thought the Rangers would make a trade for Tyler Bozak with the Maple Leafs. Instead they traded for a fourth line centerman that can also play on the wing. The move provides face-off coverage for Dominic Moore and forces Tanner Glass to the healthy scratch list. Hopefully permanently.

KnicksWhen the trades were made and Mats Zuccarello was still a New York Ranger, it was only a matter of time before he signed a new contract. His new $18 million contract will keep him at the Garden until the summer of 2019. It’s a good deal for Zuc and the Rangers.

All of these moves leave the team in very strong position going forward this season. Yandle will provide cover at the back for Dan Boyle who has been a bit of a liability. He’ll also provide some offense and another option on the power play. Sheppard improves the Rangers’ faceoff abilities and hopefully marginalizes Tanner Glass. Mats Zuccarello should be at ease now with the new contract. Hopefully this translates into more goals for the first line.

HenrikThe missing piece is Henrik Lundqvist. He’s still out injured after taking a puck to the neck. He should be back in net in the next couple of weeks. The Rangers have 19 games left. You would like to see the King play in at least ten of them before the playoffs start. Cam Talbot has been stellar of late. If he keeps up this level of performance, it may create a problem for Alain Vigneault once Henrik is healthy. I still think Lundqvist should get his spot back, but stranger things have happened.

Ken-DrydenIn 1971 a kid out of Cornell University went to Montreal and played six games in net for the Canadiens. He played so well that he took the starting job from All-Star veteran Rogie Vachon. The Habs went on to win the Stanley Cup and that kid out of Cornell won the Conn Smythe trophy (playoff MVP). The next year, his official rookie season, he won the Calder Trophy for being rookie of the year. He’s the only player in history to win the Conn Smythe before winning the Calder Trophy. His name is Ken Dryden.

That’s all for now. Put your thoughts between the the pipes below and tune in tomorrow for Junoir Blaber, who likes flopping around in a net.

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About Different Matt 269 Articles
Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.