New York Rangers: Veteran Presence Provides No Presents
The New York Rangers often sought to add veteran presence at the NHL Trade Deadline. Whether it be Eric Staal or Ryane Clowe, those deals typically backfired against New York. This year the Rangers have no need for such players, and making a move for the sake of making a move would be disastrous.
The New York Rangers are one of the youngest teams in the NHL. After last year’s aging, “window is closing” team, that’s certainly a surprising thought to follow. Yet as the Rangers move forward in their quest for the cup, they are doing so behind ten lineup regulars 25 years old or younger.
With that, many are claiming the Rangers must add some veterans into the fray. Recently Scott Burnside of ESPN voiced an opinion of the sort:
This is the worst thing I have read with my own two eyes pic.twitter.com/8eT3ZtRWrX
— Brandon Cohen (@brandonco4) January 29, 2017
This line of thinking is misguided, and if the Rangers management follows it the team will worsen. Before we go into detail here, this is not an argument that the Rangers should avoid veterans at all costs. Brian Campbell would be a fine addition to the blueline, while Brian Boyle would be a nice add up front. The idea must not be to add veterans for the sake of adding veterans. That’s when disaster strikes.
The names Burnside suggests, for example, are awful fits on the Rangers roster. New York boasts a tremendous amount of forward depth, and any veteran forwards added would better serve the team as healthy scratches than as roster components. New York is not an old age home, nor a spot for aging veterans to pull a Gollum and try to find their ring.
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New York is a fringe-Stanley Cup contender, one that won’t likely win it all this season due to the defense. So by acquiring a veteran, the Rangers would be surrendering assets to help a player who seeks a ring most likely fail to get a ring. Even if the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, the role played by the veteran acquisition would be minimal at best.
Shane Doan is 40 years old and has four goals on the season. Jarome Iginla makes over $5 Million and owns 12 points on the season. The Rangers have an abundance of offensive talent, zero roster spots to give, and zero need for veteran presence.
While Dan Girardi and Marc Staal do not provide much talent, they are veterans. Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan may be 25 and 26 years old respectively, but they have already been to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Rangers have been there before. The Rangers are not an old age home, nor do they owe it to anyone to help a player go out on top. Assets are key, winning is key, and acquiring veteran presence brings nothing to the table.
Stay tuned in the coming days for additional Trade Deadline coverage.