Just because the rebuild is ahead of schedule doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be all-in on a trip to the Stanley Cup this year.
The New York Rangers have a good core that is signed long-term together. Igor Shesterkin in net, Barclay Goodrow, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, and Mika Zibanejad, upfront make up a great group. Plus the blue line led by Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba, Ryan Lindgren, and Patrik Nemeth who all are signed for at least the next three years.
The Rangers are a good team, and they have a great group of young prospects that are going to make the jump to the NHL during the next few years.
One thing that doesn’t have to happen right now is buying in for a championship run. The Rangers have their first-round pick and two seconds for this upcoming draft. I wouldn’t be moving those unless the situation added a player for the future like Jakob Chychrun.
Buying at the deadline usually involves giving up a lot of assets because you are in a win-now mode. While the success in New York has been great, I don’t think it really is a win-now mode for the franchise. If a trade presents itself the future also needs to be in mind for Chris Drury and the management in New York.
The Rangers are projected to have 9.7 million in cap space for next season, and they still have a lot of players on expiring contracts that they are going to have to make a decision about. Guys like Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko are going to need contracts this summer, and adding rentals or more big-time contracts is not going to make that situation any easier.
This is a great year for the Rangers to get back into the playoffs and get some experience, but buying in for a championship is just not the right move for this team. Next year or the year after that is a different conversation though.
The Rangers’ next game is on Thursday night against San Jose.