The New York Rangers may have made three moves over the course of Sunday's opening of free agency in the NHL, but those three moves made them little progress in respect to what is needed by this club for the next season. The re-signing of Stu Bickel and additions of Arron Asham and Micheal Haley bring a degree of toughness to the team that they lost to the Montreal Canadiens in Brandon Prust, but toughness was not the main criteria in the management meetings going into July 1, 2012. Depth on offense and defense was, and neither of those were touched upon yesterday.
Now a general manager's offseason performance cannot be judged based on just one day of work. If that were the case, then Rangers GM Glen Sather would only have Mike Rupp to be proud of from the summer of 2011. Obviously that is not the case because he would later ink marquee center Brad Richards in the following days.
Will that be the case again this year? Will Sather pull out another earth-shattering move in the aftermath of the free agent frenzy? There are certainly no promises, but he is going to be trying. Remember, before this all began, he was quoted on saying that the Rangers, as an organization, were going to go into this process as hungry as can be. Considering they haven't made any sort of big splash just yet, it would be wise to assume that the best is yet to come..... at least we hope.
The name still floating around out there is Rick Nash, who doesn't appear to be going anywhere if it isn't the Rangers. Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is holding similar, if not the same demands as he was when trying to trade the star power forward before the trade deadline in the Winter. The Rangers did not bite then and they are not going to bite now. Ryan McDonagh is not being traded, nor is Chris Kreider, but Howson cannot seem to get that through his thick head.
To be quite honest, I don't see the Nash deal coming to fruition. If it was going to happen, it would've been done by now. Actually, it would've been done much earlier in the year when the Blueshirts offered a mega-package including Brandon Dubinsky just before the deadline. Rick Nash is likely going to remain a Blue Jacket.
But that surely doesn't mean Glen Sather should just throw in the towel and hit the beaches for the summer just yet. If the Rangers want to take a step ahead of what they accomplished in 2011-12, they need to be better, and right now their roster isn't showing any signs of that happening. The offense remains shallow and the defense lacks a consistent puck-mover.
Get on those phones, Slats, because your work is far from done.