Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
New-york-rangers-new-york
A year ago, the New York Rangers were feared by every other team in the N.H.L . Their style of play using body checks and young speed in front of Lundqvist allowed them to punish their opponents. If they didn’t bring the intensity at the start someone (Brandon Prust most likely) would drop the gloves and the Rangers game came back to life. After this dismal locked out season, the Blueshirts have lost their identity and are in search of a new one that provides them with offense. Where the Rangers started to go down hill was losing their toughest player, Brandon Prust summer 2012. He’s not the biggest guy in the league, however he had the most fights in the N.H.L. in 2011-2012. Prust would sacrifice his body in order for his team to gain some momentum and it worked. Unfortunately for the Rangers, he was an UFA after 2012 and was offered a $10 million contract from the Canadians. A huge step up from his previous deal of $800,000 you can’t blame him for taking that deal. You also can’t blame New York for letting him go, Prust is not worth $10 million. So they lose Prust and get back on track in the 2012 offseason to grab Rick Nash by trading key Ranger role players in Dubinsky and Anisimov. After a disappointing season from the two, trading Dubinsky’s grit and Anisimov’s finesse it was a fair deal. When the Rangers traded Dubi, they also traded their last hope of using a physical style of play to find success. The Rangers need Nash to put up points and he was successful this year with 42 points, second behind Derek Stepan. However, the original idea was for Nash to work alongside Gaborik and Richards. With Gaborik gone, even with a lackluster season the Rangers trade to add more depth wasn’t enough to make a deep playoff run. Brad Richards is another story as he looked lost in almost every game he played this season, especially failing to lead the pathetic power play. He couldn’t keep up with the pace of the N.H.L and the bad news for Richards is the game isn’t getting any slower and he’s not getting any younger. Richards, who was expected to be bought out to save the Rangers a risk of taking a massive cap hit and being stuck with another Chris Drury. He’s still eligible for a buyout after 2013-2014 so it is up to him to determine his future. The last act was firing John Tortorella  and basically swapping coaches with the hiring of Alain Vigneault Vancouver’s former head coach. Taking out Torts’s hard hitting and constant fore checking system out of the organization provides a clean slate for the Rangers to find a new way to utilize their talent. What Vigneault will bring to the table is a mystery but he may want to start with the extra man. The Rangers have been busy this offseason, locking up Ryan McDonough long term with a six year deal and bringing back Carl Hagelin for another two. They still need to sign team point leader Derek Stepan who will be essential for another winning season in New York. Also, the Rangers need to give Hank an extension, on of the best goalie in the world and a fierce. If the Rangers fail to make a run and the King is not signed don’t be surprised if he tests the market hard.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Report: Bucs to keep Vincent Jackson under current contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

Nuggets break team huddle with countdown to end of season

WATCH: James Harden kicks LeBron in the groin

Jim Harbaugh tells Madonna he respects her toughness

Are the Oakland Raiders finally trending up?

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.