Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 7/24/12
Yesterday marked the beginning of a new journey, one that for the New York Rangers will include a Stanley Cup championship at the end of the 2012-13 season if things work according to plan. By pulling the trigger and acquiring Rick Nash for solid yet expendable players in Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon, Glen Sather has maintained key young players and added a stud—still in his prime—to the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Henrik Lundqvist.

Broadway has become Stanley Cup or bust. But, as the team does on a nightly basis, it was done the right way.

It's not your father's Rangers, by bringing in over the hill players to bloated contracts and assembling a virtual All-Star lineup. Those days are long gone. The mantra is now developing assets from within that either contribute to the success of the team (Callahan, Staal, Griardi) or help bring in other pieces that will (Nash).  

Make no mistake, while Nash will play second fiddle to other stars and provide pure offense, the Rangers will greatly miss the contributions of both Dubinsky and Anisimov next season.

Dubinsky, 26, was a heart and soul player similar to Callahan in that he would sacrifice what was necessary to win and play at maximum effort—instantly making him a fan favorite. Making it difficult to watch leave, too. He brings size, quality puck possession and great penalty killing skills. However, at $4.2 million per season, there's an expectation of offense, and Dubinsky was devoid of it all season. While a bounce back was certainly possible, Dubinsky was a necessary casualty to bring in a player of Nash's calibre.

Anisimov, 24, still has time to develop into a solid, two-way player, but was too inconsistent for New York's liking. One game, he'd be playing on a top line along side Gaboirk and displaying the talent he possess—other's he'd be buried in the bottom six. Artie may be given a bigger role and flourish in Columbus, but for him to be included in a deal for Rick Nash shows other hockey executives shows how valuable both players are.

Losing both will be a blow to the team, but the Rangers's cupboard is stocked from top to bottom.

Looking at the Rangers now, their top six includes Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik (when healthy), Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan. That's about as solid a group as you can ask for—a great mixture of proven NHL talent mixed in with youthful energy, intensity and grit. Adding to that one of the defense corps consisting of Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto (if signed) and lead by Ryan McDonagh and, arguably, the best goalie in the NHL in Henrik Lundqvist, Sather's offseason message is clear—last season's failures on offense and almost making the Stanley Cup Final were not acceptable.

2012-2013 marks the ascension to bringing a Stanley Cup back to Madison Square Garden a bit quicker than anticipated. Make no mistake—it's a great time to be a Rangers fan.

Follow me on Twitter @TheWrage or Facebook. E-mail me with any questions or comments at jwrabel9@hotmail.com.
 
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