Found December 18, 2013 on Blue Seat Blogs:
All eyes are on Glen Sather Alain Vigneault was hired to win a Stanley Cup.  That’s not just a cliche that every coach says to endear himself to fans, it’s the truth of the matter.  After John Tortorella followed up an Eastern Conference Finals appearance with a second round playoff exit last year, GM Glen Sather determined that a new head man was needed to push the Blueshirts over the top and capture hockey’s ultimate prize. Vigneault, who came within a single game of winning the Cup in 2011, was viewed as the man that could get more out of the team’s offense to go with its trademark top goalie and stellar defense.  But just six months after Sather made the coaching switch, his team is much further away from winning it all than when Vigneault arrived. That’s not all Vigneault’s fault – the Rangers just don’t have the personnel to play his style, which has proven to be very effective in the past.  Still, it’s the reality of the situation over 40% of the way through the season, and there aren’t any quick fixes on the horizon. Sure, it’s still early enough that the club’s most important players could turn their seasons around and lead the team’s playoff push.  But it’s probably more likely that the team’s struggles continue and the Rangers fall short of the postseason (that’s based on personal observation and a very convincing trend). So what should be the team’s course of action should things continue like this for the next month or two?  Some have suggested that Sather deal pending unrestricted free agents like Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan to gather younger talent in return for soon to be very expensive veterans, several of whom are displaying concerning signs for their future anyway.  The logic is that the Rangers still have several key core pieces and might not be terribly far off from their old trajectory, but the injection of a few more Vigneault-type players could make a huge difference. That’s really not a silly way of looking at things, but it would be a surprise if Sather chose to go that route.  Remember, Vigneault was billed as the missing piece, not a man the team would have to be rebuilt around.  To rebuild is to fail, to give up to many fans, and Sather can’t afford to do that. Not after the dark years at the beginning of his tenure, not after going all-in on Vigneault and declining to buy out Brad Richards.  Sather has done an outstanding job in general in recent years and deserves praise for dramatically altering his team-building philosophy, but no matter what owner James Dolan has said about Sather’s future in New York, the pressure is building.  This is New York, after all, and fans expect only the best.  With the 2011-2012 club so close to the top of the mountain, Sather took a huge gamble by changing bench bosses. It’s far more likely that Sather will desperately seek to add pieces on the fly this year to give Vigneault as many tools as possible to make that gamble pay-off.  It could come at the expense of some youngsters and draft picks, but that’s the likely outlook.  Desperation moves rarely pay off, but Sather has already gone all-in and it’s pretty unusual to push all your chips to the middle of the table and then back off. Tweet

Practice notes: New lines; Pyatt, McIlrath appear to be scratches

Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers have new lines at practice and appear to be dressing 12 forwards and 6 defensemen: Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash Brad Richards-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello Taylor Pyatt/Benoit Pouliot-Brian Boyle-Arron Asham Carl Hagelin-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi John Moore-Justin Falk/Dylan McIlrath...

Rick Nash needs to make a statement

Will the real Rick Nash please stand up. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas) When the Rangers traded for Rick Nash it was with the intention of finding their offensive saviour. It hasn’t happened. The Rangers still struggle to score goals consistently and while Nash has flashed his obvious and undoubted brilliance he hasn’t (yet) been the player the Rangers were looking for. Nash’s first...

Kreider Coming of Age

It wasn’t long ago, about seven weeks and 27 games ago in fact, that Ranger fans were wondering whether Chris Kreider would ever live up to his immense potential. With the Rangers struggling to score goals and with top offensive threat Rick Nash sidelined due to concussion, Kreider lingered in Hartford where he could do […]

Should Rangers trade Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi?

The New York Rangers play their 35th game of the NHL season tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins and it seems time to discuss whether it makes sense to trade potential unrestricted free agents Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan. That notion would have seemed ludicrous three months ago, but the Rangers have seemed out of sync and Callahan and particularly Girardi don’t seem to be...

STYLE: Henrik Lundqvist Sports Coolest Winter Coats For Forbes Magazine

Forbes Life hooked-up with New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist for their December 2013 Issue. Henrik’s feature for Forbes included a chic photo shoot on an icy set here in NYC, where Henrik (who is known for his impeccable sense of style) was clothed in a series of the winter’s coolest looks. This fantastic feature also covers Henrik’s ongoing success with the NY Rangers...

Rangers Still Trying To Move Del Zotto

from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report, Meanwhile, New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather continues to shop defenceman Michael Del Zotto.  Toronto is among the teams with some interest, but the expected return of a young defenceman may be too steep for the Leafs. It's believed the Rangers would prefer a right-handed shot on the blue line, so Cody Franson is...

A twisted Tuesday for goalies

Mackenzie Skapski ( was a frustrating Tuesday for 2 of the goalie prospects of the New York Rangers and New York Islanders as 1 got stuck with a loss in relief and the other played well despite it being an exhibition game.First Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th) took a shootout loss when he gave up 1 goal in the shootout to the Lethbridge Hurricanes losing 5-4. Skapski came...

Vancouver GM Not Happy With Play Which Injured Ryan Stanton

John Tortorella announced earlier today defenseman Ryan Stanton is out for weeks due to this play a few days ago (watch it here). Now via Matthew Sekeres tweets, Mike Gillis says he has a problem with the play Tuesday in Minnesota where Ryan Stanton injures ankle going into end boards. Says the NHL went to hybrid icing to avoid such injuries to defencemen. More GIllis...

Dreger: Cody Franson a potential target

On today’s Dreger Report, Darren Dreger noted that the Rangers are still shopping Michael Del Zotto, and that the Leafs are still a potential fit. Since the Rangers are looking for a right-handed shot on the blue line, Cody Franson is the name that Dreger has thrown out as a potential target. Dreger also mentions that Jake Gardiner is being shopped by the Leafs. If I had a choice...

Game 35: Penguins vs. Rangers

Wah After an ugly win against Calgary, where the Rangers made some baby steps in the right direction, the Metropolitan Division leading Pittsburgh Penguins are in town. The Pens are beaten up, with half of their defense (Orpik, Martin, Scuderi) and two key scorers (Malkin, Neal) either injured or suspended. If you’re going to catch Pittsburgh at any point, now is the time to catch...

Lundqvist OK after collision

It was a scary moment, one that saw the Rangers season lying on the Garden ice in a heap. That would be franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who was part of a massive collision with Penguins forward Chris Kunitz early in the overtime period of what would result in a 4-3 shootout win for Pittsburgh. Kunitz went hard to the net, shot a soft backhand that Lundqvist stopped, and then...

Islanders-Rangers Preview

New York's archrival hockey teams continue to disappoint, failing to live up to expectations a season after each turned in solid performances in the playoffs. The Rangers, losers of five of six, look to deal the Islanders their 14th defeat in 15 games when they meet Friday night at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers (16-17-2) replaced coach John Tortorella with Alain Vigneault...

RECAP: Game 36. Pens beat Rangers 4-3.

The narrative for the first 45 minutes:  You simply had to be in a completely different mind-set to find a game like that entertaining. If you went in with the sole intention of analyzing the play of all of the Pens’ young money, then this game was for you. If you wanted an entertaining hockey game in general, it didn’t fit the bill.   The narrative for the last...

Ryan Wilson: #JagrBomb For History + Penguins Defeat Rangers 4-3 In Shootout

Follow me on twitter Follow @GunnerStaal !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); The Pittsburgh Penguins...

Ranger Rumor Roundup

Maybe it’s because they are a high-profile, big-market team always looking to make a splash in their annual chase for a championship. Or perhaps it’s due to impatience and a lack of faith in their current direction. Regardless of why, the New York Rangers often appear front and center in nearly every trade or free […]
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