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The future isn’t exactly terrible for the Rangers

May 26, 2012, 2:02 PM EDT

Brandon Prust, Mike Rupp, Chris Kreider Getty Images

We know the Rangers and their fans are bumming out hard today after seeing their team eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals by their rival Devils, but there is good reason to stay positive. It’s all about the future.

Chris Kreider made headlines coming right out of college at all of 20-years-old. Derek Stepan and Michael Del Zotto are both 21. Ryan McDonagh is 22. Artem Anisimov and Carl Hagelin are both 23. That’s a lot of future star potential getting their first big taste of the NHL playoffs and what it takes to win.

Coach John Tortorella tells reporters last night he’s really proud of them but knows there is more work to be done.

“We’re still a young club. We still have quite a bit to learn as far as the desperation, when you get to this third round. I just don’t want us to — and you hear it so much, and I won’t accept it. You know, you won a couple of rounds. You got into the third round. That isn’t good enough. We still have to find a way to win another round and get there.”

Luckily for Tortorella and the young Rangers, losing can help spur some players and teams on to greater things. For now, these growing pains hurt but it could mold the Rangers into having an even brighter future.

  1. lordfletcher - May 26, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    it’s time to trade for Nash or someone, push all of your chips in for next years Stanley cup. Keep Kreider and add thru free agency if possible… Smart move not trading for Nash at the deadline

    —Wild fan

    • teaspoon1731 - May 26, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      I’m pretty sure the point of the article was that they have a good young team now, not that they need to go out and add star power to compete.

      Should they have traded for Nash? Maybe. But what they would have had to give up was pretty huge, and you can’t guarentee he would have been a difference maker in the playoffs.

      • brian32556 - May 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM

        There wasn’t a reply button after your comment: “Kreider hadn’t even signed by the deadline, so how were they gonna trade him?”

        They were going to trade the rights to sign him.

    • lordfletcher - May 26, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      that wasn’t sarcasm BTW. It was really smart not trading Kreider at the deadline, just didn’t work out this year.

      • teaspoon1731 - May 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Kreider hadn’t even signed by the deadline, so how were they gonna trade him?

  2. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    And don’t forget they have balls to !

  3. danphipps01 - May 26, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Problem is, their window is tiny. All those young guys are going to need hefty raises in the next couple of years, and the Rangers still have a couple of Sather contracts hanging over their heads. If Dubinsky doesn’t earn every penny of that contract next year, that’s one problem, and like I said in an earlier article, Gaborik’s not pulling his weight. If anything, they should try to pitch Gaborik for prospects and cap space – they’ll need it to keep that stellar young D corps together, and Kreider looks like he just might be up to the challenge of filling in the offensive hole he would leave. Either way, they need the money to resign Del Zotto and Stralman, and at the end of next season, Stepan, Hagelin, McDonagh and Sauer are up too. Push comes to shove… that $7.5m is better-used on them than Gaborik.

    • danphipps01 - May 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      I don’t mean to paint the situation as dire. It’s not. The core of this team is fantastic. But they’ve got a lot of guys on rookie contracts and those are all ending soon. What Gaborik brings just doesn’t equal what the kids are bringing. So he probably needs to be seen out the door.

      • stakex - May 26, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        You know, right this minute I agree with you. It was very frustrating watching how bad he played the entire playoffs and I might be very happy to see him gone in the offseason. However he still was a large part of why the Rangers were the top seed in the east, and its hard to let a 40 goal scorer walk.

        I think the Rangers are better off trying to get rid of Dubinsky, see what they can get at the deadline, and watch and see how Kreider develops next year. If Kreider ends up being a super star himself, Gaborik is more expendable.

    • dte421 - May 26, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      If they resign Stralman, I’ll lose my mind. He’s an absolutely terrible defensive player who doesn’t fit the Torts system, and his offensive game doesn’t offset that. He made multiple defensive mistakes that led directly to goals in these playoffs, and his refusal to get physical in front of the net is a killer. He’s one of the first players from this team I’d want to see gone, followed by Fedentenko and Eminger (Both UFA’s).

      Extend Del Zotto (an RFA), try and get out from under the poor Dubinsky contract, and look for a short term veteran scorer for depth. Maybe even knock on the door with the Pens and Jordan Staal.

      • danphipps01 - May 26, 2012 at 8:25 PM

        Interesting thought. Staal would be a fantastic fit in their system, and they’d be absurdly stacked through centre with Richards, Boyle and Stepan in addition to him. Makes Dubinsky thoroughly expendable, which is really only beneficial to the Rangers at this point.

    • jkay1818 - May 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      Their window isn’t that small. Most of their guys are locked up, the yr they all become free agents is the yr they’ll let gaborik walk, if they don’t trade him sooner. Have you seen all the cap room the rangers can play with for the next five yrs? Pair that with kids like Christian Thomas, st croix, miller, erixon and mcilrath waiting in the wings and this team has a Bright future. They even have enough to snag both parise and surer this yr. my guess is they’ll go for Souter and hope sauer returns smoothly. That would be an insane 6 on d. Gives them a chance to move del zotto, mcilrath or erixon in a blockbuster. They have a variety of things they can do.

      • jkay1818 - May 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        Nice job iPad, corrected Suter two different ways

      • dte421 - May 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        Erixon is a big key. Either using him as a trading chip or giving them the chance to move DZ.

      • danphipps01 - May 26, 2012 at 8:29 PM

        Ach. You got me. Good point about Erixon, he completely slipped my mind. Yeah, with that in mind, Stralman’s not worth the trouble. His offense is valuable, but not on a team that emphasizes defense first like New York.

  4. kangarooparm - May 26, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Parise will sign with Rangers. Sather covets him. Zach will astutely recognize that the Rangers are on the cusp of a solid 5 year run, whereas Devs have an aging star goaltender and well documented financial issues (a long run in the always helps the business side of things). NYR figures out a way to move Gaborik’s 2 years remaining and signs Zach. Where would you rather sign a long term deal? It makes sense from the business side and from the hockey angle.

    • danphipps01 - May 26, 2012 at 8:32 PM

      I’d love to hear how you figure a team in dire financial straits would come to a point where they’re willing to spring for a $7.5m skill forward who’s only played up to that value maybe once and vanishes in the playoffs. The Parise-to-NY argument makes sense, you’re right on that, but the Devils would be insane to take fifteen million dollars of hit-or-miss scoring and no backchecking worthy of mention. Gaborik’s moveable, but not to a team that needs to budget carefully.

      • jkay1818 - May 27, 2012 at 12:41 AM

        They can sign parise without moving gaborik. They can even sign Suter and parise without moving gaborik, I think he meant move gaborik in general, not to nj. I’m all for dumping him if they can get a solid 20 goal guy and some picks or two players of value. I can also see them moving Dubis contract and adding pieces to get Nash. That essentially only makes Nash a 3 mill per yr cap hit. With their young talent, cap room and trade bait, the possibiliities are almost limitless for the rangers. I keep seeing people comment that now he’s in the cup parise would never leave. That team has so much financial trouble, and it’s an aging team with no ceiling. The rangers are a lot younger and have more potential in the long run. Kind of like the devils team in 94 who lost to an aging rangers team and then went on to make a bunch of cups.

      • lomo1014 - May 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM

        I’m all for getting rid of gabork; problem is that he has a no-trade clause. He would have to agree to any trade… So, unless it’s a team that has a better shot than NYR in a better city than NY, I don’t see a gaborik trade happening.

      • lordfletcher - May 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        Gaborik isn’t going anywhere ladies, settle down.

  5. bcisleman - May 29, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    The Rangers do have some nice young players–although Stepan and Hagelin didn’t really show up. They also have two star forwards–although one of them failed to show either.

    Fact is that when all is said and done, the Rangers rise or fall based upon HL. As long as he is healthy and is in form, they will contend. They better hope that Gordie Clark can find another goalie prospect like him, because once he’s done, they will be in tough shape otherwise.

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