Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rangers Winners Amongst Atlantic Division During Summer?

Dan Rosen, at NHL.com, took a look at the offseason changes made by teams in the Atlantic Division. 

The big fish came to the Big Apple, giving the Rangers the bona fide No. 1 center and power-play quarterback they've been looking for.
Richards signing his nine-year, $60-million contract to become a Ranger highlighted the team's offseason moves. The hope is that Richards and Marian Gaborik show immediate chemistry together to give the Rangers one of the best one-two punches in the NHL.

Discussing Richards and the hopes for what he will bring to New York as the highlight of the Rangers offseason is to be expected and certainly warranted.  However, Rosen goes further and acknowledges the importance of avoiding arbitration with Dubinsky and expects the Rangers to do the same with Callahan.  While Callahan is the expected next captain, Rosen cited both Callahan and Dubinsky as major components to the leadership core for New York.

The only work he says the Rangers had to complete was adding depth on defense, but they did that yesterday by bringing back Steve Eminger.  Eminger should quell the calls for the Rangers need to add an older defender and one with more NHL experience; at least for now.

With the Isles and Devils doing little other than hoping their young are ready to step in and produce for them, and the Flyers blowing things up by trading Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, the Rangers additions certainly have them improving more than those three.  The Penguins getting Crosby and Malkin back, if at their previous form, would still make them the big winners of the summer compared to how the respective teams finished last year.