With a new season on the horizon, the New York Rangers look to bounce back from their mediocre performance in the shortened 2013 campaign. After they fell to the New Jersey Devils in a hard fought Eastern Conference Final in 2012, it was clear that they needed more playoff scoring from their stars. Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards combined for a measly 11 goals. This forced general manager Glen Sather to get on the phone with former Columbus Blue Jackets’ GM Scott Howson. That phone conversation resulted in a trade for rugged forward Rick Nash. In return for Nash, the Jackets recieved forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defensive prospect Tim Erixon and a 2013 first-round draft pick.
Nash’s first regular season with New York was quite a good one. He tallied 42 points in 44 games (21 G, 21 A.) Because of his great performance in the 48 game season, many fans thought he would be able to carry those numbers into the postseason. That wasn’t the case however. The 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs saw Nash total only 5 points in 12 games. Of those 5 points, only 1 was a goal, which came in the Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Boston Bruins.
The shortened regular season also brought about a huge shock on the Trade Deadline. Many people weren’t expecting New York to do much. In the early afternoon however, NHL network reported that the Rangers and their friendly foe the Blue Jackets struck a deal for forward Marian Gaborik. I was just as shocked as the next guy. In return for Gaborik, New York recieved forwards Derek Dorsett and Derick Brassard, defenseman John Moore, and a 2014 sixth-round draft pick.
With the additions of Nash and Brassard, their offense now has tremendous depth. Something they haven’t had in years. Today, I will be breaking down the players by position, and also giving you my line predictions for the upcoming season. So let’s get to it.