On Wednesday, the New York Rangers made waves at the NHL Trade deadline of 3 pm EST. Martin St. Louis was obtained from the Tampa Bay Lightning. With this move, the Rangers have solidified their offense by adding the 38 year-old right-winger. He doesn’t offer size, standing at 5’8, but it’s his offensive strengths that make him valuable. Entering today, St. Louis has accumulated 61 points from 29 goals and 32 assists. This ranks him eighth in NHL scoring this season. The defending Art Ross trophy winner from last season, an award given to the leading NHL point scorer, makes the Rangers a strong contender.
So how does St. Louis affect the Rangers? One, the team’s top six forwards have been finalized. Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards, and now St. Louis are legitimate scoring threats. The difficulty is the consistency for these players. As we have seen through this season, goals are hard to come by. However, when the time is right, their scoring touch can make gold. Hopefully with the addition of St. Louis, he will be able to push others to be better. He adds an extra offensive threat to a team that desperately needs it. Since the Olympic break, the Rangers have scored at least two goals twice. As of Wednesday night, the Rangers’ record is 1-2-1. Fortunately, the players appear to have responded positively since the acquisition, on Wednesday.
Two, St. Louis brings his playoff and championship experience to the Big Apple. He has played in 36 playoff games, winning the Stanley Cup in 2004. That year, Richards and St. Louis were the cornerstones of a Lightning team that was under, then head coach, John Tortarella. Hopefully, the reunion of these two will bring championship magic to the Madison Square Garden ice and a new chapter in Rangers’ lore will be made.
In another trade, defenseman Raphael Diaz was acquired from the Vancouver. The 28 year-old Swiss native was originally signed by the Montreal Canadians in 2011. Undrafted, he signed a two-way contract and made his NHL début against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October sixth of the same year. He scored his first NHL goal 12 days later against the Buffalo Sabres. He also appeared in the 2012 All-Star game, as a member of one of the rookie teams. Through 134 NHL games, Diaz has accumulated five goals and 38 assists.
Though, it may be too soon to see what affect Diaz will have on the Rangers’ blue line, he does provide NHL experience. Although he is not considered an offensive threat or a shut down defenseman, he does provide immediate depth for Vigneault. Most of the defensive prospects in Hartford are still young and inexperienced. Perhaps, Sather sees Diaz as a temporary solution, especially if the Rangers are to make the playoffs.
Time will tell what these two players will bring. We of the Rangers’ nation, will be watching.