So with the season heartbreakingly over, what do the New York Rangers do now? They made it to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost by a razor thin margin, as close as possible in a five game series. There were three overtime contests, with two requiring double sessions. They also led in most games of the series. I know much has been written that the Los Angeles Kings ultimately were better, but when things are that close, I am going to say that the errant or missed call can provide the margin of difference. The Rangers suffered from both of those.
This valiant team went farther than the mighty 2012 group who fell two games short to the New Jersey Devils in the Conference Finals. After that year, General Manager Glen Sather made several moves which essentially had the effect of breaking up the team. He believed that extra scoring punch was needed even at the expense of our most dogged fore checkers. In the lockout year that followed, the team appeared less competitive, not more.
Now the Rangers are faced with a similar inclination, to add scoring, a player or two who can bury the puck into those apparent open nets. I’d like to declare that this team should be preserved as much as possible! This valiant Ranger group almost went all the way. The games were often described as ones that “could have gone either way.” One Ryan McDonagh post shot that goes in, and/or one Chris Kreider breakaway that finds the net and the Rangers are the Kings.
The looming salary cap is an issue. This is largely solved by the Rangers using their last buyout on Brad Richards. Even he admitted he was not making the necessary plays during the Finals. An upgrade to his position, while preserving the rest of the team as much as possible is the best option.
This is a winning team, with a winning formula. Now let’s add to that their experience of what it takes to come as far as they did. It would be heresy to roll the dice again and break them up.