New York Rangers Depth Needs To Be The Focus At Trade Deadline

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The New York Rangers may be only 2 points out of 1st place in the Metropolitan Division, with 3 games in hand, and only 3 points out of 1st in the entire Eastern Conference, but just like many other teams they have their fair share of flaws.

The Rangers flaws are depth at forward and defense.

With the trade deadline now less than a week away, Rangers’ GM Glen Sather needs to do his best to make good deals that will address the Rangers needs and help fix their flaws.

Last season, a big part of why the Rangers made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final was the play of their 4th line.  Their ability to produce offense and create mismatches was key for Rangers’ head coach Alain Vigneault to trust rolling all 4 lines throughout the entirety of games, in turn keeping players fresh.  This season, so far, Vigneault has not had that luxury…mostly because of Tanner Glass.

Signing Glass may have sounded like a disaster at the start but…wait, it’s still a disaster.  So far this season, in 46 games played, Glass has 0 goals, 1 assist, is a -15, and is statistically the worst possession player in the NHL today. To make matters worse, Glass is signed for 2 more years after this season, making $1.45 million per year.

I dislike the fact that I took up more space writing about Glass AGAIN, but I just do not get why the Rangers would give a player who has never had an impressive season in his career such a large contract and why Vigneault continues to start him.

But anyway, the forward depth that I am referring to, that the Rangers need to acquire before the trade deadline, is a 4th line winger to replace Glass and help give the Rangers’ 4th line an offensive boost and improve them overall.  A player like Mark Letestu should suffice.

As for the blue line, the Rangers are looking into acquiring a steady 6th defenseman to help solidify their defense.  All season long, Vigneault has platooned the 6th defenseman spot between John Moore and Matt Hunwick.  Ideally the Rangers want to have a permanent 6th defenseman with Hunwick as the 7th defenseman, making Moore the odd man out and a player most likely to be traded before the trade deadline.

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Who will be the player the Rangers get at the trade deadline, if any, to occupy that 6th defenseman spot?

I have no idea.  Especially now with Andrej Sekera off the board, but I know if the Rangers find a good deal out there that will solidify their defense, Sather will pull the trigger.  A name I have heard floating around is Jan Hejda of the Colorado Avalanche.

Bottom line is the Rangers do not need to make a big splash at the trade deadline but I do think they need to make a few small moves in order to improve their depth, at forward and defense, for the home stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.

Next: How are the Rangers Finding Success Without Henrik Lundqvist?

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