New York Rangers could Replace Nash with The Young Talent


New York Rangers Rick Nash should be Let Go

The New York Rangers have spent a lot of money on Rick Nash, but none of that currency has translated into points on the ice. With the Rangers in dire need of young talent, there are many options and different avenues they can take to acquire younger players. The easiest path to young talent is created by dumping an older player, like Eric Staal, and using that money to go out and sign a young player, who has yet to prove their worth in the NHL, to a short-term deal as a type of test run.

However, the New York Rangers have been vocal in their expectations and those expectations are to remain competitive next season. In order to maintain and meet these expectations, the front office will need to not only bring young players onto the squad, but these young player will need to be tried and true.

The market value of these caliber players will go through the roof this off-season, so the New York Rangers must rid themselves of older and overpaid players to have a shot at acquiring a young star. To make this possible Gorton needs to refrain from offering contract extensions to veteran unrestricted free agents. If Gorton does refrain from writing up extensions, the New York Rangers may clear enough CAP space to make room for an unrestricted free agent like Steven Stamkos.

Stamkos in a New Blue Sweater

Steven Stamkos is an All-Star and he would solve a lot of the New York Rangers issues. He can score, he is active in front of the net and has proven he is worth a large paycheck. All characteristics that Rick Nash has failed to prove.

Rick Nash’s contract currently takes up $7,800,000 in CAP space. Steven Stamkos on the other hand, takes up $7,500,000 of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s CAP space.

Now, if the New York Rangers were able to acquire Stamkos, he would obviously ask for more than his current salary. How much more is hard to say. His value will be dictated by general managers around the league during this upcoming off-season. GMs everywhere will soon calculate figures that they believe will produce a positive return-on-investment before approaching Stamkos, which will be a pretty penny.

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What the New York Rangers have going for them, ironically, are their elderly unrestricted free agents. Dan Boyle is out, Dominic Moore will most likely be leaving the team, Keith Yandle is hated as much as he is loved and Rick Nash, although he is not an unrestricted free agent, may still be cherished by a few front offices, even though he has yet to prove he is worth a small fortune.

If the New York Rangers start talking to Steven Stamkos as soon as possible, they may be able to show him the light that is MSG. For this to become a legitimate idea, Rick Nash needs to be traded in order to guarantee the Rangers have enough CAP space to make this viable solution possible. The New York Rangers should not just dump Nash off to the first bid, but they should not harp on acquiring a big name player. Instead, they should focus on substituting Nash for a player that compliments Stamkos and the Rangers overall style of play. This would make the move up the coast more intriguing to Stamkos.

The biggest name the Rangers could drop to clear space for Stamkos is Keith Yandle. However, the Blueshirts should only entertain the idea of cutting Yandle if, and only if they can guarantee the acquisition of a player like Stamkos. Yandle has created offense for the Rangers via assists. He recorded the most assists this season for the Blueshirts and the team cannot afford to just throw that away.

Next: New York Rangers Up for Contract - Restricted Free Agents

Wishful thinking, or Realistic Possibility

I am aware I will be crucified for thinking this is even possible and for saying that the New York Rangers should try to hold onto Yandle, but there is a chance this could happen. If it does, the Rangers would gain a player with a ton of talent who is also still in his prime. Stamkos is only 26 and could become the face of any franchise he finds himself with for an extended period of time.

The New York Rangers had zero net-front-presence for most of the season and no team will ever win a Cup missing such a key component. Gaining a player like Steven Stamkos can make the Rangers competitive again, not just competitive in the sense of making the playoffs as a six seed, they would be able to go toe-to-toe with teams like the Penguins, Capitals, and Islanders again. All rival teams that dominated the New York Rangers, both in the regular and postseason this year.

It might be an outlandish statement, but the New York Rangers may have the opportunity to make Steven Stamkos a member of their team and if they do, no matter how they do it, MSG will welcome him with open arms once fans witness his impact on both sides of the ice.