Since taking over for Glen Sather in 2015, New York Rangers’ General Manager Jeff Gorton has made his share of questionable moves. Some of those transactions have negatively impacted the Rangers both now and in the future.
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree for the New York Rangers’ front office. Like his predecessor Glen Sather, Jeff Gorton takes a backseat each season. The more he does this, the more his team gets hurt and it shows especially now. Sitting out of a playoff spot is due in part to both poor coaching and management. While Jeff Gorton’s job is in no well-known danger, he needs to start acting like it’s on the line.
Let’s take a look at his performance so far in his tenure.
It’s safe to say Jeff Gorton has not done so well on the trade front so far in his tenure.
Other than acquiring Mika Zibanejad, most of the major trades the Rangers made have been lackluster. The first of these flops is the infamously terrible Eric Staal trade. New GM, same old story, the Rangers gave up talented prospects and draft picks to acquire an aging player with little to offer. Staal ended up leaving the Rangers as a UFA at the end of that year and the team was left with an even worse farm system with little depth.
In terms of costing the Rangers long term, the Nick Holden trade wasn’t bad. But looking at it now, it was still pretty costly. Jeff Gorton maybe believed Holden would just be an extra defenseman, but if that’s the case, giving up a fourth-round pick for the Nick Holden we all know and love seems like a bit much.
The Derek Stepan trade is all Gorton’s fault since he caused it. Gorton gave Stepan the money and the no-trade clause. Realizing that the return on Stepan would not be as ideal because of this, Gorton panicked and managed to get the seventh overall pick (Lias Andersson) and Tony DeAngelo. While we don’t know how Andersson will pan out, DeAngelo and his poor stats are making him look like a bust.
Gorton is usually smart with his dealings of the salary cap in terms of his UFA dealings. This is probably because he has his MIT mathematicians doing that work for him. On a personal basis, the players signed are solid additions to the team.
Most recently, Gorton signed Kevin Shattenkirk to a really safe, four-year deal that doesn’t make the Rangers overextend themselves too much. While they are paying a pretty penny, Gorton this time saw a need and filled it with a well-known player. That is something the Rangers have not been able to do in a while.
For years, there has been a major disconnect between the Rangers players, coaches, and management. Since taking over for Glen Sather in 2015, Jeff Gorton has taken the same approaches of his predecessor. From the coaching staff, the players, and now management, this Rangers team needs a rejuvenation.
If the team continues on this track of the same vicious cycle repeating itself, the Rangers will have no hope in a future where there is a Stanley Cup parade in the Canyon of Heroes.