New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather has shown that he is all in this season with some key acquisitions before the NHL trade deadline. The saying goes, you have give in order to get, and did Glen Sather do just that. From strengthening his blueline to adding depth to his bottom six, the Rangers have definitely upped the ante in the Metropolitan Division and are considered bigger contenders for the Stanley Cup.
Perhaps the biggest addition to have his name in lights on Broadway is Arizona Coyote’s defenseman Keith Yandle. The twenty eight year old lefty defenseman, was told he was headed for the big city on Sunday afternoon. Sather dealt away defenseman John Moore, prospect Anthony Duclair, a 2015 second round pick, and a 2016 first round pick. While some may say the GM has dealt away quite a hefty amount in order to get one of the most offensively talented defenseman in the league, it was a smart move by both parties. Yandle lead Arizona with the most points, (41). With a three solid pairings, the Rangers are now considered to have the best backend in the entire NHL. Yandle will probably be paired with Dan Boyle, and may even see some time with Marc Staal as well.
Next, Sather acquired James Sheppard from the San Jose Sharks for a 2016 fourth round pick. Sheppard brings grit to the lineup and can play wing or center. Currently, he has a face-off percentage of 50%. This season, in fifty seven games, he has five goals and sixteen points. He usually averages around thirteen minutes a game as well. This was a very smart move by Sather. He can add some offense to his game, but instantly adds size to any line he is on. He will most likely be utilized on the fourth line role with Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast.
The third, and final trade the Rangers made was dealing Lee Stempniak to Winnipeg for forward Carl Klingberg. At only twenty four years old, Klingberg has been in and out of the Jets lineup. He has mainly played in their minor league AHL team, and only has eleven games in the NHL. He is an up and coming left winger, who one day may be able to crack an NHL lineup, but as of right now, adds depth to the AHL team. He will easily develop and can be used if needed.
With these three additions to the organization, the Rangers are all in for the next two seasons. They are a better team then they were a year ago, and can definitely make it back to the Finals. While it will not be easy, it is possible. The biggest teams to face out of the East are the New York Islanders and the Montreal Canadiens, and the Rangers may end up facing one of the in the Conference Finals if they should make a return trip.
If you are a strong believe that defense wins championships, then the Rangers are heavily favored. Having to face their core in the backend, with Lundqvist as a last result, will strike fear into any team. Glen Sather knew exactly what he was dealing for when he was making moves, and he knows that these additions can help bring home the Stanley Cup.