The New York Rangers have had one of their most successful offseasons in recent memory, has general manager Glen Sather made them a Stanley Cup favorite?
The Blueshirts biggest splash came one day after free agency started with the signing of Brad Richards to a nine-year, $60 million contract, but the Rangers have made other small but solid moves. The Rangers brought back Ruslan Fedotenko who is a two time Stanley Cup Champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins, the re-signings of Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan have locked up two fan favorites for a few years. Chris Drury being bought out was another sound move as he never lived up to the expectations for him on Broadway. Finally, the Blueshirts drafted J.T. Miller with the 15th pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and he looks to be a future stud in the NHL.
With the addition of Brad Richards he should help return Marian Gaborik to a 40 goal scorer, since teams won’t be able to solely focus on shutting him down. The Rangers biggest woes last year were there offense and Richards will without a doubt help turn that around. The young core of the Rangers has another year together and it can only help them get even better.
Marc Staal is turning into an elite shutdown defenseman at only 24, however another young d-man Michael Del Zotto, 21, needs to rebound from a shaky sophomore campaign. Dan Giradi and Steve Eminger are the only strong veteran presence on the blue line for the Rangers, however the D on Broadway looks to be pretty solid overall.
Can the New York Rangers win their first Stanley Cup since 1994? The Blueshirts are capable of a much deeper run this year with an improved offense, and with Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes you know you will have an elite, shutdown netminder. Unfortunately for Ranger fans the Stanley Cup looks to be about 2-3 years away.