For New York Rangers, Either The Players Go Or Alain Vigneault Goes; Take Your Pick

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Such high hopes going into this season for the New York Rangers automatically made me skeptical as a fan.

You mean the Rangers are supposed to contend this year?

Usually when I hear that it means the Rangers will find a way to disappoint and of course they have. Now 15-17-1 Rangers are falling and falling fast in a very embarrassing way.

For most teams a nine-game homestand translates to a winning streak, but for the Rangers it equals a four-game losing streak and counting.  Not only that, but the last three losses have come at the hands of backup goaltenders.

It is becoming crystal clear that the Rangers are at a crossroads.  Either the players have to go or head coach Alain Vigneault has to go.

Usually the coach would be the one going in this type of situation, but since Vigneault was just hired and GM Glen Sather wants the Rangers to play more up-tempo than back in the John Tortorella days, most likely it will be the left over Tortorella style players that will be on the move soon.

And do not be surprised if some of the players leaving are fan favorites. Sather and owner James Dolan cannot be happy with an under .500 record and the lack of effort this team is showing right now, so expect the unexpected.

Some players I think will be traded soon that many fans would not care about are guys like Michael Del Zotto and Brian Boyle. But guys that fans will argue about and dispute getting rid of could be someone like Dan Girardi, who is an unrestricted free agent next season, Marc Staal, when he gets healthy, and Carl Hagelin, who has speed but cannot finish off plays.

Changes have to be made for the Rangers whether you like it or not. No individual player is untouchable and more important than the team, and that message has to be sent now before this season gets too far out of reach.

Steven Carollo is a New York Rangers and sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn and join his Google network.

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