It is now the end of January, and the New York Rangers have yet to have a winning streak of more than three games. This could have changed last night at home against their biggest rivals, the New York Islanders, but the Rangers had other plans that consisted of blowing two two-goal leads and being outplayed, outworked and out-hustled by the Islanders nearly from start to finish in a 5-3 loss.
This loss and a lack of a sustained winning streak now in the second half of the season calls for changes in my opinion, and obviously Rangers GM Glen Sather read my mind. Just this afternoon the Rangers announced that they have finally dealt struggling and underachieving defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators for a big physical defensive defenseman in Kevin Klein (no not the actor). I am still undecided if I agree with the trade or not even though I wanted Del Zotto gone, but moves have to be made because this Rangers team is just average the way it is.
The Rangers could be a good team with their current roster, but that is as high as their ceiling will go. They cannot be a great team unless serious needs, like goal scoring, physicality and puck possession to name a few, are met and met quickly. Del Zotto was one of the weak links that had to be moved, and there are others such as Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot and even Marc Staal or Dan Girardi who need to be moved because they are seriously under-performing and do not fit in with new head coach Alain Vigneault‘s system.
The Del Zotto for Klein trade must only be a start of more trades to come because one player will not make this Rangers team a contender.