The biggest news of yesterday during the 2014 NHL trade deadline by far was the trade between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. Never in the history of the league have two captains been traded for each other until now; the Rangers acquired Martin St. Louis from the Lightning for Ryan Callahan and two draft picks. Now, while this move hopefully can give the Rangers some more scoring for the rest of the season, contrary to popular belief, this move does not make the Rangers a win now team that is in serious contention for the Stanley Cup this season.
This is largely due to the fact that the Rangers have many more weaknesses than just lack of goal scoring. For example, the Rangers lack size from their forwards and would have greatly benefited pursuing Buffalo Sabres forward Chris Stewart.
The Rangers also lack an an offensive, puck moving defenseman with a hard slap shot who plays the point on the power play. This is a type of player that every contending team possesses, but the Rangers unfortunately lack. A name that comes to mind of a player like this that the Rangers could have greatly used is another Sabre, this one by the name of Christian Ehrhoff.
Finally, sticking with the Sabres talk, the Rangers lack toughness as well and could have acquired that from Buffalo by trading for center Zenon Konopka.
So overall, acquiring St. Louis was a good move for the Rangers, but it does not make them a Stanley Cup contender this season because they failed to address other needs besides goal scoring. If the Rangers were able to make a deal with the Sabres right before the deadline expired, consisting of getting Stewart, Ehrhoff and Konopka and sending them something along the lines of Carl Hagelin, Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle in return, then saying the Rangers are Stanley Cup contenders this season could have been justified.
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