By Brandon Fitzpatrick @bfitzsports on April 4, 2014
It is never too early to start talking about the NHL offseason, especially for the New York Rangers. The Rangers have some large decisions looming, the main one being the Brad Richards situation. If Richards is bought out the Rangers will have a decent amount of cap space to spend. Here are five players the Rangers should target this offseason.
Matt Niskanen has developed into a top tier defenseman this season. Given all the injuries the Pittsburgh Penguins have had to deal with, Niskanen has stepped up big time. He has set career-highs in every offensive category and should be getting a decent raise this summer. The Rangers are likely to lose Anton Stralman, and Niskanen would look nice on a pair with Marc Staal.
The biggest knock on the Rangers this season has been their lack of size and toughness up front. A player like Dustin Penner is the perfect guy to fill that void. He is a big, hulking winger at 6-foot-4 and 247-pounds. He also has the experience of winning two Stanley Cups. He would be a solid player to throw on the Rangers' third or fourth line, and he shouldn't cost too much.
Andrew MacDonald is going to be the best defenseman on the market this summer. The Rangers aren't in dire need of another left-handed defenseman, but they would be doing a disservice to their team if they don't kick tires on MacDonald. He is as solid as they come. Plus it would be fun to see the Rangers take him from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Matt Moulson is still one of the most underrated players in the NHL. He has three 30-goal seasons under his belt and would have had one last year if it wasn't for the lockout shortened season. Since most teams will be looking at Thomas Vanek, Moulson could slide under the radar and be a second option for teams. He would fit in great with one of the top lines of the Rangers and help the power play tremendously.
Paul Stastny will be a Ranger if Richards is bought out; you can take that to the bank. He has been linked to the Rangers for a while now and would be a great addition to replace Richards. After a couple of bad seasons he has bounced back this year. He is 28 years old and in the prime of his career. A change of scenery would do him well, and the Rangers would be a good fit for him.
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