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“The heart of the team beats through the Blueshirts’ Blue Line Big Three — Ryan McDonagh, Dan , NY • United States • 19 Years Old • Male
One thing is for sure. July 1st in hockey season and the Rangers go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Rangers have always had a history of striking and landing the big fish on hockey's Christmas, Free Agency day one. This year is different. There is Steven Stamkos, a 26 year old franchise center on the market and he will have no shortage of teams looking to land him. There is at least a dozen teams that would love to have the stud center. One of them is going to luck out. You never see a guy this good hit the market in hockey. It is very rare and this year every hockey fan will be tuned in on July 1st to see if their team can land Steven Stamkos. The New York Rangers were bounced from the playoffs in round one to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. This was an embarrassing blow to the Rangers organization in which the prior year they advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Final and were arguably a goal away from returning to the Cup final. The Rangers have not had an elite offensive force this good probably since Jaromir Jagr was sent here from Washington for Anson Carter. Stamkos immediately changes the dynamic of this franchise. He is a right shot centerman who can absolutely be lethal on the powerplay. The Rangers powerplay has been average to poor over the years as the team has struggled to find a system that suits the players out there for the man advantage. Look at the Washington Capitals who revolve their powerplay around Alex Ovechkin. Stamkos is the same. Stamkos sets up right on the left faceoff circle and unloads a cannon of a one timer and is a former 60 goal man. Stamkos is a player who would come in and be the guy. The Rangers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012, 2015, and made it to the Stanley Cup final in 2014. It could be said that the reason they even got that far was because of franchise netminder Henrik Lundqvist. The team over that time never really had a stud forward like the Kings, Penguins, and Blackhawks have had over the years. Stamkos has not even hit his prime yet and is a guy who will command a $10M-$12M a year contract. If the Rangers are going to be serious contenders for Stamkos they must find a taker for Rick Nash ($7.8M) and Dan Girardi ($5.5M). A trade for Marc Staal is also not out of the question ($5.7M). A Dan Girardi buyout is possible before July 1st if the Rangers cannot find a trading partner. One thing is for sure, the Rangers MUST make the appropriate cap space if Stamkos is serious about joining the New York Rangers.
June 29, 2016 9:56 PM ET | Delete
June 30, 2016 4:38 PM ET | Delete
June 30, 2016 4:38 PM ET | Delete
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