As I said in my game recap last night, despite how horrific the Rangers have looked this season, I'm not ready to blow this team up.
There's still plenty of talent on the roster, who, in my opinion, just need a jump start. Brad Richards has even admitted that the climate on and off the ice has become too comfortable.
This is eerily reminiscent of the underachieving 2006-07 team who was hover around .500 and on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in despite a roster boasting such players as Jaromir Jagr, Brandon Shanahan, Michael Nylander and Martin Straka.
And ONE trade completely turned that team's fortunes around. It was the acquisition of Sean Avery. He brought a sense of arrogance and passion that Rangers team wasn't capable of generating on their own. And the result? A more passionate team and MSG crowd, which led to a Eastern Conference Semi-Finals run where they were done in by Chris Drury's heroics and Marek Malik's turnovers.
So, is a trade like that out there for this Rangers team? Is there a move that can spark this emotionless group to reach their potential? I think there is.
The Rangers need to look no further than their in-state neighbor to the north, the Buffalo Sabres. They have two guys on their roster that could turn this season around. Matt Moulson and Steve Ott.
Both of these players bring a lunch pail, blue collar mentality that is sorely lacking on the Rangers and would be embraced by Blueshirt Nation. Plus they're actually pretty decent hockey players.
Matt Moulson is a perennial 30-goal scorer, who has somehow put up 7g, 10a since being traded to an awful Sabres team. You know, the same amount of goals Nash has scored this season on a much better team. He does the dirty work and the little things a team needs to win. Just ask John Tavares how much the Islanders miss him.
Meanwhile, Ott brings that sandpaper we're all begging for (and now desperately need with the Derek Dorsett injury), plus he'll have no problem standing up for teammates, which this current team seems incapable of doing. He also has the ability to put up points as proven by past 30 point seasons.
Both are in the final year of their contracts, so if it doesn't workout, their salaries (a combined $6M per year cap hit) won't handcuff the Rangers for years to come. However, I'd highly recommend the Rangers work on an extension with the 30-year old Moulson as soon as possible.
With the Sabres in rebuild mode, I don't think it'll take more than a draft pick, maybe a young roster player like John Moore or Derrick Brassard as well as an expiring contract (Boyle?) to get a deal done.
As constructed, this team is going nowhere fast. But I really do believe this trade would put the Rangers franchise in a better position moving forward than if they decided to revamp the entire roster.
I mean seriously, do you honest trust Sather to rebuild the team correctly? I know I don't.