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Quick Hits: Cue the Opening Bell

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Liquidate For Leverage


In and of itself, last Thursday night’s 4-0 loss to the Leafs was just a hockey game. But the Rangers’ listless effort and subsequent loss—their seventh in their last ten contests in which they’ve been collectively outscored 39 to 26—was more than just a game. It was a microcosm of this seemingly lost season. It was the most recent example that management need not have any reservations over whether this roster is a contender or a pretender when asking itself the tough questions regarding the trade market and their place in it ahead of the February 26th trading deadline.


One need not overly value the draft to recognize the cold reality staring the Rangers in the face, either. They can either foolishly pin their hopes to a severely flawed roster that would require a great amount of outside help to go deep in the playoffs, or they can take a poetic cue from Toronto and strategically sell the assets they still have to rebuild—emphasis on re—even if it is “on the fly.”


As I wrote about in late January, with a deep draft to look forward to, the assets the Rangers can no doubt acquire at the deadline and/or perhaps the draft floor should help them to move up the pick order. This will give them a golden opportunity to draft the game-breaking talent they desperately crave.



A Peak at Tomorrow?


Speaking of Toronto, perhaps the Rangers got a real good look at a couple of future Blueshirts during that drubbing on Thursday night? It’s pure conjecture, but in exchange for Ryan McDonagh’s services for the remainder of this season and next, one can’t help but wonder if that Leafs’ victory wasn’t something of an audition for, say, oh, I don’t know – Mitch Marner and their choice of Andreas Borgman or Connor Carrick? Mix and match the loose change as needed.







One last one on trades.


Mobile link: https://twitter.com/tsnbobmckenzie/status/959837649639911424


Mobile link: https://twitter.com/tsnbobmckenzie/status/959839144594714624


Can we just agree that not only would Rick Nash—renowned for his two-way prowess—be a great fit for the Preds where he could slot in anywhere in their top-nine and not look out of place, but that neither club should pass on this brilliant marketing/PR opportunity?





Who Do You Play For!?


The Olympics issue may still be contentious for the NHL, and the ratings will suffer for the lack of star power (not to mention the time zone difference), but don't tell any of that to Brian Gionta. I doubt he cares to hear it. Certainly not after Friday night when the Olympic captain drew chants of “U-S-A” after scoring a goal for the Amerks:


Mobile link: https://twitter.com/TobyMotyka/status/959642361738530818?s=17


Despite all the problems between Pyeongchang and the NHL’s refusal to send their players, you can't tell me as a hot blooded American that this doesn't tingle your inner patriot.





Other topics in this week’s Quick Hits: Ty Ronning, Henrik Lundqvist’s awesome dedication to New York, Paul Ranger, Filip Chytil’s strong AHL production, and more.


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