Phil Posted May 19, 2019 Share Posted May 19, 2019 Assuming that no personnel changes are made between now and next year?s training camp, the Rangers have six defensemen ? Kevin Shattenkirk, Marc Staal, Brady Skjei, Brendan Smith, Adam Fox, and Libor Hajek ? under contract who can reasonably be expected to break camp with the team next season. Given how poorly this past season?s defensive squad performed, however, this would be miles from ?improvement,? even before addressing the new extensions due to restricted free agents (RFA) Fredrik Claesson, Tony DeAngelo, and Neal Pionk. In a word? Untenable. Oh, and we?ve yet to broach the strengthening suggestions that New York has eyes for Erik Karlsson, and he, perhaps, eyes for New York in return. It?s all but a foregone conclusion that the Rangers? front office will look to move multiple defenders this summer. They might even heavily entertain the idea of a buyout or two should they fear weak trade winds for players like Smith and Shattenkirk. Both Larry Brooks and Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post have been beating the buyout drum on the latter for what feels like months now, in fact. Karlsson or not, it?s clear that the Rangers have an awful lot of debris with diminishing value clogging up the path to their blue line, and given their desire to seemingly improve overnight, something?s gotta give. For their most important young prospects such as K?Andre Miller and Nils Lundqvist, who are at least another year away each, that debris will likely clear in time to to blaze a path for them. But for players like Fox, Hajek, DeAngelo, or even Yegor Rykov, who reportedly signed his entry-level deal, clearing the decks some would go a long way in assuring not only they?re given legitimate chances to stick, but in would-be roles that won?t stifle their early growth ? the value of which has a visible expiration date relative to the length of their entry-level deals. https://www.blueshirtbanter.com/2019/5/19/18631026/new-york-rangers-defensive-logjam-needs-breaking-this-summer-erik-karlsson-brendan-smith-marc-staal Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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