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Rangers Not Done Yet Written by Al Coholic - August 27th, 2009


The New York Rangers have seen a few big changes this Off-Season, after putting up a good fight to make the Playoffs last year, but ultimately fading down the stretch.

   Last year's points leader Marc Savard (26 goals, 52 assists, 78 points) will be back this year anchoring the first line, likely between talented youngsters Ryan Stoa (27 goals, 36 assists, 63 points), and Drew Stafford (24 goals, 40 assists, 64 points).

   The Rangers signed playmaking Center Doug Weight (20 goals, 64 assists, 84 points) to a 2 year contract in free agency, and he will play between R.J. Umberger (29 goals, 41 assists, 70 points), and Martins Karsums (21 goals, 32 assists, 53 points)

   New York will be implimenting a three scoring line approach though, and this is wherethe tinkering still hasn't finished. Right Wing Radim Vrbata (13 goals, 27 assists, 40 points), will play on the third line. Who he is playing with however is not clear. The Rangers currently have two centers in David Legwand (23 goals, 34 assists, 57 points), and Kyle Wellwood (15 goals, 38 assists, 53 points). The Rangers would like to move one of these players for a left wing who can patrol the third line. GM Justin Roche is still working the phones for this issue.

   With the aquisition of Doug Weight, the Rangers now have seven players who scored 20 goals or more last season, as well as eight players who scored over 50 points. Scoring goals should not be an issue for this edition of the Broadway Blueshirts.

   The defense has also seen an upgrade this season. Sophomore Dennis Wideman is coming off a dissappointing Rookie season (6 goals, 18 assists, 24 points, -36), but he is coming off a fantastic (re-rated) NHL season, where he scored 13 goals, and 37 assists for a total of 50 points. Rookie Matt Hunwick will be playing his first season for the Rangers, and he has proven capable of scoring and moving the puck at the NHL level.

   Rock-solid defenders Nick Schultz, Matt Greene, and Fedor Tyutin all take care of business in their own end, but all three have shown the ability to score double-digit goals as well. The top six is filled out by puck-mover Lukas Krajicek, with youngsters Mark Stuart and Roman Polak waiting in the wings should anyone falter or get hurt.

   Between the pipes, GM Justin Roche didn't feel absolutely confident giving Manny Fernandez (23-35-5, 3.30, .874) an entire season of work, so he signed veteran Curtis Joseph (20-24-10, 2.99, .891) to help out in the crease. The duo is expected to split starts early in the season, with whoever is performing better at the time getting the nod on any given night.

   With the changes that have been made, and probably one more significant move to come before opening night, GM Justin Roche feels confident, that this will be New York's year where they finally secure a playoff spot.

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nice work

Written By: ATLsimon (2009-08-27 14:48:47)

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