AV concedes the Rangers had a ‘puck-moving’ problem
If you can’t move the puck, you end up spending a lot of time in your own end.
That’s what the New York Rangers found out this year, and their intention is to fix it.
“The puck-moving ability we’ve shown in the past, for whatever reason, was not as good and it affected a lot of our game,” head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters Tuesday.
What Vigneault didn’t say was how the Rangers intended to fix this problem. (That’s always the hard part.)
Some of it will be up to the coach himself, and how he sets up the breakout.
But more responsibility is likely to fall on the shoulders of GM Jeff Gorton, who’s in charge of personnel. Veteran blue-liners Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle are both unrestricted free agents. Boyle will definitely not be back; whether to re-sign Yandle will be a tougher decision for management.
AV on Keith Yandle - "It's definitely a tough decision moving forward."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) April 26, 2016
Keith Yandle says he hasn’t given much thought to being an UFA. Loves being a Ranger. But also excited to see what market might bring.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) April 26, 2016
In free agency, the Rangers could pursue a veteran like Alex Goligoski, Brian Campbell, or Dan Hamhuis, the latter of whom played under Vigneault in Vancouver.
Or, Gorton could try the trade route, making offers for younger d-men like Kevin Shattenkirk, Tyson Barrie, or Sami Vatanen. Granted, if any of those players become available, the Rangers won’t be the only team that tries to get in on the action.
As we wrote earlier this week, it’s going to be an interesting offseason in New York. The Rangers are facing some serious challenges, and unfortunately for their fans, these things don’t always have an immediate solution.