by Patrick Hoffman on 04/25/11 at 07:00 PM ET
From great friend of the blog Brian Monzo at WFAN.com:
So where do they go now? It seems like they’ve done a pretty solid job drafting the last two seasons. They have two top offensive prospects in Chris Kreider (1st round in 2009) and Christian Thomas (2nd round in 2010), and will likely try to sign both of professional contracts this summer. At this year’s draft in June, I would expect them to be looking at forwards in the first two rounds, then shifting towards depth defensemen.
Finally, the belief amongst most is that when Stars center Brad Richards becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, the Rangers are going to be looking to strike. Richards, who will be 31 on May 2nd, has 716 points in 772 games, including 496 assists. He is great with the puck, has a sense of the game and can make plays happen. He is exactly the kind of top center the Rangers (and Marian Gaborik) are in need of. He will be looking for a long-term contract, and the Rangers will have to make a few moves to open up some cap space. They are going to need to sign Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov, Boyle, Sauer and perhaps Gilroy to new contracts. Which in turn means upcoming UFA’s Alex Frolov, Vinny Prospal, Steve Eminger and maybe even Ruslan Fedotenko may not be offered new contracts (Frolov for sure, I just had to include him on the list so I didn’t miss anyone).
It is a work in progress. I certainly understand the venom and frustration of the fans. You hate to lose. But coming off a 44 win season, it appears coach John Tortorella will be extended, which he deserves. The team is headed in the right direction. They are building from within, and developing some core players. It’s tough to be patient in New York, but a lot of people believe the wait will be worth it.
Click here for more Rangers’ thoughts from Monzo.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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