Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/03/14 at 10:38 AM ET
from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News,
The Rangers have lost five key contributors from last season's Eastern Conference championship team through trade, buyout or free agency, including two capable centers in Brad Richards and Brian Boyle, even if Boyle played left wing most of last season.
The Blueshirts again will have Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard and Dominic Moore down the middle, once restricted free agent Brassard re-signs, but they will need to be deeper and more imposing at that position if they wish to return to hockey's ultimate series and compete with the best in the West.
Unfortunately, Glen Sather didn't have the money to throw at a top free agent center such as Paul Stastny (four years, $28 million, Colorado Avalanche), and the rest of the pool either has been underwhelming (Mike Ribeiro after his Coyotes buyout) or overpriced (Mikhail Grabovski on four years, $20 million to the Islanders).
So instead, the Rangers seemingly are planning to fill their need internally, which means they would be counting heavily on lefthanded rookie Swede Oscar Lindberg, 22, to take the next step.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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