The Rangers have been through hell and back over the last month and a half. A team that has notorious with being able to stay healthy over the past couple of years has been decimated by injuries this season. The Rangers have been without a huge portion of their roster for most of the season.
Here’s a quick rundown of the notable injuries the team has been forced to overcome:
Marian Gaborik– Injured October 15th, missed 12 games. Now its no surprise that Gaborik got injured but the team relies on Marian so heavily as when he is healthy there is no sniper that is quite as lethal.
Ryan Callahan – Injured December 15th, missed 19 games. Callahan broke his hand blocking a shot in mid-December against the Penguins. Callahan was the leading scorer at the time and of course Cally is a heart and soul player that the Rangers desperately need. He was finally able to return to the lineup on Tuesday, expect him to be a key piece to the Rangers stretch run puzzle.
Brandon Dubinsky- Injured…to be honest no one has a clue when he was injured. He played through a fracture in his leg for as long as he could but he eventually needed to be taken out of the lineup, he missed five games before returning on Tuesday.
Erik Christensen- Christensen has been out since December 30th with a strained MCL and is time on the injured list is coming to an end as he could be back in the lineup within the next week or so.
Ruslan Fedotenko- He was originally out of the lineup with a separated shoulder but now an appendectomy has him sidelined for another 3-4 weeks.
Vinny Prospal- Prospal has been out all year with complications from his surgically repaired right knee but he is now coming back into the lineup tonight against the Devils which is huge, especially for Marian Gaborik.
Now Callahan and Dubinsky were able to return to the lineup on Tuesday against the Penguins and now they get Prospal back tonight. The team now sits in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 62 points, only two points out of 5th place which with a win against the Devils tonight it would move them into a tie for 5th place in the East.
The Rangers are getting healthy at just the right time, we are now just 25 days from the NHL trade deadline. The Rangers also only have 29 games left in the regular season and they are going to need to get healthy and stay healthy to make a strong stretch run to the playoffs.
Now as for the NHL trade deadline, the Rangers are players every single year when the deadline rolls around and this year will be no different. The main piece that they will look to add will be the likes of Brad Richards from the Dallas Stars. This move seems to be unlikely because the Stars are 3rd in the West and I don’t see them moving one of their main offensive weapons at the trade deadline unless it’s for a huge return. The Rangers’ best bet is to wait until July when they can offer him a contract when he is unrestricted free agent, that is if he doesn’t re-sign with the Stars first.
Other names that the Rangers might pursue:
Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes. Cole has 13 goals, and 17 assists in 51 games this season. Cole would be a nice addition for the Rangers to add as he has plenty of experience in the playoffs including a Stanley Cup ring in 2006.
Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the Calgary Flames? No, it’s not that they suck. The first name that comes to mind is Jarome Iginla. Iggy has been the face of that franchise for the past decade and I’m sure the Rangers would love to add the superstar to their lineup. Iginla has scored at least 28 goals in the last 11 seasons and at least 30 for the last 9 seasons. If the Rangers are going to acquire any big name at the deadline then I except Iginla to be that big name.
Tomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This guy’s name has been involved in trade rumors for the past couple of seasons and now it seems as though it could finally happen and the Rangers could use a powerplay like himself. With Del Zotto having an off-year, the Rangers would really benefit from having a strong offensive defenseman at their disposal.
Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils. Now I don’t see a scenario where Parise gets traded to the Rangers but it is fun to entertain the idea. If the Rangers were to land Parise then it would give them a young superstar to pair with Gaborik and give the Rangers a lethal one-two punch.
As usual the trade deadline will be active and full of excitement. For all the coverage and breakdown of every deal and rumor make sure you check in right here at Atlantic Division Hockey.