Why Rangers blue line could be among the best in team history

We’re going to take you again to the spring coaching subject at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg in 1965, when Casey Stengel, the supervisor of the Mets, was introducing one in all his catchers to the press.

“This is Greg Goosen,” the Ol’ Perfesser stated. “He’s 19 years previous, and in 10 years he is received an opportunity to be 29.”

Which is to say, being younger just isn’t all the pieces. It is so much, you’ll be able to take that from me, however it’s not all the pieces.

The identical is true in the sport close to and expensive to your hearts, as anybody who has watched the likes of David Liffiton, Maxim Galanov, Peter Smrek, Bryce Lampman, Maxim Kondratiev and Thomas Pock take a stab at taking part in the blue line can affirm.

It just isn’t sufficient merely to be younger. Anyone can be younger. Everyone was, as soon as. It just isn’t sufficient for the Rangers to merely be younger at the again finish. See straight above.

But what the Rangers have with a protection that options 24-year-old Adam Fox, 23-year-old K’Andre Miller, 24-year-old Ryan Lindgren and 21-year-old Braden Schneider just isn’t merely a younger corps that’s going to be 10 years older in a decade, however a younger corps with the potential to gather a number of Norris Trophies, and never all of them accruing to Fox.

K’Andre Miller and Adam Fox have helped the Rangers develop into one in all the stingiest defenses in the NHL.
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At first, second and third blush, this can be a group that may develop to be particular — if the cap will enable. Talent abounds in Fox and Miller. Toughness abounds in Lindgren and Schneider. Someday, even perhaps prior to anticipated — when Schneider inevitably strikes into the prime 4 whereas altering locations with Jacob Trouba — this may be a quartet that poses with the Cup.

Jeff Gorton was the common supervisor accountable for bringing all 4 to New York, buying and selling a few second-rounders for Fox’s rights (and birthright to play for the Rangers); buying and selling for Lindgren as a part of the package deal in trade for the Rick Nash rental; buying and selling as much as choose Miller twenty second total in 2018; and buying and selling as much as choose Schneider nineteenth total in 2020.

Rangers followers, say, “Thank you, Gorts.”

Chris Drury is the common supervisor who has the profoundly troublesome obligation of managing to maintain the group in New York for the foreseeable future regardless of the cap pincers closing in on him and his team.

Miller is due this summer season for a second contract. Lindgren is due the following summer season for an extension as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Schneider is up for a second contract in 2024.

Rangers followers, say, “Good luck, Dru.”

This is a particular group, however maybe not distinctive in franchise history. Let’s check out three different instances the Blueshirts’ blue line was bursting with youth and expertise.

The 1993-94 Stanley Cup champions: The reply to, “But there isn’t any Adam Fox in this group,” is, “But there may be Brian Leetch…and, by the method, Sergei Zubov.”

Brian Leetch #2, Captain and Defenseman for the New York Rangers in motion on the ice during the NHL Eastern Conference Atlantic Division game against the New Jersey Devils on December 16th, 1997 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States.  The New Jersey Devils won the game 4 - 3.
A Stanley Cup champion at the age of 25, Brian Leetch went on to develop into the best defenseman in team history en path to the Hall of Fame.
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Leetch, the best defenseman in franchise history, was 25 when he lifted the Conn Smythe Trophy on June 14, 1994. Zubov, as deadly a weapon as the franchise has ever had again there, was 23. Both are in the Hockey Hall of Fame . This is about as excessive a bar as a unit can set, though Zubov would by some means solely play another season on Broadway earlier than being traded to Pittsburgh in one in all the franchise’s largest blunders.

But Leetch and Zubov are solely two. So let’s add 23-year-old Alexander Karpovtsev, a rookie for the Cup journey, to the combine. Karpovtsev would play an vital function for the 1996-97 team with Wayne Gretzky that went to the Cup semis, going straight up towards Eric Lindros in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Ooh-La-La Gang: The younger and charismatic 1978-79 group that upset the first-overall Islanders in the Cup semifinal Battle of New York, earlier than dropping the last to Montreal, had been collectively on the blue line for a few years on account of a mix of personnel strikes by former GMs Emile Francis and John Ferguson.

The youth on this unit was nearly startling. Ron Greschner was 24, Dave Maloney was 22, Mike McEwen was 22, Mario Marois was 21 and Dave Farrish was 22. At a time when golf equipment usually dressed 5 defensemen, Farrish grew to become a customary scratch, leaving Greschner, Maloney, McEwen and Marois to be taken care of by Carol Vadnais, who was 33.

This was a gaggle that was intact in 1977-78 (and in 1976-77 apart from for Marois), which meant a Rangers membership rebuilding in the center of the decade as soon as had three 20-year-olds (Maloney, McEwen, Farrish) and a 22-year-old (Greschner) soaking all of it in.

Canadian ice hockey player Ron Greschner of the New York Rangers skates with the puck during a game against the New York Islanders, New York, mid to late 1970s.
Ron Greschner helped the Rangers emerge from the doldrums of the mid-Nineteen Seventies to upset a vaunted Islanders team in the 1978-79 playoffs.
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The Black-and-Blueshirts: When Ryan McDonagh was promoted from the AHL in the center of the 2010-11 season, the Rangers had a blue line stuffed with youth and potential, very similar to the present one. No, there was no Fox, however there was a McDonagh, not as superior at an early age as No. 23, however an rising drive at each ends of the ice.

In 2010-11, McDonagh was 21. He joined a gaggle that included 24-year-old Marc Staal, 23-year-old Michael Sauer and 20-year-old Michael Del Zotto. Dan Girardi was a comparative fossil at age 26. It was a gaggle with limitless potential to develop into dominant.

They did not, after all, and we all know why.

Sauer’s profession got here to a crashing halt in the center of the following 12 months after sustaining a concussion on a success from Dion Phaneuf. No. 38 by no means performed once more. Staal’s development was stunted after first being concussed on a success from his brother, Eric, halfway by means of 2010-11 after which being struck in the eye by a shot in March of 2013.

Ryan McDonagh #27 of the New York Rangers in action against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 23, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The Rangers defeated the Flyers 4-2.
Called as much as the Rangers at the age of 21, Ryan McDonagh helped the franchise attain the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 earlier than successful two Cups with Tampa Bay after a commerce to the Lightning in 2018.
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Let that group be a reminder: The future just isn’t assured.

Standings are a way of thinking

In the wake of Sunday’s disappointing loss to Montreal, the Rangers are a collective 6-4-1 towards the six worst groups in the NHL. They’ve misplaced to the Thirty second-overall Blackhawks at the Garden. They’ve misplaced to the Thirty first-overall Ducks in Anaheim. They’ve misplaced to the Thirtieth-overall Blue Jackets in New York (although beat them in Columbus on Monday). They misplaced to the Twenty eighth-overall Sharks at MSG in time beyond regulation. They simply misplaced at dwelling to the Twenty seventh-overall Canadiens.

Cole Caufield #22 and Nick Suzuki #14 of the Montreal Canadiens skate against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 15, 2023 in New York City.  The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 2-1.
On Sunday, the Canadiens grew to become simply the newest bottom-dwelling team to shock the Rangers this season.
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Point, counterpoint: The Bruins, who’ve misplaced 5 video games in regulation all season, suffered three of these defeats to the Senators, Coyotes and Panthers, all under the playoff cutline.

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