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.
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.