According to Larry Brooks, Glen Sather may have the intention of trying to entice Shane Doan and Rick Nash to New York. Should the general manager manage to pull off that coup what would it mean to the Rangers immediate future?
First and foremost, like many others I believe that Shane Doan is a longshot to land on Broadway despite his meeting with Rangers management within the last week. Doan has an obvious preference toward Phoenix and a man that has played in hockey afterthoughts such as Arizona is likely to prefer the western conference than change completely and play in the media capital of the world, New York.
However, assume for a moment that Doan lands in New York and Sather adds Nash through a trade. All of a sudden the Rangers are the Stanley Cup favourite; ahead of Vancouver, ahead of LA, ahead of even Pittsburgh and Philly. With a returning Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and of course Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan the Rangers top six would suddenly be stacked with an almost perfect balance of youth and experience, size and skill.
With Chris Kreider likely developing on the third line with a combination of players such as Artem Anisimov and Carl Hagelin (the make-up of the line obviously depending on the package to acquire Nash) the Rangers would have three lines capable of scoring and an enviable blend of speed and size throughout the line-up, not just in the top six.
There is also the likely influence Nash and Doan would have on the power play. All of a sudden an under performing unit would inherit a presence in front of the net (Doan) and a player who scores heavily in Nash. The power play would become deep with talent and surely would be vastly improved. Just imagine what the Rangers regular season record would have been this past season with ‘just’ 5-10 additional power play goals. Imagine for a moment how the Rangers season would have ended if the power play in the playoffs would have been just 3 or 4 percent more effective?
If Sather can add both wingers without stripping the club of too many assets and without over-committing to Doan then it is a must do. With Pittsburgh going hard at Parise yet losing out, then also losing quality of their own, with the Kings not having the scoring depth of the Rangers (based on the above New York additions) and teams like Boston, Detroit, Vancouver and Washington either standing pat or losing key pieces over the past few months never will the opportunity have been greater for the Rangers.
Through the media reports of the Doan meeting and the Rangers being ‘in’ on Shea Weber we know Sather is actively trying to upgrade the Rangers regardless of the uncertainty around the CBA. It’s clear that Sather recognises the unique opportunity in front of him. With Doan and Nash the opportunity will indeed be a massive one.