Going For Broke: Rangers All In on 2015

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Yandle will provide not only a strong defensive presence, but also thrive in the Rangers’ philosophy on offensive minded defensemen.

The New York Rangers have made it clear, this is the year they are taking their best shot. With not one, but two trades on Sunday, the Rangers traded long-term stability for the pieces that the organization feels can bring the Stanley Cup back to New York since 1994.

After the dust settled, the blue shirts had acquired defensemen Keith Yandle, and Chris Summers from Arizona and San Jose forward James Sheppard. However, the Rangers did pay a hefty price sending John Moore and top prospect Anthony

1b86a97f68d1dd0c4f0f6a706700a4d4_c0-331-4794-3125_s326x190Duclair to Arizona along with a first round pick in 2015 and second round pick in 2016. After trading Lee Stempniak to Winnipeg, New York finished the day by adding James Sheppard from San Jose. In order to acquire his services, the Rangers traded a fourth round pick in 2016 to the Sharks.

The message is clear, the Rangers are going for it. Yandle is the big prize as he led the atrocious Coyotes team with 41 points and will be a valuable sniper on the power play, an area where New york was abysmal in the playoffs last year. Summers will not provide the same fire power, but is a solid defender who will provide great depth at defense while Sheppard provides a solid winger from either the third or fourth line.

By improving their defense the blue shirts will be looking to take pressure off of Henrik Lundqvist who bolt only carried the team to the Stanley Cup last year, but with Lundqvist still recovering from a neck injury, New York has decided to shore up the defensive unit in front of him while providing some more firepower on offense. If Lundqvist is still not 100% when the playoffs begin, then a stronger defense will take the pressure off of the King . The worst case scenario is that the defense will be stronger in front of Cam Talbot who for now will remain the starter in-goal.

While the Rangers may have mortgaged heir future over the next two seasons, it is clear that they have the confidence that the team has the chance to win a Stanley Cup and are going for it in 2015.

On the Road to ReDipietroion

Rick Dipietro has returned to Bridgeport to try to restart his once promising career

Rick Dipietro has returned to Bridgeport to try to restart his once promising career

It was supposed to be simple. Be the number one pick in the draft, become the backbone of the Islanders franchise and help the struggling franchise become Stanley Cup contenders. In 2006 that looked to be the future as the Islanders made Dipietro the face of the franchise with a then record 15 year contract worth 67.5 million dollars. Fast-forward to 2013 and the 31-year-old goaltender isn’t the toast of the town, but the butt of NHL jokes. Instead eating steak and playing in the bright lights of the National Hockey League, Dipietro finds himself eating fast food and riding the bus in the minors. The Islanders have put their future star on waivers, but no team will claim his albatross salary and broken down body. Since being anointed the future of the Islanders with the number one pick in the 2000 draft it’s been a roller coaster of a career. From shuffling between the minors and the pros early in his career to his dominating two-year run from 2005 to 2007, when he won 52 games and seemed to solidify himself as one of the top net minders in hockey.  At one point the tri-state area had a three-way debate between Dipietro, Brodeur, and Lundqvist as to who was the best goalie in the area. However, Dipietro’s career and the Islander’s success both took

From savior to liability

From savior to liability

a wrong turn after Dipietro put signed his John Hancock on his record deal. Despite his age Dipietro soon began to have annual hip and knee surgeries that many attributed to his butterfly style of goaltending. The knee surgeries caused Dipietro most of his starts as he became more likely to be on the DL then between the pipes. When he was sidelines in 2012 again he had appeared in all of 47 starts with only 14 wins since he signed his record deal.  What made that even worst was that he was paid 18 million dollars during that period and averaged 1.2$million dollars per win.  Since being drafted in 2000 the Islanders have only had three winning seasons and have struggled to find a suitable net minder between the pipes. While the Islanders are moving in the right direction, they’re currently looking to overtake the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and make the playoffs, Dipietro won’t be apart of it.  Many Islander faithful partially blame the franchise’s move from Nassau to Brooklyn on the lack of success over the past decade, and Dipietro is at the root of this. Despite his injury history, and lack of success in the NHL Dipietro is trying to make a comeback. A great piece on Dipietro’s comeback is here (click link), which I highly recommend. Right now Dipietro is trying to rebound with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in hopes that he can get back to the NHL. While he’s had mixed success at Bridgeport, he’s 5-5,  Dipietro is trying to stay positive and rebuild his game from the ground up.

Depietro has hit rock bottom, but he has the talent to get back to the top

Dipietro has hit rock bottom, but he has the talent to get back to the top

Despite everything that’s happened in his life, there is no question that Dipietro has the talent and the drive to be one of the top goaltenders in the NHL again. Personally I hope Dipietro can make a comeback and that a team will look past his contract fiasco and take a shot on him. I can relate because my body also betrayed me and ended my career prematurely. While concussions ended my career, I know what’s it like to have your body break down when you still have so much to offer. Hopefully Dipietro can make it back to the NHL and show the untapped potential he once showed as the number 1 overall pick in the draft. While he’s got a long road to make it back, Dipietro will have the opportunity to redeem himself and go from bust to NHL star once again.