New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The New York Rangers must adapt to off-season changes to bounce back from a runner-up finish last season.
Five players left including top forward Brad Richards after trades, free-agent departures and a buyout took place.
This included free-agents defenseman Anton Stralman, center Brian Boyle and wing Benoit Pouliot.
According to Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton, filling the holes is a tall task.
But the team did well on paper to cover up all the gaps.
Gorton added, “One of the things we tried to do was do it fairly cheaply, considering the cap didn’t go up maybe as much as we thought it might.”
The Rangers’ acquisition of 2010 Olympic gold medallist defenseman Dan Boyle was the team’s biggest signing in the off-season.
“I’ve always wanted to have that Original Six feel. New York is the center of attention. I’m not saying I need that, I just wanted to experience that,” Boyle shared with the team’s website.
The Eastern Conference champs also signed forwards who can fill that position.
Lee Stempniak, Matthew Lombardi, Tanner Glass and Chris Mueller are expected to play fairly well for the defending Eastern Conference champs.
“With additions like Stempniak and Lombardi and Glass up front, I think it helps our depth,” Gorton said.
The Rangers will have a normal training camp and will not be subject to a long road trip to start this season for a change.
Last year, Coach Alain Vigneault and the team had their preseason out west and began with nine straight road games.
Renovations done in Madison Square Garden until October last year made the grueling start neccessary.
Gorton stated, “It will be good to have a normal situation with a normal training camp.”