Did the Rangers do enough at the trade deadline to win a Stanley Cup?

Seattle Kraken center Alex Wennberg (21) during the game between the Seattle Kraken and the New York Rangers at Climate Pledge Arena
Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers had one of the least flashiest trade deadlines around the NHL, focusing on acquiring depth pieces rather than star power. The Blueshirts were heavily involved in rumors surrounding top players including Jake Guentzel and Frank Vatrano, but in the end, nothing magical came to pass.

After the deadline came to an end, the Rangers acquired three players: Alex Wennberg, Chad Ruhwedel, and Jack Roslovic. Now the question remains: Is it enough to win them a Stanley Cup?

Rangers trade for depth pieces over stars, avoiding the same mistake as last season

Last year, Chris Drury and the Blueshirts went all in by acquiring both Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko. Although both played well, New York ended up adding too many stars and ultimately ruined the chemistry in the already existing lineup. Fans demanded that more star power be added to the roster this trade deadline, but Drury made the smart move by staying away from the bigger names on the market.

Roslovic, Wennberg, and Ruhwedel are all solid depth pieces. Roslovic has the most pressure on his shoulders heading to the Rangers, as he will likely be slotted on the first line. But it isn’t his job to make that line great again, it’s on Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad to start to finally heat up. It seems as if Drury’s master plan this season relies on the original star power to wake up and find their groove, not adding new stars to do it for them.

Overall, Drury’s work at this trade deadline earns a solid 7/10.

Other teams around the NHL are going to be tough to beat

While the Rangers had a more conservative deadline, other teams went all in. The Carolina Hurricanes landed Jake Guentzel, and the Florida Panthers traded for Tarsenko and more. Not to mention that the Vegas Golden Knights appear to be once again circumventing the cap, adding numerous stars to their already Stanley Cup-winning roster.

When the playoffs begin, the Rangers will have a tough path ahead of them. Winning the Metropolitan Division is essential at this point to play against worse teams in the early rounds, but the chances of Carolina catching up to the Rangers have drastically increased.

It’s undeniable that the Rangers improved their roster at the trade deadline this season, but based on what other teams were able to pull off, it might not be enough to win them a Stanley Cup. But again, nobody has seen anyone’s new acquisitions play yet. The Rangers “won” the trade deadline last year, and look where that got them. Time will tell how Dury performed this season, and hopefully, the Blueshirts will walk away as winners.

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