Regarding the Rangers, who, pending Sunday’s results, have the best record in the NHL (11-3, .786) since Oct. 31, but remain on the outside looking in at the playoffs: 1. General manager Jeff Gorton never expected Lias Andersson to be in Sweden and Tony DeAngelo to be in Hartford at this juncture of the season, thus leaving the Blueshirts with nothing to show on the NHL level as the return for Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta. Management overestimated seventh-overall selection Andersson’s readiness to make the jump from Sweden to Broadway as a 19-year-old and expected more polish and whole-ice awareness from DeAngelo. The 22-year-old 2014 first-rounder has struggled with the Wolf Pack since his Oct. 24 demotion after failing to nail down the sixth spot on the New York blue line. If this is merely a snapshot of the trade, fair enough. The deal was not meant to provide a quick fix as much as it was designed to clear Stepan’s annual $6.5 million cap obligation through 2020-21 ahead of his no-trade clause that kicked in on July 1, and to restock the pipeline. And young players progress on their own timetables. If this, though, turns out to be the whole movie, well, then not good. But it remains wildly premature to offer that analysis. Gorton and the front office do deserve credit for not keeping these not-ready-for-prime-time players as a face-saving measure, as other regimes might have. This one does not seem particularly sensitive to appearances. That is a quality that should not be taken for granted.
Rangers’ youth movement isn’t working out how they hoped
New York Post | Dec 4