Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Change Is Coming to Broadway

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Change Is Coming to Broadway

Article excerpt

Roster turnover is inevitable for any hockey team, even one such as the Rangers where there is a solid young core of talent assembled.

Even after their deepest postseason run since 1997.

These 2011-12 Rangers assemble one final time today for their end- of-season physicals and exit interviews -- breakup day -- as they head into a summer of uncertainty for the NHL.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15 and the NHL, in an expected procedural maneuver, informed the Players' Association on May 16 it wants to modify or terminate the existing CBA and negotiate a new one.

A lockout is considered a strong possibility, though there's a general consensus any labor stoppage won't be as extreme as the one that forced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

Still, it seems likely the owners will push to reduce the salary cap from its current $64.3 million.

The final cap number will, of course, impact how the Rangers construct their next roster. But here are some off-season concerns:

SCORING: The Rangers' 43 playoff goals rank second in the league, but that was over 20 games. There's no question the Rangers were right to pass on Blue Jackets' left wing Rick Nash at the trade deadline as coveted rookie Chris Kreider made his NHL debut in the playoffs with five goals and two assists, setting a league record for a player who has yet to skate in a regular-season game.

Still, the Rangers do need another potent scorer up front and Nash is likely to be on the market again. Left wing Zach Parise could be an unrestricted free agent and the Ducks could put left wing Bobby Ryan on the trade market. To acquire a player of Nash or Ryan's ilk, the Rangers would likely have to include one of their young "core members." Of those, Kreider and defenseman Ryan McDonagh are untouchable. …

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