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2018-19 Metropolitan Division Preview: New York Rangers

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With a new coach in David Quinn behind the bench, the New York Rangers are looking to establish a new name for themselves in the Metro this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

What to expect from the New York Rangers this year might be a different opponent than what we are used to expecting. As it stands, the days of the Rangers going big free-agent fishing every summer and trying to stay an active Stanley Cup contender while in the Henrik Lundqvist window seems to be on hold.

This Rangers team is geared towards a major rebuild

The Rangers seem committed to their rebuild and trying to do things the right way. They’ve brought in David Quinn, formerly of Boston University, to lead the team from behind the bench. Quinn is taking over a team that went through a shakeup at the trade deadline, trading Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins and Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning, with Alain Vigneault fired at the end of the season. These two trades and the firing were the key signs that the team was ready to stop putting a band-aid on things and try and fix it permanently instead of just temporarily.

So, who’s actually on the roster?

Looking at the roster for the New York Rangers is interesting, in that they got a lot of pieces back in the two aforementioned trades, but it really isn’t the team we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the years. Flash back four years and look at who’s gone from the Rangers team that went to the Stanley Cup Final — there’s only a few players left on the roster from then. Players like Derek Stepan, Rick Nash, Dan Girardi, Carl Hagelin, Anton Stralman — all have moved on to other places. The Rangers will now be led by a forward corps of players like Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zucarello, Kevin Hayes, Ryan Spooner, and Vladislav Namestnikov. On defense, the Rangers will be looking for Brady Skjei to continue to develop and grow, while relying on veterans like Kevin Shattenkirk, Marc Staal, and Brendan Smith to hold their blue-line together.

Looking to the future, summer 2020 will be a big decision making time for the Rangers to say the least:

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What style of play will the Rangers bring?

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, David Quinn has the voice behind the bench that the New York Rangers have needed. A lot of the quotes from players here make you cringe — only as a retrospective on Alain Vigneault.

“There’s a work aspect to this camp where everyone is held accountable,” Hayes said following Tuesday’s session. “Things that maybe should have been addressed and weren’t, maybe taken for granted, they’re being addressed now.”

“We have to protect the goalie,” said Hayes. “Hankie [Lundqvist] is going to make the stop, but we can’t have him facing second, third and fourth chances the way he did last year.

It will be very interesting to see these new-look Rangers under a new coach with a lot of changes having been made to their roster.