2009-10 NHL Season Preview: New York Rangers

Who's in: Tyler Arnason, Brian Boyle, Donald Brashear, Marian Gaborik, Matt Gilroy, Christopher Higgins, Ales Kotalik, Enver Lisin, Vinny Prospal
Who's out: Nik Antropov, Blair Betts, Scott Gomez, Doug Janik, Lauri Korpikoski, Paul Mara, Derek Morris, Markus Naslund, Colton Orr, Patrick Rissmiller, Fredrik Sjostrom, Nikolai Zherdev

Outlook: Another off-season, another overhaul for Glen Sather and the Blueshirts.

The biggest move involved sending No. 1 centre Gomez to Montreal for Chris Higgins and prospects, then forking out $37.5-million over five seasons for brittle Wild superstar Marian Gaborik in free agency.

Other changes saw Markus Naslund retire, Nik Zherdev become an unrestricted free agent after Sather walked away from an arbitration ruling and Nik Antropov, Paul Mara, Derek Morris and Blair Betts head  elsewhere. By way of replacement, the Rangers signed the likes of Ales Kotalik, Vinny Prospal and Donald Brashear, leaving the blueline without a significant addition outside of rookie Matt Gilroy.

Even with all the personnel losses, having John Tortorella around as coach for a full season should help cure some of the teams goal-scoring woes. (New York finished as the league's third lowest scoring team and second worst power play club.) Where there havent been any improvements on that front, however, is on the back end, as the majority of the minutes will again fall to Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi.

Henrik Lundqvist should keep New York competitive, but if Gaborik missing significant time with yet another injury, it could be a very long season. The Rangers really need a few offensive breakouts from unlikely sources to keep pace in the Eastern Conference.

X-factor: Marian Gaborik

For a more in-depth Rangers preview, visit Blueshirt Banter
For more NHL analysis, check out the McKeen's Hockey Yearbook

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