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With todays news that the Rangers have locked up the final, and arguably most important piece of the puzzle in Ryan Callahan, we can start to see what next years lineup will look like. Here are a few thoughts on the forwards…

Wolski – Richards – Gaborik
Dubinsky – Anisimov – Callahan
Boyle – Stepan – Zucarello-Aasen
Fedotenko – Rupp – Prust

Or

Fedotenko – Richards – Gaborik
Dubinsky – Anisimov – Callahan
Wolski – Stepan – Zucarello-Aasen
Rupp – Boyle – Prust.

However, here is my personal preference.

Wolski/Thomas – Richards – Gaborik
Dubinsky – Anisimov – Callahan
Wolski/Thomas – Stepan – Fedotenko
Rupp – Boyle – Prust

Wolski and Thomas are 2 kids with tremendous talent, Thomas probably won’t be ready for full time first line minutes, but I think we should keep this kid in the lineup, or at the very minimum give him the max amount of games (I believe 9?) before sending him down. Use him on the first power play unit, and blast away. Here’s how my top PP unit would look…

Thomas – Stepan – Gaborik
MDZ – Richards

Regarding the Defense, I would go with this:

Staal – Girardi
McDonagh – Sauer
Erixon – MDZ
Eminger

A very young D, with a solid #7 to spell the kids when they falter, but who you can sit for long periods of time without wondering how it will effect his development since he already is developed.

What do I think of this team? It’s not as good as what I proposed earlier, with the Rangers picking up a true blue elite first line left winger. But it’s worlds better than what we opened the season with last year. Christensen as a top line center? Frolov, the kind of wraparounds as the 2nd best forward? No, this team is worlds better. Frankly though, so are most of the teams in the East. I think the Rangers will be better. Probably in the 4-6 range in the playoff standings. With another piece though, they could be even better.


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