LAST SEASON 43-30-9 (7th in East); lost in first round to Washington
KEY ADDITIONS LW Donald Brashear, RW Marian Gaborik, D Matt Gilroy, LW Chris Higgins, RW Ales Kotalik, LW Vaclav Prospal
KEY LOSSES RW Nik Antropov, C Scott Gomez, LW Lauri Korpikoski, D Paul Mara, D Derek Morris, LW Markus Naslund, RW Fredrik Sjöström, RW Nikolai Zherdev
The Rangers unloaded one unwieldy contract, Scott Gomez's, to take on another, luring former Wild sniper Marian Gaborik with a five-year, $37.5 million deal. Unfortunately for New York the deal didn't come with an if-he's-healthy clause. Hampered by groin troubles, Gaborik, 27, has played 70 games just once in the last five seasons and had hip surgery last December. During training camp last month, he complained of soreness in his groin.
When he plays, Gaborik is a dynamic scorer—his 0.44 goals-per-game average is fifth among active players—and the Rangers desperately need that. Their 200 goals last season ranked 28th and explains why they parted ways with all but five of their forwards. "With so many new guys, it's going to take a while to know how it's going to look," says goalie Henrik Lundqvist (above) one of two players left from the 2005--06 Rangers. "We need to have patience." What they need is a healthy Gaborik.
LAST SEASON 26-47-9 (15th in East)