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Can the New York Rangers add the grit they need to get over the postseason hump? We analyze potential trade targets for a tougher, more physical lineup.

After another disappointing finish in the Eastern Conference Final, it’s clear the New York Rangers need to address their postseason struggles. Kristen Shilton of ESPN recently highlighted the Rangers’ softer style of play as a potential factor in their inability to overcome tougher teams like the Florida Panthers.

To rectify this issue, Rangers management needs to prioritize acquiring players who bring a combination of grit, physicality, and offensive skill. Here are a few potential targets they should consider:

  1. Max Domi: The Toronto Maple Leafs center/winger is known for his agitating style and offensive instincts. Domi can play with an edge, provide secondary scoring, and get under opponents’ skin. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent who could be a valuable addition to the Rangers’ top nine.
  2. Tyler Bertuzzi: The Leafs winger is a physical force who isn’t afraid to get into the dirty areas. Bertuzzi can contribute offensively and is a proven playoff performer. He’s also a UFA and could be enticed by the bright lights of Broadway.
  3. Trade Market: While Domi and Bertuzzi are intriguing free-agent options, the Rangers could also explore the trade market for players who fit their new grittier mold. This could involve targeting younger, cost-controlled players with two-way potential.

By adding more physicality and two-way skill to their lineup, the Rangers can become a more difficult team to play against come playoff time. It’s a strategy that has proven successful for teams like the Panthers, and Vegas Golden Knights and could be the key to the Rangers finally breaking through and hoisting the Stanley Cup.

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