New York Rangers Looking To End A Nearly 30-Year Stanley Cup Drought

new york rangers NHL 2023 Debby Wong /
Published by NYSB Staff
Last Updated: 22. Aug 2023.

The bitter seven-game first-round loss to the New Jersey Devils has become a motivating force for the New York Rangers. The 2022 Eastern Conference finalist hoped to use this year's disappointing playoff run to help the franchise capture its first Stanley Cup trophy since the 1993-94 season. 

Veteran Players’ Perspective

Chris Kreider, the longest-tenured player in the organization, still feels the pain of the early playoff exit. However, the veteran left-winger is confident that the Rangers will bounce back this season.

"I expect that to turn into a bit of a chip on everyone's shoulder," Kreider said recently at the Shoulder Check Showcase charity event for the #HT40 Foundation.

Learning from Past Mistakes

Former James Norris Memorial Trophy winner Adam Fox feels he and his teammates can learn from past mistakes to rebound with a championship-caliber campaign.

"I think it's just learning from past years," Fox said. "I mean, obviously, we were super happy with the year before and how we exceeded what people thought we could do. And then this year, people set that bar high, and we put that bar high, too. We came up short, but I think just learning from it. We do have a couple of guys who maybe we do have to experience that heartbreak and that letdown to really push us through.

"I think it does add that chip and gets you excited to get back there and try and compete and try and win a Stanley Cup."

Hungry for Success: The Players’ Mindset

Rangers alternate captain Barclay Goodrow also feels that the New York City squad will be more hungry this year after failing to live up to the lofty expectations this past season.

"When you go into training camp each year, especially with the team we have with the expectations to win the Cup when that doesn't happen, it kind of makes you hungry for the next year," Goodrow said. "Whether we brought in a new coach or not, or brought in different players or not, I think everyone who was here last year is still going to have that hunger to improve what we did and make sure the same mistakes don't happen."

Introducing a New Coaching Philosophy

New head coach Peter Laviolette will bring a hard-working, blue-collar-style mentality to the Rangers. The fourth coach in NHL history to lead three teams to the Stanley Cup Finals, Laviolette believes the will from within to win is essential to the success of elite hockey teams.

"The compete inside the game is what makes teams great," said the 10th head coach in NHL history to record 700 wins. "It drives them to success. I don't think that's something you can just ask for. I think that you have to practice that on a daily basis. It has to become habit, it has to become your identity, part of the DNA of who you are — and it has to start in training camp.

"It has to be held to a level of accountability. When you have that, and you have the skill, that's how teams push on, and they compete for Stanley Cups, win Stanley Cups, and become really good hockey teams."

Laviolette's Aggressive Approach

Unlike previous head coach Gerard Gallant, whose swift practices rarely challenged players physically, Laviolette is a defensive-oriented coach who believes in an aggressive training style.

"For me, it's always been a little more of an aggressive approach," Laviolette said. "I think that you have to play good defense, and you see that for teams that win Stanley Cups. Defense is always a priority, and you have to be able to play well in your defensive zone and good defense. But for me, it's about the attack. It's about pressure, it's about puck pursuit, it's about the battle level, the compete level, the grit.

"It's that grind in the game that makes teams great. You can't just flip a switch on that. That has to be talked about now, it has to be taught in training camp, it has to be worked on through the exhibition games, and it has to be pushed through the entire season.

"So that it's not something that you're asking to change or to flip the switch to be able to play playoff hockey. It's so that you're ready, and you prepared yourself the whole year to play playoff hockey."

Key Offseason Acquisitions

The Rangers' offseason free-agent signings included former Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler and future Hall of Fame goalie Jonathan Quick. Wheeler is a bargain acquisition who signed with New York with hopes of winning a Stanley Cup. The soon-to-be 37-year-old tallied 55 points (16-39) last season and turned down several multiple-year deals to join the Rangers.

Quick is a three-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender who replaces Jaroslav Halak as starting goalie Igor Shesterkin's backup. The 15-year veteran enjoyed his gig as a backup goalie with the Vegas Golden Knights last season and opted to sign with the Rangers, the team he grew up watching as a child. 

Developing the Young Talent

One of the biggest questions facing Laviolette is how many minutes he will play former high draft picks Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, and Alexis Lafreniere. The trio are the three youngest forwards on the projected opening day roster, and some believe New York must develop into elite players to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Like last season, the Rangers will open the new NHL campaign with lofty expectations. But with a championship-caliber head coach and a hungry group of veteran players, this could be the season in which New York embarks on a deep playoff run. Given the team's promising outlook, NHL betting markets are keenly watching the Rangers as a team to potentially break their long-standing Cup drought.

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