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GM Chris Drury: ‘Nothing is off the table’ for Rangers’ core this offseason after another disappointing finish

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The Rangers fell short of achieving the ultimate goal again this season.

After securing the Presidents’ Trophy during a terrific regular season showing, New York’s postseason run came to a disappointing end, as they were defeated by the powerhouse Florida Panthers in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

There’s no denying that this is a talented group of players, but with them coming up short down the stretch again, it has led to numerous questions about whether or not they’re good enough to get the job done. 

Blueshirts president and general manager Chris Drury addressed that question and numerous other issues during his end-of-season conference call with reporters on Friday afternoon. 

“It was a disappointing end to the season,” he told reporters including Vince Mercogliano of USA Today Sports. “But I do believe in our players individually, a lot of players had great seasons, and a number of them have been very good Rangers for a long time. 

“Now is the part of the job where we have to figure out if this group collectively can get us where we want to be, and that process is already underway and will continue throughout the offseason. We’re constantly trying to figure out how we can get better and push forward to our ultimate goal.”

New York dealt with numerous lingering injuries to their defensive core down the stretch including a cracked rib for Ryan Lindgren, a banged-up knee for Adam Fox, and a broken ankle for captain Jacob Trouba but that’s still no excuse.

Their key players simply didn’t show up when it matters most in the Florida series with Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin combining for just one goal during the six games, which came with under a minute remaining in the elimination loss. 

So now New York finds itself heading into what figures to be a very interesting offseason, as they could decide to stand pat and run it back with this same group, or it could look to shake things up a bit. 

Drury wouldn’t go into specific players or contract talks as always, and he danced around whether or not he’d consider moving one or more of his core group of players, but he did emphasize that “nothing is off the table.”

New York will look to add a proven scorer to the mix to pair with Zibanejad and Chris Kreider on the top line, but the third-year GM also added that they’ll look to become a “more physical team.”

The Blueshirts certainly have some intriguing internal candidates to help fill that build with youngsters Matt Rempe and Adam Edstrom both impressing during their first pro stints this season.

Drury has plenty of work to do this offseason, and he can turn a number of different ways, so it’ll be interesting to see how this club looks by the time training camp rolls around.

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