How long will it take for the Rangers to become Cup contenders again?

Greg Wyshynski: For me, the first signal that the Rangers were in a transition was the trade of Derek Stepan to the Arizona Coyotes last summer for Anthony DeAngelo and Arizona's first-round pick, which they used on center Lias Andersson.
It was a salary dump in a way, with Stepan signed through 2021 at a $5 million cap hit. It was a chance to grab a seventh overall pick, which the Rangers used on Andersson, the highest they've drafted since 2004 and the first time they've drafted in the first round since 2012. But the real signal is what the Rangers didn't do: Replace Stepan in any meaningful way, in a league where going at least two-deep at center is a basic requirement.
So the fact that the Rangers sent a letter to their faithful indicating that a time of painful decisions and fan favorites leaving town has arrived is a shock only because of its timing. The writing's been on the wall, even if New York's distance from the playoff bubble has overshadowed it.