He says that the Rangers top seven defensemen, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Tim Erixon, Steve Eminger, Michael Sauer and Michael Del Zotto have an average age of 23 1/2 and 191 games.
Hackel writes that while Staal is an all-star, and McDonagh could be better, they still lack offensive punch on the blue line.
Defensively, I think that the Rangers have a very good top four and a solid top six no matter who fills out the last two spots. Brad Richards will run the point on the PP, but Michael Del Zotto is the key. He expects big things of himself, and if he can get going, it will add another dimension to the Rangers defense. If not, it could be another quiet season for the Rangers defense points-wise.