Rangers announce rebuild in statement: We may 'lose some familiar faces'
Jared Silber / National Hockey League / Getty

New York Rangers president Glen Sather and general manager Jeff Gorton appeared to warn the team's fans of an approaching rebuild in a statement released Thursday.

The statement notes that the Rangers began reshaping their roster during the offseason and the club will now focus on acquiring young, competitive, and skilled players with character and speed. They also alerted fans that, in the process, familiar names could be traded as the team looks to build a future Stanley Cup contender.

Earlier Thursday, the team placed defenseman Brendan Smith on waivers. New York signed him to a four-year, $17.4-million contract just last summer.

Here's the full statement from Sather and Gorton:

As a member of the Blueshirt Faithful, we consider you a part of the New York Rangers family, and always want to ensure we share important news about the organization directly with you. Today, we want to talk to you about the future.

As you know, since the 2005-06 season, we have been a highly competitive team. We have played 129 playoff games, won the Presidents’ Trophy, reached the Conference Finals three times, as well as the Stanley Cup Final. While we’re proud of all those accomplishments - we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York.

So as we do every season, we have been continuously evaluating our team, looking for areas that can be improved to enhance our chances of winning. We began the process of reshaping our team this past summer, when we traded for assets that we believe will help us in the years to come. As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character. This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect. While this is part of the game, it’s never easy. Our promise to you is that our plans will be guided by our singular commitment: ensuring we are building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.

There are no fans like Rangers fans. You are passionate, loyal and true. You fill The Garden every night, and we always know there will be a strong showing from RangersTown in every building across the League. We do not take your support for granted. We appreciate that you have always stood by us, and we ask you to remain by our side as we undertake this exciting new chapter filled with promise and change.

We will keep you informed as this process takes shape. Thank you for the incredible loyalty, pride and respect you show to the New York Rangers, each and every day.

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Rangers announce rebuild in statement: We may 'lose some familiar faces'
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