Do the Rangers need to bolster their defense?…Stars at a crossroads…Could the Wild shop Marek Zidlicky?…Brian Elliott’s new contract could make Blues number three goalie Ben Bishop expendable.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the recent near-injury of defenseman Ryan McDonagh should spur Rangers management to seek more blueline depth for the remainder of the season, particularly one head coach John Tortorella could trust to log major minutes. Brooks suggests Carolina’s Tim Gleason, Dallas’ Sheldon Souray and Nashville’s Ryan Suter as possible options if the Rangers decide to go that route.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks is only making his own suggestions here, not saying the Rangers are definitely pursuing those guys. It’s been rumored the Blueshirts would consider adding another scoring winger, but Brooks makes a good point about ensuring sufficient depth among the top four on the Rangers blueline. Whatever management does will ultimately be determined by the club’s overall health, and where they are in the standings by the end of next month. For now, there’s no need to rush out and make a move.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika wonders if the Stars are good enough to consider themselves playoff contenders this season. While the club has struggled after a strong start to the season, Heika doubts management will start shopping players now, as it would send the wrong message that they’re giving up on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever GM Joe Nieuwendyk does will be determined by the Stars performance over the next four weeks.

Could the Wild shop Zidlicky?

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild made defenseman Marek Zidlicky a health scratch for the first time since he joined the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s rumored the Wild could shop a defenseman in hopes of landing a scoring forward. This move could make Zidlicky considered “trade bait”, but he’s still got one year at $4 million remaining on his contract, with a modified “NTC”, plus his performance this season might not make him attractive on the trade market.

STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford reports Brian Elliott’s new contract spells bad news for number three defenseman goaltender Ben Bishop, who is eligible for Group VI UFA status this summer, which could result in the Blues shopping him, rather than risk losing him to free agency.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Damien Cristodero recently cited Bishop as perhaps an option for the Lightning to pursue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Yzerman might be more interested in landing a goalie with NHL experience, but it might not be a bad idea to consider adding Bishop as a potential backup.