Pre Free Agency Musings

June 7, 2012, by

Hello everybody. I’ll be in New York in less than two weeks and it will feel odd. It will be the first summer time trip there and the first time outside of hockey season. No Rangers? Not right. I’m sure I’ll cope though. On to the musings

The Montreal Canadiens will be starting next season with Marc Bergevin and Michael Therrien at the helm of the storied franchise. I can’t help feeling that with the return of Therrien that club will be spinning its wheels for a year or two.

Speaking of Canadian teams, good move: the Bob Hartley appointment in Calgary. Bad move: Steve Tambellini getting a new deal in Edmonton. How does a general manager keep his club near the bottom of the league despite lottery pick after lottery pick and get rewarded with a new contract?

So the Rangers are linked heavily to Alexander Radulov. I can’t help thinking about Nikolai Zherdev when I think of Radulov: hugely talented on the ice, hugely problematic off it. If the Rangers get him he’ll cost a lot in dollars because he won’t sign anywhere for pittance. The cost to acquire may be minimal but the commitment to a big (but talented) risk will be significant – for whatever club snag him.

How weak is the free agent class of 2012?

If you go by cap hit alone, then among the ‘top ten’ likely active free agents you first find are Cristobal hows Europe Huet, Brian Rolston, Ryan Smyth and Kristian Huselius. I’ll leave you to assume my opinion of this ragtag bunch.

Assuming his price isn’t too whack, if the Rangers fail to lure Justin Schultz to New York I’d go a different direction for defensive acquisitions and consider grabbing a guy such as Barrett Jackman. Let’s get nasty.

Funny: Ales Kotalik is a free agent this summer. I believe his agent has already started to ignore calls because he can’t handle the volume. *tumbleweed*

Given his bad year, and given the Capitals likelihood for significant change this summer, I wonder if restricted free agent – and still hugely talented – Mike Green could be acquired? Given the right circumstances and health, he’s still a hell of a point producer. He may be after a fresh start elsewhere.

Mark Messier recently announced Ryan Callahan to the shortlist for his leadership award. The other nominees are worthy but Callahan is the very definition of a lead by example guy and would be a great, deserving winner. If he won, it would however only cement publicly what everyone in and around the Rangers already know: the best Blueshirt captain since #11 himself.

I wonder if Martin Brodeur stays another year and takes significantly less dinero to help the Devils re-up Zach Parise? He’s made his millions and it’s a dynamic many fans around the league who want Parise on their team may not have considered.

TV demands really control sports don’t they? It may just be my opinion but there’s something wrong about the Kings having to try clinch their first ever cup – at dinner time. With a local faceoff time of 5pm on Wednesday it just doesn’t seem right and it’s all because of TV.

Nice to see Jonathan Quick’s rise to stardom was inspired by Mike Richter. Check the video at TSN. It’s amazing the way Quick has developed, especially given that he’s had an elite talent in Jon Bernier in the shadows. Unlike Luongo (with Schneider) it seemingly hasn’t been a distraction at all.

Speaking of Quick, he’s definitely ascended to be among the very best in the league. The Rangers’ own Henrik Lundqvist in my opinion gets the nod but Quick, Pekka Rinne and for me, Carey Price and Ryan Miller are among the top five in the league. Price and Miller are great goalies in less than ideal situations.

Question Time:

  • Will Chris Kreider score over/under 20 goals as a rookie next year?
  • If you had to have another goalie in the league (in place of the King) who would it be?
  • Would you trade/sign Alex Radulov and if so, what would your ceiling be in terms of $?
  • Will the Rangers re-sign Ruslan Fedotenko?
  • Who scores more points next season: Derek Stepan, Anisimov or Brandon Dubinsky?


  1. Kevin Baumer says:

    1. Over
    2. Hedberg
    3. No, not under any circumstances
    4. No
    5. Stepan

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      Clearly read that too fast and interpreted as a goalie in place of Biron. Whoops. Gotta go Quick.

  2. TommyT says:

    Chris first and foremost, awesome write up. Now on top the knitty gritty of this article.

    1) Kreider will bury at least 20 goals next season, given the correct ice time and opportunities. He needs to play with good players to be effective.

    2)Any other goalie in the league is a tough question seeing how there are many top flight tendys. My choice is Rinne i like his style and composure, he can handle the pressure and is fundamentally sound.

    3) Radulov is a big Fat no!!! hes talented and strong etc…. but he does not fit, why lose even a 7th round pick for a guy that would be killed by torts within a week. No to mention his love to go out an party, in NYC thats too dangerous look at Theo Fluery he doesnt even remember playing in NY

    4)I believe Feds walks away for a bigger deal, he can still play and is a leader in the locker room but they need more talent. Feds brings everything to the ice every night and i could not ask for more from him as a fan. Thank you for your time here in NY.

    5)Stepan will be the player we see get more points. He is young and still learning the game, has great vision and a wicked wrist shot (when he shoots), matched up with Cally an Kreider i can see him vastly improving his numbers. Cally grinds and scores the ugly goals, Krieder has his speed and scoring touch, Stepan is the set up guy who can also score, the intangibles on this line go on forever, defensive, transition game, speed, vision etc.

    Sorry for being long winded, all feedback is appreciated.

  3. Steven T says:

    1. Over
    2. Probably Quick.
    3. Gotta put a relatively large NO on that one
    4. Sadly no, though I liked Feds as a Blueshirt
    5. I’m gonna go with Stepan because I think he’ll be getting more shifts with higher talents like Kreider, plus I think he’s slightly better than Artem. Dubi may not even be in NY next year

  4. DPeters says:

    1) More than 20
    2)Jon Bernier
    4)Really hope so \ Torts fav \ Great leader
    5)Dubinsky better score more or he may be wearing another uniform come trade deadline

  5. MBN says:

    1. Over, but not by much. Probably 20-25 range.
    2. Rinne, although I have really loved Miller’s game for a while now.
    3. No. Does not fit the profile at all.
    4. Hope they do – probably will be out-bid though.
    5. Stephan. But Dubi has a comeback season, and nets around 20.

  6. Jeff P says:

    1. At least 25. Outside chance at 30, barring an injury.
    2. Holtby
    3. Yes at the right price. Maybe $2.5/year for 2 years. He’ll get more elsewhere.
    4. I’d like to see him back as a 13th forward (or 12th, if Rupp is 13th). Not as a top 9 guy.
    5. Stepan (PP time)

  7. Zen says:

    Mike Green is the type of offensive D talent that Slats has been looking for. I just doubt the Caps would move him here for anything less than a mega-package.

    1. Definitely over 20
    2. Ryan Miller
    3. No to the Russian. Not a fit in the locker room.
    4. No no no. Let Feds go. Too much money for what he brings. There is plenty of leadership in the locker room now.
    5. Stepan… easily.

  8. wwpd says:

    -low 20s
    -Quick in a heartbeat
    -like most of the others, would like to have him back as part timer but think he has better opportunities elsewhere in the nhl
    -Step edges Dubi but I think it will be close

  9. Rickyrants13 says:

    No Feds, Krieder gets 32 And Stepan if he isnt moved back to the third line.

  10. Tim B says:

    Kreider scores over 20 goals
    Pekka Rinne
    Dont sign Radulov (as much as i like this guy, he could be a bust and btw, a lot of Russian players are lazy on the ice)
    Feds-Sign him he is a veteran, stanley cup winner, great defensive guy, know what man to cover ( see post on BSB about Rangers-Senators Spezza’s first goal of the playoffs)
    Im hoping Dubi, of not than Stepan, if Anisimov is still with this team next year and fails to score more than 20 goals than he should lose his spot on the team.

    Question time:
    Should the Rangers sign a big guy to play on the first line?
    What to do with Sauer if he sucks?
    Resign Avery at small price?
    Sign an RFA fron a different team?
    Make a trade at draft day?
    And is it possible to trade players to a team in a different league such as the KHL? I would teade some talented ppl for Zucc to come back ( just saying)
    What to do if Biron is resigned and is out for the season?
    Buyout Redden or Drury?
    Trade Redden?
    Give JAM a shot for a possible playoff run next year?

  11. Mikeyyy says:

    Our team is small, we need some power forward grit. A guy to stand in front of the crease.

    I don’t think torts will change the style too much so we need to get guys to play that system more.

    JJ could be had and should be if we can. Just for what he can impart on other players.

    • The Suit says:

      Where were you on my post this morning?

    • Mike B says:

      I agree that we need a guy to stand in the crease, I just think he’s already on the team. It needs to be Boyle. He has the potential to be a Shanahan type player if he would go to the net and put that 6’7″ frame in front of the goalie. He has worked so hard on his game to become a better skater, improve his hockey IQ etc., now it’s time for him to get dirtt and if he does, the power play would improve and he would probably score 25-30 goals with over half of them coming on the PP. I can’t understand why the coaching staff hasn’t figured this out yet. It’s not as if Boyle would be afraid to go there, he blocks shots with reckless abandon, it’s exactly what the team needs and it’s already there.

      • The Suit says:

        They tried Boyle in front of the net on the power play at one point. IMO his balance wasn’t very good.

  12. kdiff77 says:

    1. Over
    2. Jonny Quick, and it’s not even close
    3. Yes, but the ceiling is $2 million. So, pretty much no.
    4. Yes. We need his experience and winning mentality. I love Rusty, and would hate to see him go.
    5. I was thinking Stepan easily, but then I realized that Dubinsky will probably have a bounce-back year and I really think Arty will elevate his game to the next level next year. Plus, Stepan has always been, and will continue to be, a better playmaker than goal-scorer. So I’m going with Dubinsky, who MUST feel he has something to prove after a disappointing year.

  13. Monty says:

    Price in the top five? …no way!
    Otherwise I really do like “Musings” here:)
    1. over (I’m quite certain)
    2. there is no other option (long live the king!)
    3. never
    4. no (even though i like him, there is only limited number of spots on the roster)
    5. Dubi! I really hope he has a bounce-back season next year!

  14. agentsmith says:

    If you use kreiders playoff stats as ur sample thats 23 goals over 82 games. Factor in a training camp and goalies not named brodeur over 20 without question.

  15. HARLEMBLUES says:

    1. 20+ 2.Rinne 3.No 4.No 5.AA If Radulov can get suspended for hanging out in Nashville really Nashville NYC no way. What is their a juke joint under the grand ole opry.

  16. tom says:

    if i hade to pick another goalie other then the kind id go with cam ward always liked his game