Musings: the looking ahead edition

It truly is the low point of the off season. The Rangers are quiet, at least publicly, and attention around the league is primarily focussed on the CBA talks. There are still a few things we can talk about though so welcome to another musings. Jump on in.

The Hockey News wrote an article recently on why the North West division is the league’s worst. It got me thinking again about the Atlantic. It is comfortably the best in the league in my humble opinion. It’s full of depth, big market teams and is stacked with superstar, marquee names including the division worst Islanders if you respect John Tavares’ ability like I do. Given how tough the Atlantic is it really puts the Rangers’ last season performance in greater context.

Just to recap on the Anton Stralman contract; he recently signed a 2 year $3.4m contract. While I think he has a fair bit of room for improvement when you look at what other defensemen signed for this summer, its good value for a player that got better as the year progressed and who is still very young. Stralman could realistically be a 30 point player for the Rangers and if he hits that number then $1.7m/year is a bargain.

Dubi watch: I think he hits 25 goals as a Blue Jacket next year. He’ll rebound and make himself a valuable commodity once again. The Rangers will still have won the trade however and I don’t think Dubinsky will be a Jacket long term.

Tim Erixon on the other hand, has it tough. He’s clearly a big talent but Columbus actually has quite a bit of talent on the back end and it’s by no means certain he starts on opening night (whenever that may be). If Erixon struggles to establish himself next year the Nash trade looks even better for the Rangers.

First Rangers prediction for next year: they’ll have two 30 goal scorers: Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan. I’d pencil Gaborik in too if he was healthy to start the year. (Side note: who can tell me the last time the Rangers had 3 30 goal scorers in one year?)

We’ve seen several coaches get new contracts this past few months with the latest being Peter Laviolette in Philly. I wonder if Tortorella gets a new deal. I know he signed a three year deal in April 2011 but after the brilliant season the team just enjoyed I’m sure they don’t want him reaching the end of the upcoming season with just one year left on his deal. No unnecessary distractions.

Given the additional depth up front for the Rangers (the regular season with Kreider, adding Nash et al) I wonder if Carl Hagelin can even ‘just’ replicate his 38 point, 14 goal rookie season, achieved in 64 games. I think it will be tough for the Swede but he is a player that shouldn’t solely be judged on numbers. His speed is a game changing dynamic and he can play up and down the line up giving the team great flexibility.

If I were Glen Sather I’d have an eye toward the future and be looking to move Mats Zuccarello for a draft pick. Clubs like Detroit who aren’t afraid to use small forwards, who missed out on several targets this offseason and who are looking to add offense would probably throw a conditional pick to the Rangers for the talented winger who clearly has no future with the Rangers. Even a mid-round pick would be worth it given the Rangers draft success in recent times.

Question Time:

  • Who scores more goals for their new team: Brandon Prust or Aaron Asham?
  • Michael Sauer: over or under 50 games played this coming season?
  • Who scores more points on the blueline, McDonagh, Del Zotto or another?
  • Will Chris Kreider break the twenty goal barrier as a rookie?
  • How many Rangers will break the 70 point barrier?

29 Responses to “Musings: the looking ahead edition”

  1. Tim B says:

    00-01 season Dvorak, Fleury and Nedved

  2. The Suit says:

    Who scores more goals for their new team: Brandon Prust or Aaron Asham? Prusty.

    Michael Sauer: over or under 50 games played this coming season? Under

    Who scores more points on the blueline, McDonagh, Del Zotto or another? MDZ

    Will Chris Kreider break the twenty goal barrier as a rookie? Def

    How many Rangers will break the 70 point barrier? Richie and Nash

    Great stuff Chris!

    • Chris says:

      Cheers bro. I think it could be 3 70 point players if Gaborik manages to get back relatively quickly. If he misses no more than 10 games… but I appreciate thats unlikely.

      I don’t think Prust will be too successful in Montreal. I hope I’m wrong.

      • Bobby G says:

        I had a somewhat similar injury to Gaborik, rotator cuff and labrum were torn from two dislocations, and it took me 6 months to play contact sports again.

        I assume he would be back a little faster considering the quality of doctors and rehab he’ll be dealing with. He is also a professional athlete, which I clearly am not.

        Hopefully, we see him on the ice by early november.

    • Walt says:

      Suit
      I only differ with you on Prust, I believe that Asham is a better offensive player, and will score more than Prust. If healthy, Gabby could also have a 30+ season, and we could have 4 70 point players, Richards, Nash, Gabby, and Callie!

      • Chris says:

        Personally I dont think Cally will ever stay healthy enough to get higher than 60 points/season. He lays his body on the line too much and has already miss a chunk of games. That said, i wouldnt change him at all.

      • Dave says:

        Cally is not a 70 point guy. He’s a 50 point guy.

        • Alex says:

          I’d say if he’s healthy and plays a full season, theres no reason he cant be a 30 goal, 30 assist guy. But the key thing is he needs to stay healthy and stop laying down in front of Chara’s slappers

      • AaronB says:

        I love Callie, but he’s probably looking at being on the third line once Gaby comes back….. Although, he’ll likely have Hagelin with him, 70 Isn’t gonna happen.

    • Bobby G says:

      I agree with all of Suits predictions.

      Prust will be used in a more prominant role for MTR than Asham will be used for NYR. He’ll most likely be givin more ice time and more opportunities to score.

      I could see Sauer coming back around Christmas time.

      I bet MDZ breaks his point total from last year, getting in the high 40s.

      My guess is Kreider nets about 25. Strong possibility that he wins the Calder trophy.

      Nash and Richie both break 70. Gaborik gets about 60, depending on how long he is out for.

  3. MBN says:

    1. Prust (he will have more opportunities also).
    2. Over (Rangers must know something if they let Erixon go to Columbus.
    3. MDZ (by a lot).
    4. Yes (but not by much).
    5. 2 (Same 2 as The Suit states, Nash and Richie).

  4. SalMerc says:

    Who scores more goals for their new team: Brandon Prust or Aaron Asham – Prust at least doubles Ashams production.
    Michael Sauer: over or under 50 games played this coming season? Under
    Who scores more points on the blueline, McDonagh, Del Zotto or another? MDZ, no question
    Will Chris Kreider break the twenty goal barrier as a rookie? I hope, but say no
    How many Rangers will break the 70 point barrier? Lets hope 5 (Nash, Cally, Gabby, Richards & TBD) Would be great if Boyle & Krieder combine for 90 pts)

  5. Chris says:

    I’m surprised people think there’s no question that MDZ scores more than McD? McD is just scratching the surface of his talent and he was only 9 points behind last year. I’d say MDZ will score more but its by no means a forgone conclusion.

  6. TheWrage says:

    1. Prust
    2. I’ll go bold and say over 50 games.
    3. MDZ, but McD finishes a close 2nd
    4. Kreider barely breaks 20 with 21 on the year.
    5. Nash and Richards.

  7. Alex says:

    Prust

    I’d say just about 50

    THey both tie

    Kreider breaks 20

    Maybe 3 – Nash and Richie, and maybe Stepan as a darkhorse if he continues developing and has a breakout year.

  8. Mark says:

    Prust… Hopefully Asham doesn’t get too much ice time

    Under 50, but more importantly the last 25 or so…and playoffs

    I will take a wild card and say Staal. I still think he is our most gifted all around defenseman… but between McD and MDZ ill take McD

    Kreider comes close to 20, maybe more. Depends a lot on how long Gabby is out for and who he gets paired with.

    2 Nash and Richards… i agree with Alex though, Stepan could be the dark horse again depending on how long Gabby is out for.

    Vezina for Hank again? I just want him to have won as many if not more than Tim Thomas. The guy is a joke and should not be able to say that he played during the same time as Henrik and won more Vezina’s… complete joke

    • rwa says:

      I agree with predictions with a few comments:
      Prust…but he doesn’t fit into montreal’s high speed team
      Agree
      Disagree..MZD because he will get the most pp time, staal second
      Agree… kreider will have around 20, maybe less
      Agree
      Hank…will not have the season like last, team style will change and play more in offensive end, giving up more 2 on 1 chances

  9. evan says:

    Not sure about your comments with Torts and giving him an extension just yet. Torts is signed for 2 years as well as our entire core. I think the next 2 years is our window to win with the cast we have. If torts cannot do it in the next 2 years given the talent we have and another bonafide scoring machine in nash, we may need to look for a different coach in 2 years

    I personally like Torts and would not care if we re signed him at this point, but I also think sustained success is necessary before giving him an extension.

  10. Chuck A says:

    Didn’t Zuc already jump ship?

  11. Jeff P says:

    1. I’d say they both score about 5. Not sure why people are so high on Prust’s goal scoring ability. His 13 goal 2010-11 is statistical outlier. Asham scored in double digits 4 times in his career.

    2. Under.

    3. MdZ, but that depends on PP time. McDonagh actually outscored MdZ at ES/SS.

    4. Yes. I have 25 as likely, 30 an outside possibility.

    5. 2. Richards (80%), Nash (75%), Gaborik (25%), Stepan (10%)

  12. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Prust
    Under
    McDonaugh
    Yes, over 20
    3 (Nash, Richards, Stepan)
    *Steps is an extreme dark horse here, I’m just going out on a limb and making a bold prediction. If I go 5 for 5 here, how about a one article per week spot next yr boys??

  13. Rickyrants13 says:

    •Who scores more goals for their new team: Brandon Prust or Aaron Asham? Asham

    •Michael Sauer: over or under 50 games played this coming season? OVER

    •Who scores more points on the blueline, McDonagh, Del Zotto or another? DEL Z by far..

    •Will Chris Kreider break the twenty goal barrier as a rookie? He will make 20 if not more.

    •How many Rangers will break the 70 point barrier? 2 Richards and Nash

  14. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Prust but not by many…not enought to be significant

    Sauer under 50 unless he is already healthy the over 50

    Del Zotto

    Kreider nets 32 goals if he gets major Powerplay minutes

    Richards, Nash, Stepan and Gaborik

    Thomas will crack the line up with 65 points and 28 goals…Had to add that there

    I see the lines as being

    Gaborik, Richards and Nash

    Kreider, Stepan and Thomas

    Hagelin, Boyle and Callahan

    Pyatt, Halpren and Asham

    Rupp

    I think we will see Miller get a taste along with Hirvik, McIlrath and Talbot

  15. SalMerc says:

    It is interesting that Stepan is in quite a few 50 pont predictions. It may eventually rely on who he is aligned with. Put him with a corner-digger, than he has to put it in. Put Gabby with him, and his role changes to more of an assist man. Either way, if we get 70 points out of him, we should be doing okay!

  16. eric says:

    A year from now we could be calling for the head of torts. Don’t give him another contract extention until we see where they go next year. He could just as easily burn out this team in a manner similar to Keenan