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The Rangers may have a log jam of forwards this summer

Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Up front, the Rangers will have a lot of moving parts this summer beyond their top six. With Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan certainties to be retained (a question of how much rather than if) and the club focused on developing the young players such as Chris Kreider and JT Miller, there’s not a lot of space on the roster. With the club committed, at least financially, to Derick BrassardDerek Dorsett, Brian Boyle, Arron Asham, and Taylor Pyatt there’s maybe no space for the likes of Mats Zuccarello, no matter how he plays this year out.

The natural assumption is that the Rangers will trade guys to make room for others. But the problem with this assumption is that the cap is coming down to $64.3 million, and assuming the Rangers can move a now expendable guy such as Taylor Pyatt (and his $1.55 million cap hit) is a dangerous assumption. There’s also no guarantees the club can move a Boyle or a Pyatt should they choose to. Now, do the math. That’s ten players listed without considering Ryane Clowe, Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards and Darroll Powe. That’s also not considering any players from the Whale, CHL, Europe, NCAA, or free agency. Log Jam folks.

The Rangers roster has a lot of upside, but plenty of question marks. Glen Sather will also have to consider beyond next season. The irreplaceable Ryan Callahan will need a new (expensive and long term) contract. The club will also need to figure out how to keep Dan Girardi to a reasonable contract, in addition to maintaining a solid defense around the blue line leader. Plenty of question marks then for the Rangers.

While the Rangers’ season is gathering momentum, speculation will begin soon enough as to what the next edition of the Rangers will look like. The first issue may be clearing the log jam up front. They can’t address this now, but the draft and the offseason are going to be interesting to watch.

35 Responses to “The Rangers may have a log jam of forwards this summer”

  1. TxRanger says:

    I think they find a way to move Powe and Pyatt. We’re talking about Glen Sather here.

    • Dave says:

      We are on the same page here. Although it wouldn’t shock me to see just Pyatt moved.

    • amy herman says:

      it is important for Sather to sign the core which is cally, nash, staal, etc and move lesser pieces like pyatt, boyle, asham etc this is how you build a good team

  2. Chris F says:

    This has been a concern of mine recently, as well. The Rangers have a full lineup of top-six/bottom-six forwards, and yet they have the likes of Kreider, Miller, Fast on the side-lines, presumably ready for action next year.

    The Rangers must keep:

    Nash-Stepan-Callahan
    Hagelin-Brassard-Clowe

    Then they have the bottom six options of Dorsett, Boyle, Powe, Asham, Pyatt, Zuccarello. That’s too many forwards right there, with 3 top-six players in the pipeline, and we haven’t even mentioned Richards, yet.

    I think a Richards buyout is the only possible option to free up a roster spot and clear enough cap space to make sure we retain the vital forwards we need. Then, hopefully, Sather can swing a deal to unload Powe and/or Pyatt for some later draft picks. We don’t need any roster players in return.

    • Chris F says:

      Next year, I’d be thrilled to see:

      Nash-Stepan-Callahan
      Hagelin-Brassard-Clowe
      Fast-Miller-Kreider (Zuccarello)
      Dorsett-Boyle-Powe/Asham

      This would mean Richards has to be bought out, Pyatt and either Powe/Asham has to be unloaded for a non-roster player in return.

      • Blueshirt In Paris says:

        I would be licking my chops as the opposing coach if the NYR sent out Fast-Miller-Kreider

      • Dave says:

        What makes you think Fast is NHL ready?

        • Chris F says:

          A Fast-Miller-Kreider line (currently) is probably not where it needs to be defensively. But, I’m talking next year. They have the rest of the AHL season, plus a playoff run and then training camp next summer to develop. They could be ready.

          As for Fast, I haven’t seen him play in North America, yet, so I don’t know how ready is or will be. Which is why I added Zuccarello in brackets as a possible insert on that line pending development of the three youngsters.

      • scrangersfan says:

        I agree that Richards contract must be bought out but I also think they need to trade Pyatt and Asham.They add nothing to the team and neither does Richards.The problem I see is that Richards is Tortorella’s boy and he will fight to keep him.

  3. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Should be interesting for all teams the next few years with the cap coming down. May see some interesting names on the trade/free agent market.

    • Dave says:

      You may also see some unlikely trade partners. The Isles need depth players and have some picks to give.

  4. upstate tom says:

    where’s lindburg fitting in ??

    • Dave says:

      Lindberg is a bit of an unknown right now. He, like Fast, may need a year in the AHL. He also may not. Next year’s camp will determine their place.

  5. Gravy9 says:

    Getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Still making a playoff push this season. But ok. Yep lots of Forwards under contract, Young players knocking on the door, Sounds like a good thing.

    Guys that Will be here opening night:
    1. Nash #1 RW, 2. Callahan #2 RW
    3. Stepan C, top 2 4. Brassard C, 2a.
    5. Clowe LW, 6. Hagelin LW, both top 1/2/or 3.
    7. Dorsett RW, fourth line.

    Players that should be here:
    8. Kreider LW, 1 of top 3 lines.
    9. Miller C/W, can fit any position/any line, even Fourth.
    10. Boyle C, Torts New Fav again, should be 4th line Center, useful PKr.

    Question Marks???
    11. Richards C, Could be bought out? Who knows.
    12. Zuccarello W, Top 9 winger see how he finishes this year. Will def be a #s game with him. Def welcome him back, if its not taking a spot from Kreider + Miller-time.
    13. Pyatt LW, Blocking a young fourth line energy winger, prob could benefit from a training camp, should be able to be moved in Off-season.
    14. Asham RW, Enter Dorsett Exit Asham.
    15. Powe W/C, Blocking youth, Mb extra forward?
    16. Haley W/C, Perfect 13th Forward!

    Prospects knocking on the door:
    17. Thomas RW, Should be up at some point next year
    18. Lindberg C, Hearing he could be the #3 center right now?!.
    19. Fast RW, Currently getting a look in CT right now. Do not know his or Lindbergs SEL 13/14 status.
    20. Bourque W, Small fast energy guy 3/4 line. Scoring coming together lately since coming back from injury in CT. Like Thomas, next year should be the year to see if they are NHL ready. MIn the end, Might not be with NYR though.

    Defense should be about Set:
    McDonagh – Girardi
    Staal – Del Zotto
    Moore – McIlrath!!/Stralman/Eminger

    So yes, this Off season through Training Camp will definitely be interesting. But its all about the push in 13′. Almost time to get those playoff beards going. Let’s Go Rangers!

    • Gravy9 says:

      Not Exact Lines at all.. Who knows what they will be next week, let alone next year. Just showing the potential lineup battle with all those players:

      {Hagelin/ – Stepan 1/2 – Nash
      Clowe/ – Richards? – Callahan
      Kreider/} – Brassard 2/3 – Zucc/Miller/Fast
      Miller/Pyatt – Boyle 3/4/Lindberg – Dorsett
      Xtra F- Haley, Powe?

      On Defense, Hope MciLrath and his toughness shows up at Training Camp.. And he grabs the #6 spot behind Mcdonagh, Girardi, Staal, Del Zotto, and Moore!

    • scrangersfan says:

      Playoff beard? your getting ahead of yourself there gravy9. They first have to make the playoffs which is not a given considering how well the Islanders are playing and if Kovalchuk come back, the Devils will also must be considered.

  6. bogans says:

    I think depth is a luxury that the Rangers did not have up until now and next season this should not be approached as a problem.

    To me you have 9 certain guys that must be on the NHL roster: Nash, Richards, Cally, Step, Brassard, Clowe, Hagelin, Boyle, and Dorsett

    Then you have 3 more spots for fourth liners: Pyatt, Asham, and Powe

    I would go into camp with that one spot open for Miller or Kreider and if they both force their way onto the ice then we carry 14 forwards until one is able to be traded. I would love to see Zucc back, but it really depends on the rest of his season and would put him in this same category

    I personally am of the opinion that both of the kids coming from Sweden could use some time in the AHL getting used to the smaller ice and bigger bodies. Thomas and Bourque almost assuredly could use another season in the AHL as well.

    I see all of the options as adding up to depth and opportunities, not issues or logjams.

  7. Matt Josephs says:

    Been thinking about this also. May make sense to trade a couple of Miller/Lindberg/Fast/Kreider by the end of next season for a legit young NHL winger on his second contract that’s cost controlled.

    We’ll see what happens this summer though.

  8. Walt says:

    Personnaly, I believe that Richards should be gone, along with Pyatt, and Powe.

    The lines should be :
    Nash-Step-Cally
    Hags-Brassard-Clowe
    Kreider-Lindberg-Miller
    Dorsett-Boyle-Asham

    The PK forwards would be Boyle, Cally, Hags, Lindberg, and should need be also Nash!

    The defense should be, if healthy:
    McD-Girardi
    Stall-MDZ
    Moore-Mc Ilrath
    Eminger as the 7th d-man

    Fasth, should be in the AHL next season, put on some muscle, and learn to play the North American game. Powe, and Pyatt could get us a late round pick, so be it, who would give us anything of value. In reality, I like Powe for the 4th line, and PK, and I hate to lose him. As for MZA, sign him to a contract, and use him as a 13th forward.

  9. Ray says:

    I don’t see quite the logjam. The Rangers have 13 forwards now (counting Dorsett) and four very promising kids (Kreider, Miller, Fast, Lindberg). They surely won’t want to count on more than 1-2 kids making the team. So it comes down to whittling 13 players into 10 or 11. For what it’s worth, they could send Powe, Pyatt, and Asham to the Whale for a cap hit under a million. Powe and Pyatt will certainly be on the trading block because I don’t think the Rangers want them.

    But there is so much to learn between now and then. Players may lose favor as the season progresses. We really don’t know how much it will cost to retain Clowe and MZA. One or both may, like Prust, price themselves out of New York.

    I expect we’ll see at least one surprise move.

  10. Tim B says:

    Boyle- $1.7
    Pyatt- $1.55
    Asham- $1.
    Powe- $1,066,667
    Together that equals $5,316,667. They need try to remove at least Pyatt, Boyle, and Asham. Powe i would keep as 4th line RW. Betts is a free agent and if he were to be signed than it would be a low salary deal below $1 million. Also helps on faceoffs and can replace Boyle on PK. Hamrilik has a $3.5 cap hit that is expiring so now we have a lot more to work with. Now third line… Zucc at $750,000? Maybe $715,000. He is making $700,000 now and is expiring. A little raise for a few assists a year should keep him around. They have options in the AHL and in Fast, Miller, Kreider, Bourque, Thomas & Lindberg. Than they could find a cheap third liner in free agency. Dorsett can play 4th line LW with Powe on the other wing. Now its time to resign the players. If they don’t have enough than there are a few possibilities:
    -Get Staal’s $3.975 off the books by trade. (Not likely)
    -Get Stralman’s $1.7 off the books by trade (Not likely). Gilroy is slightly cheaper than Eminger. So you could resign Gilroy and Eminger for the 6th and 7th defensemen. (Btw Bickel makes more than Gilroy lol)
    -Buyout Richards (idk if we can buy him out after this season or next season). It does save alot of money. And Brassard can be 2nd line center. Than they can find a new 3rd line center. Benn Ferriero, Lindberg, Miller?
    Now i would think that Slats would have enough to resign his players. Id leave Clowe till last as he would be one of the highest and older players. Hags, Stepan and Mcd are the #1 priority. Either way i think Slats can work this out with the help from Schonfield and Gorton.

    • Ray says:

      Zuccarello won’t sign for $750K. He doesn’t want to be a fringe player on the team and won’t take fringe player money.
      -Gilroy will not be back.

      • Tim B says:

        If no teams have interest in Gilroy than he could be resigned. Hes not that bad. He hit the post this year and it almost went in. Like i said, he’s cheap and has experience (including playoffs). I wouldnt’t be surprised to see him back. You are probably right on Zucc. We’ll have to wait and see.

    • Chris F says:

      ~I loved Betts when he was in NY, great PKer.

      ~However, the Rangers don’t need a “cheap 3rd liner in free agency,” they have all the personnel they need right here on the roster, and then some, if you take into account all the young kids in Hartford who will be with the Rangers soon.

      ~Definitely feel that Richards needs to be bought-out. I see Brassard as a great No. 2 Center who can more than compensate for Richards’ departure, at a much lower price. Richards contract was just outrageous.

      • Tim B says:

        Well they might need to trade a bottom 6 forward if they beed cap space. So technically they might need a cheap 3rd line forward. Also what if Torts believes none of the kids are ready yet? Than you need a 3rd line forward. Betts was my favorite player. Too bad to see him go. Brassard can compensate for Richards as you mentioned. I hate when they sign 1st line playmaking centers. It always comes back to haunt them. Look at Colorado. They drafted O’Rielly, Duchene and Stastny. Rangers need really good scouts so we can get these players too.

  11. Blueshirt In Paris says:

    I think you might see one of our LD not named McD moved for a #1RD.

    Some of those names above or other prospects not named Kreider or Miller might be included in the package.

  12. JoeP199 says:

    All I know is that I’m a hell of a lot happier with having a “log jam” which allows us to move some pieces, than I would be if we were looking at a lack of potential players and tradable players.