Musings; a look ahead

June 6, 2013, by
Zuccarello scores pretty goals, will he be kept?

Zuccarello scores pretty goals, will he be kept?

Welcome to the musings. It’s not a game day, it’s the offseason and that depresses a lot of us. Let’s see if we can collectively raise some spirits shall we?

The way the Bruins are absolutely controlling the Penguins – probably the most skilled and talent laden team in the league – makes you wonder about the Rangers Bruins series doesn’t it? Maybe Tortorella wasn’t the (main) issue. In terms of execution, the Bruins are the best team in the league.

Here at the site, we’ve already begun to touch on free agency, internal movement and candidates to bring in. Looking at the free agent list, it’s incredibly underwhelming. The Rangers need to move forward and try to win while they have Lundqvist, of course they do. However, they really shouldn’t chase name players and throw money around because they have a sense of urgency. That would be suicide.

Assuming they make it to free agency, here are some players I’d consider under the right circumstances: Clarke MacArthur, Tyler Bozak, Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell. There’s a chance none of them get to free agency but all address needs on the Rangers.

Another guy that could benefit from a change of scenery? The once promising Mason Raymond, winger on the Canucks.

Sifting through the free agency list and it’s hard to find players that either a) are not too old/past their prime, b) don’t address team needs better than what is already here and c) come with significant question marks that make them legitimate risks. Even some appealing candidates like those above have risks attached.

Having glanced at the Rangers prospect system recently, it got me thinking that the Rangers would benefit enormously if just one prospect such as Dylan McIlrath or JT Miller or even Christian Thomas stepped up and demanded to be on the roster through his play.

Speaking of Dylan McIlrath; he was considered an important prospect before the season and there has been some concerns (mainly health related) about his progress but if the big kid could make the Rangers that would really help address the frailties in front of Lundqvist. On paper, he’s exactly what this team needs and would mean the team doesn’t have to throw free agency dollars around to get it.

I do offer a little chuckle when I read report cards around the Rangers fan base. I think Rangers fans are often guilty of over estimating apparent success. Hell, even I was a touch too positive (perhaps). However, I recently saw Callahan given an A+, Ryan McDonagh given an A+ and Zuccarello getting a B+. All three played well, but Callahan and McDonagh had tough stretches and Zuccarello certainly wasn’t close to an A grade player. I think all three have room for improvement based on their play this year and that’s exciting not a criticism.

I hope Glen Sather knows what he’s doing as Dallas Eakins getting a second interview with the Canucks sure makes it look like one less candidate for the Rangers position like very soon.

While a few have prospects have been injured or not progressed as quickly as some hoped it’s worth noting that there’s possibly (depending on individual circumstances) a ton of potential talent at Rangers camp this September: Ryan Bourque, Christian Thomas, Miller, Kreider, Lindberg, Fast, McIlrath, Hrivik, Yogan and St Croix to name a few. That’s not considering college kids or draft picks and while not every prospect can make it that’s still some fine potential looking to make the grade. Reason for optimism?

Question time:

Categories : Musings


  1. Ryan Durr says:

    Zucc simply because the skills level.. Would love to see what he can do with out the fear of torts. And I know shoot outs are lame but doesn’t hurt to have him around for a few opportunities of a full season.

    Staal opening night yes- i mean he played in the play offs.

    Step has stud potential- but you have to keep in mind Dub/Boyle both had big years before and never came back to form. Obviously different talents but just an example.

    Callys gonna get paid.. And it’s going to be an easy smooth process.

    Asham/Pyatt…. Neither. But maybe Asham simply because he’s quicker. Pyatt though he had a decent play off stretch reminded me of a slower rupp who couldn’t fight

  2. Todd says:

    •If you could keep just one: Zuccarello or Clowe
    Clowe for the right price.

    •Will Marc Staal be in the opening night line up next season?
    •Would you pay Stepan more to get a longer commitment?
    No 3 years that is it.
    •How much is Ryan Callahan’s next contract worth?
    •Arron Asham or Taylor Pyatt?
    Neither. Get Bickell.
    Bickell and Clowe with one REALLY tough Dman is what this team needs. The Rangers were too soft this past year. We need to have talented players who are tough and not afraid to drop the gloves when necessary

  3. supermaz says:

    Zucc or Clowe …not even close…I love Zucc !

    I think we are all hopeful for Staal…cross your fingers.

    Love Stepan’s game, but no.

    Callahan gets whatever he wants.

    Asham ….Pyatt is awful.

  4. SalMerc says:

    I think whomever we keep or move, we need to upgrade everywhere. Our current team is not a championship team with regards to depth. If we plan on bring Kreider, Miller and at least one more young guy into the fold, we need to push out some guys or package 2 or 3 for a top 6 forward. I like Stepan and Zucc, but everyone else can be packaged.

  5. Alex says:

    both…by out Richards


    Yes, as long as its reasonable (3-5mil range)

    4-5 mil


  6. RangerSmurf says:

    1) Zuke.
    2) Yes.
    3) Yes, by default. You have to pay more to buy UFA years. Also, His contract needs to top out at $4m unless we’re buying UFA years, and even that seems high given he’s an RFA w/o arbitration.
    4) $5.5m tops. Unless he wakes up tomorrow as a 70 point player.
    5) Asham. You at least know what he brings to the table. Still not sure what Pyatt does.

  7. Randy says:

    1) Clowe. I love Zuccarello, but we have a more apparent need for a talented power forward than we do for a small speedy skill guy in my opinion. love zuccs though id keep em both if we can.

    2)I really hope so.

    3)Absolutely. Stepan was our most consistent player all season long, and is only getting better and better. Everyone he plays with gets better. Give him 5 years and let him become the stud that he is already starting to become.

    4)Cally deserves a nice reward for everything he has done. Guy is an absolute savage and sets the team identity by himself. Give him the fat paycheck he deserves.

    5) Asham. Pyatt played well in the playoffs, but he is too soft for his size, and the rangers have too many players like that (boyle, nash). Asham, when healthy, actually has a rocket of a shot and has proven he can make some plays and drop the mits.

    Side musing: That game last night was great, and the Bruins are playing some great hockey. Makes the loss sting a little less, but I hate having to see one of those teams win. Anyone else see the news that Gregory Campbell broke his leg on that shift and kept playing? That’s why the NHL playoffs are second to none.

  8. Mikeyyy says:

    5-6 mil
    Neither. Jt miller

  9. joe719 says:

    I like the idea of having the physical presence of a Clowe, but I think hes gonna want a huge contract to stay; and really thru no fault of his own, he didn’t really show too much down the stretch. I like Zuccarello a lot. He’s a creative guy, and this team NEEDS that. If Staal can adjust to what I think might be permanent damage to his eye, then yes, he’ll be in the opening night lineup. If not, we’re screwed.
    Stepan wants to be here, so I don’t think he’ll break the bank with his contract demands. I would give him more for a longer commitment because he has gotten better each year. He seems to be growing as a player before our eyes.
    Callahan will be able to write his own ticket; and IMO, he’s earned it.
    Both Asham and Pyatt can be replaced; they shouldn’t even be in the discussion. With Dorsett, Miller and Lindberg coming, they’re expendable.

  10. cv19 says:

    May I segue?
    For all the crap Nasher took for his self-assessment vis-a-vis the playoffs, he was definitely better against the Bruins than any of the Penguin forwards.
    Can’t wait to watch him for a full season on Broadway (er, Seventh Ave.).

  11. Kevin says:

    Would be hard to go over $5 million, but really whatever it takes

  12. Erixon20 says:

    Clowe – but $ has to be right. Zucc is good but not top 6 good on a contender.
    Staal – he s/b ready. Then off to Carolina in 2015 for no return. Explore a trade to CAR now?
    Step – yes, pay the man his money
    Cally – 4.5 per for 5. He and Hank need to take a little less for sake of team. Win it all in NYC and it will be worth their while.
    Asham by a mile. Way underused for a guy with 3rd line skills that will/can go with almost anyone.

  13. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Zuccarello (lower asking price). Also, I’d prefer to fill Clowe’s “role” with a guy who has a bit more speed to his game and can play a heavy forecheck. A guy like Bickel or Torres would be ideal. Younger and less money, albeit less of a scoring touch…

    Staal- Yes

    Stepan- Yes. I’d have no problem with 5 or 6 years at 4.5 mil. Am I realistic?

    Callahan. 5 years @ 5 mil

    Asham, no question. Pyatt is the first guy I want gone this off season.

    Side musings…. if (when) the Pens get bounced in 4 or 5 games, just like the Rangers, they will part ways with Bylsma. They will look to bring in a guy known for holding players accountable and running a more solid system. They will go back to the Michelle Therien style. Tippet/Ruff come to mind. I know the Pen’s have questionable goaltending/defensive make up and that’s likely where the series is being lost, but Bylsma’s defensive and neutral zone has been horrific. The Bruin’s are out executing the Pens, as they did to us. Julien is doing beautiful things with the Bruins. The Pens would be smart to mimic that.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      I think it would be a longshot that the Pens fire Bylsma. They need to commit more in the defensive end, but that can be rectified. The real issue for them is goaltending. Fleury is a headcase.
      As for the Bruins, that team has played together for so long that that just breeds confidence among each player. There is a lot to be said for continuity and chemistry. That team is executing on the highest level right now and I believe a lot of that is the confidence that playing together for so long breeds.

  14. Gleb Sokolovskiy says:

    We need three set pairs of defensemen. If Staal is fine and Strallman stays, we need a dependable seventh. Not to block the shot, but to play the game. Free up some space for McD – he can score, likely, so can Moore. We need Girardi to use his shot constantly. And we need a legitimate forth line. All of that can actually be adressed with just couple of inexpensive (relatively) players, determined coach and a training camp.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      If Staal is fine and Stralman stays we just need 1:

      McDonagh Girardi
      Staal Del Zotto
      Moore Stralman

      7th D- could it be Mcllrath? He will get a look at camp but will probably be better served getting minutes in the A. Do we want to keep Eminger as an inexpensive 7th?

  15. paulronty says:

    #1–Zucc & Clowe, we need both
    #2–Staal, of course he’ll be in opening lineup!
    #3–Step–long term, yes 4-5 mil
    #4–Cally–he’ll get a fair contract
    #5–Neither, I’ve mentioned him before & I like your idea of gettinf Clarke MacArthur, great skater who would fit in well with Rangers

  16. george says:

    1. Clowe. Only if he takes less $.
    2. Hopefully.
    3. Yes. If he signs a max year contract
    4. Same amount. If he could take a hometown discount, that would be better.
    5. Asham

  17. TxRanger says:

    Thanks for stealing my question Chris.

  18. Ray says:

    The more I think about, the further off I think BSB evaluations are. One player scores 34 points in 46 games and gets an F; another scores 4 points in 26 games with a -7 rating despite being sheltered by the coach and gets a B+. If the explanation is that you are grading on a curve, how do you assign a grade to a guy whose ability to play in the league was initially suspect, earns less than 200K, and nets 15 points in the season and playoffs.

    Regardless of the relative long term values of Miller and Zuccarello, it is abundantly clear that the Rangers were wrong to burn a year of Miller’s ELC and right to sign Zuccarello for the late season. The grades should reflect that, not some future fantasy.

    1. If Zucc signs for noticeably less than $2M, I don’t see them as competing. Take each at the right price.
    2. I think Staal is done for now, though I expect a comeback down the road.
    3. Stepan is the Rangers’ top forward and should be treated as such.
    4. Callahan makes about the right amount now.
    5. Keep Asham, lose Pyatt and Dorsett

  19. Bayman says:

    After seeing how vulnerable the Pens are, does anyone besides me think WHAT IF the Loafs could have held onto a 3-goal 3rd period lead?

  20. Doug Peters says:

    Any update on Mike Sauer? With Staal and Sauer healthy NYR could taken Bruins.

    1) Clowe – always lean toward size, but at less $$$ tha current contract.
    3)Best forward – deserves $$$ and longer commitment
    4)Deserves reasonable increase. Not a consistent 30 goal scorer.
    5)Pyatt – size again.

  21. Walt says:

    Both if possuble, if not Zucc gives us more options, PP, shoot outs, skill!

    Staal will be ready, that is if he isn’t traded, I hope not.

    Step should be signed for 4-5 year agreement, a bit higher. If he stays, McD stays, these guys are like brothers, and should be treated well by the team!

    Cally should get an increase, but nothing over the top. We really don’t want any super sized contracts any longer.

    Asham stays, send Pyatt to the diesel recycle shop for re-tooling. The man moves like a freight train in first gear! For a guy his size, he can’t even match Zucc in hitting, or instilling fear in anyone.