Musings on free agency eve

July 4, 2013, by
Has Glen made another canny move? (Gerry Kahrmann, The Province)

Has Glen made another canny move? (image credit: Gerry Kahrmann, The Province)

Welcome to the musings. It’s the day before free agency and on many occasions it has felt like Christmas Eve to Rangers fans – the day before the presents arrive. This year is likely to be different as the Rangers are set to be more cautious with the little money they have to spend. Or are they?

Scott Arniel seems like a logical choice as assistant coach. He has run his own bench before, has been in charge of multiple Rangers before and will help Alain Vigneault’s transition to New York because of his familiarity with the ex Blue Jackets. You have to assume Arniel is motivated to prove he’s worthy of another shot as a HC too.

Even if it wasn’t the ex-Ranger many hoped for, Ulf Samuelsson is a nice addition to the coaching staff. The Rangers need to be more physically imposing next year and if Samuelsson can get his style as a player across to the Rangers now he’s a coach it could be a smart move.

Scanning the scrap heap:

With the Rangers unlikely to be major buyers July 5th, there are several players who are  no longer wanted by their current teams and are either on waivers or due to be bought out. Amongst those on waivers in the last 24 hours are the following guys who could be of interest to the Rangers in some capacity.

Tom Gilbert. The Minnesota Wild blueliner was highly thought of early in his career but a move to the Wild didn’t help reinvigorate his career. Unlikely able to demand much dollar or term, Gilbert offers a bit of everything on the blueline and as a 5th or 6th defenseman would offer excellent depth – if he doesn’t get greedy.

Sergei Kostitsyn. With John Tortorella out of town, maybe players with ‘character issues’ or known as one dimensional players could get more slack. In Kostitsyn the skill set is obvious but he’s always outstayed his welcome in the NHL. For teams needing more offense he could appeal. The question is whether the Rangers – as Sather out it – want to leave room for the kids to compete.

Jeff Schultz. Its widely documented the Rangers want to get bigger and nastier on the blueline so interest in Schultz wouldn’t be a shock. With Schultz due to be bought out by the Capitals, Schultz won’t cost a lot but his lack of mobility could be an issue.

Beat writer Andrew Gross had this comment to make from prospect camp:

McIlrath drove Jean hard into the boards, knocking him down head first…..then; McIlrath gave him a stick whack and drove him into the boards again…

Mcllrath’s skill set is exactly what the Rangers need on the back end. McIlrath brings a physical presence, massive size and nastiness. When Glen Sather referred to making sure that the club didn’t want to block anyone who was ready to play I wonder if he was referring to McIlrath as a candidate.

Have to like Sather’s addition of Danny Kristo. The winger dominated college (on a strong program), played well at world junior level and has familiarity with several current Rangers. Kristo has a chance to make the Rangers immediately because of injuries amongst the forwards. If he can make an impact during pre-season Kristo could surprise.

Question Time

  • Who would you rather take a chance on: Thomas or Kristo?
  • Will Dylan McIlrath make the Rangers this coming season?
  • If Daniel Alfredsson is indeed available in free agency, should the Rangers also enquire?
  • Who has made a mockery of the Salary cap more: Pittsburgh or Philly? (you can answer both)
  • Looking ahead: how many goals will Rick Nash score in season two on Broadway?


  1. Matt Josephs says:

    I like that the rangers will have three coaches on the bench now. I know Schoenfeld had other duties at the club and was unable to be on the bench, but I think this is better.

    Kristo>Thomas. Just seems like the more complete player and better NHL prospect.

    I think Rick can score 40. In a more geared offensive system and better power play (hopefully!) I think he’ll do it, though I’ve been wrong before.

    I think Mcilrath will be on the team at some point this season. Be it because of injury to our d-corps or call up I think he’ll be there.

    Alfredsson? Sure why not. Pipe dream, but whatever.

    Philly takes the cake. If the Rangers had Holmgren as a GM for even one summer Us fans would lose our minds. It’s like he’s playing NHL the way he runs that franchise.

  2. Walt says:

    Kristo over Thomas, size matters!

    McIlrath will play second half of season, maybe because of injuries, or developement, but he will appear in Ranger blue.

    Alfie was wonderful, at 25-30 years of age we go after him, not now, way too old, ready for the wheel chair.

    Both teams are a farce. Sneider deserves Holgren as his GM, pissing away his money. Pitt is an organization that I have zero respect for. They cried poverty, got the state of Pennsylvania to pay for not one, but two stadiums for them, then sign these sick contracts for Igor, Latang, Kunitz, and Dupuie. Pa tax payers are still paying for their largess. Oh, are there any great prospects coming up, you’ll see them tank again!!!! Crosby, Mario anyone?????

    Nash should score between 35-40 goals this season. With a wide open system, and AV putting people in position to have successe, it should be fun.

  3. asfjr says:

    Kristo over Thomas. From what I have read Kristo has a more rounded game. I think Thomas can have success as long as he is on a team that isn’t in a win-now mode. Like Parenteau with the NYI & COL the last few seasons.

    McIlrath will make some noise in the 2nd half od the season. I think he needs another 1/2 year in the AHL first.

    I like Alfredsson, but no. Unless he is willing to take 1.5 to 2 mill for one year.

    For this season Philly, but they’ll have some breathing room next year. Pens are ok this year, but going forward…..

    37 goals for Nash

  4. Jeff says:

    1) I’d take Thomas over Kristo. The off ice issues worry me. Character issues can be magnified in NY.

    2) I think McIlrath will get a cup of coffee, but if skating is an issue that could be a major problem.

    3) Alfredsson will resign with Ottawa. They’re a playoff team. No reason not to resign.

    4) Both.

    5) Nash thrived under Tortorella’s aggressive system. Was on pace to hit 40. Not sure if playing in a lead based trapping system under AV helps him or hurts him. Wild card here is Arniel. Nash’s production slipped on his watch.

  5. george says:

    1. kristo
    2. Mid season call-up.
    3. Depends of asking cap hit.
    4. Philly. Pen signs good players.
    5. 40 goals.

  6. cv19 says:


    McIlrath stinks. Not a big leaguer (ever).

    No to Alfie.

    Who cares?

    45 for Nasher.

    • Jackson says:

      Care to elaborate on your evaluation of McIlrath?

      • cv19 says:

        Have you ever seen him play?

        Below average skater for an NHLer.
        Can land a big hit when he’s in position which he often is not.
        Overrated as a fighter.
        Just not a very gifted hockey player.
        Rangers fell in love with his size.


  7. TxRanger says:

    Kristo, I didn’t think Thomas was ever gonna be cut out for the show.

    If McIlrath can play, then let him play.

    Please no.

    Philly. Remember their offer for Shea Weber?

    He hit 40 in Columbus, I’s say close to that amount.

  8. Scully says:

    1. At this point, based on everything I’ve seen in the past few days it looks like Kristo is a more NHL ready prospect, but once again we’ve all been looking at his highlights and not his lowlights. The general consensus however is that he could make the team this year.

    2. You have to think McIlrath has a shot to become one of the bottom pairing defensemen. He’s just about ready.

    3. I respect Alfredsson and his contributions and I know you can never get enough center depth. I don’t really see him leave Ottawa, but if he did, I can imagine a guy like AV putting him in situations where he could succeed. If he come at a veteran’s minimum type price, maybe.

    4. Pittsburgh has made a mockery in an annoying way I.E. they keep finding loopholes and they keep winning. I could care less if Philly sucks this year. It’s better for us. This realigned division has no terrible teams in it. Just getting into the playoffs is going to be a dogfight now.

    5. I’m not going to predict this, but I’ll say, if healthy, he’ll score at least 30. The better question is, what’s his goal minimum to consider it a successful season? 35+, 40+?

  9. Brian says:

    Kristo. I’ve started watching tape of this guy, starting to think he’ll make a big impact on this team.

    I certainly hope McIlrath makes an impact on this team this season, but I think it’s a lock that he at least cuts his teeth at some point. Hockey defensemen are like MLB pitchers, you have to anticipate injury, and he’ll be on the short list of replacements.

    I like Alfredsson and if he could be had at the right price I’d take a chance. However if I could have Jagr for a similar cost-effetive price, I’d rather go that route

    This is a really tough question, but it’s hard to reason against the Flyers.

    Hopefully 40+

  10. Centerman21 says:

    The Kristo for Thomas trade was a good one for the Rangers. Kristo seems to have a more rounded game but the drop off offensively is minimal. He’s a great skater and has a motor on him. Better body type for the physical Pro game. Thomas, as good a shooter as he is. That’s all he is. Too small for the NHL.

    I think McIlrath should be in the AHL to begin the season. I think they may try to make Faulk become that nasty player but if Mac can improve his skating enough he gets a call up during the season but that 6th Dman spot is between those two.

    I don’t think Alfredsson will play away from Ottawa assuming he’s playing this year. He’s their Captain and I doubt theirs room against the upper limit to fit his kind on contract or on the top 6. If Hagelin & Cally are out to begin the season, fill the spot(s) with prospects.

    I don’t think either Shero or Holmgren made a mockery of the salary cap. I just don’t think either of them has a clue of 1- how to build a team under the cap 2- how to negotiate a contract and or pass on a player that’s asking too much and may hurt his team in the future. If I had to answer tho I’d say Holmgren. He gave Bryzgalov a rediculous contract then bought him out. Only to give more rediculous contracts to Strait and Lecavalier. Moron. I hope he stays there helping the Rangers for many years to come.

    I’d say Nash has a 70+ point season. I know the Q was goals so 40! He will have a monster year this season. However, in the playoffs the Rangers will need another player to come through when Nash is double & triple teamed. Or else!

  11. Mark says: