Musings: Depth options, absurd spending, bottom six competition, and more

July 11, 2013, by
MORE FUN! MORE FUN! (Adam Hunger/Reuters)

MORE FUN! MORE FUN! (Adam Hunger/Reuters)

As we enter the dog-days of summer, there isn’t going to be much news coming up, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have random thoughts that have zero direction whatsoever. This is why we love Musings Day, because our brains work in odd ways.

How weird was it to have an entire free agency opening day pass and not have one major signing made by Slats? I think that’s the first time in a while that we haven’t had to add anything major. A limited budget helps, but some of those contracts were just absurd. Clarkson got how much? Clowe had two concussions and got what? Good God.

What the Rangers did do is address their depth issues, and they did it in a very quiet and shrewd manner. The organization needed to create top-six minutes for the glut of prospects hitting Hartford next season, and they opened up holes while filling in defensive depth. Benn Ferriero and Kris Newbury had no legitimate future with this team, and Justin Falk and Danny Syvret will prevent people like Roman Hamrlik from ever dressing on defense ever again.

After addressing their defensive depth, the Rangers shored up their bottom six by signing Dominic Moore and Benoit Pouliot to great deals. Both of these guys fill a distinct need, and both will fit in well with AV’s zone-matching philosophy.

What is also interesting is the number of options the Rangers now have at forward. Only six forward spots are clearly locked up (Nash, Richards, Cally, Stepan, Hagelin, Brassard). After that, you have six (eight if you include two spares) spots open for ten guys (Boyle, Dorsett, Zuccarello, Pyatt, Kreider, Pouliot, Powe, Asham, Miller, Moore). Then there are the kids (Kristo, Lindberg, Fast) who might compete for spots.

Speaking of those kids, my money is on them getting long looks in camp, but eventually spending the season in the AHL. There’s no need to rush them to the NHL, especially with a roster this deep. Should the Rangers get plagued by the injury bug, they have solid call-up options. Last season, the call up options were thin, this season, there are a lot of kids knocking on the door.

One note on Kristo: Everyone I’ve spoken to thinks the Rangers stole him from Montreal in a Ryan McDonagh-esque fashion. We shall see.

Speaking of injuries, both Hagelin and Cally are supposed to be back in time for the start of the season, but it wouldn’t shock me if one misses a few games. Just my own opinion.

For those expecting the Rangers to make a blockbuster trade, or to trade away some of those non-locks mentioned above, then you might be disappointed. The timetable on Cally/Hags is still up in the air, and the Rangers would be hard-pressed to find a viable forward in the event of another injury. You can never have too many injury replacements.

Bobby Ryan, Tyler Seguin, David Perron…big trades this offseason. There were rumblings that teams would make trades to get under the cap, and we’ve definitely seen it. The Rangers don’t really need to make a trade. They have scoring, depth, defense, and goaltending. Putting it all together is the challenge.


  • Who do you think makes the team out of camp: Kreider, Miller, both, or neither?
  • Asham or Dorsett?
  • Boyle or Moore?
  • Zuccarello or Pouliot?
  • Kristo or Thomas?
Categories : Musings


  1. Tommy T says:

    1) I think Kreider makes the team, Miller gets first call up

    2)Dorsett, he is a better player who is also younger and i believe more versatile

    3) Moore even if he had the year off I will still take him. Not the biggest boyle fan despite his faceoff ability and PK. I think Moore will do the same thing with even more grit.

    4)I am partial to Zuccs he has much more offensive upside. His vision alone sets him apart from almost every player we have on the team. What he lacks in size he makes up for in skill.

    5) Kristo is the guy really ready to make a push for a spot, his game is much more well rounded.

  2. WilliamW says:

    1) Kreider will be on the team. Miller has a shot, depends on Hagelin / Callahan status

    2) Dorsett – easy choice

    3) Boyle by a mile – most under rated guy on the team

    4) Zuc – but not sure he’s a long term Ranger

    5) Kristo – going with Gordie on this one

  3. Randy says:

    1) Both Kreider and Miller will make the team

    2) Dorsett…he was somewhat of a disappointment to me in the playoffs, but he was injured most of the season and thrown into the playoffs with a team/coach he had never played with. From what I heard from Columbus, this guy is a grinder and I think he will become a fan favorite with his grit.

    3) Boyle, though I loved Moore back when he played on the HMO line with Hollweg and Ortmeyer

    4) Hobbit – this guy is just the man and extremely skilled. I think he will have a big season if given the chances.

    5) Kristo. I have heard some criticism regarding his attitude, but I think the move to New York will be a big positive for the american kid. Plus, having his two former USA teammates (kreider, stepan) on the team will be some serious motivation for him to make the squad..I just don’t know if there will be a spot for him on day 1 unless he really impresses.

  4. coydoggie says:

    1. Kreider – definitely, Miller – possibly, Oscar L could surpise

    2. Dorsett will be everything and more we hoped

    3. Boyle – but he was very disappointing through most of last year
    4. toughest question – but love Frodo B

    5. Great problem to have – Kristo

  5. Ren says:

    3)Boyle, just because I haven’t really seen Moore play, and he didn’t play this past season
    5)Kristo, I liked Thomas a lot, I just hope what everyone says is true.

  6. Dave says:

    Surprised at the lack of enthusiasm over Pouliot.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      We’ve seen what Zucc can do with the Rangers. Pouliot is a question mark, he has some upside, but Zucc’s already shown chemistry with his teammates. One’s more of a known commodity.

      • Dave says:

        More of a “fear of the unknnown” I guess. Makes sense.

        Honestly, this team is better with both of them.

    • WilliamW says:

      He doesn’t have the name recognition or the “rookie” buzz but should be a solid contributor and importantly, allow for a bridge until the kids earn their spots – rather than be gifted them (exception of Kreider who will have a spot from the start)

  7. John R says:

    Who do you think makes the team out of camp: Kreider, Miller, both, or neither?
    Asham or Dorsett?
    Boyle or Moore?
    Zuccarello or Pouliot?
    Kristo or Thomas?

    I’m glad we didn’t make any huge moves, this free agency saw some absurd contracts handed out. I am interested to see what we could have possibly given up for Bobby Ryan though

    1) Kreider is probably going to be given more leeway with the puck under AV and hopefully will re-find that scoring touch he had in his premier playoffs, so my money is him. Miller needs a little more time I think, but I’d keep an eye out for Lindberg, he’s my sleeper pick

    2) Dorsett, even though he was injured when we got him, I still liked what I saw everytime he was on the ice, we need someone willing to throw his body around

    3) I’m a relatively new hockey fan so I haven’t seen much of Moore since he didn’t play last season, but I do like Boyle for his faceoff and PK, plus the intangibles, he seems like a lot of people on the team like him and I think last year we got rid of too many locker room guys

    4) I really liked Zucc when he came to play for us this past season, I hope he gets signed to a reasonable contract

    5) I like the Kristo trade, more NHL ready then Thomas, plus I like people saying this is another McD-like trade

  8. Thr Sage says:

    One thing I disagree with is there will be no trades. Here is why. AV says he has studied PP goals & 77% of the time goals are scored w-at least 2-Right Handed shots on the Ice. We have only 2 Stepan & Cally. Those are pretty compelling numbers that are impossible to ignore. So he will want to add at least 2-RH shots to the roster. If not now then during the season.

    • Dave says:

      Wouldn’t shock me, but I have a feeling that will be more of a minor trade.

      It seems people were expecting another blockbuster, but the Rangers just aren’t built for that.

      • Seahorse says:

        Why are the majority of hockey players left handed. Do they all play golf lefty too? I mean I’m a lefty but because of goalie where you catch righty I eventually played righty too

        • Thr Sage says:

          I think its cause…Most Left Handed players are Right Handed people. I know I am. I shoot Lefty & I am Right Handed. Or maybe its just cause everyone wanted to emulate Gretzky & Orr…lol

          • HARLEMBLUES says:

            you are taught strong hand on top for stick handling.If you are right handed you would shoot left.American kids unlike Canadians,Russians etc. grow up playing baseball first.If we are right handed we hit from the right side,left handed the left side.Hockey players are taught the opposite.That why most right handed hockey players are Americans we play baseball first.My 2cents.

            • Dave says:

              I wasn’t taught that at all, interestingly enough. I’m a right handed shot…maybe that’s why I play goalie now.

              • Rob says:

                Haha this is interesing. I started playing baseball and Hockey around the same time around 4-5 yrs old. I write right, throw right, bat switch hit w my left side w more power and right being more accurate, but shoot a hockey stick lefty! I just think the whole having rightys on the pp statement is a bit asinine though. I just think you need enough “off sided” shots on the PP. Either lefties shooting from right or righties shooting from left.

      • Thr Sage says:

        I agree probably not a blockbuster but I can see it happening. Also don’t you think Torts & AV are going to want “their guys”, meaning guys who have played for them & know the system? Most coaches want to acquire guys who played for them. Especially, hard guys like Torts.

        Could you see a Giradi for Edler trade? Also it will be interesting to see if either of the Sedin twins become available. They are not Torts type players. Plus they are going to have a hard time w-Torts shot blockin demands. they are used to trying to leave the zone early like Gabby used to. We know how he rebeled. I can see it happening w-the twiins. Maybe they become available.

        • Dave says:

          You don’t trade your star players because they aren’t “guys for your coach.” The stars can adjust.

          • Thr Sage says:

            I would agree for the most part thats why I said the Sedin twins & not Kesler. Kesler is a young star, plus he is a Canadian & will adjust but the Sedins are getting up in age. They may become expendable. A Remember this is Torts we r talking about there is no doubt he is going to clean out some guys to get his type of players in there.

            • Dave says:

              Just because they are older doesn’t mean they are any less valuable to the organization. The league is more wide open, older skill guys can flourish.

              • Thr Sage says:

                I agree. However, I just don’t see Torts wanting those guys on his team unless they buy in 100% right off the bat, Now the Sedins like most Swedes are team first guys however they play a certian stlye & that style is not compatible w- Torts style. All I am saying is w-them being on the othr side of 30 & not Torts type players they may become expendable. In fact I will predict here they will be. he is going to want a team in his style. They are over 30-players w-value. You may see a block buster involving them. Probably not to the Rangers cause unless the Rangers trade Nash & i don’t see that nor would I trade him its not a fit Cap wise or personel wise, however, I expect them to be traded. I just cannot see Torts wanting them. remember something Torts wants young hungry players. He is not a fan over over 30-finesse type players. People forget Torts likes young guys cause his critics used the Kreider situation this year to make it seem like he doesn’t like youn players. The Sedin twins are not long for the Canucks you heard it here first…lol. That or Torts will be gone within 1-1/2 years in Vancouver.

  9. Walt says:

    Kreider & Miller make the team

    Dorsett, quicker, younger, and a little more O

    Boyle & Moore, even if Boyle is moved to wing

    Pouliot, bigger guy, but like Zuc on the shoot out for that extra point in the standings

    It seems that Kristo is bigger, gritty, and more skilled, this is another steal for Slats. Maybe if Montreal needs to trade some more, we can ship Pyatt off to them!!

  10. asfjr says:

    1) Both – although both could easily be the guys going to Hfd when Cally/Hags get back

    2) Dorsett. Would like to keep Asham around as the 13th Forward

    3) Would be happy either way, but having to choose one it would be Moore. Boyle will have some trade value

    4) Zucc – they may end up with similar #’s over a full 82, but i think there will be more games when you don’t notice Pouliot was even dressed or playing

    5) No Clue on Kristo or Thomas. If everything I am reading about Kristo is accurate, then it’s easily him.

  11. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Greetings folks

    I think the roster will look something like this:

    Kreidet / Stepan / Callanan, (Kristo)
    Boyle / Brassard / Nash
    Pouliot / Miller / Hagelin, (Lindberg)
    Pyatt, (Hrivik) / Moore / Dorsett
    Haley / Pyatt / Asham
    names in Parenthesis are call ups and replacing the injured

    Staal / Stralman
    McDonagh / Moore
    Del Zotto / Girardi

    Lundqvuisy / Biron

    ***Hope they sign Eminger

  12. Brian says:

    Dorsett. No question.
    Moore. Also an easy one.
    If everything people say is true. Kristo.

  13. Centerman21 says:

    I would think in the 3rd year of his ELC (The Rangers burned a year off it by using him in the playoffs a year ago) Sather would want to get him as much NHL time as he can. To see what he’s worth when negotiating a new deal next summer! Miller had 4 points (2g 2a) in 26 games but was a difference maker seemingly every shift. He creates scoring chances for him and his line mates every game. He has to learn how to finish. If he converted 30% of those chances he may have had 30+ points. He’s servicable on the 3rd line but to me will be a top 6 Centerman some day. Maybe a look in camp and we’ll see.
    We should be done with Asham. Dorsett is 9 years younger and plays at the level that Torts spoke of on breakup day. He said and its true ” I rather have to tame the kid than the other guy that can’t get to that level” speaking of Asham. At Ashams’ age he would be best on a young team like Edmonton or Colorado. Dorsett can do a little scoring inside the paint as well. Good pickup and he was almost the deal breaker for Columbus in the Gabby trade. Not Moore or Brassard. Must keep Dorsett especially now Clowe is gone. We aren’t tough enough as it is.
    I’d move Boyle however I could. His 1.7mil is too much for a 4th line Forward. Keep Moore.
    I’d like to keep Both Zuccarello & Pouliot. If possible. It would be great if Zuc could sign a 2 way contract so he could teach some of the farm kids and get called up in case of injury.
    I was never a fan of Thomas. I wished he would grow a foot and put on 60-70lbs but that wasn’t happening. We have enough small forwards on the Rangers and in Hartford. The kid Kristo was a steal. I don’t know what the Habs were thinking. Thomas will have a hard time making the NHL. I doubt he ever does. Kristo could play this season at some point because of his skating and speed alone. Great wrist shot too!

  14. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Kreider maybe Lindberg and Miller call up.Dorsett.Bye to Boyle.Zuccarello and Pouliot.Skill is so needed.Kristo let’s see.Man B.Rich still here.

  15. george says:

    1. Both make roster. I feel Miller would be sent down once Hagelin or Callahan returns from injury.

    2. Dorsett. Younger and could be a Proust like player and cheaper than Asham.

    3. Both. I feel Moore and Boyle would be the 3rd and 4th line Centers.

    4. Pouliot. More size and still has some upside.

    5. Kristo. Has more size than Thomas.

  16. Johnny Red says:

    3.Like Boyle but got a feeling they might trade him, hope I’m wrong
    4. I like Pouliot with his size.
    5. Kristo could be another gift from Montreal, I’m hearing he and Stepan had GREAT chemistry when they played together. Lets hope we give him the chance to show what he has.

  17. dunderhead says:

    I can’t believe with all these responses no one
    called you on the Cheerleader Special – that the Rangers have “scoring.”

    Wow!!! Were you watching the last coupla years?

  18. bill_goldthorpe says:

    I would like to see the Rangers bring back Erik Christensen. Would round out the top 6 very nicely.

  19. Bitter Zen says:

    Who is the enforcer on this team? Unless they bring up McIlrath it will be the same story in the playoffs. Has everyone forgotten how we got pushed around by Boston in the playoffs. We looked tired and undermanned.

    • Mark says:

      Agree. This whole will be filled somehow and that will leave someone from the Powe, Pyatt, etc group out. You can only have so many 3rd and 4th liners without having at least one tougher player. That does not mean that Dorsett does not have a role. He will need a larger sidekick though. We have been through Orr, Shelley, Brashear, Boogaard, Scott, Rupp over the last 6 or 7 years.and most if not all of them have not been utilized properly. I have to believe that Sather knows that 1 tougher player needs to be on the team (he keeps acquiring them) and the new coach needs to give that person a chance.

      • Jim says:

        I agree the Rangers need a heavyweight enforcer. Dorsett is tough an will but a middle weight. If you notice all the free agent tough guys re-signed with their teams from last year. Orr,Bordeleau,McGrattan, Scott and Labrie all re-signed before free agency even opened and McLaren a RFA re-signed with Toronto shortly after free agency opened. Montreal traded for Parros. While Bettman may want fighting out of the league, teams know having an enforcer is almost a necessity. Unless McIlrath makes the team, I think the Rangers will be pushed around all season.

  20. Frank Cerbone says:

    Went back 5 years of fighting videos on Dorsett-

    Jared Boll did all the fighting for Columbus when it came to standing up for his team mates (no surprise here, since I was an advocate of the Rangers trading for Boll for the last 3 years).

    If Dorsett makes the team, then so does Mcilrath.

    You don’t bring a knife (Dorsett) to a gun fight.