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?