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Sunday morning musings

Bye Broadway Brad

Bye Broadway Brad

With the announcement of the schedule coming later today, those of us who were stuck in a catatonic state of denial are slapped awake to notice that, hey, when your team loses in the Cup Finals, there isn’t really that much time til next season. The Rangers open up in St. Louis on October 9, followed by their home opener against Toronto on October 12. That’s really not that far away, so rejoice! On to some random musings that have crossed this mind for the past few days…

–          The Brad Richards buyout made me feel a lot of feelings. I fully believe that it had to be done, and I fully believe that he should have been kept on for this past season. The thing to remember is this: without Richards, the Rangers win nothing in the beginning of the season and perhaps don’t come back at all. Maybe without Richards, the Rangers don’t trade for Martin St. Louis who was undeniably a huge factor during the postseason. It’s a little disheartening.

–          That being said, Richards HAD to be bought out. During the Cup Finals, he was slow as can be. Maybe his training was too hard and maybe he comes out next season on a new team and can make it through the Finals, but for how many more years? You can’t really blame his age; MSL is 39 (happy belated!) and Dominic Moore, who didn’t play at all during the 2012-13 season, is 33. Richards is a good player, but it appears that he’s over the hill.

–          One last thing on the Richards buyout: it was perfect professionalism shown on both the Rangers side and Richards’ camp in the post-buyout statements. I never thought I would really have to consider any of this once John Tortorella was gone, but after the Canadiens series and seeing so much horrendous PR, you have to tip your cap to the Rangers PR and Richards’ agent.

–          On my re-sign wishlist: Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard, Benoit Pouliot, Dom Moore. If Anton Stralman will take a contract to stay in New York, I would be thrilled; unfortunately, my gut says both he and Brian Boyle are goners.

–          Boyle is going to pull a Brandon Prust, and he isn’t wrong to do so. Boyle was alright during the season and worked his tail off during the playoffs. I would be thrilled to overpay if I had any confidence that Boyle’s postseason efforts would last through 82 games, but I’m a believer that it wouldn’t. If he’s able to get paid (and I mean PAID), at 29, he absolutely should go for it.

–          If Brassard, Pouliot and Zuccarello can all be re-signed, how dangerous can they get? Think about it.. two flaky players who have never played to their first-round pick names and a 5’7 bulldog of a winger all hitting their maximum potential. It’s scary to think about just how good they could all be if they’re all consistent and have the confidence of playing together with that chemistry. Makes me pray for some good news about some signing…..

–          Is it acceptable to be somewhat worried about Dan Girardi? With just a dislocated pinky during the playoffs, he played down to his early season performance. Just thinking about that series in Game 5 of the Cup Finals where he basically practiced his passing with a Kings forward in front of Henrik Lundqvist is enough to make me break out in hives. G will have to do some WORK this offseason to make sure that doesn’t happen… and I don’t mean work on his new home that was funded by a generous extension.

–          My pick for letters next year: Ryan McDonagh with the ‘C,’ St. Louis and Derek Stepan with the ‘A.’ It’s been reported that Stepan’s spot on Team USA was primarily due to his locker room leadership skills. Heck, he even coined the name of the ‘Meat Line’ of Dustin Brown, David Backes and Ryan Callahan. If that’s not endearing, I’m not sure what is.

Some questions for you:

–          Who get the letters next year?

–          Should we be concerned about Girardi?

–          Who do you want to see re-signed the most? Who do you want to get rid of the most?

–          What does Rick Nash need to get going again?

11 Responses to “Sunday morning musings”

  1. craig says:

    I agree with all your points. Staal already has an A jersey so I doubt they will take it away. Girardi is here for a while and he is serviceable at worst 3rd line. I bet if we had 1 more buyout nash would be gone but he will still give us 30 goals and help get us there before fading to 3rd or 4th line status in the playoffs.Bottom line is by the trade deadline we will need an impact player or 2 to compete with the west…they are still ahead of us and will be, so short of a lucky final we still lose

  2. Al says:

    We need size and a real HW enforcer that’s over 6 feet tall. There are some that are UFA Justin Johnson 6’1 235, Matt Pelech 6’4 230. and Joel Rechlicz 6’4 240 . All played for under 600k

    • Paco 33 says:

      Yup, considering all those fights in the playoffs, what we need most is a “HW enforcer”!

  3. Ray V says:

    Over the last…..maybe 4 years I have gone from a Boyle fan to a non fan, to “this guy pisses me off” back to a Boyle fan. I think if Brian truly understand his skills and his role, he would know that he is a perennial 4th line grinder, and a great one at that. Had he been in this role over the last few years and not moved up to lines he had no business being in I would not have gone thru this love/hate thing with him. He is NOT a play maker, he is not a shooter, and we all know he is NOT a puck handler. He is a GRINDER with amazing defensive skills. Let’s also remember that chemistry has a lot to do with making players “better”. I hope that Brian re-signs and fully understands that his role is based on his talents.

    As for the letters, I am not still sure on this one. I honestly think that if MSL comes back, he is the mature/experienced voice that should wear that C. Don’t get me wrong, I love McD but he does not come across as C, he is more an A in my book. That being said, I also dont see Stepan as a voice but then again none of us are in the locker room. Too bad goalies cant be Cs or As. I think the King would make a great A.

    As for re-signing the most, the Zuck line PERIOD. Back to chemistry, Mr Pouliot, this is your calling, this is your line.

    Richards is gone, so that answers that one.

    I dont know what Nash needs to get going again. His legs seem to be gone. They kept juggling people around him to no avail. Mind you, he also did not have many/any go in with the amount of shots he took. We know he is getting his share of shots and then some, but he heeds to use those legs and his size to barrel past people. Lets go Rick…..makes us happy in 2014/2015.

    • Puck Luck (@Centerman21) says:

      The Rangers have 2 righties up front. Stepan & Dorsett. The latter does little offensively and Stepan is the only Right handed Pivot. If the Rangers had 2 more righties on the team one top 6 guy. Nash could play his side. Since coming to NY he’s had to adjust to the RW. His entire time in CBJ was on the left side. In AV’s 1-2-2 forecheck there’s only one lead forechecker in deep after pucks. Kreider-Hagelin-Pouliot-and Boyle were on that job for the most part. Commonly the LW is the lead forechecker in his 1-2-2 forecheck. If Nash were on the left side creating havok with his size and stick skills. I think Kreider would be great as the second man in supporting puck possession with his speed. Kreider was one of the best Possession forwards on the Rangers. I think AV has to make that adjustment next season. It’s very important the Rangers have Nash comfortable in his role. I don’t think he’s been uncomfortable but I don’t think he’s lead the attack enough in his time in NY. He has to be the focal point of the offense just as it is in DC with Ovechkin or Pittsburgh with Crosby.
      Just my opinion but if a deal can be made with San Jose for Thornton. Sather has to consider it. He’s a big Center that if you avg out the NYR up the middle. Makes the Rangers rather big in that area. He would also help Nash with goal scoring as maybe the best passer in the NHL.

  4. Puck Luck (@Centerman21) says:

    I was reading ‘Rick Nash The New York Rangers Next Captain’ on FanSided for iOS and I thought you might be interested in reading it too.
    http://bluelinestation.com/2014/06/22/rick-nash-new-york-rangers-next-captain/. In Columbus he was the captain so he has leadership skills and leads best on the ice with his play. That’s what the Rangers need from Rick Nash and making him Captain is a good way to get the most from him. IMO. It won’t happen because he hasn’t endeared himself to the fans just yet. Just my opinion. Stepan and McDonagh get the “A”. The Rangers also need depth up front on the right side so Nash can play on the Left at Even Strength. Off wing on the PP.

    • Ray V says:

      I think the pressure in NY has gotten the best of him at times…imagine now having the C on top of that. I dont know if he can handle the scrutiny that would come from the fans and the NY media ;(

      Great analysis/comparison to the left/right position from playing with CBJ and Rangers.

  5. Becky says:

    Well his Captain-dom with CBJ wasn’t exactly beneficial for them…….

  6. WilliamW says:

    Staal and G keep the As and McD gets the C. You don’t need a letter to be a leader and Nash, St Louis, Stepan and D Moore will continue to be respected voices on and off the ice. Strong leadership group

    G will be fine

    Would like to see everyone back. Boyle, Stralman and Pouliot are the most likely to get poached

    Nash needs to get to the dirty areas, he was snake bitten in the finals but remains the top threat on the team. Much like that guy in Pittsburgh

  7. John C says:

    Great article!

    – I love the idea of McD ‘C’, and MSL/Step with the ‘A’. I don’t know enough about McD’s leadership, but MSL has the NHL Vet experience, and Stepan is young, but has handled Captaincy before. Great ‘A’s.

    – I’d love to believe this was just a really terrible postseason, but when Girardi isn’t being a top-tier shutdown D, it’s a polar opposite effect. Look at pre-extension G–we all questioned his potential in AV’s system. I can honestly see him being traded next season if he doesn’t completely turn his game around.

    – Zucc > Pouliot > D.Moore > Stralman. I think Brass is great, but for $3.7mil QO, he needs to be more consistent.

    – I wouldn’t mind seeing Dorsett traded. I’m in the Carcillo group, but can’t use statistics to really bolster my case. And as much as I love Boyle’s development in the past 2-3 years, he wants more than the 4th line, and tons more money–both of which I can’t see with the NYR.

    – I’m in the boat that thinks he doesn’t need a 1C to jump start him. He’s a proven point-producer, but we paid him for goals. In ‘Lumbus, he was the big “crash the net” guy. In NY, he doesn’t have to be that guy–so he’s throwing pucks in at the point, which aren’t going in. Needs to rethink his playstyle, find what works consistently, and earn up to his enormous paycheck with more goals.

  8. Mark says:

    Staal and girardi keep their A’s… but why can’t we make the real Captain of the team…the Captain… #30 Hank! Hank for Captain… I know Luongo was Captain a few years back. was that under AV?