Jul
10

BSB Off-Season Plan Contest Finalist #3

July 10, 2015, by

Happy Friday, BSB’ers!  Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for…the unveiling of the Off-Season Plan Contest Finalists.  I am going to run all three final submissions throughout the day, today.  Once they have had a chance to be read, dissected and discussed, our tech-savvy, fearless leader will place a poll on the sidebar for you to vote for your favorite plan.  I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who submitted a proposal.  Some very good ones were left on the cutting room floor.  If you missed the first two submissions today, they can be found here and here.

June 23th 2015

James Dolan: We thank Glen Sather for his years of service to the organization as our General Manager and look forward to his input and guidance as our President of Hockey Operations. While it is unfortunate that this transition came after Mr. Gorton would have preferred (looks down, pauses, clenches jaw, before bringing his focus back onto the reporters while smiling), we do wish him luck with the Bruins organization. We thank him for his past efforts as there is no doubt that his influence helped in building our recent playoff success. And with that, I would like to welcome the 12th and newest General Manager in New York Ranger’s history- Mr. [redacted].

Applause fills the press room. One female reporter flashes the podium and is escorted out by security…

[redacted] takes the podium in charismatic fashion, winks at the female reporter being escorted out, smiles, and turns to the middle of the room…..

[redacted]: Thank you Mr. Dolan. I would like to thank the New York Rangers organization for the opportunity hold such a special position in the world of professional sports. I consider myself very lucky and ensure to do the job I was brought here for. Simply put, I am here to build on recent organizational successes, and ultimately, yield a Stanley Cup. I chose to come to this organization because the current roster construction is one of the best in the league. There are very few tweaks, which need to be made to get this team over the hump. The Salary Cap has been set for the 2015-16 season at $71.4 million. Currently, we have $59.51 million committed to 15 roster spots:

Over the next few weeks our focus will be to discuss contract extensions with our current crop of RFAs- Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, JT Miller, Jesper Fast; discussing the future tenure of our UFAs- Martin St. Louis, James Sheppard, Matt Hunwick, and Danny Kristo; clearing some cap space to accomplish the above in our current salary cap landscape; and focusing on the 2015 NHL draft to be held on June 26th as well as scoping out the free agency landscape.

June 25th 2015

[redacted]: As discussed during our last press conference, in order to build a roster in this day and age, one must be mindful of salary cap restraints. Obviously, as a contender, we would like to ice the best roster possible; however we must do so with a $71.4 million budget. As such, we have come to terms with the Edmonton Oilers on a 5 piece deal. Luckily, we found ourselves in a fortunate position with multiple trading partners. We came to terms with EDM as they put together the most attractive package. After spending time shopping Cam Talbot and Kevin Klein separately, we found that with the right partner, our best return was by packaging them together. We would like to thank both players for their time and contributions to our club. They will be missed and we wish them the best of luck with their careers. That said, the details of the trade are as follows:

Cam Talbot and Kevin Klein and the NYR 2015 2nd rounder (59 overall) to the Edmonton Oilers

EDM 2015 2nd rounder (33 overall) and prospect Leon Draisaitl to the New York Rangers

To the Rangers this means a few things. First- this move probably would never have happened if we were not forced to comply with a salary cap. As a contender, we lost two talented, contributing individuals. However, they were not lost in vain. We were able to move up in this 2015 draft significantly, which we anticipate will help this organization tremendously moving forward, and also were able to acquire a premier prospect. For those unfamiliar, please refer to Leon’s description as taken from hockeyprospects.com where he is currently ranked as the NHLs 9th best prospect:

“Leon Draisaitl became the highest-drafted German-born player ever when the Edmonton Oilers took him third overall in 2014. He was a bit of a one-man show for the Prince Albert Raiders in his draft season, putting up 105 points when Josh Morrissey was second on the team in scoring with 73. The Oilers, never much for prudence, inserted Draisaitl into the lineup as the team’s second-line center to start the 2014-15 season, burning a contract year and watching the young man struggle. Though Draisaitl is a big body, he was not yet ready to win battles with NHL players in the corners. Though he is a strong skater, he is nowhere near as explosive as Taylor Hall nor as nimble as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He was able to use his frame to shield the puck, and showed the ability to understand his defensive assignments, though he was not always effective. Draisaitl’s calling card is his passing ability, which is already smooth, creative and effective. Although he was not ready for the rigors of the second-line role with the Oilers in 2014-15, he is a player who could be among the league’s elite playmakers during the course of his career.”

Many may question why we did not receive a first rounder as part of the package. It was very important for us to receive a player who has the ability to contribute now, as we are in the thick of a cup window. For that reason, a cost-controlled, near ready prospect is more important to us than multiple draft picks at the current time. Additionally, a player of Leon’s caliber drastically makes up for it, and allowed us to receive a high 2nd rounder instead, when packaged with our low 2nd rounder. Luckily, Edmonton had pressure to put together an appealing package for us. Calgary was very interested in Talbot, and offered us the 15th overall. Edmonton had to make the offer better if they wanted Cam, and luckily for us, they did just that. Edmonton has a glut of young forwards and decided to part with a prized prospect who we are very excited to now have in our system. Much like Kevin Hayes was able to step in and make great strides last year for us, we expect the same from Leon next year. He does come with NHL experience and we are confident he will excel at this level. That said, he will not be gifted a spot out of camp. He will compete with other players in our system and may very well begin the year in Hartford. While we will not rush his development, we are confident that he can make the NHL club and contribute next year.

In other news, I would like to welcome Josh Khalfin to the organization. Josh has kept abreast of the collegiate, juniors and international leagues for the last number of years and will be instrumental in assisting with our upcoming 2015 NHL draft- starting with our 33rd overall pick.

June 26-28th 2015 Draft days

[redacted]: And with our first pick in this year’s draft (33rd overall), I would like to turn the microphone over to Josh Khalfin.

Josh Khalfin: Thank you, Mr. [redacted]. The New York Rangers select Anthony Beauvillier.

Pierre McGuire: Steal of the draft right there from the Shawinigan Cataractes. The Shawinigan center should’ve been gone in the first round. It’s his size, Edzo. if Beauvillier we’re any bigger than 5’10, he’d be a 1st rounder all day. This kid skates, great skater, is defensively responsible and is sneaky good with the puck. Anthony, without question, was one of the best players in the Quebec Major Juniors this year putting up 94 points. Finished 3rd in the entire Q in registering ‘dangerous shots’. He also was great in the circle at 58.7%, which as we saw in the playoffs this year, is something this club sorely needs. That pick, along with the Leon Draisaitl acquisition did a lot for the future of this organization. Kudos to the organization on what, in my opinion, was a flawless handling of assets.

[redacted]: Again, Josh Khalfin will be making our 3rd round selection.

Josh Khalfin: With the 89th overall pick, the New York Rangers select Conor Garland. (Scouting Report))

(4th Round) With the 119th overall pick, the the New York Rangers select Alexandre Carrier. (Scouting Report)

(6th Round) With the 179th overall pick, the the New York Rangers select Olivier Galipeau.

(7th Round) With the 209th overall pick, the the New York Rangers select Kay Schweri. (Scouting Report)

[redacted]: Thank you Josh for your prospect knowledge and draft guidance.

July 1

[redacted]: I would like to announce the signing of 2 key pieces in regards to filling out our roster. First, we came to terms with UFA Richard Bachman (1 year at $665,000) to fill our needs in net behind Henrik Lundqvist. During his time in Dallas, he has shown he can handle close to 20 starts while maintaining above a .900 SV%. We feel that he will be able to improve in multiple facets while working with Beniout Allaire and while playing in front of a more defensively structured team. There were a very thin crop of UFA goalies that will not break the bank. We consider ourselves luck to have been able to secure Richard’s services. At minimum, he will be a 1 year stopgap until Mckensie proves he is able to handle the NHL game. However, we very much expect Mr. Bachman to put forth an effort this year deserving of a contract extension. Time will tell where we go from here.

Additionally, we have come to terms with UFA Ryan Carter (2 years at $2.5 million). We felt it important to add a veteran to our bottom six forward group with a defensive mind set. Ryan is very capable of providing bottom 6 scoring depth, as we saw in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. We see him being deployed primarily with Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast/ Oscar Lindberg on the 4th line. I envision a 4th line of Carter – Moore – Lindberg to be advantageous as we have 2 centers to deploy for important defensive zone draws. Obviously, there are a lot of factors here and I can comment further on our roster composition as we approach the 2015-16 season.

Later in July

[redacted]: I am pleased to announce that the New York Rangers have come to terms with the following RFAs:

Derek Stepan- 6 years $36 million with a 2 year NTC

Carl Hagelin- 4 years $16 million

JT Miller and Jesper Fast- identical 2 year $3 million dollar bridge deals

We are excited to reach agreements with our young crop of forwards, who are without question, members of this team’s core and future success.

Additionally, we have extended Connor Allen, Dylan McIlrath and Oscar Lindberg to the following contracts:

Connor Allen- $995,000 (raise from $925k)

Dylan McIlrath- $900,000 (raise from $810k)

Oscar Lindberg- $885,000 (raise from $750k)

All 3 players accepted their qualifying offers (minimum of 105% their last year of service as per CBA rules). As all contracts are under $1 million, if the player does not make the NHL roster, the salary can be buried in the minors in full.

In other news, we have also signed a one year extension with UFA Matt Hunwick for $850,000. While we do look forward to Dylan McIlrath, Brady Skjei and Connor Allen all competing for roster spots next year, we felt it important to have a competent veteran defender and known commodity in the lineup. With the departure of Kevin Klein, there is a hole in our defensive corps and we are excited that Matt agreed to come back again next year for a chance to compete for the cup. We know that he is eying the 6th spot on our blue line. That said, it is very possible that one of the aforementioned kids step in and see regular playing time. Matt understands nothing is guaranteed. However, we must all keep in mind how prevalent injuries are in this league, which is why we felt it important to resign Matt for another year.

While on the subject of UFAs, we’ve reached consensus that Martin St. Louis will not be back next year as a New York Ranger. We thank him for his illustrious career, and time with the organization. There is no denying his acquisition last year was a major component in getting us to the cup finals and helped us earn a President’s trophy this year. That said, we decided as an organization to go in a different direction with our top nine forwards this year and will turn to other personnel. Marty has not yet decided if he will retire or look to sign a 1 year deal with another club. We wish him the best.

Danny Kristo signed a 1 year contract extension with the club worth $900,000- a slight raise. We look forward for him competing for a roster spot, if that does not happen then his cap hit will be assigned to the AHL.

We thank James Sheppard for his services. We would very much like to extend the depth forward, however, due to the cap ceiling we will turn to less expensive options for our 4th line.

September – Last day of training camp

[redacted]: In anticipation of opening night and making the final roster decisions, we will have Tanner Glass start the year in the AHL. We will be forced to absorb $500,000 as a cap hit. Despite this, the organization has the room to manage. It allows for us to dress a roster that we feel will allow us to compete a bit stronger top to bottom. That said; look for Glass to be in and out of the lineup this year, as a few kids are competing with him. Oscar Lindberg will start the season with the big club and will be deployed in a 4th line shut down role, and we anticipate he will be a fixture in the lineup come playoff time.

To that point, on defense, Dylan McIlrath will begin the year with the club. We do, however, see Matt Hunwick, Connor Allen and Brady Skjei all challenge for that spot. All 3 will get looks this year. We decided to give the spot to Dylan at the start due to his strong performance during training camp and the preseason, as well as his inability to clear waivers. As such, we would risk him getting poached if we recalled him during the year (much like Connor Allen). We are confident Dylan made strides last year in Hartford and we look forward to him continuing to grow in a sheltered 3rd pairing role. If the experiment does not work out, we have multiple other defensive options to turn to, as noted above.

Wednesday October 7th at the United Center in Chicago Illinois

[redacted]: I’m glad to hear you’re happy with where we are at, Alain, as far as an opening night roster. The speed and quick strike identity, watching from the outside, was commendable. It won a number of games, which I wouldn’t say you guys, really dictated play, but you cannot argue with results. I felt for you the first couple rounds in the playoffs as teams were clogging things up on you. I think the group this year allows us to play that game, but also will help our ability to possess the puck. I’m looking forward to seeing a bit more of that like you guys did in 2013-14. It will be a good blend this year and I’m excited to see how these factors play out.

Looks down at paper which reveals the New York Rangers 2015-16 opening night roster which reveals the following:

Alain Vigneault: Yes, [redacted]. Kudos for keeping the roster largely intact, the RFAs signed and finding a couple low cost FA signings to plug a couple holes. Like last year, Ulfie, Scotty and I will be expecting 2-3 kids to make big strides for us. If we need to lean on some vets like Hunwick and Glass, we have those options too, and I won’t hesitate to let you know the coaching staff’s thoughts as we plug along here. As far as the style of play, we will look to blend both philosophies you touched on. I think a big factor in our possession game will be having the bodies to deploy a defensive minded 4th line to cut down on too much running around in our own zone. This group has remarkable puck moving ability when we get going. The onus this year will be on finishing, as well as adjusting in-game when the opposition takes away certain looks. We have the puck savvy and hockey I.Q. to get past those obstacles. After sitting on it all summer, it became apparent those were two big reasons we couldn’t make it past Tampa last spring.

[redacted]: Sounds good, Alain. I’m content with this past offseason. It all started pre-draft with the Talbot/Klein coup- a defining moment in setting the groundwork for the season. Now let’s see how everything goes. The big storylines we’ll have to keep an eye on is that 6th D spot…. my money is on Skjei making a case. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with the spot down the stretch. Also, we have plenty of forward options. I like our top 6, but we’ve got a lot of possibilities there…. it’ll be an interesting year. Depending on Lindberg’s comfort, maybe we shift him to 3C, put Hayes on the wing in the top 6, slide Miller down to 3LW and put Hags back with Moore and Carter. Those 3 as a shutdown pair would give the other coaches nightmares. We have options; that’s important. I’ve got a good feeling about this year, Alain. Here we are game 1 of the season in Chicago and all our guys are going to see the cup come out, the banner lifted…. it’ll be good for ’em. After coming so close the past 2 years, this will get everybody on the same page from day 1. Let’s get out there and have a successful year. We have a lot of moving parts next off season. I want to take advantage of this roster now. Top to bottom it’s our strongest in years- this is our year. No opportunities will be squandered.

General Manager and coach end the conversation with a firm handshake. As the coach turns to head to the locker room and the general manager to the visitors box upstairs, the GM turns to the coach and asks:

[redacted]: Oh, by the way, would you happen to know any good products for lifting smoke out of carpet and curtains? The office back in NY smells like the inside of a cigar…. gets on everything. My dry cleaning bill is outrageous.

"BSB Off-Season Plan Contest Finalist #3", 3 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
Categories : Offseason

4 comments

  1. Dave says:

    This makes for some great reading. Well done.

    I think Draisaitl was a bigger pipe dream than Yak, but kudos for creativity.

    I get the impression the club doesn’t want to have dead cap space with Glass.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      I understand the thought process, but if you have essentially the same cap hit by playing Glass at 1.435 mil OR burying him which keeps 500k on the book and playing Lindberg at 900k (ish) on the books, you’d have essentially the same 1.4 mil cap hit BUT be able to dress the better team.

      I’d understand if the numbers didn’t work out like that not wanting any dead cap space on the books, but when you look at it like that, it’s not necessarily dead.

      Also, nothing precludes you from recalling Glass and sending his replacement down if you decided the experiment didn’t work for you, and we’re right back to square one.

  2. wwpd says:

    Voting for the only plan that doesn’t assume you can sign Stepan to a contract worth less than $6M per