Jul
29

Is Kevin Klein the key to upgrading the Rangers defense?

July 29, 2016, by

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers

With the signing of Marek Hrivik, the Rangers have cleared up most of their to-dos for this summer. They locked up their restricted free agents. They got younger, cheaper, and faster with a big trade that also brought back a high draft pick. They retooled their bottom-six with quicker, more skilled, better defensive, and better penalty killing players. But the one major move that has been oddly absent is the big change to the blue line.

Many expected –hoped– that the big change on the blue line would come at the expense of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. That was fueled by some draft day rumors that the Rangers were looking to move the pair. However that was shot down eventually by the public statement that Jeff Gorton expects Girardi to have a bounce back season. Considering the contracts, trading just one of them has always been a long shot. But perhaps the upgrade on the blue line will come from a relatively unexpected place – Kevin Klein.

When Klein arrived in New York in the one-for-one deal for Michael Del Zotto, he was expected to bring a physical game to the ice and play that traditional shut down role. However he did everyone one better by putting up two straight seasons of 9-17-26, setting career highs in goals and points, and matching his career high in assists. To have that happen at the age of 30 is exceedingly rare.

The raw numbers are fantastic, but there is some room for concern here. First is that Klein doesn’t necessarily have the skill set to succeed long term in a faster NHL, as he’s not the best skater in the world. Second is his age, turning 32 this season he’s likely on the decline sooner rather than later. Third, and perhaps the most alarming, is that his shooting rate jumped from a career average of about 5% to 11.8% and 13% in the last two seasons. Simply put: His goal scoring, while a huge help to the team, won’t last. It’s only a matter of time before his SH% comes back down to Earth. Couple that with age, and you have a declining asset.

But Klein is still an incredibly valuable resource, much like Derick Brassard before he was traded. Klein has a very team friendly contract, with two years left on his deal at an easy to manage $2.9 million cap hit. Not only that, but Klein’s actual salary is $2.75 million, a bonus for budget teams. Factor in the second year on his deal, which means he can be exposed for the expansion draft, and he’s very valuable.

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His underlying numbers aren’t too shabby either, when you know what to expect from him. When deployed as a second pairing guy, he actually suppresses shot attempts very nicely. His overall possession numbers are solid for his cap hit as well. The production numbers are expected to come down, but for less than $3 million, he’s well worth that deal currently.

So why would the Rangers trade him?

The same reason they traded Brassard. They have a need to get younger and faster. If trading Staal and Girardi proves to be impossible, then Klein likely brings back the most in any package. When putting some of the offseason puzzle pieces together, it still seems like something is brewing, and all logical sense points to upgrading the blue line.

When we look at upgrading the blue line, our minds go to the obvious upgrades in replacing Staal and Girardi. However an upgrade can come at an unlikely source with Klein. Jeff Gorton has shown he is more than willing to shuffle the deck to get younger and faster, as he did with the Brassard trade. A Klein trade seems like the most logical follow up, if there is another move coming.

"Is Kevin Klein the key to upgrading the Rangers defense?", 5 out of 5 based on 24 ratings.

82 comments

  1. James says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Klien feels like the perfect for in Edmonton. Only reason they are keeping him is too expose him in expansion draft next year

    • Jon says:

      You guys don’t think Klein could be part of a Kevin Shattenkirk to NYR deal? Blues GM Armstrong is in a tighter situation than the Rangers. He has just over $2 mil left. If he needs to use LTIR and a few young players fulfill performance bonuses, he could end up with a cap overage costing him cap space in 17/18.
      He wants to shed salary and that’s probably why a Nash for Shatty deal won’t work. The most Gorton can retain is 50% and that does Armstrong very little salary cap relief.
      Being Armstrong had to move Elliot to make room for Schwartz & Allen contracts. He may be looking for a goalie prospect in return and the Rangers have a few. What about Klein and Skapski for Shattenkirk. It may end up having a couple mid to late round draft picks included but I could see that deal working. Gorton just got an extra 2nd round pick from Ottawa. Maybe STL throws in a 3rd to make everyone happy.

      I truly believe that if we added Shattenkirk, it would have a great ripple effect on the defense. Girardi would be perminantly bumped down in the lineup and hopefully Healthy. Even tho he’s been regressing steadily since early 2014 late 13′, he has still been able to hack it as a top pair shutdown defenseman when healthy. Put him against teams middle 6 on average and drop his ES minutes, maybe he even regains some trade value. Regardless, having Shattenkirk would have a huge impact on the lineup. Mac would have another stud next to him instead of a ball n chain like Girardi.

  2. Richter1994 says:

    Rangers aren’t doing anything until the Vesey situation is settled, either way.

    And they are certainly not trading a D man unless it’s to bring one back. If STL agrees to KK and a 1st or something like that for Shatty then that’s a different story. Then buyout G next year for Shatty’s extension.

    • Walt says:

      Why would we want to give up a #1, for Shatty, when he is available for nothing but money next year, assuming he wants to come here in the first place ????????????????? He claims he wants to play here, but money talks, and bull sh*t walks, so until he signs a contract with us, at a reasonable rate, I wouldn’t give up a thing for him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • paulronty says:

        Amen Walt, you’ve hit the nail on the head, paisan.

        • Fotiu is God says:

          More like a Trotsky ice pick…

          Staggeringly sharp.

          Brought to bear with an efficient, concise thrust.

          Stick tap to you, per usual, Coach Walt.

      • Richter1994 says:

        to not waste this year? seriously I don’t get the idea that giving up this year is acceptable. you add this guy and the Rangers are a contending team.

        then don’t whine when this team falls flat on its face because you’ve already decided that this year doesn’t matter.

        • mattstake says:

          because it would be nice to have a freakin 1st round pick for a change!

          • Richter1994 says:

            I would rather have the Cup, thank you.

            The Rangers will never “blow it up” and start over. If they did then I am all for stockpiling picks. But this is a “win now” team and they are “possibly” one impact D man away from contending again.

            Maybe we won’t make the playoffs this year and that pick will look better.

            • Walt says:

              they have been telling us we are a win now team for the last ten years !!!!!!!!!!! garbage………….

              • Richter1994 says:

                but walt, that’s who they are, that’s who they will always be.

                only once have they “tanked” and that was before the salary cap came in as they dumped everyone except for the King and Jagr.

        • Egelstein says:

          Yeah, we need that first rounder. The cupboard isn’t completely barren, but it’s darn close. I want NYR to contend this year too, but not at the cost of that first rounder. Keep in mind, Shatty in and Klein out kinda just brings us back up to where we were with Yandle anyways. Not to mention, StL may even receive better offers than Klein and a first, who knows. Maybe they aren’t as interested in Klein as we think they might be. Point being, for all we know it could take even more than that…and then if we fail to extend, we have another Yandle situation on our hands. I’d say if StL wants to take Klein and a second, maybe even a minor prospect or some lower round picks also, do it. Not that first rounder though.

          • Richter1994 says:

            Good points. Rangers are not trading for Shatty unless the extension comes with it. Shatty has said that there’s only one team he will sign an extension with and probably a little below market. Think 6 years, $36M. The guy wants here in the worst way.

            I just feel like this team is going no where (contending wise) with this D corps.

            Look at it this way, Lundqvist will be the best Ranger ever not to win a Cup, so there’s that.

        • Walt says:

          We haven’t had a #1 pick the last three years, and you want to give another pick away, man I can’t imagine what is going on in your thought process????????

          With the Brass deal, we got a good player, and what made everyone happy the most, we also got a #2, please get real !!!!!!! By the way, I don’t whine, I express fact, not fiction my friend………….

          • Chris A says:

            Personally, I felt the 2nd rounder was a nice bonus. Mika is a far better player than Brassard. That trade wasn’t made for hockey reasons, it was made because Ottawa is a stingy franchise and the Rangers were able to advantage of that fact.

            • Walt says:

              I understand why the trade was made, the point I was trying to make is, the icing on the cake is what excited people almost as the trade itself. We haven’t had a high draft pick so long, that we almost forgot how to sit at a draft, and not fall asleep for the first 18 rounds !!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Richter1994 says:

            walt, the thought process is that the Cup window is ticking (and closing). Once the King and Nash are over the hill, what chance do you think we have after that? That’s a fact.

            • Walt says:

              again I have to post that we should win for the team, fans, and the organization, not just for Hank………………….sorry this has cost us how many #1′, and #2’s the last five-six years, with the same bull crap results…………the teams that win do so by building thru the draft!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              MSL, Yandle, Staal,and how many others over the years, with one cup over the last 76 years, now that’s a great track record………….

              we have to agree to disagree on this one………….

              • Richter1994 says:

                and how close did they come in 2013-14 and 2014-15? it’s not like they tried and failed miserably. they were very close and very unlucky.

                the Kings’ series was a classic bias job against the Rangers based on the officiating and against TB the offense failed to show up in the home games. Even with a banged up D corps, the issue was the lack of goals, not preventing them. 4 goals in 4 playoff home games doesn’t win series.

          • Fotiu is God says:

            Gospel, Walt.

            Now watch Anthony DuClair net 30 this year.

            Imagine having that kind of water bug busting out on the wing. Stretching the ice as though it was his very canvas, to do as he pleases; evoking a 20ish Pavel Bure. (Or, an equally spry Pavel Burrito?) Backing off the opposition’s D. with every shift.

            Donny Maloney: pickpocket extraordinaire.

            • Richter1994 says:

              I thought we were buds bro. lol

            • Walt says:

              not to belittle anyone, but there are some that just can’t think long term, repeating the same mistakes, and expecting different results !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              I can’t understand these peolpe at all?????????????

              • Richter1994 says:

                lol, you’re pinning this on me?

                this is the direction that THE RANGERS have chosen. you and everyone else want to ignore what THE RANGERS are currently doing and force feed something that goes against that.

                you want to forfeit the chance to win the Cup in the next 2 years? Fine, then how about:

                1) Trade the King to Dallas for high picks and prospects and one of their goalies to make the $$ work.
                2) Send Nash to the Ducks and do the same, but you probably have to take back $$ for the cap.
                3) Buyout G next year and Staal the following year because everyone knows that no one wants them in trade.
                4) Call up all the young players that have even the slightest of chances to make the NHL.

                Better? But of course, that’s not reality, is it? You ever see the Rangers do this except for before the cap was implemented.

                I am giving moves based on the current team, where it’s headed, and what it takes to improve it. You and everyone else want to ignore that then be my guest, but then you’re not being realistic. At all.

              • Richter1994 says:

                BTW, the Rangers are in the 23rd year of a 50 year plan to win the Cup, so we are not even close to the end of the “winning the Cup” window. That’s the long-term plan.

              • Fotiu is God says:

                I read ‘ya, Walt.

                Just don’t come any closer with that Soviet-era icepick…

              • Walt says:

                I can’t take anyone serious when we have zero in the pipeline.

                I can’t take anyone serious when they want to trade a #1 for someone who may, or may not resign with us.

                I can’t take anyone serious when they think only of Hank winning the cup.

                I can’t take anyone serious when history has shown time, and time again that what is being offered as a plan is bull shit, hasn’t worked, won’t work now, or any other time.

                I can’t take anyone serious when they want retreads over kids like DuClair, for a washed up MSL, or Staal because they are looking at a so called window closing.

                Sorry my friend, I can’t take you serious when your blood pressure gets elevated because someone offers another path, and or choice. If Shatty is to come here, we wait one year, get him for free, save a #1 pick, and have a shot at a decent pick, rather than wait for the end of the draft to pick 275th, and expect to get another Hank with that pick. See, I can’t take you serious, sorry man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                By the way coming close counts only when your getting in bed with a loved one, not finishing second fiddle again……..

              • Richter1994 says:

                sorry you feel that way walt. i was trying to discuss this with you and point out the realities of how the Rangers operate. I’m sorry my hockey knowledge isn;t as good as yours’. have a good night.

      • Richter1994 says:

        and btw, the extension will be in hand when this trade happens.

        • Chris A says:

          You can’t sign Shattenkirk to an extension until after the expansion draft in June. Otherwise the Rangers have to protect 4 Ds and that only leaves room to protect 4 FWDs.

          In a normal year, I would say you are 100% correct. But this year, Shattenkirk is a pure rental.

          • RangerSmurf says:

            The buyout window is before that, so in theory they could remove one of the twins, and keep McDonagh/Shattenkirk/Other Twin

    • howiehockey says:

      Gorton tried to trade Girardi & Staal at the draft. No takers, b/c he wouldn’t swallow some of their salaries (say 50%). He didn’t buy them,out either b/c he’s xlinging to the mid-guided notion that one of the 29 remaining teams will somehow think G & S are worth the money. T’ain’t going to happen. Gorton’s choice is a discount sale or buyout.

      • Chris A says:

        He didn’t buy them out because a buyout hurts the Rangers far more than it helps them.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      To all of you taking runs at Richter, circling back every four hours to punish, humiliate and ultimately strike him down via that most loaded of symbols, The Roman Thumb’s Down, I ask for a moment.

      To quietly reflect. To understand, citizen Richter.

      Our paths crossed years ago. We shared a cell at Colombia’s most notorious prison, the High Security Penitentiary of Valledupar. More commonly known as La Tramacúa.

      To lend narrative framework, at one time Richter had serious juice at the shipbuilding yards up the line in Connecticut. (Perhaps by virtue of his union gig.)

      Irregardless, a certain señor Escobar, he of Columbian crime circles knew Richter from all-night ragers in 1980s Bogota. By virtue of that familiarity he fronted: paying Richter seven figures for a state-of-the-art, radar repelling submarine.

      Ultimately Customs and Naval intelligence got wise to the deal. The wires from Columbia into Richter’s bank account. Closing in they scuttled Richter’s Folly.

      Escobar flipped, having Richter arrested without any formal arraignment.

      For years, having the bunk below his, I couldn’t but listen to his anguished nightmares. For endless months he believed Phil Esposito had become our GM. Night after night, he’d scream out, “No, Trader Phil!” “No!” “No!”

      Eventually Richter came to believe he’d been named Ranger GM.

      The prison’s psychiatrist, a genteel if loquacious gent named Eduardo-Eduardo-Eduardo sent Richter in for a regimen of daily electroshock therapy. Each day, Richter received an ever larger jolt.

      Closing out, Dr. Eduardo-Eduardo-Eduardo explains that these most recent ‘Kevin Shattenkirk Manifestations’ are simply the traumatic upshot, the psychological repercussion of those treatments. Of synapse turned to burnt toast.

      So please, bear this disclosure in mind when mulling one of Richter’s Shattenkirk Manifestations.

      Remember, it’s not him talking; it’s the electroshock. The years at La Tramacúa.

      • Richter1994 says:

        LOL, you’re a funny guy my friend.

        These are facts though, 2 Cups in 76 years. And when you have a chance to win the Cup then you go for it. Either you build from within or you don’t. I’m not saying get rid of all your picks but if the picks help to get you in the direction you’re currently going then you do it.

        As long as the King is our goalie then they’re going for it, it’s as simple as that. Opportunities to get younger, cheaper, faster, and better all at the same time like in the Brass trade is a home run. Brilliant trade.

        But Nash (over 30) is still their best goal scorer and most dynamic player outside of the King. The clock is ticking with him too.

        Just saying. But the King’s career will be looked on as a big opportunity lost as far as not winning the Cup. You want to rebuild? Ok, then make a true re-build and trade the King and Nash for picks/prospects and do it the right way, not half way.

        And BTW, the Rangers have done just fine with picks other than a first rounder, not to mention the college players that become FAs like Hayes, who has more than made up for not having a first round pick.

        Thumbs down away boys and girls.

  3. SalMerc says:

    I think everyone is in the right page here. He may be the trade chip we use to also open up a spot for a young guy on the blueline (Holden). He may bring back another high pick or he may be the guy who gets exposed at the draft. Either way, he is a commodity.

    Gorton is smart enough to parlay this chip into something towards the goal of speed and youth.

    • Chris A says:

      FYI, Holden is 29. He’s merely a depth addition for the roster. If he plays, he plays, but no one is going to bend over backwards to make space for the guy.

      • Egelstein says:

        I’m not saying he will be great, because of course you never know til you see how a new player fits and all… but the HERO chart sure looks more like a legit second pair type Dman to me than depth. I also heard (I forget where) that he was in the doghouse at times in COL and there was friction there. So, maybe with a change of scenery, he will be more than just depth. Time shall tell.

        • Chris A says:

          I should have added that if Holden gets lots of ice time it will mean he earned it by playing really well.

          It’s possible that Colorado let go a diamond in the rough. As great as Sakic and Roy were as players they are equally as poor as a management team.

          Still, Holden is 29, it’s possible that he is the next Kevin Klein, which would be great. The more guys the Rangers have that can perform their cap hit the easier it is to offset Girardi and Staal

        • Chris A says:

          ** I meant outperform their cap hit.

    • howiehockey says:

      BTW, right now I’d hold on to Klein. I’d even consider signing Raphael Diaz if cap space pits.

  4. Walt says:

    Dave

    All very good points, and if we trade Klein at all, with the returns as good for the team as was the Brass trade, I’d be very happy. James above stated the Oilers would be a nice fit for Klein, and they are in dire need of solid defensemen, that would be a nice place to start. When the time comes, and Klein departs, we all should thank him for his solid play here, and wish him the best!!!!!!!!!!

    • James says:

      I always thought a Klien and Mcilrath for Yakupov Trade could get done, if the Rangers were able to include a decent prospect in return.

  5. Ranger 11 says:

    I get the feeling we haven’t seen anything else happen yet cause they want to see if they can get Vessey first like Richter 1994 said. But based on the moves Gorton has made so far I wouldn’t be surprised if Klein goes at some point here. He is getting older and you can expect teams to want him once he has declined so they would have to move him while he’s still playing good hockey. If the time comes then like Walt said thank him for a job well done n wish him luck. As far as Gorton though I’m hoping he’s trying to see if he can get Vessey n Shattemkirk, even if it does mean getting Shattemkirk next season.

  6. Bobby B says:

    Klein is a solid D man. Other intangibles, he is a great locker room guy, not afraid to drop the gloves in defense of a teammate. He has the hardest shot on the team, according to Hank.

    • Peter says:

      I am a fan of Klein as well. But, because he is 32 and because we have 2 other older blue liners that we can’t move in Girardi and Staal, it is time to move Klein. Like with Brassard where Gorton traded a very good player at his peak for a younger guy with skills, it would be great to do that with Kevin.

      • Walt says:

        This is what Sam Pollock did for Montreal year in, and year out. The man had a feel when to trade a man before he started his decline. I hope Jeff has that ability as well !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • paulronty says:

      Not anymore, I bet DMAC’s shot is harder.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      You said it, Reverend Bobby.

      I’m just as rock solid on Klein as you. But he needs to re-embrace his primal id. Before he donned a blue shirt, when the Preds went on a relatively deep playoff run Klein rocked a rad mohawk.

      That said, I’ve consistently advocated that you take Kevin into the prison yard and hand him over to the barber. “I want nothing but a Bobby B. racing stripe. Right down the middle, man.”

  7. Leetchie Nut says:

    Dumbest idea ever to trade the teams best 2 way Dman. I know. Let’s trade Hank for a younger, cheaper goaltender. Better yet. Let’s just make the entire Wolfpack squad our A team.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      No one said we should trade McDonagh so who are you talking about best 2 way d man?

    • Paul Segreto says:

      If you can trade ANYONE to make the team now and in the future better WHY NOT,GRETZKY got traded.We fall for these players as if they were our kids.How many teams win with the best players ,play smart team structured game,have a hot goalie,and a coach that believes in his complete roster.That is a simple formula to win

    • Peter says:

      If you can get a highly skilled player in his early 20’s for Klein, it would be dumb not to make the trade. Klein!s market value is at its peak now; it will decline as he gets older. Trading him now will bring a better return than later. Yes you lose experience on D but you gain someone who will be playing for you for several more years instead of declining or even retiring.

      McDonough is their best 2-way defenseman.

    • Dave says:

      I never advocated traded McDonagh.

  8. Stranger Nation says:

    Agree Klein is playing well above his cap hit which is a rarity on this team and with recent RFA signings, may be one of a few number of players who can say that on this squad of overpaid under-performers. Like Brassard, he has proven himself on the biggest stage over a 2 year period and, if not forced to play RD1, one could reasonably expect similar output as an RD2.
    .
    Forced into RD1 role last year as Done Girardi could not play hockey as a 3rd pairing let along first. They moved Shea Butter to RD1 in POs which was a bandaid, not a long term strategy. Ideally Klein is a very valuable RD2 but may need to play RD1 given the other options. Makes it very hard to trade unless an RD1b/RD2a comes back.
    .
    If Gorton could bring back a younger RD1 (Cece/Ott – can/will Sens pay Paneuf, Karlsson and Ceci?) for Klein (and Haze?), that would be critical for this team with the Twins Ghosts of playoffs past weighing heavily on the Cap.

    • Egelstein says:

      Watch other GMs’ eyes light up if Hayes gets attached to Klein heading out for anything less than a legit first pair defenseman. Ceci has solid offense but is subpar on the defensive side. His linemates have better corsi without him, by a solid margin. Klein for Ceci straight up, you might be on to something given that Ceci is so young…but Klein is still better right now two way, no doubt in my mind.

  9. paulronty says:

    It’s amusing to me when you talk about guys in their early thirties being old & in deklein. Not true at all because in this day and age guys train hard all year round and stay in shape. Guys all decline at different rates, but some play well into their late thirties like MSL, Jagr etc. Funny how Klein can’t skate(he’s slower than DMAC) but he’s a valuable shut down guy who is scoring well above chance, however,DMAC can’t, skate so he is a useless appendage to some. Speed kills, there is no denying that, but just because a guy is fast doesn’t mean he’s a great hockey player. I bet the oldtimers here remember Gene Carr, fastest guy in the league, who was a bust or Val Fonteyne, who could fly but not put the puck in the ocean, or a guy named Bill Sweat who was a hurricane on ice, drafted by the Hawks and is going nowhere fast. Hockey sense is important, so is character makeup. For a D, the most important skating skill is how fast can he go skating backwards. No one talks abt that but it is a critical skill for D-men. I remember going to a coaching seminar years ago given by an ex-NHLer Mike Busniuk. Watching that guy do backwards crossovers was eye popping. He could go backwards faster that most of us going forward. And he was only a mediocre NHL D! I remember Dave King saying that Gretzky was not the fastest player(some thought he was too slow for the NHL before he was drafted!!!!), didn’t have the hardest shot, but there was no one who could THINK the game faster. As for Klein, I’ve advocated trading him for two years because I’m really not a fan. He’s done way better with the Rangers than he did with the Preds, & I suspect he’ll do worse with the Oilers where his weaknesses(exposed by the Pens), will be exposed.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Say what? A Gene Carr reference?…

      Clearly you got that tank of laughing gas refilled, Doc.

  10. Alfred Palma says:

    Why don’t we consider moving MacTruck. Time for a change of leadership based on his inability to motivate that locker room throughout the year. We got rid of Cally, seeing Mac go wouldn’t hurt half as much. If you want to sell high, move the captain. If you want to talk bout exposed by the Pens look no further than him. His possession play was awful. And don’t tell me it was Girardi’s fault. He gets all antsy in the pantsy with the puck in his own end and tries to do too much in the neutral zone.

    • pas44 says:

      Alfred, Pass the Dutchie

      How do you know he doesn’t motivate in the room, are you in there?

      antsy, pantsy, reeeeallly mon. Pass the Dutchie

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      ^ Boo this man

      Other than Lundqvist, McDonagh is our best player. And the gap between him and the next ain’t even close.

      • supermaz says:

        Nash is our best player.

        • Ranger 11 says:

          I agree with you. I think too many fans get on Nash cause of his pay and he didn’t score enough in the playoffs. Well he had 18 points in his last 24 playoff games. He scored 23 goals in the 48 game strike season. Scored 26 goals when he missed 17 games with a concussion n when you have a concussion you can’t work out or anything so you come back out of shape. Then scored 42 goals in a full season. Last year was his only bad season n even then was hurt for a while. Plus no one else plays all zones on the ice like him. So if fans want to say he makes too much is one thing but he was known as a 30 goal guy who had 40 goals twice I think. When you look at the seasons of 23 n 26 goals in those amount of games he’s always been on his pace other then last year. I also think he’s gonna have a real good year this season.

        • Ranger 11 says:

          The whole team says Nash is their best player other then Hank.

        • Egelstein says:

          Nash vs. McD is tough. I’ll just leave it at Nash is our best all around F and McD is our best D of any nature, in my opinion, haha. Hank is Hank, if we aren’t excluding goalies then I think he’s #1 overall. But among the skaters, both Nash and McD are special players. They do a bit of everything and do most of those things well, and that isn’t exactly easy to find.

      • AP says:

        And Yandle was our best D man. I’d have to say the Zucc is our best forward by spirit and point getting ability. Nash is a hell of a 2 way player.

        But if we are talking about selling high. You’ve got seriously consider moving the man with the C on his chest. 2 failed playoff runs. One less inspiring than the next.

      • Section 121 says:

        Zucc is our best player

  11. HARLEMBLUES says:

    The key to upgrading the Ranger defence is trading G and Staal. If that can’t be done eat salary in any trade. Play DMc he has earned it. Danny G and Staal have to sit and watch their best days are behind them not ahead.

    • Walt says:

      agree, but we all know how the coach loves his vets, especially the ones that are slow as sh*t out there………..

    • Egelstein says:

      I’m hoping that perhaps after the Vesey situation is settled, regardless how that turns out, Staal will be dealt. Certainly not holding my breath, and I think it is unlikely…but hoping. I don’t disagree with you that it would be awesome to move one and go a long ways to adding to the D by subtraction. I’m not sure Girardi is even movable at all at this point though. Staal won’t be easy…but I think it’s far more likely than moving Girardi, unless another GM is really in love with Gs warrior mentality and Gorton eats a bunch of money. I was not against buyout simply because I think we’d have to eat that or more to move him anyways. I fear that still may be the case. If I was another GM, I wouldn’t take G unless there was serious, serious money retained. There are other better players available for purposes of hitting the cap floor. And even then I still might not do it. Staal, I’d be more willing to listen, but I still would want significant salary relief. Think of it this way…if we put together a highlight reel of these two making only impressive plays from last year, how long would it be? Not very. If other GMs are up on their film scouting, they’d see the same.

      • Ray says:

        I don’t think this (Girardi conclusion) is true. It is important to realize that there are several ways to look at a situation – and while you may believe there is a right way and a wrong way, you should understand that not all hockey general managers think alike.

        Last year, at even strength, the duo of McDonagh-Girardi was on the ice for 1.31 goals per 60 minutes more than they gave up. That is a phenomenal number which you may dismiss as garbage. However, there may be something to it and it only takes one general manager to believe this in order to create a market for Girardi. Not saying someone will leap at his pricey contract and creativity may be needed, but I do believe there is a market for his services. There’s also an NTC.

        ************

        Staal is a different matter. He struggled last year by all metrics. Still, he was good and he was very talented. Many a washed up player has been acquired on hope alone – and very occasionally it pays off.

        • Egelstein says:

          I’m obviously a big fan of HERO charts, I won’t lie. You just won’t see many as brutal as Girardi’s. I don’t dismiss that G/60 number as “garbage”…but that’s with McD, and that’s with more time spent with L1 and 2 forwards than others. It’s a team stat, where as the HERO chart is much closer to individualized. I’d just put it in the back seat to a HERO chart when it comes to the individual in question…and I think a lot of other GMs might too, otherwise you’d have to imagine maybe Girardi could have been dealt. The NTC is a fair point too; obviously Gorton can’t and shouldn’t tell the public details about if something might have happened if not for that.

        • Roger Domal says:

          Staal was by far our best defenseman on the PK. MacD by far our worst. Look at the numbers.

  12. dyadya says:

    How is trading Klein upgrading our D unless he brings back a better D?