May
17

The giant offseason jigsaw puzzle for the Rangers

May 17, 2017, by

Navigating the salary cap and expansion draft with a weak prospect pool will be a tall task

The spring cleaning began in earnest for the Rangers yesterday with the firing of Hartford coach Ken Gernander and reassignments of Chris Drury and Jim Schoenfeld. The work will only get harder from here for the team’s front office.

Unlike last season when the Blueshirts considered a wholesale makeover but chose to mainly stand pat, GM Jeff Gorton and coach Alain Vigneault have been candid in the wake of the latest playoff ouster that major roster changes will be made this summer.

But that will be easier said than done.

For starters, the Blueshirts remain in a salary cap bind and will need to make the difficult decision to swallow salary or make uneven swaps to be able to add most players of significance. The favored modus operandi – signing big name free agents or trading picks/prospects for disgruntled veterans – would be near impossible given the current cap situation. Factor in New York’s barren pipeline and those trades become even harder to facilitate.

Then there’s the added complication of the Vegas expansion draft. While the Rangers are concerned about losing one of Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Michael Grabner, or Antti Raanta, many other teams have very similar concerns of their own. And no organization wants to trade for a player it can’t protect, nor does New York want to acquire a player it could lose in a month. Of course there’s some maneuvering that can be done with the Knights, but there’s likely to be a lot of uncertainty at least until the entry draft.

A cursory glance at New York’s existing roster reveals more obstacles. Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Rick Nash all possess some level of no-movement clauses and Derek Stepan’s no-trade clause goes into effect on July 1. Those limitations aren’t necessarily deal breakers, but they certainly complicate things.

The cost-controlled young assets like Fast, Lindberg, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, JT Miller, Jimmy Vesey, Pavel Buchnevich and Brady Skjei are obviously the most attractive to prospective trade partners and could fetch value in return, but it’s hard to fathom why New York would move any given the aforementioned cap situation, expansion exemptions and general importance of each to the future of the club.

That leaves Grabner, Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider as potential trade bait, but each is important to the Blueshirts’ recipe for success and expansion eligible.

Frequently discussed trade partners Anaheim and Minnesota have similar issues. While each may need to move a defenseman or two before the expansion draft – or bribe George McPhee – neither the Ducks nor Wild is in position to absorb salary or additional expansion eligible players. Acquiring Matt Dumba or Sami Vatanen sounds great in theory, but finding an equitable deal that works for both teams under the cap and is safe from Vegas poaching is another issue entirely. And dealing an attractive youngster like Josh Manson, Brandon Montour or Shea Theodore makes little sense from Anaheim’s point of view for the same reasons as the cost-controlled, expansion exempt list of young Blueshirts.

There’s no easy answer to this complicated puzzle at this junction. There will be some more clarity as the Knights’ plan unfolds, but until then the front office has little choice but to work the phones and map out chain reactions A Beautiful Mind style.

"The giant offseason jigsaw puzzle for the Rangers", 5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
Categories : Offseason

123 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    I really think McPhee holds the cards here. If he is given a budget that nears the CAP floor, we are in trouble. But if he he wants to put some seats in the stands and put a real name on a Vegas jersey, then we may have a dance partner.

    Gorton has a tough summer with tough choices. He may not blow up the team, but has to fix the blue line and not add too much salary or NMC attachments.

    Godspeed Gorton.

    • Mintgecko says:

      I don’t know what blow or not blow up the team means but ” one last kick at the can” is definitely going to happen and add to the fact that they look to keep Nash’s 7.8. Stepan and either Staal or Girardi are gone, there has to be a new leadership group that’s actually gets respected, mark my words when those 3 or are gone there will be reports hinting that new vets and faces was needed on the bench.

      • JoeS. says:

        I just don’t see how you can say that about Nash. He is, without a doubt, the best 2 way forward on the Rangers…and he’s a good scorer! If that is not leadership and showing the way, maybe it’s the young guys that are the problem. I mean, if you sit on the bench and watch Nash every shift, how is it you do not try to emulate that? I want Nash to stay, I think he’s a winner!

        As for the other two, sadly the game has passed them by, but I thank them both for what they brought to this team over the years. Especially G, I thought he played very well this playoff season.

        • Walt says:

          Joe

          I have been a major critic of both Dan, and Marc for some 2 1/2 years, saying that they’re best years are in the rear view mirror, and that we should rid of them ASAP. Now having said that for the 111110000000000000000 time, I also agree with your post, thank them both for they’re service, and wish them nothing but the best. You see, to me it’s a business, and nothing more. Now if that mental midget Sather would have thought that way, he never would have signed those horrible contracts in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. amy says:

    it is time to fix the blue line which means getting rid of older guys I can Dan retiring and maybe moving Staal and then resigning Mika and Brendan and not adding more money to NMC attachements

  3. Walt says:

    You know that Sal’s statement about our boy George being in the drivers seat is spot on. He’s going to have 30 other GM’s making him offers to maybe take a player, and throw in a draft pick if he does, etc. What a far cry from any other expansion draft in NHL history!!!!!!

    We know the obvious, deal away Daisy, the Pylons, Klein, try to keep the young as our new core group. This is task easier said than done, but I suspect it can be done. The defense men mentioned above could be moved, reluctantly, but could be moved. It may require some juggling of players, retention of salary, and possibly moving a kid, but the return has got to be worth it. Our defense is shaky at best, with dire need of able bodied skaters who can handle a puck, work the boards, show some grit, and clear the slot so as to give Hank a decent view of what’s going on in front of him. Holden anyone??????????

    This, I believe will prove what kind of GM JG really is………………

    • SalMerc says:

      I think we have about 34 days to work the phones and set the ground work. Figure the Stanley Cup will be raised by somebody in about 25 days. Stepan’s NMC goes into effect 7/1 so IF, and that is a big IF (because I highly doubt Gorton moves him) the expansion draft is 6/21. A lot needs to happen.

      By then only 2 teams won’t be having trade conversations. Of the current 4, only Anaheim is a possible trade partner. Hopefully our GM is talking to his players and staff now and gathering intel. He is bright and knows the drill.

      I saw where Jesper Fast might need some kind of shoulder surgery.

    • Dennis Higbee says:

      I think you move whichever of your centers (Step, Miller [natural center], Hayes, with only Mika untouchable) brings you the best defenseman, protect Lindberg, and buyout/get to waive the NMC either Girardi or Staal.

      Neither Miller or Hayes are big cap numbers this year, but they will be next year, so we’ll have a tough time keeping them both.

      • Al Dugan says:

        A tough Time keeping both Miller and Hayes?

        How much are you going to pay two guys who are beyond streaky players, and don’t perform in the playoffs? It’s not like either Miller or Hayes is going too get big money.

        The way Miller started the year off, I thought we had finally seen the last of the old JT. Nope. His last 40 games plus the playoffs were just awful.

        Hayes also reverted.

        • SalMerc says:

          I am so tired of hanging on to guys with “potential”. We have guys who give us great 50 game seasons. Does anyone else see a problem with that?

          • Bloomer says:

            Zuc, Miller, Hayes, Zib and Kreider are solid NHL players who will give you 20 to 25 goals a season. No they are not superstars, therefore they are not and should not be compensated like they are.

            Stepan, Nash, Lundqvist, Girardi and Staal on the other hand are paid like superstars and under performed this year. If the goal is to improve the club and reduce cap space, they should be asked to relinquish their NMC (if they have one) and trades considered.

          • JoeS. says:

            I certainly do!!

            Extra one for Walt.

        • Walt says:

          Al

          Have you seen Hayes under a new coach, at the worlds????

          Could it be that maybe, just maybe it may be deployment, or the constant harassment by the coach, with the benching etc.

          Do you remember how good the two looked on the PK, what the hell ever happened there? Hayes played well with Vesey, and Nash, what the hell happened there?

          Too many questions from the bench, not that I’m saying these kids are great, far from it, but when you play with fear, crap happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Pas44 says:

            AV is a good coach, very good, perhaps one day great.
            I just don’t see that fire I do with other teams under other coaches..

            You can say all you want about the players and how they didn’t bring it and looked flat here and there.

            At the end of the day, I think our coach can not get the beast out of these players consistently.. and I think its a part of his job.

            Miller doesn’t look like he really enjoys playing at times, Hayes is also part of this boat. I can’t think Lindberg like sitting on the bench in the playoffs, Smith is gone ask for $$ to stay after the way he was treated.

            Sorry, I am not the brightest bulb in the light store, but I am done with caring about AV…

            By Frenchman, I want a war time consigliere …

            • paulronty says:

              “At the end of the day, I think our coach can not get the beast out of these players consistently.. and I think its a part of his job.”

              THAT is exactly the crux of the problem. The critical function of a coach is to be a motivator, to put people in a position to succeed, especially young players. You watch the Rangers bench & you don’t see AV talking to his players or demonstrating the fire they would need to emulate. It’s about more than Xs & Os.

              • Walt says:

                Doc

                Watch Sullivan, Tort’s, Babs, and a host of others, patting their players, talking in their ears. We in turn have a gum chew clown, who’s only purpose in life is to look like a slim down version of Buddha, imitating a cow !!!!!!
                He just doesn’t inspire anyone, even a constipated person to have a movement….

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Walt-

            I’m no expert on the Worlds, but from what I can tell in looking at the roster, Hayes is playing with a team of NHL stars against a Slovakian team that has virtually no NHL players, and a Russian team populated primarily by KHL players. This is a far, far cry from Stanley Cup Playoffs in terms of talent. And as we’ve seen this year and in every year come playoff time, Hayes is a no-show when playing against the big boys in the big moments.

            Constant harassment? You mean when he was benched for TWO games in the middle of his second season and at the end of that season because he was out of shape? AV has continually praised Hayes. He has seen his minutes increased the last three years, not the reverse. Hayes had a strong rookie campaign under AV, and his best season this past year. So are you saying that when Hayes has succeeded, that’s in spite of the coach, but when he’s had his struggles, that’s AV’s fault?

            Again, reference every quote AV has uttered about Hayes. It has been overwhelmingly positive. Reference the one known opinion that Hayes imparted about AV–in the Players Tribune a few weeks ago–with none of us evil reporters distorting his words–

            “Now, I’ve known Kreids for a while — he’s also from outside Boston and went to BC — so he was pretty straight up with me about the city, the fans and the media. But it was all good stuff. And Brian Boyle … this guy was leaving the Rangers and he still had so many positive things to say about the organization. He explained how Alain Vigneault was a fair and honest players’ coach and liked offensive players who commit to defense.

            “Another date I’ll never forget? December 30, 2015 — the day AV gave me my first healthy scratch. I had wanted to build on the success of my rookie year, but I didn’t realize until the beginning of my second season that I hadn’t done nearly enough over the summer to get ready. Not nearly enough to meet my own expectations to become the player I know I can be. Getting scratched after struggling for nearly three months was sort of when things got real. No lie, it was embarrassing.

            “That’s when I vowed I would never let this city down again.

            “In the first round of the playoffs last year, we dropped two out of our first three games to the Pens. Before Game 4, I found out that I was going to be a healthy scratch. And not just for that game, but for Game 5, too.

            “When we got back from Pittsburgh after losing the series, I kept to myself for a few days. I had never felt so ashamed, really. And the thing is, I was in a contract year. The same brutal thought consumed me for the next couple of weeks:

            “This is how I’m going to be remembered here — as the kid who went out on two healthy scratches.

            “And that’s sort of when I vowed to myself, to the boys, to Alain, to the organization and to this city that I would never let them down again.”

            These are not the words of a kid who has been harassed by the coach, or is playing with fear. This is a young man still trying to figure out the NHL game, who is FULLY aware that it is 100% on him as to why he has not yet achieved expectations.

            I’ve been hard on him and the other “Anti-Triplets”, and for good reason. Coach Q said it best–a coach is only as good as his best players allow him to be. The Rangers best players just haven’t been anywhere near good enough often enough when it matters most the last couple of years. Thus, the results.

            The Rangers fortunes will change dramatically when one of two things happen– the “Anti-Triplets” figure it out and become legit stars. Or they are swapped for guys who really are legit stars.

          • Walt says:

            E3

            I don’t know anything about these people on a personal basis, but from my vantage point, I’ll never be a fan of AV, no matter how many quotes of how great the man is, blah, blah, blah!

            I don’t know of many players , current, or former who would say anything negative about their coach, unless they are retiring, or behind closed doors. Why in the world would they shoot themselves in the foot? You know, they may be reacquired, and then be in deep tapioca.

            As for the rosters, it’s funny, was it last year when both Miller, and Hayes played very well, and the coach of team USA said that he found them to be good defensibly, used them on the PK, and it opened AV’s eyes to this skill set? The same staff didn’t invite the stiff Daisy did they? If I’m their coach, that’s one of the first things I’d get to know about my players, their weakness, and or strengths. If AV didn’t know this, as indicated, well he falls short as a head coach.

            Maybe it’s time for these kids to get traded, and they prove that they are good, and come back to haunt us for the rest of their careers because of a dim wit for a coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            You defend him all you want, it’s falling on deaf ears, not just mine, but I’d venture to say, more than you may think on this site. I’m not saying I’m right, I could be wrong, won’t be the first time, but this guy makes the same mistakes time, and again, repeats the same stupid moves, and expects different results. He plays the OLD reliables, to the detriment of the team, and cost us games…….Then you wonder why I dislike him as much as I do??????????

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              “You defend him all you want, it’s falling on deaf ears, not just mine, but I’d venture to say, more than you may think on this site. I’m not saying I’m right, I could be wrong, won’t be the first time, but this guy makes the same mistakes time, and again, repeats the same stupid moves, and expects different results. He plays the OLD reliables, to the detriment of the team, and cost us games…….Then you wonder why I dislike him as much as I do??????????”

              ________

              It sort of begs the question as to how much they give Eddie to do his work…..

              I mean, no offense Eddie but everything Walt said about Alien Bingo there is pretty spot on.

              Simply put ….. They fired & offered the wrong coach an office job yesterday.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              To the point of players trashing AV, no one is suggesting any active player would. But this was The Players Tribune. No reporters asked questions. If Hayes had an issue at all with AV, he could have omitted him and simply focused on the organization as a whole. That to me says pretty clearly that, a) AV’s rep with his players is strong. Even an outgoing player (that some out here suggested inaccurately left because of the coach) Brian Boyle spoke highly of him, and b) Hayes respects AV and feels awful when he lets him down. Again, I’m a connect the dots guy and the dots you are suggesting here just dont add up.

              I will point out though that retired players have no issue at all about speaking out. Torts was trashed even by active players. Keenan too. I’ve never heard one current or former Ranger say anything negative about AV. Have you?

              Again, how one plays in an international tournament against, in some cases, weaker competition then you would find vs a top NHL team, I’m not so sure you can really draw any conclusions about that. It’s like hearing an AHL coach say nice things about a player. Doesn’t always mean that it translates to the NHL level.

              As for AV, I have no doubt that most out here do not share ny view. Heck, I’m sure if I got onto just about every team’s blog pages and starting defending the coach of that team, most would disagree there too. I wonder how many people in Washington want Trotz out right about now, or in Minny are wishing they still had Yeo. It’s the nature of the position and the nature of fans–the grass is always greener on the other side.

              I’ve said since January I would not have given AV the extension at that time. To me, he’s been a very succesful coach here and the record clearly proves that. But I would have waited until after the season to decide whether an extension and raise were warranted or not. But once that decision went down, I’ve moved on. He’s the coach. He’s done a good job. We want a GREAT job (aka a Cup) but that wont happen without great players or great perfomances from good players. We have none and got none. Thus the result.

              He’s not likely going anywhere for at least a year. And even if he did it would likely change nothing. Things will change when players improve or are swapped for better players. Plan and simple.

              • paulronty says:

                Things will change when we have some fresh blood behind the bench with new ideas. The players need it & so do we Ranger fans. THAT is what is plain & simple.

            • paulronty says:

              You are totally right Walt, there is no defense for a coach who consistently fails to get his team to play consistently like they want to win & know what they are doing. Blaming the workers when the boss F#$*s up is where Eddie comes from, but it’s just making excuses for the guy.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                I’ll let Coach Q speak for me…

                “A team is only going to be as good as their best players play”.

                Our best players haven’t been anywhere near good enough.

                Plain and simple.

  4. 43 says:

    There’s going to be a lot of moves between now and the draft. Buckle up, boys. Gonna be some headscratchers and some blockbusters!

  5. Bloomer says:

    The expansion draft will result in the better clubs each losing a talented hockey player. The Rangers being one of those teams. However, the bottom eater teams in the NHL don’t have much to lose. The Rangers could trade one of their high salary cap munching players to a lower tier team for draft picks or future prospects.To make it work, the Rangers will have to agree to take back some salary. They can then use that cap space to strengthen their Blue line.

    I don’t agree with the narrative that Staal and Girardi are candidates for buyouts (not yet anyway). While they may no longer be big minute shutdown defencemen they are still serviceable and could play a role and mentor younger players. It would be a waste of cap space to buy them out at this junction of their careers.

    • 43 says:

      Sometimes, I hope that you’re secretly Boomer Esiason.

    • Walt says:

      Bloomer

      Not to be a smart ass, but serviceable to me means a contract at under 1 mil. When we talk about 5.5 mil, then you want one hell of a lot more than serviceable!!!!!! Besides, that’s two dead spots on the roster, worst case scenario I can think of………………

  6. JoeS. says:

    It should be very interesting! I’m looking forward to the process.

    Nice job, Kevin.

  7. Rich S. says:

    Very simple to fix this team and cap $ problems….
    Offer nash for free to any team willing to take stall……
    Offer steapn for free to any team willing to take girardi…..

    That leaves two more spots to protect lindberg and grabner…..
    I doubt mcphee will select fast considering hip surgery , while there are plenty of other players available who are healthy and score more !

    Sign smith if reasonable and for gosh sake STOP overpaying 30 year olds and STOP giving NMC’s !!!!

    • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

      Nash wouldn’t get any takers for Staal….. he’s not young & cheap. No one will be willing (or able, really) to take on ~13.5 M in cap space, especially not when considering Staal’s deal runs for another 4 years.

      You can apply similar logic to Stepan; if you want teams to take on bad cap, you must offer assets that alleviate/don’t aggravate the aforementioned.

      Look at all of the deals that have been done in this CBA relating to this area.

      • Rich S. says:

        Dog,
        Unfortunately you are probably right, wishful thinking on my part……
        But i would still give away stepan and nash just to be able to keep the aforementioned players and free up cap space…..
        Gotta believe someone would take stepan and nash for nothing???

        Maybe we can make stall or girardi coach of hartford ?? Gotta get rid of these two anchors…..

        • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

          Every single team in the league would take a top 30 centermen at the age of 26 (who is cost controlled for three more years).

          ** Mind you, I personally, am not fond of Stepan’s game **

          You’re just not being objective about the guy, at all. This isn’t about whether or not you like him, it’s about what the aforementioned in worth on the open trade market.

          And, thankfully, it’s infinitely greater than zero.

          The only teams that wouldn’t scoop him up instantly (without hesitation, mind you) would be the ones who were incapable of making the room cap-wise.

          … As for Nashy, yes, unfortunately, his cap hinders his value somewhat. However, with 50% held (and a 3.9 hit), you would have to either nuts or utterly remiss in your knowledge of NHL trades / player value to truly think the man would bring back anything less than, say (in this kind of weak draft), a first round pick or something like that.

          First line players (even if they make ~2 M too much) do not grow on trees. Stop assuming you can just sign some cost-equivalent forward who’s a UFA; these players don’t exist in significant quantity.

          Hence, this is why you see teams give out head-scratching contracts, because they are desperate to fill a lineup hole (and had to OUTBID the open market to do so).

          • JoeS. says:

            Does Nash not have a NMC, NTC?? Sincerely, I do not know.

          • SalMerc says:

            “Every single team in the league would take a top 30 centermen at the age of 26 (who is cost controlled for three more years)”

            Not after no-showing when your team needed you most – down the stretch and come play-off time. No team needs a guy who hides in the shadows during big games. He has become an over paid, under-performing bottom-tier 1C. The only team who may need him is Toronto, where a young team may need some leadership (HA, I actually wrote that).

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              Yeah, you’re wrong. Using that logic, half of a team’s roster (like washington, for example) wouldn’t be worth the paper the contracts are printed on.

              Not gonna rehash it; he’s a career .45ppg playoff, 50+ two way centerman doing what I said in my prior post. If you don’t see the value in that (or, at least, the TRADE value), then I don’t know what you’ve been watching teams do since the last CBA (not to imply that he wouldn’t have been a valuable player in the old one).

              Again, I feel like I need to say this again – I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM TRADE THE GUY!

              Just not for a 3rd round pick & a used Zamboni.

              Hell, I’ve even suggested something in a past thread like this –

              TO LVK – Step (left unprotected), Staal (1.7 retained; 4m cap hit for 4 years), 2nd rd pick next year

              TO NYR – 6th overall pick (in a weak draft)

              Makes perfect sense; LV gets their ‘top line center’, we get out from under Staal’s weight at relatively minimal damage.

              • Rich S. says:

                Dog….
                When you account for his PP points and remove them from the equation…..here are his last 4 years….
                2016-7 12 goals 36 points
                2015-6 17 goals 44 points
                2014-5 13 goals 48 points
                2013-4 12 goals 44 points
                Also consider he averages the most ice time of any forward these past 4 years!
                Pitiful numbers for his ice time….

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Hayes– 2 goals in 34 playoff games
                Miller– 1 goal in 40 playoff games

                Now that’s TRULY pitiful.

                Stepan, btw–

                19 goals in 91 playoff games.

                I’m not saying Stepan should stay. I’m totally open to trading him IF the return is right. But to just dump him for nothing and expect any of your underachieving “stars” to fill the void is frankly nothing more than wishful thinking.

              • Rich S. says:

                3E
                the important numbers are —
                11 even strength goals in 92 games…..

                3 game winning goals in 92 games….
                thats 3 !!!!!!

                -8 plus minus!!!!!
                NOT a winning player, someone along for the ride!!!! and again takes up most ice time of any forward to do it!!!

              • Rich S. says:

                Miller and hayes …very poor, cant argue,
                but I will take my chances with them and a new coach who knows what he is doing!!!!

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Rich, that’s irrelevant (even though it is a good catch).

                It doesn’t matter that 1/4 or so of his points come from the PP, or the logical corollary you can make that our other centers would (easily) replace his missing production by getting his old PP minutes.

                If anything, that’s GOOD news because A) not all players can produce on the PP (not that our guys couldn’t, IMO) but more importantly, B) all it does is inflate his trade value!

                Don’t you get it…. anyone trading for

                *a guy who is, strictly via points scored in the NHL last year, a top 30 center!!!!*

                would assume already that many of those points were garnered from the PP!

                Using your logic, most players in the NHL are pitiful…. please don’t begrudge the guy for not being Crosby; it makes no sense.

                _______

                And Eddie, the problem with Miller is someone needs to give him ‘the zuc talk’ about trying to play tougher than your size & the consequences it has upon your play come April. With him, he’s always too banged up to play, so (IMO) people like you mistake him for being another no-show…. hard to blame you though, with us having so many of them LOL.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Wiener-

                I agree with you on Step. I dont understand why Rich and others think that somehow, the PP doesnt matter. Or in another previous discussion point, somehow, assists don’t matter.

                He’s a solid but clearly unspectacular two way player who generally gets matched up against the very best players on the opposition–and by and large, has done well.

                More was obviously expected following his contract, so the criticism is warranted. But to me, he’s gotten a totally disproportionate share of the blame here.

                As for, Miller, I’m not sure I fully agree. When has it ever been reported or alleged that he’s “too banged up to play”?

                I don’t know that I’d call him a “no-show” player. There were allegations about that early in his Rangers career, but he brings a good, sometimes excellent effort IMO. My issue with him is that some out here practically canonize the guy (along with Hayes and Kreider) and I’m sorry, these guys are NOT stars–at least not yet.

                At some point, effort is not enough. This game is about results. The fate of the Rangers right now depends on the progress of the “Anti-Triplets”. These guys need to stop being about “potential” and need to be about high level consistent results. That’s the difference between “faux stars” and legit stars. And that distinction is the difference between a good team that can make the playoffs and win a round or two, versus one that can legitimately contend for the Cup.

                If they can’t be the latter and all they will be are perpetual teases, then sorry, they need to move on.

              • Walt says:

                Rich

                I think the coaches on team USA must think like you, and I. Daisy wasn’t invited, but Miller, and Hayes were. Could it be they know something that E3 doesn’t? Just asking!!!!!!!!!! Your barking up the wrong tree, don’t waste your breath…………..

              • Walt says:

                Let me correct myself, not Miller but Skjei, sorry folks.

                As for the amount being paid, and ice time, the production just isn’t there to justify it. This again goes to the insecurities of Marv, playing the same old, same old security blankets. In Daisy’s case, a worn out rag at best!!!!!!!!!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Walt-

                Do we actually know that’s true? Maybe Stepan was asked but didn’t want to go. Maybe, in evaluating their needs, they decided Miller and Hayes would be a better fit. Kreider was left off the team last Fall by Torts, and was left off this Spring. Does that mean Miller and Hayes are more highly regarded?

                I don’t think it’s necessarily that cut and dried.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Walt, he’s close enough points wise that it doesn’t hurt his value….

                But you guys are downright wrong if you think his trade value is about where we drafted him (a 2nd rder)

                Mind you (gonna do it in all caps now)

                I WANT TO SEE THEM TRADE HIS ASS!

                …. just not for a 2nd rd pick along with $7.63 (in loose change) and an old pen

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Oops…you are right Walt. Skjei. Miller wasn’t selected either. So do we really believe that, of the three, that Hayes is “better” than Miller and Kreider? He’s clearly the weakest of the threesome at the moment.

                As for AV, what is he supposed to do? Stepan was signed to a big contract. Team decision that Gorton was involved in. There is NOTHING that suggests that the Rangers currently have a better option at 1C at the moment.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Eddie, statistically, between zib, Hayes, lindberg, and miller even…. at least two of them would do what Step brings.

                That’s the problem…. we have more than one guy who can be a ‘lousy’ 1C (if given the minutes).

                Most teams, however, don’t.

              • Walt says:

                Sorry E3, but Mickey Mouse would be a better option, than Daisy. At least he shows up for work daily, on time, and produces!!!!!!

                Well Daisy may miss the bus, because he’s never on time, leading the pack, and his production is more like Goofy’s!!!!!!!!!

    • Pas44 says:

      Maybe Dolan will make so much scratch on this bull run the market has been on that he doesn’t mind losing a few shells to help the team sort this mess out…

  8. Dave says:

    I wonder many vets played their last games as Rangers.

  9. Reenavipul says:

    Until you fix the defense, there is no more “one more kick at the can”.

    The only way you fix the defense is by punting the present and accelerate into the future(that being said, I’m pretty sure AV ain’t the coach for that.)

    Thanks to the suggestion Dave made about digging into cap friendly: this is what I came up with:

    It is in the best interests of the Rangers(both short and long term) to:
    1: Trade Stepan for Justin Faulk(or any of their RD.) Win/win for both teams.
    2: Buy out the wonder twins(or even better, have an honest eye doc pronounce him unfit to play)

    With a roster of 14 F & 7D, you’re $5mm under the cap. You bump Lindberg up to 3C, plug in Fogarty as a no O 4th line checking center(something he’s been doing for 5 years) and cross your fingers that Somebody between Berezgalov, Graves or Day can beat out Holden and Klein

    Even with the increasing dead cap space, the team will be flexible enough through 19-20 to re-sign everybody we want(and even some UFA/RFA tenders can go out), when the dead cap gets some relief.

    However, this is all predicated on moving Stepan. I’m sure he’s a fine fellow, uses his right and left turn indicators, but his NMC/NTC just handcuffs the team to where younger, cost controlled players will have to go now to make for cap room later on. Nothing personal, just business

    • Walt says:

      good post! as for the turn indicators, he may, or may not, but show him the door anyway, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Richter1994 says:

      you forgot Staal in your trade for Faulk.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Staal is untouchable in the wrong way. We would have to send them picks for Carolina to take Staal.

        • Richter1994 says:

          Unite the brothers!!

          Veteran leadership.

          A happier Jordan.

          They would be getting a #1 center in the deal.

          What’s not to like?

          • Reenavipul says:

            Ron Francis is looking for actual hockey players.

            • Walt says:

              LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!! true, why am I laughing???????

            • Richter1994 says:

              But Marc is an assistant captain!!

              • Reenavipul says:

                I know you’re taking the piss, but there really is an issue of who is wearing letters and how they are assigned.

                Nothing against who are current guys, just a philosophical issue.

                A captain should be the center of a Venn diagram with talent, work ethic and empathy being the 3 circles. If the team picks, they should be fine. When management picks….

                Jagr was mega in 2 of 3 components, missing in the 3rd. Cally in 2 different ones. McDonagh like Jagr.

                Point being, just hand out A’s for guys who can’t tick all 3 categories. Hand out the C who does do all three. Handing out the C willy milky devalues the concept.

              • Richter1994 says:

                Actually, I was being sarcastic, lol.

    • Rich S. says:

      Reenavipul,
      Well thought out my man!!!!
      Hopefully gorton can get it done!

  10. JerseyBlueshirt says:

    A lot of you guys are much more in tune with the fine details than I am, but one thing is for sure – this expansion crap really blows. People go to Vegas to gamble and some go to get l**d, there’s no reason for a hockey team there that is going to cost teams like the Rangers a good player.

  11. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Dan Rosen of NHL.com yesterday speculated the following on what the Rangers might do…

    –He believes a player shake-up is coming for sure.

    –The Rangers need to acquire two RH puck moving defensemen.

    –Justin Faulk’s name has come up. He thinks to acquire a defenseman of that caliber, it will likely cost them one of Kreider, Miller or Hayes.

    –He expects Girardi to be bought out. If not, a lesser role awaits.

    –Staal–lesser role.

    –He expects the Rangers to lose either Raanta, Lindberg or Fast to Vegas.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Another tidbit, this time from Elliotte Friedman. He says Russian sources say Kovalchuk prefers the NYC area and wants to play for the Rangers. But since a trade between NJ and NYR has never before happened, it’s highly improbable it could get done. More likely he goes to the Islanders or Florida.

      • Richter1994 says:

        Friedman sounds like a weatherperson:

        “Partly sunny, with a chance of rain or snow, with temperatures between 0 and 88 and maybe a hint of wind.”

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          As I said a few days ago, it’s the silly season and hockey writers need something to write about. So do hockey bloggers! 🙂

          • Richter1994 says:

            I listen to Dreger and McKenzie. they seem to have the real poop.

            • paulronty says:

              Yep those two guys are SOLID.. Friedman is prone to wild speculation. He said Hank was mad at Skjei & yelling at him before Stepan’s intervention & opined that it only happened because Skjei was a rookie. Where he got that from I have no idea.

              • Richter1994 says:

                Dreger and McKenzie only open their mouths when they have something concrete.

                The rest are no better than s shooting the shit here.

                I loved it when no mainstream hockey writer even mentioned the Rangers and Vesey. I sat there like the Cheshire cat.

        • JoeS. says:

          LOL you guys are the best!

        • Walt says:

          Richter

          Your on a roll, can’t stop laughing again!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up man…

    • Reenavipul says:

      Christ, anybody with half a brain(even Garth Snow) could’ve guessed that. We all see the same payroll info, contract terms(even if they show up late) and stats of many varieties.

      The only thing is that I would rather have Girardi as a 6 or 7D and eat Staal’s contract(though I’d rather have a doctor state the obvious in that he’s blind in one eye to get out of the contract that way.) I don’t hate Girardi, I just hatre his sub optimal usage.

  12. Richter1994 says:

    As Felix Unger used to say: “Oscar… Oscar… Oscar…”

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Once their was a man named Oscar.

      Oscar Oscar Oscar

      He’ll be exposed…will he go to Vegas?

      Vegas Vegas Vegas

      Oscar…Vegas….AH AH AH AH

      • Richter1994 says:

        hey bro. you watch, Oscar gets in Vegas’ top 9 and puts up 50 pts.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Probably. But I’m still hopeful he’s not taken. Lots of pathways that Vegas can go.

          • Richter1994 says:

            Fast – Great in his role but not that much offense.
            Raanta – Maybe, but there are other “name” goalies that will be available to put fannies in the seats.
            Grabner – Possible but I see them going younger.
            Lindberg – Slots in as their 3rd line C, can play both ends of the ice, and has the potential to put up 40-50 pts.

            No brainer, IMO.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              Your analysis is bang on in terms of the Rangers. But you have to look at the whole field of unprotected players (once that is out) to really know if it’s a no brainer or not.

              • Richter1994 says:

                true, it depends on who they have picked and what’s available at the time.

                I hope I’m wrong. I would hate to lose Oscar.

                Any juice to the rumor that the Rangers would trade either G or Staal to the Stars for Lehtonen who only has one more year on his deal with the intention of the Rangers buying him out? Which would be a better deal than buying out either G or Staal?

            • Reenavipul says:

              This is why I would expose Step or (maybe)Zucc before I expose Lindberg. The team can slot cheaper players into those roles, while they would have to pay more to replace Lindberg.

              Contract restrictions are murder to a GM. any chance to get away from them, do so.

              • Richter1994 says:

                You’re on the “expose Stepan” bandwagon too? He’s too valuable a trade chip to just let go for nothing.

                You had him traded for Faulk and I have been on that bandwagon since last week, only I include Staal as well. Throw in picks if you have to, to allow the Canes to swallow easier. They have a ton of cap space so they could do this deal.

              • Reenavipul says:

                I’m in the unload Step at any cost camp. I’d have loved to deal him for Draisatl last off season, willing to unload him for something cheaper & younger, but am more than comfortable exposing him in the expansion draft.

                Again, it’s the movement clause that makes me want to move him. His value maxes out before the NTC kicks in, because of the 5&18 it is imperative that he goes in order to have headroom for the seasons up until 2020.

                Every scenario keeping Step causes a cascade of issues until the 2019 lockout.

                After 2018 there’s not a lot of forwards in the top 6 pipeline.

                Like the article proposes, a jigsaw puzzle.

              • Richter1994 says:

                I think a lot depends on what happens with G, Staal, and KK.

            • paulronty says:

              Oh absolutely Anthony. I’d protect him over Stepan any day of the week.

              • Richter1994 says:

                The better way is to trade Stepan my friend. You can’t let the most logical Ranger trade chip to walk for nothing.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Yeah… I get the Step-is-a-candy-ass thing

                I get the TRADE HIS ASS thing

                I don’t, however, get the ‘give him away for a 3rd rd pick’ thing….

              • Walt says:

                Doc

                I have to agree with dog, we can get something for Daisy, not just a bucket of pucks!!!!!!!!

              • paulronty says:

                Absolutely I try to trade him for Charlie Coyle. I’m just trying to indicate I value Lindberg more than Stepan & I hate the idea of losing Lindberg in the expansion draft. I’d trade him to LV for their number #1 but I don’t think they do it.

              • Rich S. says:

                Walt,
                We disagree on stepan I think he is definitely worth 2 buckets of pucks!
                All right maybe a bucket and a half…..

              • Walt says:

                Rich

                You got me there!!!! That was funny………..

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      I read that! An intriguing concept written by a blogger. I dont think there is any actual teeth to this, so I wouldn’t hold my breath. But as they say in the lottery commercials, “hey, you never know!”

  13. paulronty says:

    I’d trade AV & Arneil to Mettalurg of the KHL for 25 cases of Stoli voidka.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Will Mettalurg do that deal?

      • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

        we’re gonna have to add…… quick guys, miller or hayes, they need an answer in 2 minutes or the deal’s off

        • Richter1994 says:

          wow, such a dilemma. who would you choose?

          • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

            Oooof… that’s tough.

            If talent is a wash, then I guess you gotta go with Miller (given that he’s like 6 inches shorter & likes to block shots like he’s a bear or something). Either he smartens up or he’s never gonna be healthy enough to make a difference at the end of the season(s).

            … on a random note, if you listen really carefully, you can actually still hear the steam coming off of that take…

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              Oh sorry, I thought you said ‘who would you TRADE?’

              In that case, it’s Miller (for clarity) …

              I just feel like, much as is with Kreider, the moral hazard of trading an unmotivated player with unique talents (you can’t teach excellent passing, vision, AND size) well … it makes me think twice.

              • Richter1994 says:

                I think Miller is the keeper. Hayes, there’s something about him I don’t like, meaning that I do not know if he will realize his full potential.

      • Walt says:

        Probably not, he comes highly recommended by E3, and that is the kiss of death!!!!!!! You gotta love this come back folks………..

    • Reenavipul says:

      Stoli made in Latvia.

      Stolichnaya also means “of the table”. The stuff is telling you it’s garbage.

  14. Walt says:

    Good night all, I almost forgot the game tonight. Two teams with real coaches!!!!

  15. Mikeyyy says:

    I’m predicting girardi gets traded after his nmc becomes a modified one. Maybe get an ahlr or reclamation project.

    Stepan. Yes Stepan gets traded before his nmc goes active. Probably for a draft pick. Since we are pretty bare on picks. Or a prospect.

    I believe that would let us protect assets from being lost to vegas. Open up cap for a fa move or trade. And rid ourselves of 11-12 million of cap.

    I think the team can perform better without those two players.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      In the case of Girardi, if he’s traded, I suspect that we will have to eat a lot of salary. Unless we are willing to take someone back in return who also has an onerous contract. So I wouldn’t count on full salary relief there.

  16. jim g says:

    buy out girardi, hire him as defensive coach and send Buk to Hartfod

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