May
18

Breaking down the Ilya Kovalchuk rumors

May 18, 2017, by

ilya kovalchuk

Ever since the news broke that Ilya Kovalchuk wants to come back to the NHL, preferring to play in New York or Florida, the Rangers have been linked to them. Elliotte Friedman added fuel to that fire during this week’s 30 Thoughts, mentioning that the Rangers also appear to have interest.

It would be silly for Jeff Gorton to simply ignore Kovalchuk’s return. After all, he’s been a point-per-game player in the KHL. At 34 years old and at that elite talent level, he’s still got gas left in the tank. However the major question isn’t whether he has gas left, it’s how much. Is he going to be another Jaromir Jagr, putting up 40 points until he turns 900 years old? Or will he fizzle out after half a season?

Before trying to predict if Kovalchuk is going to be useful, the bigger question is where the Rangers can play him. Even if you assume the Rangers lose one of Michaal Grabner, Jesper Fast, or Oscar Lindberg in the expansion draft, those are all bottom-six spots. Are the Rangers comfortable putting Kovalchuk on the third line? Is Kovalchuk ok with that role? He might be, assuming he gets powerplay time, but it’s still a legitimate question.

Heck, would New Jersey even consider trading him in the division, to the Rangers no less?

Even if both sides are comfortable with a third line/powerplay specialist role, then the salary becomes a major talking point. Predicting Kovalchuk’s salary is near impossible. Alex Radulov just came back from the KHL and got a one-year deal from Montreal for $5.75 million. However he was 30 years old, four years younger than Kovalchuk. I’d still venture a guess that he would get a one year deal, but at less than what Radulov got based on age. But then again, Kovalchuk is a known NHL entity, Radulov was not. So…I dunno.

However when it comes to fitting in, Kovalchuk could certainly have a potentially large impact with the Rangers. For starters, he’s a right-handed forward. Second, he’s a pure shooter. Just those two alone make him worth the look. But his shot is absolutely lethal. It’s perhaps one of the best wrist shots in the game today. When he has time to tee it up, and he doesn’t require much, he hits his spot with power.

Kovalchuk would also serve as a mentor to Pavel Buchnevich. Buchnevich is so skilled, but is still raw talent. Kovalchuk should be able to help him hone that ability. Perhaps it also keeps Buchnevich –who has an out-clause to the KHL– with the Rangers, given the NHL’s withdrawal from the Olympics. That factor also plays into potentially bringing Igor Shestyorkin into the fold in a few years. That’s pure speculation, but it’s certainly something being talked about.

In the end, I don’t think Kovalchuk is a fit at this current moment. Now that could change with a blockbuster trade, sending a forward out to address the massive blue line issues. But as of today, I don’t see a legitimate roster spot for him. But if things change, and the Rangers land him, it has the potential to be a game-changer.

 

"Breaking down the Ilya Kovalchuk rumors", 4 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.

126 comments

  1. Spozo says:

    He would help our power play.

    Don’t we say that about every acquisition?

  2. Spozo says:

    Say a forward is traded to land a legit 1RD and then this guy is signed 1×5 that immediately upgrades this team. He’s better than any forward we have and we solved the 1RD issue. Granted this is not a long term solution.

    But it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m sure New Jersey would rather let this guy rot in the KHL than trade him to us!

    • Ryne Muller says:

      Sounds like the bad old dark days.

      • Spozo says:

        im just thinking out loud!

        Like I said I don’t think it matters. The Rangers would have to outbid everyone else and they would probably have to sweeten the deal a little more to get NJ to deal him to us!

        • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

          “Trade”

          “New Jersey”

          “De-”

          Yeah, not happening. Shero isn’t Lou but… Yeah….I still don’t see any way this happens where hell hasn’t frozen over

  3. Walt says:

    Kovalchuk would also serve as a mentor to Pavel Buchnevich. Buchnevich is so skilled, but is still raw talent. Kovalchuk should be able to help him hone that ability. Perhaps it also keeps Buchnevich –who has an out-clause to the KHL– with the Rangers, given the NHL’s withdrawal from the Olympics. That factor also plays into potentially bringing Igor Shestyorkin into the fold in a few years. That’s pure speculation, but it’s certainly something being talked about.

    When I first started reading, this was my thought, Buch, and the new kid signed from the KHL on defense. Kovi is respected, was never a head case that I’m aware of????????? Right shot, would be nice to replace Daisy’s right shot, but this guy is lethal, while the other’s is soft at best.

    Now here are the problems:

    What do we give up for him?
    What does it cost us in cap?
    What term is he looking for?
    Who do we displace for him?

    Now the positives:

    Playing the 3rd line, he won’t get top line defenses.
    Plays a little less, at his age he may need a shorter amount of ice time.
    Playing the point on the PP, he has a cannon for a shot.
    The Russian kids would have a built in idol, who can play, teach them English, he speaks the language very well.
    This also would keep him from the Fishsticks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If the demands aren’t way out of line, I think I’d make a move on him. This runs counter to my long held beliefs that we go with youth, but I don’t see him as a relic, and for 2-3 at the most, why not. One thing I wouldn’t give him is a NMC, no one gets those any more, we’ve been bitten too many times!!!!!!

    The next move is on the Devils, and I suspect they won’t be easy to work with!!

    • Walt says:

      the 2-3 is in years folks, sorry…………..

    • paulronty says:

      Walt, Walt, shame on you paisan–this would be regression to the old days of bringing in guys past their prime. Have to disgree. Don’t want him.

      • Walt says:

        Doc

        Once I posted it I had second thoughts. At first I said if he came cheap, could work out, but no way I’d give up anything of quality. So on second thought, what the hell was I thinking???????????

    • Rich S. says:

      As much as I dont want…scott gomez’s, bobby holiks,wade reddens, brad richards, chris drurys……etc……..this guy is special……GOT to kick the tires on this one…….

      And while we’re not on the subject…..this is one of those rare years we could have stolen it!!!!!
      Pitts , no letang, crosby banged up, coming off grueling series with caps…………ripe for the taking….
      Blackhawks……gone…….early……
      We had easiest route……habs…[should have beat them in 5] …..senators…[should have beat them in 5]
      All we needed was a decent F@#$%^n coach!!!!

      • paulronty says:

        Some Ranger fans are in denial about this, but if no coaching change is made, the outcome will remain the same.

        • jeff says:

          That is where it starts….actually 1 up. How did he get an added 5Years? I think JG is putting his rear on a very hot seat. Not really though….who here thinks the Dolans care? The second there are tix avail at face or customers don’t take the MSG package they might. Until then…..Nah!

          • Blueshirts94 says:

            He got another 2 years, so he’s got 3 left. But what confuses me is why Gorton did it before the playoffs.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              Very simple….that deal proved that this season was all about phase one of a transition of the roster. The players AV had was not a roster that screamed “win or else”. They wanted continuity and likely promised AV he would get the roster he needs to win in the next year or two. There would be no other rationale to give him a deal of that nature at that time.

              I will never say never to anything, but AV is about as safe as bet to be the coach next year as there would be in the coaching community. He’s not likely going anywhere…not at this time.

      • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

        “[they] had [the] easiest route……habs…[should have beat them in 5] …..senators…[should have beat them in 5]
        All we needed was a decent F@#$%^n coach!!!!”

        That and someone besides the goalie & a few hobbitses to throw everything they had at them…

        Looking back at games 3-5, (oh hell, the entire series), the fact they lost… everybody on that team who wasn’t indescribably ashamed by that should be shipped out.

        The only one I’d make an exception for is Kreider, because knowing the NYR, they’ll trade him & suddenly, he’ll decide he wants to be a big boy & bowl everyone over, thus instantly becoming ‘Ovechtrick Lite’.

  4. amy says:

    Ilya would help but I don’t want him

    • jeff says:

      Amy, I’m with you. The last thing this team needs another distraction….forget him, Gorton needs to fix the D first! Then if the Devils want a 7th rounder and he fits into the cap all well and good. With a mobile D that other teams have to factor into their game plan NYR forwards will have that much more time and space, then who knows…….

  5. SalMerc says:

    Dave hits the mark here. Many “ifs” in the equation. If we trade a forward, if we lose a body in the draft, if he helps settle in the Russian kids.

    He may be a warm body with skills that only costs money, that also helps a piss-poor powerplay. If he is interested in a 1 year deal at $5M, take him and the kids to dinner in Brighton Beach and make the deal.

  6. Hatrick Swayze says:

    One thing to keep in mind…..any team that ultimately rosters Kovulchuk next season will have to had acquire him through a trade with the Devils. Given that they have rights for breaking contract a few years back, he would be required to sign with them. Once under a new contract he can then be traded to his ultimate destination. So for those who want him, keep in mind what you’d be willing to send across the river to acquire Kovy. It shouldn’t take a windfall for his 1 year contract…..but assets will have to go, nonetheless.

  7. Al Dugan says:

    He legit hasn’t played a full season in the NHL in 6 years. He averaged over 24 minutes per game back then, and that doesn’t happen anymore for anyone on the forward lines. Crosby 20 minutes, Kane 19 minutes.

    The game has completely changed since he last played in the league. The power plays are run differently, the responsibilities on defense are also different even for a bottom six forward.

    It’s an easy pass for me.

  8. 43 says:

    This shouldn’t even be a rumor. Rangers and Devils have NEVER made a trade with each other. They’re not going to start now, not with Kovalchuk.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Nows a perfect time to start. No more Louie Lamm, who came up with the policy n the first place

  9. Andy says:

    He could be a good fit, except for the following? what would we offer NJ for him? Hearing that want a Dman..and thinking Staal, Girardi, Holden and Klein are not what the NJD’s are thinking. They did sign John Moore, so maybe, but don’t count on it. Then there is a matter of Cap Space. Even if you can do a deal to move Stepan for say Justin Faulk or Jacob Trouba and gain some space and move all the D men mentioned above, we probably will have to retain some salary either via buyout of trade on those guys. That opens a spot and some cap space, but not enough.And if you want to keep Smith that’s going to cost some cap space too. And Zibanejad needs a new contract too. He may be a better bet for 2018-19, when I believe he would be a UFA, but he would also be 35 which has some issues too. Nash’s contract would expire then, but then Miller,Hayes and Vesey are due for raises and I think Skeji too. So I agree with all of your points, but mostly he’s not a fit at this current moment

  10. Sad panda says:

    Honestly I was thinking Kovalchuk for Nash (hold a little salary) and a low pick. Devils would have Nash Patrick Hall as a line.

    That being said is it worth it, maybe it would shake up the team plus possibly shed cap space. Is Kovalchuk better than Nash? Everyone’s opinion will vary especially with Kovalchuk not playing in states for years but if they had a same cap back than I wouldn’t have minded a Nash 4 Kovalchuk trade.

    Though in the end New Jersey has to agree and there is absolutely no way they trade with the Rangers unless they can really stick it to them, like buchnevich or something going too and no way on hell is that worth it. IF the Rangers want him I could see a three team trade possibly where the Rangers acquire him from another team.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Nash is miles ahead better at both ends of the rink. Kovy is a better scorer. Considering we can get scoring from all over….. and our own zone is a tire fire….. I’d rather have Nash than Kovy next year.

    • Dave says:

      Devils need futures, not Nash.

  11. Pas44 says:

    I would enjoy seeing Dubbie’s old #17 on this cat’s back on garden ice.

    I was in garden back in the day when he was a thrasher, he scored 4 that game I think…

    Does NJ need Raanta? packaged with ???

    whats Raanta’s Cap hit… bring in the Russians… Its all Trumps Idea

  12. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Yes there’s a lot of ifs but I would love to add Kovy for the right price. At two or three years would be great addition to the new makeup of this team. He was a superstar a highly skilled big right hand center the type you win cups with. Yes he’s older but the skill level is still higher than Stepan and he’s a sniper of a center. He goes to those dirty areas. As always I don’t over pay and can move on if the price is right. Think Mika,Hayes,Kovy and Oscar that works for me in that we have upgraded the skill level at the all important center position.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Could not disagree with you more.
      He is a winger, not a center.
      He eats an inordinate amount of icetime because he doesn’t do more work than necessary
      He is extremely positionally savvy, which helps him grab lose pucks and his high skillset helps that translate into goals.
      But if you think he works harder than Stepan, I’m sorry but you have a very slanted way of looking at the world based on taking one for granted and romanticizing about the other.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        We disagree. You wish Stepan had his skilled level even at 35. Sounds like you’re talking about candy ass stay out of the paint Stepan. He’s a dime a dozen player not special at all. The other centers on this team would put up better numbers if deployed like him. They would differently score more goals. Oh they do.

        • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

          “He’s a dime a dozen player not special at all. The other centers on this team would put up better numbers if deployed like him”

          So, using that flawless logic (because, it’s true; our other centers could probably duplicate Stepan’s offense if given the minutes/PP time)….

          Well, I suppose (if we think like you) Zibby and Hayes could then, thus, both be had for the ‘Everyday Low Price’ of a 4th round pick & 2 plane tickets? Maybe have them toss in a 5th rounder or two for good measure?

          Damn man, I’d sooner make AV *takes a deep breath* COACH, GM, & TEAM PRESIDENT FOR LIFE than listen to that crap……..

      • jeff says:

        Agreed Hat

  13. joe719 says:

    So—I go away for a month or so, and I come back and we’re talking about bringing in Ilya Kovalchuk????? Really??? Is this the same guy who had a meltdown on the Garden ice during the playoffs vs. Atlanta; when of all people, Sean Avery, got under his skin? I seem to remember him chasing Avery around the ice, while Sean had a smile on his face from ear to ear. This is the guy who we’re talking about bringing in? Another gutless, heartless marshmallow–to go along with the rest of them.
    This is not a solution. They need to break it down—completely. They are not going to win next year, so make long term moves to start building a core that can compete throughout(I can’t believe I’m saying this!), the 2020’s.
    I have NO problem moving ANYBODY from this roster. That includes everybody’s ‘HOPE,’ Chris Kreider. In fact, he might be the only real chip that they have that will bring back something substantial. Let him make it big somewhere else. It ain’t gonna’ happen here!
    I expect big moves this summer, and will be very disheartened if they go the cosmetic route. But whatever they do, 2 things are set in stone:
    1—-They HAVE to address what life will be like without Lundqvist, and who will be the bridge to the Russian kid.
    2—And this might be the most important—They cannot come back next year with ANY roster that has the name Marc Staal anywhere in the lineup. Not as a 4th line pairing, a 7th Dman, or a taxi squad player. Let alone as a minutes eater. Hell, I’d keep Girardi and plug him in as a injury replacement before I would even look Staal’s way!
    Finally, and I know this might be a surprise to some, but for the first time, I’m willing to consider that AV might not be the right guy to oversee this retooling. Not because I think he’s a lousy coach—he’s NOT!!! But, if they do a complete makeover, then maybe a new voice is needed to grow with a bunch of new faces.
    We might be entering a dark period for this Organization, while it tries to retool and prepare for the long haul. But, IMO, they have no choice. This core had their shot—AND THEY JUST WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH!!! Time to move on.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Welcome back Joe!

      A few things here. First, I agree that Kreider should absolutely be offered up in a trade IF we can get a substantial return. But I also believe we’d get a lot for Miller too. Rumor had it that prior to the deadline, it was MIller who most GMs asked about and Gorton said no. That suggests to me that someone might be willing to overpay to get him.

      On the AV thing, here’s how I see it. I was not in favor of giving him an extension or raise when it happened. I would have waited until after this season to assess the landscape. But once that decision was made, then you have to connect the dots. Last summer, they traded arguably their best center for arguably a project. For the first time in years, they made no “big splash” deals prior to the deadline. They sign AV long term. They are weaving in younger players and next year they will likely get younger still.

      Connect the dots, and what does that say? They had no real expectations of contending this year. They believe AV IS the guy for a rebuild (I’m not an expert on what went on in Vancouver, but didnt AV get high marks for developing that core group into a legit Cup contender? If so, then he has done this before). And it also seems to scream that the Rangers will NOT tear this thing down at the moment. They will re-tool, re-load, and hopefully build a contender in the next year or two. I’m assuming that’s the pitch they gave AV when they ask him to stay and probably why they “overpaid” to get him to stay.

      Legit contention all depends on how fast and IF the “Anti-Triplets” actually become legit stars. I think if all breaks right, we will have a chance to be way better next year.

      • joe719 says:

        Hey Eddie—-
        Unlike you, I really don’t see that much optimism on the horizon. I think the talent level is just not there to get them to the next level. Quite frankly, I’m kinda’ sick of watching this group. I’d have no qualms about getting rid of any of them.

        I know that seems rash and kind of childish, but that’s just the way I feel. I think we overate the talent level of anybody who happens to have a good stretch with this club. Kreider came in like gangbusters, but where is he now? Has there really been that much improvement in his game? Hayes, too me, is just an enigma. As for Miller, I really believe that he is uncoachable. I think his penchant for making the hard play instead of the safe one is why AV has never been enamored with him. He’s stubborn, and I don’t see that changing. You’re right, he very well may be the guy who they can get something of value for. And you know what?–all power to them if they can.

        As for the rest of the roster, the only guy I really would hate to lose is Fast. I thought he was the most consistent guy throughout the Playoffs for them. Now, the fact that I am lauding a 4th line player as the best of the bunch, should set off all kind of alarms.

        But again, the talent level, IMO, just isn’t there to compete for a Cup. As for the coach, yes, he can help development a new core group with new players going forward, like he did in Van. My concern is that because he failed with the current group, will he be allowed to suffer through the growing pains that a developing new team will incur. Or will any hard times just be added to his perceived failings as a coach already—-and thrown up constantly at him–until it becomes too much—and he is fired anyway. Why not just bring in somebody new now, who is allowed to grow with the new group? That’s a tough one.

        Obviously the defense has to be rebuilt, but its gonna’ cost them if they want to bring back an impact player. Again, IMO, anybody is available and should be.

        While you make some great points moving forward, I just don’t share that feeling of optimism. I think we are entering, once again, some dark times for this franchise—-where some very hard choices will have to be made.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Joe-

          You and I kind of see the talent the same way. Good but not great talent delivering good but not great results. I certainly agree that this team, as it is right now, is just not talented enough to win it all unless EVERYTHING breaks right. We have no legit 1C. No top pair elite defensemen. No defensive depth. And an offense that while the numbers overall were good, can be easily shutdown by good defenses and good goaltending.

          But that being said, things can change. Who could have imagined at the beginning of the season that Ottawa would be in the ECF and two games away from the SCF? The thing we all love about hockey is the unexpected can happen in our sport more so than any other.

          Like you, I’m down on our “Anti-Triplets”. Kreider is now at an age where it just may be that he is what he is. What he is is not a bad player. He’s a good player. He’s just not a great player. Miller’s hockey instincts I agree are awful. But he’s still young. Hayes? Not a fan. But here’s the thing…the narrative can flip. What if Vesey and Buch take big steps forward next year, which I think is possible? What about Mika, who showed a lot of promise? Isn’t it more than reasonable that Skjei takes another big leap forward following what was a very impressive rookie season?

          I’m willing to give Gorton the benefit of the doubt. I truly believe he does have a long range plan here. I think he will make bold moves to make the Rangers better.

          I’m not saying I expect a Cup any time soon, but I also dont think we are entering a dark era like 1998-2004. Those teams were old and bad. This team is good (not great) and getting younger. The question is, is there GREATNESS in any of these guys? Or can it be acquired? That will determine if we stay where we are (solid playoff team) or legitimately take the next step.

          Also, the cap. It may wreck Washington. TB too. Pitt may start to age here. A lot has to go right, but again, if all breaks right as it did in 2014 and nearly did in 2015, this team can make a deep run a again.

          But it would help if our faux stars would show up!

  14. Swarty says:

    A fellow Russian teammate would greatly benefit Buch’s progress both on and off the ice. I believe that should be a focus area for Gorts in the makeup of the 2017-2018 Rangers.

    You can go about that in a number of ways – trade for a youngster with upside – Namestnikov comes to mind – or trade for a true veteran like Kovulchuk who can act as a mentor so to speak.

    Or UFA’s – I really liked what is saw from Radulov and what he brings which is grit, nastiness, and scoring – seems like the attitude problem has been dealt with, so without going into Corsi and all the fancy stats what’s not to like?

    Hopefully – The Russian’s are Coming – the Russian’s are Coming!!!!

    • 43 says:

      As far as a Buch mentor, what Gorton should’ve done instead of acquiring Holden last off-season was, if he was going to accept mediocre defense, was sign Fedor Tyutin. Colorado brought him in to mentor Zardorov. So he’s not opposed to that role. At the least, his so-so play would be compensated for his ability to mentor Buch.

      • 43 says:

        Also, Namestnikov grew up in Michigan, came over when he was like 8. He speaks perfect English, sounds Canadian, in fact. Though he’s Russian, his experience is unrelatable to Buch’s. Doubt his advice would land.

    • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

      To be fair, if it were ANY other team than the derbils holding his rights….

      I miiiight care, and miiiight write something about the potential impacts of such a move, because there miiiiight be a (1/x) chance of that happening.

      But with the Derbils….? X might as well be 489 trillion.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Swarty? Where you been, man?

      Figured DEA had finally caught up with you/your speedboat. Or you were on an ayahuasca walkabout in The Andes.

      Inasmuch, I smell what you’re cooking, homie. Moreover, I’m also not completely appalled by the idea of Ilya donning a blue shirt, mentoring Buchnevich. Maybe giving us another 27-30 goal winger.

      But the key question is where Kovalchuk’s head’s at. His level of maturity. Buy-in to our system.

      I’m sure our Shadow GM, Anthony/Richter’s got this s**t hot-wired.

  15. wwpd says:

    No no no no no. nyet. spasibo.

  16. Swarty says:

    True on Namestnikov – Hadn’t thought about his US upbringing but I was just using him as an example of a youngster with upside – I was actually hoping for a Nichushkin deal with Dallas but he went to KHL and apparently hasn’t fared too well anyway.

    Agree with you on Holden as well, but that was last year and we need to move forward.

    The point is Buch’s development could be greatly enhanced by someone he can relate to and/or be mentored by…

    • paulronty says:

      Getting Holden(at AVs request no doubt) was the second worst move made by Gorton in the offseason because it took DMAC out of the equation per AVs wishes. DMAC-Skjei could have been a good evolving pair, instead of the trash out there. The worst move BTW was signing Pirri, a one dimensional nothing that AV tried to turn into a PP specialist, which failed. Mythology preaches AV is a “good” coach when in reality he’s a cognitively challenged putz.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Paul, if you think the worst move was the Pirri signing, you’re looking at it wrong.

        Holden cost us a 4th and at 1.65 million, he cannot be buried in the minors without a roughly 700k. Pirri was acquired for nothing and would only ding the cap at roughly 250k if burried.

        Also, the sheltered even strength minutes/pp specialist role is not one to dismiss. Obviously it didn’t work out here, but look at what Torts did with Gagner out in Columbus.

        The repercussions are minimal from the Pirri signing. I’ll take calculated gambles like that any day.

        • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

          To be fair, given Hodor’s point totals last year, we may be able to recoup …. a 4th rounder maybe?

          Although I completely agree with Paul here – all he did was ensure the departure of a kid who was never given a chance ‘cuz he might start a fite!!!’….

          That’s what it was, IMO. Bingoman has this irrational fear of players who show any emotion whatsoever that he *may* not be able to ‘control’….

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Ahhhh…the distortions of reality continue I see. McIlrath was given every chance. More by AV then any of the two other NHL coaches he played for. He was waived not once but twice and NO ONE wanted him. He’s a RH D man with a booming shot–a rare commodity. And again, NO ONE wanted him.

            On top of this, last summer the Rangers signed him to a new contract. If they didn’t want him, then why waste valuable cap space? This whole narrative truly defies logic. But when it comes to the McIlrath Minions, who I think could officially be designated as a “cult”, logic and common sense are never to be considered. AV screwed with our boy. It doesnt matter that no NHL team sees him as an NHL asset at the moment. We will stick with our false narrative regardless.

            As for Holden, once again, look at this objectively. The Rangers traded a 4th round pick (who they will likely never hear from again) for a guy who would up leading all Rangers defensemen in scoring. Sorry everyone, despite Holden’s obvious flaws, that’s a GREAT return on that trade.

            As for Pirri, totally agree with Hatrick. How is that some horrible move? Every team takes chances on players. Sometimes the moves work out, sometimes they dont. And remember, Lindberg’s status was unknown at the time. The Rangers needed forward depth. How in the world that can be viewed as some horrendous decision is beyond me.

            BTW, McIlrath in 43 AHL games this year went 1-7-8, with a -6. Not exactly a slash line that is screaming that ALL 30 NHL teams made a mistake here. In the playoffs, in 8 games, he’s 0-4-4. Ho-hum.

            But the keep the dream alive Minions! You never know what may happen next year, in what will likely be his last chance in the NHL before heading to Europe.

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              Do I really have to whip out the data again?

              Yandle and McIlrath, when paired together (for significant minutes) actually posted the strongest numbers (cf >51%, excellent gf% etc) of all the ranger’s pairings (excluding, of course, the Yandle/McD pairing).

              He was also better with McD than G is (to be fair, the length of that list is always growing).

              Paul mentioned, since you’re now stooping to the minors to mention +/- (like it were some quality statistic), that since the regular season, the HC of Grand Rapids has moved Dylan up to the first pairing (for their entire playoff run).

              Amazing what happens when you can find a coach who isn’t into the opinion of a guy who legitimately thought (thinks?) that Dan Girardi is better than Adam Clendenning.

              As for Hodor, he met my expectations…. it’s not his fault we employ Douchie Leroux. Pirri too; him being gone & the PP sucking again weren’t coincidences.

              But seriously…..

              Please stop shilling for AV. No one thinks the guy is a good spotter of talent (particularly, defensive). Just you Eddie.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                On the metrics, it’s a small sample. Florida had two different coaches and had Yandle. It didnt happen, did it? Why is that?

                This isn’t about “shilling” for AV. It’s about “shilling” for facts and not fake narratives. Why do all you Minions fail to recognize that not ONE team selected this guy when he was made available—TWICE!? I have yet to hear one legit explanation for that from you guys who refuse to accept reality.

                No one thinks AV is a good spotter of talent you say? I would say that the entire NHL talent evaluation community has already “backed” AV’s evaluation based on the fact that NO ONE wanted McIlrath. Indeed, if anything, based on what happened this year, you can argue that AV overplayed him relative to what the rest of the NHL would have done. (And let’s not just credit/blame AV here. This was ultimately Gorton’s, decision, was it not? Because last I checked, the GM makes these calls. Gorton could have kept hom in Hartford, right? That decision had nothing to do with AV).

                As for his minor league stats, surely you jest. All that proves is he’s a solid but unspectacular AHL player, which was exactly what he was when he was in Hartford two years ago. What he is doing now doesn’t in any way suggest he would have helped the Rangers or any other NHL club this year.

                It could well be the most bogus argument I’ve ever seen out here, quite frankly.

                Now, as for next year, we will see. Sometimes guys learn and grow. And I’m sure if he does somehow make an NHL roster, all you Minions will start crowing and say, “see, I told you!”. And of course, that would be totally bogus too.

                The verdict is in and its irrefutable. The 2016-17 version of Dylan McIlrath was judged to be NOT an NHL-ready player by ANY NHL team…even awful bottom feeder non-playoff teams. Next year? We shall see.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Could you stop trotting out the “appeal to authority” logical fallacy when invoking the opinions of NHL teams in regards to talent?

                Mike Milbury was a GM. A guy posting 60% possession numbers (throughout the first eighth of a season) sits in a pressbox. Dan Girardi has a deal which runs for three more seasons. Wilsoooooon was a first round pick by Washington. Jonathan Toews just received an 8 year contract with an AAV of 10.5 million. I could keep going…..

                What’s your point there? Because ‘AV did it’, and because other teams (who look at things like regular season records, apparently, as if they’re a shimmering endorsement from God himself) always do smart things? Seriously?

                Ever hear of a guy named Martin St. Louis? Hows about every undrafted player ever? Invoking the waiver wire… lol… flawless logic, once again

                We’re talking about a guy who gave Hodor his leash because ‘his good buddy’ and french-canadian demigod Patrick Roy told him so?

                Did it ever occur to you that Florida (unlike NY) ran a system that wasn’t conducive to the mechanic which allowed that pairing to flourish? Or that, after getting shipped out for a buck and a cup of coffee, that maybe the kid’s psyche was affected (along with Yandle’s) to the point where they no longer played with confidence?

                And no, I’m not saying AV is a bad evaluator of talent. it’s worse than that.

                I’m saying that flipping a coin to randomly decide between two players would yield better results.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                You are SO FAR off the mark on this one its truly hilarious. You are literally making it up as you go. It’s one thing to be wrong about a guy when he’s drafted or not drafted. It’s another thing entirely when he had a chance to play…half a season…in the NHL….and by your own admission WELL ENOUGH to impress….and STILL NO ONE wanted him? So what does that say about the skewed stats you are rolling out?

                You are saying those stats PROVED he was NHL ready. So again, you and the others sidestepped the issue…again!!!! Why would NO team pick him up if those stats you tout were so conclusive?. A RH defenseman who can shoot and hit? If the guy was even close to being NHL ready, he would have been claimed. You still have failed to explain how this is even possible.

                Please stop trotting out the Mike Milbury nonsense and this self-absorbed nonsense that you and others know MORE than ALL 30 NHL GMs. Sorry, I ain’t biting. Can 1 GM be wrong? Sure? Ten? Maybe. 20? Doubtful. All 30? IMPOSSIBLE.

                As for his psyche. What a lame excuse. He’s 25 years old–not 19. He had to bounce back from a significant knee injury. His mental toughness has to be off the charts to even make it to the NHL for a cup of coffee. And you think his psyche kept him from making it this year? If he’s that mentally weak, which I seriously doubt, then he has no business playing in this league. You are way off base here. Just a convenient Minion excuse to explain why he couldn’t handle being cut. If true….poor baby!

                The case has been heard. A jury of 30 of the brightest hockey minds weighed in loud and clear–TWICE. Dylan McIlrath is found guilty of not being an NHL player in the 2016-17 season. That does NOT mean he won’t be next year. But this past season? AV’s and Gorton were vindicated of the baseless charges against them.

                Next case!

            • paulronty says:

              Eddie like most media people these days you are the master of fake news & unsubstantiated propaganda. You know nothing.

              • paulronty says:

                “Could you stop trotting out the “appeal to authority” logical fallacy when invoking the opinions of NHL teams in regards to talent”

                Dog, you are a very astute thinker. Logic has never been Eddie’s strength, in fact when Original Rob asked me why I was beating up on Edward, I replied that his often flawed logic drove me crazy. When I call him the “company man” the “appeal to authority” is EXACTLY what I’m referring to.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                I know this. McIlrath was passed over twice by every NHL team. He is a minor leaguer. That is fact. Only an obsessive Minion would fail to recognize what that means.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Thanks Paul, truthfully, it’s not even his favorite fallacy…. he’s a real sucker for those strawman arguments.

                ____________

                Eddie, now *you* need the sedative, buddy. Calling me a “minion” (twice now) because I think you’re off your rocker in regards to the credibility which you lend to AV’s judgement of talent?

                Cmon man, even I know you know that’s a wee bit ad hominous…..

                About those logical fallacies….

                “You are saying those stats PROVED he was NHL ready. So again, you and the others sidestepped the issue…again!!!! Why would NO team pick him up if those stats you tout were so conclusive?. A RH defenseman who can shoot and hit? If the guy was even close to being NHL ready, he would have been claimed. You still have failed to explain how this is even possible.”

                No….. stop with the idiotic strawman argument, I never said it proved he was nhl ready, I said it shows he doesn’t belong in the proverbial scrap heap of could-have-beens.

                The kid has talent (despite the terrible reputation he gained as being a 1-dimensional face-puncher type), and I think that he still may yet have a career as a quality NHL defenseman.

                Is it a sure thing? HELL NO; WTF is these days? And I never, EVER, said it was.

                I did, say, however, that during his limited time here, Dylan did nothing but show that he was capable of more than this incompetent coach realized. Hopefully he, too, knows this & shows Detroit what he should have been given a REAL opportunity to show us.

                Why do you keep these strawman’s up so ferociously?

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                The only thing you and i are going to agree on in this McIlrath discussion is that the future is unknown. I agree with that. He could very well make an NHL roster next year. Or he could be playing in Europe.

                And I agree. He was better than I thought he would be last year. And if you had told me then that if he was placed on waivers twice that no one would claim him, I would have found that difficult to believe as well. I thought he was NHL quality. Marginal mind you, but still an NHL guy.

                But thats my point. Half this blog destroyed AV for not playing the guy more. And no one out here has the guts to admit that perhaps they were wrong. The Rangers decided to move on. And every single team this year essentially agreed with the Rangers assessment–which was that, as far as 2016-17 is concerned, he is NOT an NHL player. So explain to me how AV and Gorton were wrong here?

                The bloggers who overrated him (me included) were wrong. There’s no shame in that. We are not talent experts (even though some out here like to believe they are). We are simply fans and we were wrong about him–this year.

                So therefore, AV and Gorton are absolved. No one in the league thought he was NHL material. Whatever happens next year is irrelevant to that point.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                They were wrong, because, statistically (and by my eye test, for what that’s worth) Dylan was, at his worst, a better option than more than one of our defensemen. He had no business getting waived/traded/whatever.

                Please, before you “BUT DEY NHL GMZ BLAHBLAH-“, just understand, this same group thinks Adam Clendenning also is an inferior choice. Which is also absurd. (Unless they’re just shilling up the value of G & Staal to an insane degree because of ‘trades’?)

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Oh, Clendo! Right. That’s a great example. The whole league was wrong about McIlrath and Clendo (six organizations in three seasons). Even though RH puck moving NHL caliber defensemen are arguably the rarest of commodities.

                Every GM in the league has the same stats. Every one of them, last I checked, have the ability to do an eye test. And every one of them have weighed in quite clearly on Clendo and McIlrath. They are NOT NHL players–today.

                So don’t beat around the bush here. What you are basically saying is, you have better judgment when it comes to player personnel decisions then ALL the experts who do this for a living. Pretty bold statement dont you think?

                I have great respect for your hockey knowledge and insight. But on this, sorry, this is too far off the realm of reality. We are fans. Your “eye test” and mine and everyone else’s out here are that of a fan…not an executive who does this for a living and who’s livelihood DEPENDS on finding quality talent–not discarding said talent.

                Forgive me, but when I save up enough money to buy the Rangers from Dolan, I think I’ll find my GMs, scouts and coaches through the NHL pipeline as opposed to out here in the blogosphere. Hope you will understand. 🙂

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                “Oh, Clendo! Right. That’s a great example. The whole league was wrong about McIlrath and Clendo (six organizations in three seasons). Even though RH puck moving NHL caliber defensemen are arguably the rarest of commodities. “…..

                Uh… this is getting ridiculous. I should know better than to argue with a ‘company man’ who can’t go two paragraphs without whipping out another fallacy. Stop with the shameless appeals to authority.

                I would bother to post (one more time), direct evidence highlighting, via every measurable stat, just how insanely idiotic that argument is…. showing defensive pairings minus the names at certain points in the season (& their numbers).

                …but you’ll keep ignoring it (as if I’m making it up or something) to continue with your illogical and factually devoid narrative that, apparently, you get paid by the word for.

                And no, Eddie…. I don’t mean to suggest than just I could do a better job than AV (or half of the idiots running teams these days).

                I’m saying a well trained 10 year old from any given corner of Canada could do a better job. Hell, you might even find a trained monkey in Thailand that could tell you snow angels are bad for defense.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Damnit Dave, can you put an edit button in already?

                _____

                That second to last paragraph SHOULD begin

                “And no, Eddie…. I don’t mean to suggest **that** just I could do a better job than AV…”

              • Dave says:

                I just activated something that should give you the ability to edit for the first 5 minutes. Let me know if it isn’t working.

          • Rich S. says:

            ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE ,
            Its starting to appear that ottowa has a chance against the pens who are hurting from the caps series and look bad!!!!
            IF they wind up in the finals after we should have beat them in 5 because of the IMBECILE AV……maybe then his supporter [s?] will come to their senses!!!

            As far as DMAC he excelled when he played….we all saw it…..thats what makes losing him so hard to swallow….along with his RD replacements girardi and holden……..the distortion is that he didnt play well , but we all know he did!

            • paulronty says:

              In Florida Tom Rowe(fired deservedly) had his set defence & played Kindl(Fla fans hated him) over DMAC. When I questioned his wisdom & intentions the guy at Litter Box Cats blog liked my tweet. Eddie says nobody wanted him, but he was obtained because Grand Rapids was getting beat up. He only got to play one game with Hicketts but they were both +3 & the coach commended that pair. When he first got there the media asked him what kind of player he was & he said, I play a physical game, but I can play too.” And he’s backed it up. Eddie just wants him to fail so he can be right, even after he opined that DMAC played better than he expected. But he defers to authority & he must suck because AV says so.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                No. Untrue. I’m rooting for him. The only reason it makes it hard to root for him is because you Minions are irrationally obsessed with the guy.

                And again, you STILL cant explain how he could we waived—TWICE–and not be claimed and still that somehow is on AV? How can EVERY organization be wrong?

                It’s great that he’s doing a nice job in Grand Rapids. But that’s the AHL. To suggest that he would be making any difference right now in the NHL after hardly playing like a star in a far lesser league is pretty off the wall.

                But that what obsessive behavior is, right Doc?

              • Walt says:

                E3

                I have but one question, if the pylon twins were placed on waivers, how many of these brilliant minds in the 30 cities that the NHL has a franchise in, would pick them up?

                If the answer is none, well how in the world can Dip Stick Marv be such a wonderful judge of talent? After all, he thinks they walk on water, and then forgets actual decent players in the course of a game, to only play these two washed up guys!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great mind he posses??????????????

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                It’s a fair question Walt. I dont know how Girardi or Staal would be viewed. We may find out this summer if one is bought out.

                If I were to guess, putting the money factor aside, I believe that if there was a need, that some GMs would be interested. Based on what we have seen thus far, I suspect that most GMs would rate the “twins” higher on the NHL pecking order than McIlrath or Clendo.

                But good question that I cant really answer.

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              yeah, Rich…. it’s pretty depressing. I’m rooting for Ottawa…. at least they leave everything out there, even if ‘everything’ constitutes running a rehashed version of the trap (or the cheap BS which is now banned by the NHL that the derbils did in the 90’s, for those who don’t know)…..

              Yeah, it’s like you said when you pointed out (correctly) that Hayes and ZIb (if not Miller & Lindberg) could probably replicate Stepan’s numbers if they were given the corresponding icetime.

              NHL teams often make mistakes when evaluating talent, especially when they have to factor in the aforementioned (icetime, deployments) into their analysis.

              hopefully, no one of any importance realizes this & gives us half the farm for Stepan.

        • paulronty says:

          Not me, those are moves predicated on not using the information available to you. Frankly, I think AV has more input into personnel selection than people here think. And he stinks at it. I just shook my head in disgust when Holden was signed. And this is why my faith in Gorton has taken a hit. Make smart moves like Z, not these dumb ass type of moves that AV turns into an iceberg which sinks the Titanic.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            So you know for fact that the Holden move was AV’s call, but the Mika move was all Gorton? Do tell where you got this info?

            If you truly believe that AV has SO much input that Gorton basically cow tows to his every whim, then bucke up. He wont be going anywhere anytime soon.

            I seriously doubt that you say is true. Of course the coach has input. But Gorton seems very much in charge here. I believe every acquisition was his call–not just the good ones.

  17. Ray says:

    Lot of issues, including cap hit. But I wouldn’t worry about where to play him. I don’t just think top six and bottom six. Of late, the Rangers have been best when their third line is really dangerous. AV likes to roll his lines, so depth is important and frankly NHL teams are not structured to stop three lines.

  18. Craig says:

    How many are sick and tire of the Rangers pathetic power play for years? The one important thing we have been missing since Gabrick is a sniper.If we could land Kovy at a reasonable exchange and salary for a minimal amount of years, I would jump at it! This guy stood mostly healthy in his career and was a relentless scoring machine. If he is half the player he was, he would help the anemic power play tremendously and be a influence on Bush and the other young players. The best offer I would present would be Stepan straight up and a 15 million dollar contract for 3 years and maybe sweeten the pot just a little bit with either Staal, Girardi, or Klein.

    • Rich S. says:

      Sign me up for that one Craig…..although adding stall or klein or girardi I dont think sweetens the pot…..

    • paulronty says:

      Consider that Yandle was a PP specialist who didn’t play on the first unit. Z was going to make like Ovie and shoot from the left circle, but when he came back did we see it? No, we saw freakin Derek Stepan out there. Pirri was going to make the PP lethal & he was mostly a bust after early unbridled excitement by Ranger fans. What do you think AV will do with Kovalchuk? He’ll be on the second pair no doubt.

  19. Richter1994 says:

    Please God, no. This in now way fits with Gorton’s game plan of getting younger and faster players into the line up. He’s going to get rid of over 30 year old players, not acquire them.

    Never say never, but I would think there is no interest from the Rangers.

  20. Richter1994 says:

    How nice of the Pens to allow the Sens to beat the crap out of them to make us Ranger fans feel better about losing to that lousy team.

    Maybe the Rangers were good after all.

    (Dave we need a sarcasm font).

    • Rich S. says:

      Richter1994,
      If not for the IMBECILE AV we would have beat the senators in 5 and then had the ‘ beat up from the capital series ‘ Penguins without letang and an injured crosby!
      AHHHHH what could have been…….if not for AV…..’I lost them on the bench’ ……

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        You mean, if not for the “faux stars” failing as usual to live up to expectations. But of course, the whole thing is on the coach. Right.

        • paulronty says:

          RIGHT!!! FINALLY!! YA!!! ON THE COACH!!!! YOU GOT IT!!!!!!!!
          Have you been getting therapy?

        • Richter1994 says:

          You are Alain Vigneault, aren’t you? 🙂

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Well, no doubt. This off season is a pro-cess and right now our guys need to rest and reflect on what went wrong so we can come back and be better next year.

            Good? Thanks guys,

            • Richter1994 says:

              You did that perfectly E3!! Absolutely nothing in your comment that even implies that some of that reflection come from himself.

              Well done my friend!!

      • Richter1994 says:

        Hey Rich, as in the movie, “we coulda been contendas…”

  21. pavel_burito says:

    And what about his possible personality issues. Didn’t he get in trouble for pulling his team off the ice during a national anthem because they lost? I think he had his captaincy stripped. Don’t see that as a good mentor.

    He also walked away from his contract (which, granted, he has a right to do), leaving the Devils with a huge set back. Not sure they’ve recovered yet. Which is great, because they are, you know, the Devils. But still. Someone signs him to a 2-3 year deal, and he decides he can’t find a restaurant that serves good pierogis and bolts again?

  22. Bloomer says:

    Last thing the Rangers need is another primadonna on their squad. Never mine a huge cap hit on a franchise that is already up against the ceiling. Pass on the aging Ruskie.

  23. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    On another hockey blog, Hockey Buzz Eklund, the writer claims he has a source that says the Rangers and Habs are discussing a trade that would send Galchenyuk to NY. They dont say what would go to Montreal in return, and frankly, the website looks sketchy, but he says he has “league sources”. Just reporting it, but not buying it until I hear it from a more legit source.

    • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

      Little known fact, Eklund is actually french for “Shameless Rumormonger”

    • paulronty says:

      OH F#@$!! First it was Friedman , now it’s Eklund the master of fake reportage. When is it going to stop, dear Lord. i’m beginning to decompensate rapidly!

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I will have to remember to clear it with the pompous, self-absorbed Don of hockey before I post in the future.

        Geez… What is wrong with you? Anger issues?

        As I said, I’m just pointing out that this rumor was out there. I dont buy it for a second. I’ve never heard of this guy. This is the silly season and why not engage in silly speculation? Maybe someone else out there has heard it? Is there any truth to it? That’s why I posted it.

        But I’m sorry, I will certainly clear anything with you first in the future. Being part of a cult requires everyone to think as you do, I get it.

    • Richter1994 says:

      I read Hockeybuzz for the entertainment value.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Exactly. Most of these blogs are entertainment. You can’t take the rumors they put out there seriously. But doesnt mean we cant discuss whether or not the “rumor” is a potential move the Rangers should consider. It would be no different than Paulie who suggested the Rangers re-sign Jagr. I like a good hockey discussion, and at this time of year, there’s not much else happening rumor-wise until the playoffs are over.

        But I’ll be sure to ask Paul’s permission in the future before posting any idea. I wouldn’t want to offend his “sensibilities”.

        Richter, you have sources. Hearing anything out there that’s real? It’s all quiet in terms of my limited pipeline at the moment–which is why I have to resort to Hockey Buzz! 🙂

        • Richter1994 says:

          The Shatty thing is probably a done deal.
          Rangers talking to Yutes about OEL.
          There’s smoke about Faulk but nothing concrete.
          Hearing a lot about G, Staal, and KK all gone, some how some way.
          Some talks with Minny but don’t know who is being discussed.

  24. Jerry says:

    PLEASE, NO! PLEASE, Just Say No!

  25. wwpd says:

    comment #100. just because.

  26. Reenavipul says:

    Zero interest.

    Age, wage & giving up assets is a non starter.

  27. Paulie6 says:

    Or just sign Jagr he is a free agent.

  28. JAKE says:

    I think the Rangers should really go hard after him if we land him then we can afford to trade one of our top forwards I’m thinking JT Miller for a top 4 dman. Just my silly opinion tho… But I think it would be a smart move and like the article says, he could mentor Buch and help mold him into a game changing top forward he has all the potential to be.

  29. Jose D says:

    Hope not, we need a PP quarter back (Dman), not about her scorer