2017 BSB Offseason Plan Contest


After an unceremonious loss to the Senators, we find ourselves here again.  The offseason.  This one is particularly interesting, not only because of the major changes likely on the horizon for the Blueshirts, but also the Expansion Draft that threatens to throw a wrench in the roster planning for the entire league.

We typically get everyone’s basic perspective and team building philosophy in our lively comments section, but let’s take it up a notch, shall we?  We want to put you in the driver’s seat of the New York Rangers’ offseason. That’s right, the Offseason Plan Contest is back.  For the uninitiated, we have run this contest a few times in the past and gotten some killer submissions.  We want you to become the architect of the New York Rangers organization and outline your plan to bring the team back to glory.

Here are the rules: You will design a comprehensive off-season plan proposal, taking us from The Expansion Draft to the start of training camp. You will have all of the assets and resources of the organization at your disposal to make trades, sign free agents, re-sign players and make call-ups. This year, of course has the added wrinkle of who you will expose, protect and ultimately lose in the Expansion Draft.  Once you have created your plan, you will submit your outline to the writing staff for evaluation.

Once the submission deadline has passed, the writing staff here will deliberate the most deserving of entries and run the finest three submissions as guest posts.  Once these plans are published, their fates are in your hands.  We will run a poll for you to vote for your favorite and the winner shall be enshrined forever in BSB glory.  For reference, here is our most recent winning entry (submitted by everyone’s favorite centrist, Hatrick Swayze).

Alright, so let’s talk specifics.  In order to ensure a level playing field, we are going to be using certain baseline assumptions that everyone has to work with:

1. We don’t currently have an accurate figure for the 2017-2018 salary cap, but Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has estimated a $76 million ceiling. Since that is the best information we have at the moment, for the purposes of this exercise, your salary cap is $76m.

2. All conditions exist as they do today, May 19, 2017. The New Jersey Devils hold the #1 overall pick in the Draft, with the Vegas Golden Knights holding the #6 pick.  Kevin Shattenkirk and T.J. Oshie still headline a weak free agent class.  Ben Bishop is off the board and the Final Four is still being played.

3. The Rangers currently have $63.8 million committed to 18 roster spots. That gives you $12.2 million to work with to round out a roster of 23.

4. There are three UFA’s (Unrestricted Free Agents): Brendan Smith, Tanner Glass and Magnus Hellberg.

5. There are six RFA’s (Restricted Free Agents): Adam Clendening, Brendan Pirri, Matt Puempel, Mika Zibanejad, Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg. All contract information can be found at CapFriendly.

6. At this point, it is unlikely that the NHL will announce any sort of compliance buy-out or other expansion related loopholes for roster maneuvering. If you want to rid yourself of a bad contract, it will have to come from a buy-out or trade.

7. Alain Vigneault and his staff are currently employed and empowered in their current roles. Chris Drury is now the GM of the Hartford Wolfpack.  If you feel that this particular coaching staff (either as a whole or in part) is no longer the right fit for future success, feel free to relieve them of their duties.  If that is the case, you must select from the current pool of available candidates for a replacement.

Armed with all of this knowledge, how do you get from here to the winner’s circle?  So far, in our experience, it is all about research and creativity.  Credibility is a central concept to the research component.  Your plan needs to be plausible.  Remember, your trade proposal sucks.  Before you commit to offloading Girardi or Staal’s massive dead contract, make sure you look at it from the other side and ensure that the other GM has a valid reason for pulling the trigger.  GM’s don’t deal from the kindness of their hearts.  If you are going outside the box, try to track down some comparables to support the move.

Market forces are also a major factor.  Just because Kevin Shattenkirk had a sub-par postseason does not mean he will sign a four year deal for $4.5m per.  Just because the draft is seen as weak doesn’t mean teams are going to give away top ten picks, either.

The Expansion Draft.  An interesting addition to this year’s proceedings.  The Rangers’ strategy for dealing with Vegas’ invasion of their roster will be entirely up to you.  From the format (7/3/1 v 8/1) to negotiations with George McPhee to take a lesser talent in exchange for other assets, etc.  You will be responsible for listing who you are protecting and who you believe Vegas will take from that group.  CapFriendly has a very cool simulator for drafting the Vegas team, so feel free to make arguments for roster need based on a created simulation.

The Entry Draft itself is entirely up to you.  We understand that not everyone is a prospect guru, so you may not feel confident making third round picks on the team’s behalf.  Our very own Josh Khaflin is very knowledgable on both prospects and international players, so feel free to drop him a line if you have a question about a draft-eligible player (Sorry, Josh!).  The Rangers currently hold the 21st (Round 1), 102nd (Round 4), 145th (Round 5), 157th (Round 6) and 207th (Round 7) picks in the Draft.  All of these picks, plus all the other assets of the organization are available in trades.

You can put forth as little or as much research as you would like when completing your plan.  This is all for fun, after all.  However, if you have designs on winning, our past winners have had really well researched and creatively presented plans.  Resources like CapFriendly, HockeyDB, behindthenet.ca, corsica.hockey, hockey-graphs.com, Hockey’s Future and dispellingvoodoo.com are invaluable resources to this type of exercise.  CapFriendly also has an Armchair GM tool that can help get you organized.

Make sure your submission is post-worthy. Check your spelling and grammar. A few typos here and there are perfectly fine, but if we have to do a full-scale re-edit, we will probably just going to go with a different candidate. You are encouraged to attach visual media (charts, photos, etc.) to your submission to illustrate your concepts.

Make sure you include all our writers (contact info on the sidebar) when submitting your plan.  All submissions will be due by the eve of the Expansion Draft, so we need everything by June 20, 2017.  This gives you a month to create, tweak and hone your plans.

This season seemed to be an exercise in frustration.  This is the perfect opportunity to do things your way and undo the mistakes of the past.  Remember, the most important thing is to have fun with it.  Let your creativity run wild.  Use it as an opportunity to research some things you may not normally research.  Make big changes. Make small changes.  Don’t forget, we are here to help, so feel free to reach out with any questions.  Good luck, everyone!  We can’t wait to read them.

"2017 BSB Offseason Plan Contest", 5 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.

35 thoughts on “2017 BSB Offseason Plan Contest

  • May 19, 2017 at 7:46 am

    it is time for the rangers to build around guys like Brady, and Ryan Mac the first thing I would do is resign Brendan that should be a second pair along with Nick Holden and Marc I see Dan retiring and then improve the forwards Stepan had a bad series against Ottawa and J.T was invisible and Kreids and Z-Bad were also MIA

    • May 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Why on earth would Dan Girardi retire?

      Mika was not invisible with 9 points in 12 games. If it were not for his heroics in game 5 (the play on the pk to get the puck to Fast for the shorty, followed by the game winner in OT), we likely would have been ousted in the first round.

  • May 19, 2017 at 8:06 am

    If we rid the team of the following we would have had a very successful off season:

    The Pylon Twins

    I don’t care what the returns would be, just clear out the garage, and get rid of the shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • May 19, 2017 at 9:33 am

      It’s not about a return for the Rangers. It’s about willingness to send viable assets to a team to eat that contract.

      Are you willing to part with Ryan Gropp for Vegas to take on Staal? What about a 2nd round pick to take on Girardi?

      Those are the kinds of deals made nowadays.

      • May 19, 2017 at 10:29 am

        Girardi and Staal might gain some interest if we eat half their cap. That actually saves us some money as far as cap space. And it will only last for the length of the contract. I think Girardi showed during these playoffs he can be a serviceable defenseman at 2.75 million. Some team might bite.

        Of course NMC would need to be waived but if possible I’d go this route instead of a buyout.

        Hell, if Girardi is presented with this option he gets paid his full contract instead of what he would get in a buyout so he might go for it.

        • May 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

          Does anyone know the relation between eating their cap and eating their salary? Can these be negotiated separately? To a team not flirting with the cap, the salary cap hit is irrelevant and to a team near the floor, G and S cap hits are even a plus.

          Girardi, for example, will cost $13M for three years but has a
          $16.5M cap hit. If you were allowed to pay the other team $7M to take him off our hands and only had to retain $7M of cap hit (or none?), the other team would get G for $2M a year for three years (and I am sure some GMs think he is worth that or more). They would also get an excessive cap hit which would either be irrelevant or a blessing to many teams.

          OTOH, if the other team could only absorb $6M of cap hit, this would be less attractive.

          • May 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

            It’s a percentage of the salary, which in turn is the same percentage of the cap hit. So if the Rangers eat 50% of Girardi’s salary, even if it is less than the cap hit, the cap hit goes down by 50%.

      • May 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm


        Just about anything to rid us of these terrible contracts. Besides, we all know that if heaven forbid they are on the roster next season, that dumb coach will play them as first pair!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • May 19, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Who is daisy? Steph?

      • May 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

        Yea – that’s Walt’s loving term for Stepan.

      • May 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm


        Sorry, you must have been either away for a while, or new to this site. In either case, that’s me being a smart ass, at a useless player!!!!!!!!!!!

  • May 19, 2017 at 8:59 am

    After verifying the definition of “centrist”, I thank you for the compliment.

  • May 19, 2017 at 9:53 am

    In the end, if we have only one of the two liabilities on the blue line and we somehow are not paying for their contracts that would be amazing. We would be paying in prospects or picks.

    We need to lose Stepan and add to the PP. To me that would ba a successful off season.

  • May 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

    we shouldn’t even be having this contest yet dang it!!

    yeah yeah….. eventually I’ll get over it……

  • May 19, 2017 at 10:23 am

    With the 1st pick we need to draft a right handed power forward with a shoot first mentality

    • May 19, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Hugh Jessiman

      • May 19, 2017 at 11:31 am

        I wasn’t a fan of that pick either…why even mention this? You don’t think we have a need for right handed wingers????

        • May 19, 2017 at 11:41 am

          I don’t mean anything by this. Just read your comment and the last right handed power forward they took the in the first round was Jessiman. Just thought it was funny

        • May 19, 2017 at 11:42 am

          Because it makes more sense to go for the ‘best player available’ rather than drafting on need. You can always trade them later.

          Besides, I’ve heard that this draft, while weak, has some decent defensive talent.

          *edited for the sake of editing*

        • May 19, 2017 at 11:55 am

          Unless the player drafted is going to have an impact immediately, teams shouldn’t draft for need. Best player available is the best approach, especially considering the Rangers don’t pick in the top-five anymore.

    • May 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Kristian Vesalainen? Not sure if he’s a righty & don’t think he’ll be there at 21.

      • May 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        Pretty sure he’s a lefty(checked, he is) tore it up at U18, but that was a function of size. He was playing on a line with Hank’s brother in Frolunda, didn’t do squat. Got lent out to a team in Finland, did squat.

        Asides from that one tourney he’s never showed an ability to tear it up. When I saw him play he did all the right things, but never showed any skill with the puck on his tape.

  • May 19, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Dave, what is preferred format for submissions?

    Word document?

    If submitting photos / graphs, should we embed them in the file, or attach separately?

    • May 19, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Word/PDF is fine. Embedded in the document is easier to read too. If using CapFriendly, a screenshot is good too.

  • May 19, 2017 at 11:44 am

    An edit function! Awesome addition!

    • May 19, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Yea I figured it was time I added one. Too many typos. But only for 5 minutes, since I don’t want people changing their comments.

      • May 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm

        The only edits I ever want to make are those that I realize 2 seconds after I click post, so this function is much appreciated.

        • May 19, 2017 at 12:59 pm


      • May 19, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        Yes, thank you for doing this. I usually use my iPad and the auto-correct function has messed me up on many occasions. This will be helpful for sure.

        And here’s my edit….easy to use. Great addition. Thanks!

        • May 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm

          You type those lengthy posts on an iPad? What a savage!

          • May 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            I have a keyboard attachment…that makes it more palatable! 🙂

  • May 19, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    What do you all think about also having an expansion draft competition to see who gets the most Vegas choices correctly?

    Maybe make it optional for those who are interested or not interested?

  • May 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Can we get a list of teams that are at the cap floor and by how much. Here is the NHL free agent list for 2017 http://www.spotrac.com/nhl/free-agents/

    • May 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      capfriendly.com should have that for you.

      • May 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm


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