Musings on a holiday weekend

May 28, 2017, by
rangers canadiens

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Minas Panagiotakis

We have officially entered the calm before the storm of the 2017 offseason. The Rangers have been active, signing Neal Pionk and Alexei Bereglazov as undrafted free agents, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The expansion draft, buyout period, and NHL draft are all places where many expect the Rangers to make moves to retool the team before free agency. As always, I have some thoughts.

1. As always, the main focus will be how the Rangers position themselves for the expansion draft. There are a ton of chances for the Rangers to add a quality defenseman from teams that need to deal to protect their assets. But in order for the Rangers to make such a move, they will need to dump one or both of Marc Staal and/or Dan Girardi. After all, what’s the point of acquiring a defenseman before the expansion draft, just to be forced to expose him?

2. Speaking of Staal and Girardi, I fully expect both of them to be gone by the time next season starts. I think Jeff Gorton will buy out one, and find some kind of deal for the other. Guessing which one is which is tough, but you have a 50/50 shot of getting it right. No matter what, this team will not be a true contender unless both are gone.

3. I think the Rangers will find a way to dump Kevin Klein as well. There is likely a taker for an expiring contract for a “rugged veteran.” There won’t be much of a return, and the Rangers may have to retain salary, but I don’t think he will be gone. That said, I think Nick Holden will still be with the club when the puck drops for next season.

4. As for the forwards, I think the Rangers will find a way to ensure Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg remain with the club. Whether that be by dealing a pick to Vegas to take Klein/Grabner, or by some other method we haven’t thought of, I think both will be Rangers next season.

5. No matter what Gorton does or doesn’t do, this offseason will define him.He did a masterful job of retooling the forwards last offseason. Now he needs to do the same with the blue line. The Rangers don’t have many years remaining an elite level Henrik Lundqvist. We’ve seen what the forwards can do, and how good Hank can be when the defense isn’t a total sieve. The blue line has been long identified as the weak link. Now is the only time to fix it.

6. As this is Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to take this time to thank all of you have serve, have served, or have plans to serve this country. For those looking to find a way to thank our veterans, there are many ways to give back. However the best way is to donate.

"Musings on a holiday weekend", 4 out of 5 based on 19 ratings.
Categories : Musings


  1. Matt says:

    Hank has 2 elite seasons left…3 tops. Really hope they can retool and get a cup.

  2. Mike K says:

    We DO have at least 2-3 very capable kids waiting in Hartford already that CAN/SHOULD be promoted to take a few slots/positions on the big club next year: Graves on D and Kovacs and Boo Nieves up front. They should at least be given an honest solid opportunity to play. And, we MUST (hyperbole intended!) MUST find trade partner(s) for Stepan and Nash for draft picks only … and, of course, somehow thru trades, buyouts, or ? lose Stahl, Girard, and Kline. These moves would give us more draft picks we could surely use this and/or next year – maybe even a 1st – (this year, remember we have no 2nd or 3rd round picks), and open up protection slots for 2 or 3 bottom 6 guys we all know we’d like to keep: Fast, Lindberg, Grabner. At least 2 of those 3 must be kept. I’m not doubting that one true top-line center with bonafide skill and toughness and maybe even a top pairing d-man would be nice to find in a trade for one or more of the above or in free agency, but certain moves must also be accomplished for next year besides. We’ve already gotten 2 young new d’men signed recently we’ve never heard of i.e.: Pionk and Beraglazov, besides Klendening and Kampfor still in too. U have to figure one of the 4 as a # 6 and another as #7 D. So, with McD, Skjei, Smith who MUST be signed/kept, and Holden possibly staying, and above 6th and 7th, we have Graves as new rookie d man, we have or blue line and no need for giving Shattenkirk 6 or 7 Mil for 6 years. Though one better d’man than I already mentioned slotted in would not be terrible, especially if we make the moves I suggest and have the cap room $ available.

    • Mintgecko says:

      They aren’t trading Nash away this summer, I thought Gorton said enough in his press to make that clear, it makes me assume that Thornton is on the way.

      Shatty should be signed if he’s dropping the price down to 5.8 or 5.9 but I think there’s negotiating to be done by both camps. I also think that with no matter what there’s a good chance that he signs with us this summer. I much rather have that and hopefully whatever Stepan fetches the team in a trade to make our top 4 unstoppable for Hank and the forwards. The system will look different with options like him on the top pair with Mcd. I also would like to see a guy like that in a puck possession gameplan such as AV’s. This would open for Mcd to play on the 2nd PP with names like Hayes and JT so imo this signing should very well happen.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Kovacs was misused last season, but he definitely isn’t ready for the show.


        yeah…. how many points did he even get last season? I know it wasn’t very good….

        • Reenavipul says:


          After a few months, he was buried on the 4th line he was so overmatched physically. They brought him over at least a year too early, but it may have been a package deal to get Stromwall. He couldn’t stick in the SHL, which is well below the A.

  3. jerry maley says:

    form this Vietnam Vet and Ranger fan since the mid 1950s……..Thanks for your kind words regarding our veterans.

  4. Mintgecko says:

    If the rumors become a reality that Stepan goes to MTL then he’s truly screwed, I give that relationship 1-2 years tops. The fans and the city will over look how his game is played incredibly safe and doesn’t necessarily make the names around him any better. If they don’t have a go to faceoff guy than that will just add onto the list of problems why he wasn’t worth his contract. My final guess would be for the city and Governor to be calling heads to run him out of town, some of the Subban residue will spill onto the frustration. All in all I don’t think they would pull the trigger on this one but it’s funny to see how the NYR aren’t scared to keep him in the East. If Julien gets a say in it then he says no way about that trade scenario but then again he did like the dump and chase method with his old Bruins team haha.

  5. Richter1994 says:

    Prediction: Shatty signs. G, Staal, and KK all gone by next season.

    Thank you to or great military, past and present. Thank you for your and your family’s sacrifice. We truly appreciate it and God Bless you all. I thank service people all the time when I see them in person. It’s the least we all can do.

    Be safe everyone.

  6. Mikeyyy says:

    Can someone explain how the 48 hour pre draft negotiation window works?

    Can we lose unsigned rfas to them?

    • Reenavipul says:

      RFAs are considered UFAs for Vegas. No compensation, no match. If signed, counts as expansion pick.

  7. Ray says:

    I think the presumption that Girardi and Staal will be gone is not soundly based. Should they be bought out? Well, it depends on how much they can be expected to contribute going forward. There are disagreements about how best to evaluate these players. But it makes no difference what you and I or anyone else here believes. Only Gorton’s position matters and the fact that AV is being retained as coach suggests Gorton and AV are on the same page. It is pretty clear, is it not, that AV does not view G and S as tire fires. So what you view as an absolute imperative is to Gorton just one option.

    Personally, I think because of the draft, getting rid of one of the contracts will happen. Also think Klein is out of favor and right side dmen are just too much in demand for that not to be a market for him.

    However, I also would not be amazed if Gorton really shook things up and numerous players we expect to be back are not..

  8. Reenavipul says:

    Memorial Day is to remember those who died for our country.

    • Jerry says:

      100% correct Reena………………

      Tomorrow we pay homage to those brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

      Nov 10th, Veteran’s Day honors those of us who have served and are serving.

    • JoeS. says:

      True, but everyday is the day to honor our men and women who serve! So Memorial as well as the rest. Please tell me we never forget those who perished for our freedoms!

  9. Rich S. says:

    Dave and others……
    Why would anyone in their right mind be OK with losing our MVP Grabner and his 27 even strength goals and great penalty killing ability and speed, which we desperately needed since hagelin left………..?????????? and at 1.5 million!!!??

    First to go must be stepan…he outright stinks…….next can be nash who is declining, and just not worth 8.5 million dollars……

    Grabner was our MVP this , MORONIC to let him go…….if anything we need more like him!!!!!!!!

    • Bobby B says:

      Rich S ,you get the big picture. Spot on comments From your Mouth to God’s and Gorton’s ears.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Nash has only got one more year on the contract and is still an effective player, albeit an expensive one.

      Step has 4 more years and a NTC.

    • JoeS. says:

      Grabner had a great year, but if you think you are going to win a Cup building around him, that would be a mistake. Trade him, his stock is as high as it will ever be!

  10. Al Hirschen says:

    RUMOR: Rangers on their way to sign a talented 21-year-old Left Winger?

    An early report from Russian Prospect suggests, the 21 year old Left Winger Vladimir Tkachyov (@hcadmiral, KHL) will attend New York Rangers’ development camp this summer.

    Hockey’s Future scouting report describes him as follows:

    “Although small, Tkachyov is a dynamic offensive talent. An explosive skater and a wizard with the puck, he is just beginning to scratch the surface of his immense potential. Oodles of skills and game-breaking ability, the outstanding question is whether he can round out his game and get stronger.”

    Tkachyov played 49 games with Vladivostok Admiral in the KHL last season. He scored 14 goals and registered 25 assists for a total of 39 points.

    • Al Hirschen says:

      He was also rookie of the year in the KHL last year.

    • Swarty says:

      Bring him on – Buch needs a buddy

    • Reenavipul says:

      Just got caught up with the KHL and boy is it a mess. League is down to 27, will be down to 24 by the start of the 2018-19 season. Salary cap will go from $16mm to $10.5mm by 2021.

      No wonder anybody who can get out is.

  11. Walt says:


    First of all thank you for the kind words about the veterans who have, or are serving this nation that we all love.

    When it comes to Memorial Day, I have always said that this day is to remember our brothers, and sisters who gave the ultimate, their lives for our freedom. As a Viet Nam vet, and knowing some who never came home, it makes me sad that people have disdain for our troops, be it when we came home, or some that aren’t being appreciated toady. Let’s not forget that freedom is not free, just look at Arlington National Cemetery.

    To my brothers in arms who have been wounded, and maimed, I love each and every one of you guys, and may the lord keep you healthy!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Reenavipul says:

    If Klein is diligent on his rehab, he will be good enough to deal at the start of the season.

    If healthy enough to be traded, AV will want to play him over anybody younger, until he gets hurt again. With any 30+ player with a history of back issues, it’s like walking around with a grenade in your pocket with the pin pulled.

    That gives me an idea…can somebody frag AV?

  13. amy says:

    it is time to start getting younger and quicker our young core was great during the season but when they were needed they were missing in action I am saying Hayes, and Miller Vesey was good in his first playoffs also Brady was great start leaning on him more have a great memorial day and stay safe

  14. KrisJenn says:

    It doesn’t matter who plays defense for the Rangers next season, under AV’s system defense will still be an after thought!

    If they replace Staal and Girardi with offensive minded defensemen like Yandel the number of odd man rushes on Ranger goalies will increase. If they bring in defensive minded defensemen and try to make them play AV’s offense first system and “prevent” defense to protect a lead, these “new” up graded defensemen will not fare much better then Staal and Girardi.

    As for Rick Nash, he has to go! He was brought to the Rangers to provide scoring and vetran leadership. He provides neither! He represents the underachievement and lack of fire that pleagues this team. I give him credit for playing good third line hockey, like Fast, but he’s not here to play good third line hockey. He’s here to lead the team in both scoring and vetran leadership. Neither of which he is doing.

    What effect does Nash have on the younger players? We have all seen Kreider vanish for periods and for parts of the season then turn it on like he flipped a switch (third period of game 6 vs Ottawa). Kreider’s play kind of reminds me of Nash’s play! He’s playing good but he’s just not playing up to his potential. So by accepting Nash as a very good third line player and keeping him on the team is management setting a bad example for our younger players?

    Barring the Rangers not making the playoffs next season AV is here for the duration of his contract. So this long time Ranger fan expects more of what we have seen, underachievement!

    Don’t be fooled by the trip to the finals. That team was still a gritty Tort’s team.

    I hope I’m wrong! Lundqvist deserves another shot at the Cup, as do all of us Ranger fans!

    • Richter1994 says:

      I have to disagree with you about the D and Nash.

      The whole problem with the Rangers is coming out of the D zone. Having guys like G and Staal back there disrupts the breakout process and slows down the forwards’ speed the other way. Not to mention that the D turns it over often.

      I do agree with your premise that the coach’s “system” leaves the back end out to dry, including the goalie. But the offset to that is that currently the Rangers are not a great possession team but with a mobile D I assume that the Rangers will have the puck a lot more, taking pressure off the back end and being in the O zone more often.

      As for Nash, say what you want about him, overpaid, bad playoff performer, etc., he’s still the best all around forward we have. He will not only stay this year but I bet a large wager that he re-signs for approx $4M after next season and retires a Ranger, to have a job in the organization waiting for him. Yes, they love each other that much.

      • Rich S. says:

        At 4 Million than he is a keeper, terrific all around player…..although at 6-4 230 he could be punishing defensemen especially in the playoffs….setting an example for the younger players…..BUT not at 8.5!!!!!!\
        Grabner at 1.5 is a way better bargain!
        Get nash to rework contact after exposing him ..if possible in draft…..since he is not getting picked……and give grabner a 4 year 4 million deal……with the saved money…
        Nash 3 years 4 million is most I do…..

        • Richter1994 says:

          Don’t misunderstand Rich, I do agree he’s overpaid right now, he should be a $4M player, but he’s not. Doesn’t mean we should dump him because he does more things well in one player than any other player on the team. That’s worth something.


      “What effect does Nash have on the younger players? We have all seen Kreider vanish for periods and for parts of the season then turn it on like he flipped a switch (third period of game 6 vs Ottawa). Kreider’s play kind of reminds me of Nash’s play! He’s playing good but he’s just not playing up to his potential. So by accepting Nash as a very good third line player and keeping him on the team is management setting a bad example for our younger players? ”

      Totally disagree here. First, it’s not Nash’s fault that Kreider decided he would only try one period per game. If anything, blame the coach, the captain, or… wait for it…. him.

      Next, Nash is totally underappreciated here IMO. You guys tend to get caught up in the fact that he’s not the player he once was; that concussion he got from Lucic four years ago (five, maybe?) changed his game. He isn’t as reckless as he used to be, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still the ranger’s best two-way forward.

      Yeah, I agree his cap hit (it’s 7.8, not 8.5) is a bit high for what he’s currently bringing, but he’s not some anchor that is hindering the team…

      Speaking of anchors, you couldn’t be more wrong about G & Staal… I would elaborate, but it looks like Richter1994 has already covered that.

  15. HARLEMBLUES says:


  16. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Unless they have a angle the shows his skate off the ice that was a BS call.