Jun
10

Why the Rangers should trade for a goalie

June 10, 2017, by
antti niemi

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After the other night’s game the Pittsburgh Penguins are one step closer to their second consecutive Stanley Cup, which means we’re all one step closer to the end of the 2016-17 campaign. It was a long and grueling effort, and our dear Rangies did not make it out alive, but here we are. That also of course means it’s almost time for the offseason, and this one is shaping up to be a pivotal one for our beloved Blueshirts. Along those lines let’s take a look at a move that might, on its face, seem counterintuitive, but could actually be quite savvy: trading for a goalie.

Now of course I’m not just talking about any goalie. I’m talking about a top of the line, true starting goaltender, worth his salary and then some for his ability to carry a team deep into the post season. Just kidding, I’m talking about trading for one of the Dallas Stars’ goalies. You see, trading for one of Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen would be a wise move, because then the Rangers could buy whichever one of them they acquire out. OK fine, let’s back up a bit.

At this point, it should be plainly apparent that both Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are no longer worth their weight in terms of salary cap hit, and the Rangers’ lack of a strong transition offense left their otherwise deep forward corps hamstrung and unable to generate much offense. This means yes, the Rangers are going to have to go out and acquire more defensemen either via trade or free agency, but first they’re going to need to clear some room for those defensemen on the roster, in addition to the salary cap space needed to retain them. I’m personally of the opinion that Dan Girardi is going to be bought out this offseason, which leaves Marc Staal as the lone anchor weighing down the blueline and salary cap. The solution I say, can be found in Dallas.

You see Dallas also has two large, unwieldy contracts they’d like to get rid of in their goaltending tandem from heck, Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen. Together they take up more than $10 million on the salary cap, in addition to clogging up the roster should the Dallas coaching staff even desire to play someone else in net. Dallas is in win-now mode, because well, not making the playoffs when you’ve got both Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn on the squad can put a GM on a marginally warmer seat than he’s used to sitting. Suffice to say that Jim Nill needs to fix what’s ailing his team fast, and the most obvious two areas for improvement are goaltending and then defense.

This is where the Rangers come in. Marc Staal still has a somewhat solid reputation as a defenseman, and his contract is hindering the Rangers’ journey toward a Stanley Cup. In return for taking on one of their goalies, the Rangers could trade a package off Marc Staal plus a pick and/or prospect to sweeten the deal, and then immediately buyout whichever netminder they receive in the trade. A little look at the numbers helps illuminate which goalie would be best for the Rangers to trade for, and which one Dallas would likely push to trade.

First is Antti Niemi. His salary and cap hit for the 2017-18 season are both $4.5 million, with one year left on his contract. Buying him out would mean $3 million in savings, with a remaining cap hit of $1.5 million. This would be the ideal situation for the Rangers, but unfortunately, Dallas is probably going to want a little bit more relief than just $4.5 off the cap in return for taking on Marc Staal’s gargantuan contract. That brings us to Kari Lehtonen, whose salary is $5 million despite his cap hit being $5.9 million, also with one year left. A buyout here would net the Rangers $3.33 million in savings, with a remaining cap hit of $2.56 million. This is probably what Dallas would prefer, but depending on the adds to Marc Staal on the Rangers side of things, Dallas could either be persuaded to send us Niemi instead, or bring down the price and offer Lehtonen. Either way, it saves the Rangers some serious cash.

So there you have it, a not so crazy explanation for why the Rangers would do well to trade for a goalie this offseason. It actually makes sense: the Rangers aren’t going to buyout Marc  Staal because his contract is structured poorly but need to get rid of him anyways, Dallas needs some form of defensive structure in addition to cap relief and jettisoning a goaltender, and buyouts make it all worth while (Dallas could even use a compliance buyout after the next lockout on Marc Staal! It all works!). Dallas is desperate, and the Rangers have someone who appears to be savvy at the helm – make it happen Gorts.

"Why the Rangers should trade for a goalie", 4 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.
Categories : Offseason

29 comments

  1. Ranger17 says:

    Staal has a NMC not happening with out his permission to move on .G i do beleive has a limited NTC and can be traded to 16 teams on his list .. We will need to bite a bullet or two to get rid of the both Twins . Then you still have KK and Holden to deal with . We are ham strung wth NMC contracts and it needs to stop NOW.This is the only reason i would like to see $tepan moved before his NMC comes into effect July 1. Think the Dominoes will start to fall when the Cup is won . Bet there are already deals in place that can’t be announced till the SCF is over .

  2. Blueshirts94 says:

    Dallas has no LHD depth behind Lindell, who looked good this year. If we could get Staal to waive, I could see them biting on a deal with the main pieces being Staal for Lehtonen.

  3. Al Dugan says:

    You guys still drunk?

  4. Brandon Faust says:

    Why would Dallas trade less cap for more cap though? And term? As Rangers fan yes of course do the trade helps us. But you gotta be realistic here, Dallas can just buy out their own goalie. Also they own the 3rd overall there is already speculation it will be dealt with one of the goalies for a player. To get rid of Staal or G without a buyout is from Vegas. Gorts is gonna have to pull one of his Tukka Rask or Phil Kessel trades type of sneak and get them to take one of the two somehow.

  5. Stevesse says:

    I know as Ranger fans we want the best possible players to build our team. But as amateur GM’s we all see that Staal has a NMC and that movement refers to his time on ice. He has no speed, doesn’t play physical and may even have loss of vision in one eye. Don’t you think real GM’s, who have scouting staffs know the same. I don’t see anything but a buyout for him.

  6. BOBBY B says:

    Staal & Girardi , both warriors who in their prime were incredible assets, that was about 5 years ago, now they are both ( thank you Sather) massive liabilities. Next year a year older, a year slower ( YIKES!! ) . We could not win a cup with them at their best, now we MUST TURN THE PAGE!!! Jeff Gorton needs to roll up his sleeves or pull a rabbit out of his hat, We must move on !!!!!

  7. Richter1994 says:

    A month ago I said trade G or Staal to Dallas for Lehtonen who has one year left at $5.9M and then buy out Lehtonen.

    • Walt says:

      and you were right! now let’s see if we have a trading partner?????

      • Richter1994 says:

        well, just because I say it doesn’t mean that it will come true, lol.

        but thank you for the support bro!! love ya.

  8. Spud Springer says:

    Any possible way the Rangers could rid themselves of the Staal AND Girardi contracts and replace them with Shattenkirk and Smith. DO IT! No team can compete never the less win a cup with 2 top 4 DM who are not only overpaid but way past their prime. Their hindrence power so much outways their now extinct positives for the team

  9. wwpd says:

    Why would Staal agree to this trade? Even financially, If there is any kind of market out there for him as a player, who does better blocking a trade and force the rangers to buy him out.

  10. Al Hirschen says:

    From Elliot Friedman :There are a lot of ties to Lindy Ruff in New York. Arniel played with him from 1986-89. Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld was a teammate from 1979-81. Chris Drury, who just added the AHL Hartford GM title to his portfolio, was coached by Ruff from 2003-07. With those connections, it’s not a surprise to hear rumblings that Ruff was contacted by the Rangers about joining Alain Vigneault’s staff. I’m not sure where this stands right now, but it sounds like it was with the idea of making the group stronger, not forcing Vigneault to look over his shoulder. http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-might-waive-no-move-clause-ahead-expansion-draft/

  11. Swarty says:

    So we are going to trade Staal and then sweeten it with a draft pick to take a goalie we are going to instantly buy out.

    Huh?

  12. John B says:

    There’s one elephant in this room. Listened to Jim Nill awhile back on NHL radio. He has his salary cap set up in a certain way. Both Girardi and Staal have term left on their contract which is something he’s avoiding. Both goalies fall off books at the exact moment that Tyler Seguin enters into his contract negotiations window.

    Adding the money and term of Girardi or Staal could hamper this. Why I suggested that it’s more likely to be able to send them a Klein or Holden for a pick and mid to low range prospect. They’re contracts fall off the books at same time. The other scenario is we retain a ridiculous amount of the contract which doesn’t really help us cap wise, just removes the player.

    • Walt says:

      John

      This is the main reason I wouldn’t give any player a NMC that is over 27 years of age, and isn’t a superstar!!!!! Neither of the Twins ever fell under that title, why would that BRAIN DEAD Sather do that to this organization????? JG has his hands tied behind his back, and being asked to fight that way, just not right!!!!

    • Richter1994 says:

      If we have to retain a large amount of cap space then the Rangers might as well just buy them both out.

  13. Harris says:

    Talk about overlooking something. You buy out Nash and save yourself 5.5M this year. And the hit next year is 2.5. And then done. We stuck with the Dynamic Duo thanks to that genius Sather. Nothing we can do. And yes I’ll say it………..TRADE HANK NOW. We’re not winning anything anytime soon. We all know this. As much as it absolutely KILLS me to say that. We are just not. Hanks contract killing us too. And yes he has stood on his head……….but not lately. He has been good but not great. We need GREAT from him in order to go deep. And he’s not cutting it. Not without better D in front of him. And we just said it……we are stuck with Slow & Slower. Let Hank go to a contender and make a diff and win the cup. I know everyone is going to kill me for this. BUT, think about this!!! How competitive is Hank. Do anything to win, right? Bullsh@#. Do you see him or Nash renegotiating their contracts to bring in the missing pieces?? Hell no!!! So dump them. And start over. In a cpl years who knows what can happen. But it ain’t happening now as currently stocked. And that is the plain truth!!!

    • John B says:

      #IhopHotallyoucaneatTake inbound

    • John B says:

      #IhopHotallyoucaneatTake inbound

    • Richter1994 says:

      The Rangers are blowing up some of the core but not the team. Gorton feels like they are close and fixing the D is at the top of the list. If G and Staal are still both here then Gorton is not the GM I thought he was.

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      How dare you Harris,off with ur head ! … we can never ever ever trade Hank !

  14. Jay says:

    The question I keep coming up with is if you buy both Staal and Girardi out and replace them with young D men, why doesn’t the much cheaper salary make up for the dead space cap hit.

    • Blueshirts94 says:

      It does better. Assuming their replacements are two of Pionk/Graves/Bereglazov, $1.85m is much less than the savings on the two buyouts (Year 1: Girardi costs $2.611m, Staal costs $2.133m. Worst year is #3: Girardi costs $3.611m, Staal costs $3.133m, which is still a huge discount on the current $11.2m yearly).

    • Richter1994 says:

      LOL, I just wrote a whole fanpost on Blueshirt Banter saying just this. 🙂

  15. King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

    How dare you Harris … off with ur head ! We can never trade Hank!