Some Free Agency Predictions

July 1, 2017, by

joe thornton

Free agency is upon us, with the big announcements coming later today. Who will end up where remains to be seen for now, so I figured a predictions thread might be in order. For this post I’m going to focus on the big three: Kevin Shattenkirk, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. First is because those three are the ones I’ve been following closely, and I don’t want to throw out useless conjecture about guys like Jimmy Hayes, for example (although maybe this all is useless conjecture, depending on how you look at it, I don’t know). Second is because it’s a relatively week FA class, so those three names are likely to be the biggest ones you hear about anyways. Third is because those three are most relevant to the Rangers.

So here’s the thing with Shattenkirk: the Rangers would be stupid not to at least make a push, so no matter what Brooksie says I think there’s a possibility. It just makes too much sense – he’s the puck moving defenseman and PP QB they’ve needed for so long, and his defensive ability is actually quite good (7th overall in CA/60 over the past two seasons is not so bd for a guy who can also net you a lot of points and allow Ryan McDonagh to finally reach his potential). Buffalo is apparently out, especially after today’s Scandella deal, which leaves Boston (where he played in college), NJ and our very own Blueshirts, as well as a few other teams. Don Sweeney, the Bruins GM has said that his focus is on left defense, which makes them less likely, and NJ is close to home for Shatty and could throw a boatload of money at him, but according to Bob McKenzie NJ may offer more term but less money. Tampa Bay is also interested and may offer more money but less term, all while Arizona and Colorado remain interested.

This doesn’t sound great for the Rangers, but again it just makes too much sense and given that we have $18 million in cap space and a conveniently vacant spot at 1RD for Shattenkirk, plus Shatty’s desire to be close to home, I think ultimately he ends up with the Rangers.

Next we’ve got Jumbo Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. I’ll admit that I’m an unabashed Thornton fan, so I’d really like to see this one happen, but I’m betting that it’s less likely than a Shattenkirk deal at this point. SJ allegedly remains at the top of his list, although a number of teams are interested, and he wants a three year deal, which they’ve been willing to give him in the past. Dreger reported that LA could be in the mix for Thornton as well, which adds an interesting wrinkle to this. Joe is apparently taking into consideration where Marleau goes, so that complicates things as well. I really can’t say I know where Thornton ends up, but it wouldn’t shock me if it were New York. Again, it just makes sense – we have a vacancy at center and a number of talented wingers for him to dish to all season. That doesn’t even go to the cap space, but term might be a sticking point here.

As far as Marleau goes, despite his excellent first name I doubt he winds up a Ranger. We’re chock full of wingers (I know he can play center too though) and while he is quick I’m not sure his scoring  rate is something the Rangers are going to be impressed by. Dude struggled to find the back of the net at even strength last year, which I’m sure Gorton et al are aware of. Mike Babcock is also apparently making a hard sell for Marleau, and given the rising young talent there I could see him opting to be a Maple Leaf come fall.

So there you have it, my official predictions: Shattenkirk is a Ranger by day’s end, Thornton too maybe, but not Marleau (he’ll be a Leaf). Regardless of the outcome however, Jeff Gorton better have a plan. We simply have too much cap space to do nothing, and too many roster spots to fill to stand by idly. Henrik Lundqvist isn’t getting any younger, and the additions of Thorton and Shattenkirk would certainly put the Rangers up the bracket in terms of contending teams. If not those two, then somewhere in the league Gorts needs to go out and find two centers and a right handed top pairing defenseman, and that’s not going to come together on its own. Right now I’m feeling cautiously optimistic, but would feel a whole lot better if Shatty signed with the Rangers. Anyways, those are my thoughts – what are yours?

Categories : Offseason


  1. Reenavipul says:

    Why would the Rangers sign Shattenkirk when the current coach won’t use him properly?

    Between that and the $7×7 NJ is offering, not only no, but no effing way.

  2. craig says:

    No more then 6.25 million per year, 4 years, if that. If no, goodbye! Another long term nightmare contract in the making. When will we learn?

    • Walt says:


      Also, if we over pay for him, what do we do when Mac Truck’s contract expires, rob a bank to pay him????????????

  3. supermaz says:

    . It just makes too much sense – he’s the puck moving defenseman and PP QB they’ve needed for so long.
    Where have I heard that before. ..Brad Richards, Dan Boyle, Yandle…..please say no to Shattenkirk.

  4. Cthockeyman says:

    I dont think Shatty comes our way. If Gorton wants to be bold and do a LT deal, he should call David Poille and see what it might take to get Ryan Johannson. JT Miller plus futures??? To me this is a much better/safer way to use LT cap space and solves as big a problem as getting a top 4 right D-man.

    • Reenavipul says:

      If Poile doesn’t hang up instantly, it means that the thigh compartment injury on Johansen is not doing well.

  5. Reenavipul says:

    Sometimes, the best move is to do nothing.

    Overpay on 1 year deals, otherwise do nothing. The KHL is such a mess one can still pick up a 2nd line C for beer league money.

    • Richter1994 says:

      “Sometimes, the best move is to do nothing.”

      not in this case. if Shatty is not a Ranger then the Stepan trade was for nothing relating to this coming season and a missed opportunity to get a guy that wants to play here.

      Don’t worry, after the next lockout there will be another amnesty period to get rid of the guy if he sucks by then.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Sucks by then?

        6D on his 2 teams last year.

      • Fotiu is God says:

        Bro, here’s hoping you finally get to hang that Shattenkirk poster in the bedroom by day’s end.

        I see you have space next to the Farrah Fawcett/red one-piece bathing suit and Freddie Blassie/John Tolos posters.

  6. Ranger boy says:

    If the rangers try to beat out jersey for shatty by giving him more than the 7 million for 7 years then Gorton is out of his mind. I’d love to have him at the right price. But that’s not close to the right price. And remember he’s not a great defensive player

  7. Walt says:

    Mikhail Grigorenko could be had for the third line, cheap, and then we fill the need for a 4th center from within. That makes more sense than going after Jumbo Joe, who is slower than Stepan, and coming off of a knee surgery, and given his age, stay as far away as possible. Nieves, Forgery, Jansen all are possibilities for that roll……..

    Now to Shatty, whom I don’t think is as good as we are being lead to believe. He can QB the PP, and handles the puck lugging chores very well, but I guess paired with Mac Truck, it could work. It all comes down to money, and term. I don’t profess to know what is fair, but I have a sneaky suspicion that we over pay for this guy if he comes!!!!!!

  8. flatbush says:

    No to Jumbo Joe. He will not make a difference and I doubt he would come east coast for a one year deal on the cheap. Shatty will want to rob us thus putting us in a box down the road. Lets face it none of those moves get us any closer to the cup now or down the road. Try JT at center nothing to lose except some sweat. They should still go after a younger 3rd line center type who would not break the bank and have several young years to play not some 35+ over the hill guys

  9. 43 says:

    If we don’t sign Shatty, then what was the Stepan trade for, the Girardi buyout? I understand that clearly cap space is important, but to clear $20 mil and not go after the big fish that’s been reported to be swimming only in your pond for the last two years seems, if anything, well, confusing.

    • Dave says:

      The Girardi buyout needed to happen, regardless of the Stepan trade. It’s addition by subtraction at this point.

  10. 43 says:

    What about Rangers offer sheeting Draisaitl? Chiarelli said he’d match any offer sheet, but I don’t believe him.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Offer sheet just to blow a hole broadside in the HMS Oilers. At worst, you get a 2C. Wouldn’t go nuts on term though. 5 yr, front loaded.

      • 43 says:

        I mean, this is the one storyline that I feel like is going way under the radar. It’s a very real possibility that Edmonton could actually lose this guy.


      Oh, he’ll match it alright – and, as soon as he is allowed to, he’ll ship him out for …. more than four first rounders.

      Honestly, the only way to actually land the guy would entail trading them the four first rounders they would have gotten anyways, and adding significantly to it…. say, Hayes & Miller? That might get it done. Probably not though.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Again, can’t be moved the 1st season. Please read the CBA.

        If you destroy them $$$ wise, the cash loss is never made up dealing him unless you win the cup that year.


          “and, as soon as he is allowed to,”

          quoted the important part that you missed.

          Like I’ve said, you’re wrong/nuts/etc if you think Chiarelli, OF ALL PEOPLE, will be gun shy about getting fair value for potential superstars……..

          • Reenavipul says:

            You mean like that fair value he got for Seguin?

            Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              No, I’m saying you don’t seem to understand the guy if you think he’s gonna just let Gorton waltz in there and one up him. Not happening.

              He’d sooner trade him to NJ for [a 5th round pick & the four 1’s] just to spite us.

              BTW, I also haven’t heard any rumors of the EDM pair having ‘off the ice issues’, which IIRC was the main reason for that trade.

              Not to defend it, but it’s apples and oranges.

            • Reenavipul says:

              AGAIN, you don’t know the CBA which prohibits EDM from moving any resigned RFA for a season.

              Do yourself a favor: get your head around this:


              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                “Oh, he’ll match it alright – and, as soon as he is allowed to, he’ll ship him out for …. more than four first rounders.”

                “…as soon as he is allowed to”

                “as soon as”

                Listen, either you’re doing an excellent job of trolling, or you cannot read……

                What does “AS SOON AS he is allowed to” mean to you, Reena?

                Just checking for clarity.

  11. Larry says:

    Latest rumor is NYR signed Shattenkirk for 4yrs 6.9 Million per.