Dog days of summer

August 7, 2017, by

jt miller jesper fast nick holden oscar lindberg

The Rangers and hockey in general have entered the dog days of summer. It’s August. The entire hockey world has gone on vacation. There’s MLS on (shameless plug: visit my NYCFC shirt page!), there’s MLB on, but that’s not enough to really keep us from craving hockey. But since it’s the dog days, I think some thoughts are in order.

1. First things first, we’ve been making a lot of noise about the need for another forward. Trading Derek Stepan opened up the path for Kevin Shattenkirk, but it also opened a big hole up front. Mika Zibanejad can probably handle the 1C duties, and maybe Kevin Hayes can handle the 2C duties. But if the plan really is for Lias Andersson to be the 3C, and that falls through, then what? If David Desharnais is the 3C at any point in the season, something has gone horribly wrong.

2. From what I’ve read and seen about Andersson, he could actually be NHL ready. I think the Rangers are expecting him to make the team as the 3C. If that does come to fruition, then I’m assuming he gets the lion’s share of offensive zone starts. Flanking him with guys that know the NHL, perhaps Michael Grabner and JT Miller, works as well. Show the kid the ropes?

3. As it stands, without any more moves, Matt Puempel is 12F. If Andersson makes the team, he’s the 13F. That’s really not much depth. Losing Stepan or Oscar Lindberg wouldn’t have gutted the depth, but losing both certainly did.

4. I think the reason why we didn’t see a Nick Holden trade is because the market is barren at the moment. Vegas gambled by taking a ton of defensemen, hoping to flip them for picks. That backfired, and now every NHL team knows a bunch need to pass through waivers. I don’t think we see a Holden trade until after that all unfolds.

5. Not much has been said about Ondrej Pavelec. I’m not a huge fan of his, and all the numbers say this could be a risky proposition. However I trust Benoit Allaire. So…. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

6. Why is it that summers are always really short? It’s already August, and I haven’t done half of the things I wanted to do. Although I did finally get back to Splish Splash the other day. Still love that place, and not an amazingly huge rip off either.

7. But seriously, why does summer go by so fast? Maybe because it took so long to be nice out consistently this year? I dunno. Also… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


"Dog days of summer", 3 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
Categories : Musings


  1. Don ardito says:

    I agree with your comments I do however feel a need for a third line center like spooner from beantown

  2. SalMerc says:

    After a long vacation, I am back. More frustrated at the 3rd pair situation than the 3C problem.

    Holden and Staal need to make room for others to get a chance. We have at least 3 young defensemen ready to show their stuff.

    I think JT at the wing solidifies the top 3 lines and when Fast returns we will be fine. The October lineup is never the December lineup.

    I would like to see another speedy winger found.

    • idesof says:

      SalMerc i agree on the 3rd pairing.For his own sake I hope AV avoids the Staal Holden trap. If one of them plays 3rd pairing with younger guy(s) ok for a bit to establish a trade (if any) value.
      Otherwise they will hurt (IMO) any forward line they are with.

  3. craig says:

    The Rangers need to find some unexpected Lightning in a bottle, especially at center (Maybe Anderson?). I have a hard time seeing Zib as a number one center right now, unless he explodes. I’m not a big Hayes fan either. Hopefully some of our younger forwards matured. Still have a few loose ends that are concerning although I am encouraged by the improved defense overall. The lack of depth at forward is somewhat scary. When injuries to key forwards happen, that could really hurt. Gordon needs to pull off something good before the season starts and make a few roster moves. The team seems incomplete and iffy to some degree.I’m somewhat skeptical about our backup goalie, despite Allaire and how good will Hank be a year older?

    • Chris A says:

      Mika will be fine. He was on pace for a 54 point season last year. That would have pushed him up from 10th on the team in points to around 4th and close to the team lead.

      Last season, the Rangers were 4th in the league in goals and not one Ranger eclipsed 60 points. Although, there were 11 Rangers that went over 34 points. This team is designed to attack in waves. The Rangers don’t need a “1C” just talented centers that are capable in their own zone.

      • Mintgecko says:

        And Hayes showed the world that he can revive a bottom 6 scorer to be back on top(Grabner), a previously top 6 winger who he helped beat his career high on the 3rd line(JT). Add to the fact that he took a defensive 3c role and still managed to be the best producing line in the league and especially for this team and he was also on pace for a 60+ season which imo is very touchable. You covered the Zib part but I don’t get the haters that are already scared before the season even starts. Not only is are our top 6 centers capable of just getting by like our previous centers, but they’re also capable of being routine 60-65 point players for this team. “Designed to attack in waves” is such a underrated statement, I think that if more fans had a idea that that’s where this team is going then they would accept the idea of Mika and Hayes and how they offset each other’s games. The best part is that both of them are young enough that maybe they turn out to be water down versions of how Pitt is set up with Crosby and Malkin. Hayes will be making the 2nd PP look like a 1st unit and continue to make the PK dangerous going both ways. Mika with Shatty in a healthy season and with a better understanding as a NYR in his 2nd season with the team will take the PP to new heights, our special teams are already better. JG must be laughing like a mad man in his office after thinking about all the possible individual seasons that 2017 -18 could bring. It’s why Stepan was jettison to the desert, JG had this idea brewing all last summer and I think 95% has came true to his future plans.

        • Chris A says:

          I’m with you. Hayes is excellent, and definitely the most underappreciated Ranger. Sure, his sophomore season stunk, but he didn’t sulk, got into tremendous shape last summer, and had a great 2016-17. He’s not the first and won’t be the last player to let a strong rookie year ruin his second season.

          Like you said, last year Hayes quietly started to take over the role of top two-way center from your least favorite Ranger (hint, he’s now plying his trade in the desert).

          • Craig says:

            Hayes tailed off in the middle of the year and disappeared in the playoffs. He is a soft player who doesn’t use his size enough. My concern also,is the lack of depth on the team at forward when injuries come, and the lack of depth at Hartford. We need a couple of vetern forwards.

        • JoeS. says:

          Thank you, Mint! This is the time for optimism! Your assessment is right on! I, for one, perhaps 2 or more, am extremely excited about the Rangers as a team!

  4. Peter says:

    I too am concerned most about the backup goal tender and the 3rd pair defense. Hank missed a significant number of games last season and now he is a year older. Antti is likely to be missed.

    Holden and Staal as the third pair when you have a bunch of talented youngsters ready to take the plunge would be disheartening. Hopefully that gets cleared up soon.

    Andersson 3C? That would be sweet if the kid cuts it!

    • JoeS. says:

      I just don’t understand….. in one sentence you say Holden and Staal would be disheartening because there are kids ready to “take the plunge” and in the very next you say “Andersson would be sweet if the kid cuts it” Something tells me your would bitch no matter the scenario. You are talking out of both sides my friend and you argument is not logical, thus it is nonsensical.

      • Peter says:

        Andersson is a forward, not a defenseman. I am pulling for the kid to make the team. Likewise, I am hoping that at least one of the young defenseman gets a shot on the third pair.

        You seem to have misconstrued what was said. Oh well.

  5. Al Dugan says:

    Please…..on the third pair. Remember Pens won with Ron Hainsey getting serious minutes.

    • Richter1994 says:

      The Pens forwards also have the puck most of the game, which is leaving half of the facts out of a statement like this.

      Don’t sign any contract with pages missing. 🙂

  6. Johnny Red says:

    This was bound to happen when Sather gave Stepan the contract. He over paid and we had to get rid of the contract. He also did the same thing with Hank. I LOVE him he’s a great goalie, but he too was overpaid in the number of years he was given! So in another 2 years we will have to buy him out.
    Once again Sather gets the team. The man who has done very little in 18 years and still has a job WOW! Gorton is the one cleaning up Sather’s mess.

    • Al Dugan says:

      Johnny, Johnny, Johnny……

      Stepan wasn’t overpaid. Toews is overpaid. Kopitar is overpaid.

      Hank’s deal is fine. We are paying 9 million for our goalies. That’s perfect.

      The cap is starting to inch up, and who knows, maybe the lockout will allow everyone to get rid of one bad deal.


      • JoeS. says:

        Hopefully the lockout will change the way players are compensated and limit number of years, and ban NMC & NTC, they handcuff a team.

    • Rod Seiling's Twilight Zone says:

      “The man (Sather) who has done very little in 18 years and still has a job WOW! Gorton is the one cleaning up Sather’s mess.”

      That’s just nonsense. Since the 2011-12 season the NYR have played in 20 SC playoff series and in 93 playoff games. Pittsburgh has played in 15 series and 88 games. And the Blackhawks played in 14 series and in 82 playoff games.

      Pittsburgh and Chicago have won two Cups apiece over that time but, with that record of success over the past six seasons, to claim that Sather has done little in 18 years and that Gorton is cleaning up his mess is simply…..unsupportable.

      • Johnny Red says:

        Remember back when he was hired how he claimed it would be easy to win a championship with the Rangers budget. Well what happened? we didn’t even make the playoffs for 6 years! How many GM’s/ presidents still have jobs when they’ve won nothing? L.A. Kings won 2 cups and their G.M. and coach were fired. What has he done that’s so great? The bottom line is wining a cup and he hasn’t done it. We have one of the worst minor league systems due to him trading away all those picks.

        Has he made a few good moves yes, but overall he’s won NOTHING my friend. It’s about championships and he has NONE since he came here. Tell me why he deserves to still have his job?

        • Johnny Red says:

          Forgive me for my poor choice of words, I should have said he’s done little not nothing to win a cup

          • Chris A says:

            You’re entitled to your opinion, but in a league that now sports 31 teams, if your standards are Cup or bust you are going to be eternally disappointed.

            • Johnny Red says:

              Every sport is measured on championships won my friend. That’s what sports is all about!

            • Jerry says:

              If you are looking at it from management’s point of view, there is no doubt playoff series/games played in the home barn is VERY important. The reason is simple, those games generate income. However, from a fan’s perspective, there isn’t any substitute for a championship.
              I’ve been a Ranger fan since 1955 as a 9 year old. And I’ve experienced one cup in all of those years.
              So my idea of true success in another Cup and nothing less. I don’t care how many times we went to the dance or how many times we were bridesmaids.
              I’d like to see another STanley Cup

        • Rod Seiling's Twilight Zone says:

          As Chris A said, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But I have always rejected the Steinbrenner view of the world –winning titles is the ONLY thing that matters. First, it’s simply unrealistic, particularly in a league with a salary cap and with a huge advantage to teams with transcendent stars. Second, it’s just so much less fun!! I’m a grown man with a real life and I’ve had the chance to wake up 93 mornings over the last 6 years where the first thought (or one of the first thoughts depending on Ms. Seiling) is “Big game tonight”!!! That is simply a blessing.

          And I know I’m not alone with that one.

          You want to criticize Sather for not winning a Cup with the NYR? Fine. But to actually say that as a result, he’s “done very little in 18 years and still has a job WOW! Gorton is the one cleaning up Sather’s mess”, is just myopic.

          • Hey Rod,Jerry says:

            Hi Rod,
            I guess it’s how one defines “success”. I was very careful to say “true” success, and that’s nothing more than my personal opinion.
            How many interviews are conducted with professional players and have they uttered “my goal is to make the playoffs”. If that was said the captain and assistant captains would rip them a ‘new you know what’. The goal of every professional is a championship.
            Also lets look at how many teams qualify for the playoffs. I follow three major sports, hockey, football and baseball.
            Hockey 16 out of 31 (.51)
            Football 12 out of 32 (.37)
            Baseball 10 out of 30 (.33)
            So in hockey, just making the playoffs says nothing more than you are medicore. Of course the excess of teams making the playoffs in Hockey is a function of economics. I get that.
            Rod, I’m with you 100% as far as the “big game tonight” feelings.
            Personally I feel that every time the Rangers play the Islanders, Flyers, Devils and Penguins.
            All that said, your points are well taken.

      • Johnny Red says:

        He’s the support: The Great Glen Sather started in 2000. His 1st 6 years he didn’t make the playoffs. (2000-2005) 2006 lost in 1st round, 2007 &08: won 1 round. 2009-2011: lost in 1st round, missed playoffs & lost in 1st round. This is 12 YEARS of very little when he promised the world. He should have been fired in 2011 based on his lousy record alone!

        His success is only over the past 6 years where he had 1 cup final and 2 conference finals, lost in 1st round and won 1 round. Tell me how he deserves a job for all these years. There isn’t one sport you can point to where a G.M. with this resume would still have his job.

        Not to mention his bad contracts over the years: Holik, Gomez, Drury, Staal, Girardi, Redden and according to the experts (not me) Stepan was over paid. He was never good at contract signing and most of the time over paid. How about Martin St. Louis. The Rangers where the only team he wanted to go to and he gives up our captain who is 11 years younger and 2 first round picks. Why? St. Louis only wanted to play for us and he had the power. Who else could Tampa have traded him to?

        My main point is I don’t see how anyone can say a man with his record deserves to have a job. Look at any sport and show me where a G.M. lasted, this long with out a championship and a lousy record his 1st 12 YEARS not months.

  7. Catch22 says:

    One thing i’ve noticed on the NYR social media accounts is a lot of video content with Kevin Hayes (and to a lesser extent Jimmy Vesey). Granted some of this may just be simple dollars and cents – easy to catch up with a guy a few hours from NY than one in Minnesota or somewhere in Canada – but definitely seems like they are grooming the fan base for him to play a bigger role this year.

    While we are all hoping for more center depth (rightfully so), maybe this is the year Hayes makes the leap.

  8. Johnny Red says:

    Forgive me for my poor choice of words, I should have said he’s done little not nothing to win a cup

  9. supermaz says:

    I like Puempel, and I hope he’s given a real chance.

  10. Reenavipul says:

    Ivan Hlinka is going on(available online at and KHL preseason is going on ( with regular season starting 3rd week of August.

  11. joe from newburgh says:

    I’ve watched the highlights of Andersson in the junior showcase, and in the Swedish elite league, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him wearing Ranger Blue in October. He does it all, and with speed.