Monday morning thoughts

August 14, 2017, by

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a Monday morning in August, which means it’s hot, there’s no hockey, and we are all back at work. Fun stuff, isn’t it? Here are some of my random ramblings to ramble through on your random Monday.

1 – There was a lot of blowback on the Ryan McDonagh post the other day. Perhaps I should have been clearer. I don’t think the Rangers will dangle him this year. It would be silly. He’s a top-tier defenseman on a great contract. It would be silly to dangle him now. But at the trade deadline next year, with a big raise coming? Perhaps. Not advocating for or against, just saying it’s a route they can take. They’ve done it before with Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan.

2 – As it stands, without Lias Andersson making the roster, Matt Puempel is the 12F. That’s not ideal. We’ve been harping on the need to add a center and some forward depth. I expect there to be some movement in September and after waivers are done before the season starts. It’s not as simple as “trade Nick Holden for a center.” Remember that Vegas has at least three defensemen that will go to the AHL and need to clear waivers. That dust will need to settle before any trades go down.

3 – This is a big year for Kevin Hayes and JT Miller. Both had good scoring numbers last year, but their underlying possession numbers left a little to be desired. In contract years with increased roles, they will be relied upon heavily to up the ante, especially with Derek Stepan gone. If they regress, the team won’t have depth scoring. If they take a step forward, this offense will be tough to contain.

4 – Beware the sophomore slump for Brady Skjei. The kid had a phenomenal year, but now with increased playing time and more scouting against him, there’s a chance teams can find a weakness and exploit it. Being paired with the ever-steady Brendan Smith is going to help him through it, though.

5 – I am not including Jimmy Vesey in the sophomore slump discussion because I fully expect his goal totals to go down this year. I don’t think he’s a 13.8% shooter, and if he is, they hey that’s awesome. But I don’t think it’s going to happen. He needs to improve his all around game.

6 – I’m actually pretty excited to see how the bottom defense pairing turns out. With so many guys vying for jobs, it could be an interesting battle in camp. Tons of scenarios.

7 – Monday is the only day of the work week that I am susceptible to sleeping in a little later than normal. I blame Game of Thrones.

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Categories : Musings


  1. Hatrick Swayze says:

    I’ve never seen a single episode of game of thrones. Or sons of anarchy or walking dead.

    • SalMerc says:

      You are missing some good viewing material. I admit I am rather new to GOT, but you cannot compare the level of sophistication and depth of those shows to what network TV produces. They are at a level far superior. Not quite to the level of NY Ranger hockey though.

    • Blue76 says:

      Hey trickster have not seen a post of yours in a while … but my eyes are bad since I got “Broken Glass ” in them. I too have never seen a single episode of G Thrones or W Dead, did watch a few S Anarchy though – kept seeing that big guy as the monster character he played though. Also VERY glad to see the thumbs up or down options back …

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Thanks, been loitering here but busy at work so haven’t chimed in all too much. I definitely would like to get into these (esp GOT) just have not yet.

        Hope things have been well. We’re only about 30 or so days away from the action picking up.

        • wwpd says:

          if it helps, TWD and SoA are not even in the same stratosphere as GoT

          • mintgecko says:

            Sopranos tops it all and SOA is a giant parody to that show so that goes in 2nd place. Twd<Fear the walking dead.

        • Blue76 says:

          Waiting to see where my man ends up … some nibbles, here and across the Atlantic.

  2. SalMerc says:

    Still of the opinion that a deal for another forward is going to happen. Now whether that happens by opening day is another story. I also think we are so deep with young defenseman, and the need for young defensive help out there is strong, there is a match to be made.

    Not sure we are going to get that 1C people think we need (I don’t), but I do feel a strong, quick forward with some good possession numbers could be helpful. Also would like to move Holden or Staal, but that is no secret to the entire league.

  3. Mikeyyy says:

    Not sold on Vesey. He is good but not top six good.

    McD could be trade bait if Brady comes out flying.

    But I would refrain from that until I see how he plays without Dan the anchorman.

    • AWDS says:

      Yeah, I don’t understand the fascination some people have with Vesey…

      Solid 3rd line player…. but that’s about it. I don’t see him becoming much more than that.

      • 43 says:

        The fascination with Vesey obviously stems from the hype surrounding last summer’s signing sweepstakes. Hobey Baker award winner, who clearly was NHL ready was there available for the taking. He has a solid ceiling. I don’t think he’ll be an elite player at all, but c’mon guys, you’re smarter than this, he’s got more potential than bottom 6.

        • AWDS says:

          To be fair, I said middle six. Still… I don’t see him ever being more than a (good) second liner at his peak.

          …. Which is my point – why wouldn’t that be meeting expectations for him?

          Players from the college league he played in (the ECAC) tend to score about .23 NHL points for every one they managed in the inferior league.

          Here’s some more information on this (courtesy of The information is slightly outdated by a few years, but it’s still relevant.

          “Updated Translation Factors, as of 2014-15 NHL season
          .80 Kontinental Hockey League (up .02)
          .60 Swedish Hockey League (up .05)
          .47 American Hockey League (up .02)
          .44 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (defunct, up .02)
          .41 National Collegiate Hockey Conference (new league)
          .40 Switzerland NLA (up .04)
          .37 Hockey-East (up .04)
          .35 Big-10 (new league)
          .32 Ontario Hockey League (up .02)
          .32 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (defunct) (up .02)
          .29 Finland SM-Liiga (down .01)
          .27 Western Hockey League (up .01)
          .26 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (no change)
          .23 Eastern College Athletic Conference (down .02)”

          • 43 says:

            To be fair, you said “Solid 3rd line player” and that you “don’t see him becoming much more than that,” which doesn’t imply that you expect him to even develop into a good third liner. So less potential than Bonino or Brian Boyle?

            ‘Solid’ suggest a serviceable player, not a liability, but not really a player to be counted-on in crucial moments. Solid is a player like Jesper Fast, or guys like Ruslan Fedotenko and Brandon Prust when they were Rangers.

            That’s not middle 6.

            • AWDS says:

              “To be fair, you said “Solid 3rd line player” and that you “don’t see him becoming much more than that,” which doesn’t imply that you expect him to even develop into a good third liner”

              This is semantics at this point.

              No, I wouldn’t consider him topping out as a (good) second liner to be ‘much more’ than what he currently is… which would be a solid 3rd line player.

              What separates a good 2nd liner from a good 3rd liner is approximately 10 points (and some defense).

              We’re lucky to have him…. but he’s not some irreplaceable talent.

              • Bloomer says:

                With rookies it’s always a bit of a crapshoot no matter what league they came from.

  4. Al Dugan says:

    But JT MILLER’s 16% shooting IS sustainable?

    You guys are so down on Vesey. It’s unbelievable. His ROOKIE year was pretty good. Yet, no one on this board rates him?

    Yet, JT, he of the one…ONE playoff goal,in 41 playoff games is going to be our guy?

    Hayes and Miller both had dreadful second halfs. Vesey too. Hayes and Miller are in put up or shut up,time. No question about it.

    • AWDS says:

      His rookie year also came when he was 22 going on 23.

      Generally speaking, with players who enter the NHL at an older age, their ceiling tends to be lower.

      That being said, I’m not ‘down’ on Vesey. I just don’t see an All-Star game in his future.

      … There’s nothing wrong with being an effective middle six type of player.

      • Peter says:

        I too think Vesey will be a solid forward for the Rangers, but not one of the top guys. On the other hand, his 2nd half drop off might be partially explained by being gassed because the season was far longer than any he has played previously. I think you will see him get stronger and develop into a good two-way player.

  5. John B says:

    Much more importantly to our off season;

    What is the status of getting rid of those damn ice cleaners that are ruining all of sports??

  6. Al Hirschen says:

    The Rangers are going all out for Alex Kerfoot starting Tuesday.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Color me unimpressed. His output in college wasn’t even as good as Nathan Gerbe, who was a 4th liner at his best most of his career. Rangers have room on the 50 man roster so why not, but I’d rather them getting a body who is stuck in a positional log jam elsewhere in the NHL.

      • AWDS says:

        Glad to see someone else feels the same way I do about the kid.

        Why is everyone so enthused about plucking former mid round picks in free agency?

        If you look at them historically, a player would need to score about 200 points (in a 42 game season) to even have a chance of being great in the NHL. The ECAC to NHL point conversion ratio – It’s that bad….

        • Reenavipul says:

          Kerfoot projects out to be a 25 point player. As a smaller guy, it’s less than that. Gadreau’s NHLe numbers project on the same track except his 2nd season.

      • Richter1994 says:

        There’s no down side to signing him. I think the Rangers have 2 spots available before hitting 50?

        • Reenavipul says:

          You’re correct in that They have 2 slots available, but Kerfoot is a marginal talent and they have to be flexible enough to not only grab a guy on a PTO, but also to take another prospect in a 2 for 1 deal or sign somebody like Crawley if they impress in camp.

          • Richter1994 says:

            I keep reading that Kerfoot’s offensive talent is elite but his skating is a question mark.

            • Reenavipul says:

              If his skill is elite, why did he only kill it the 1 year of junior(playing with 2 guys who’ve never made it out of the A)? Why the normal age progression curve?

              He can see the ice, but if he’s small *and* has skating issues as a 23 year old? Massive warning signs.

              Probably going to sign with Vancouver anyway.

    • Richter1994 says:

      That’s what I have been hearing too and have posted it several times.

      Guess you don’t read my posts. 🙂

  7. Bloomer says:

    The Rangers need more depth up front for sure. Slim pickings out there in the free agent market and Holden isn’t much trade bait. Skjei made great strides last year and playing along side Smith will help him progress. I believe Vesey will surprize many this year and take a huge step forward. He has got talent and moxie which will carry him a long ways.

  8. supermaz says:

    Don’t underestimate Matt Puempel. I can see him as a poor man’s Ryan Callahan.