Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

October 31, 2017, by

alex galchenyuk

In case you missed it, there is a lot of smoke around the Rangers and the Canadiens lately. Glen Sather and some of his cronies were taking in Montreal/Ottawa last night, and Steve Zipay tweeted that at least half of that crew were in Montreal when the Rangers were in town. Add in a lot of talk about Alex Galchenyuk, and there’s a lot of smoke around the Rangers and Canadiens.

Galchenyuk fits an immediate need for the Rangers. He’s a talented top-six center that can put up points. The former third overall pick is supremely talented, but the Montreal media has done a number on him. They made him apologize for being a victim of domestic abuse. They released private information about rehab. They’ve basically done all they can to chase him out of town. So naturally, the fans have turned on him.

Never mind that he put up 30 goals just two seasons ago. Never mind that he’s increased his points-per-game total every year since his rookie year. The media doesn’t like him, so they want him gone. Montreal has a habit of getting rid of players for the wrong reasons, so this shouldn’t shock anyone (see: Subban, P.K.).

Here’s how he compares to the recently traded Derek Stepan. Galchenyuk puts up more goals and fewer assists, that makes sense to anyone who has watched them. Galchenyuk also does a better job at driving offense. He’s pretty poor at suppressing shots, though, so there’s that.

Galchenyuk fits the mold of young, cost controlled, and speedy/creative that the Rangers want their forwards to be. He also pushes David Desharnais back to the fourth line where he belongs, and off the powerplay. All of a sudden you’re looking at Zibanejad-Galchenyuk-Hayes-Nieves down the middle, with Desharnais filling in when needed. Seems much better than what they have now.

If you’re worried about where Filip Chytil/Lias Andersson fit in next season, then there’s always the possibility of sliding some of these guys to wing. Center to wing is an easier transition for a kid to make, fewer responsibilities in the defensive end. A glut of young talent is better than a dearth of young talent. Plus none of them are guaranteed.

This is pure speculation on my part, but the logic seems to fit. The Rangers need a center. The Habs apparently “need” to trade Galchenyuk. Both teams need to do something to stay relevant.

Assume one roster player, likely a defenseman, needs to go the other way to make the salaries work. No, it’s not going to be Marc Staal. Assume Nick Holden. Sending him there and waiving Paul Carey clears the cap space to bring on Galchenyuk. But that’s not enough. The Rangers will need to part with a good prospect or a pick. I have no idea what the Habs are looking for. Fans say defensemen. Maybe Ryan Graves? I don’t know.

Trading Chris Kreider for Galchenyuk is just silly. It leaves the Rangers with a different problem. They’d just fill the 2C role and open a 1/2 LW hole. It would be the same problem they had following the Stepan trade.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. It certainly seems like something is brewing between the Rangers and the Canadiens. Naturally, both fan bases are panicking. It might be an interesting week. Buckle up, folks.

"Where there's smoke, there's fire", 5 out of 5 based on 10 ratings.


  1. John B says:

    Shooting way too high Dave.

    1st Rounder, Kreider, Holden and DeAngelo for Andrew Shaw, Jordie Benn and 6th!!

    • Joe says:

      That trade makes no sense to me.. 1st rounder that might be a high 1st pick, Kreider Holden and DeAngelo for Shaw getting the same thing back in TRADING Kreider (SMALLER VERSION) Benn who we don’t need (Pionk,Graves,Bereglslav in HARTFORD, AND A 6TH).
      Don’t mind Holden and/or DeAngelo going.
      If it went something like DeAngelo,Vesey,if they want Holden or if we can somehow convince them to take Staal (we pay half of salary) for Galenchyuk maybe McCarren or a 4th rd pick.
      What I’m saying Kreider for Galenchyuk is not a good swap..

      • Jeff P says:

        You forgot “sarcasm” marker.

      • John B says:

        It was sarcasm because this team is about to do something tremendously dumb.

        The team has barely been deployed ideally, if at all, and is shooting 7% at 5×5 hockey. So instead of fixing deployment issues and realizing that the shooting % will come back to the league average (~9.5 to 10%), we’re going to make a horrendous hockey trade to fill some “narrative”: be it “change of scenery”, “grit/toughness” “stay at home defenseman” etc; and weaken ourselves further.

        Is the roster perfect? No. But the names being bandied about will only create one problem while maybe, maybe fixing a different one. Deck chairs on the Titanic.

        • Cd says:

          The problem is, as sarcastic as you are trying to be, with Sather involved this outrageous trade could actually be close to the mark

          • John B says:


            Something tells me we’re on the verge of making a very bad hockey trade which will only inflate the deployment issues.

            The only hope we have is that the GM of Montreal is really colossally dumb and bad as well as the GM of Edmonton (another rumored trade partner) is also colossally bad and dumb.

    • Brendan says:

      Kreider in Montreal… LOL

      • pas44 says:

        Anyone who types in the name Kreider and Montreal in the same sentence smokes some choice bud my friends…

        I heard they are planning to ask Pope Francis to make Price a bishop soon.

        come on guys!

    • RAY PHILLIPS says:


  2. amy says:

    I could see a trade coming between Montreal and the Rangers and the name that is being bandied about is Kreider as he is not having a good start to the season and the name I am hearing is Galchenyuk he would help the rangers another guy would be Max he would fit fine

  3. Jack says:

    no to Graves…kid is big, plays with a mean streak when he has to and we want to dump him…find someone else to give up.

    • Joe says:

      I agree, I like Graves.Brings something on the back end that we don’t have.. And has the mean streak that we definitely do need.
      Maybe Bereglazov,Holden,maybe Vesey,or Nash,and 2nd rd pick for Galenchyuk or Shaw and a prospect and and a 3rd rd pick.

    • Spozo says:

      The thing with graves is where does he fill in on the Rangers depth chart in the foreseeable future? He is clearly behind Deangelo at this point. I would like the kid to stay with the Rangers but if there isn’t room for him on the roster in the next few years then use him as a trade chip.

  4. Eugene says:

    Holden + Desharneis + AV + Ruff + Arniel for Galy 🙂

  5. Joey says:

    Your statement about the fans running him out of town is false. In fact fans want to see him succeed; it’s the GM and coach that try to break him at every turn. And if you knew anything about the PK trade you’d know that the city was completely outraged when Subban was traded. Didn’t actually push him out of town.

  6. Steve C says:

    Ok so the potential names to trade:

    Holden (guy everyone thinks should not be playing),
    A Pick
    AHL defenseman

    That does not get you a 23 year old cost controlled, top 6, potential second line center that scored 30 goals in the NHL 2 years ago.

    If you want Galcehnyk, it will cost a lot more then Holden, a pick and Graves.

  7. Bloomer says:

    Galensuck is having a poor season. He may not work out. It’s worth a gamble if the Rangers don’t have to give up to much. Smith is replaceable as is Holden if Habs are looking for a dman. Up top maybe dangle Nash as he will be gone next season anyway.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      If Miller or Hayes were having a bad season would you let them go for a pending UFA and middle pair D man who’s going through his own struggles? Galchenyuk’s price will be someone young with equal upside, let’s not fool ourselves.

    • Johnny Red says:

      Forget about Nash. He puts in his 12 teams he can be traded to every July 1st and there are no Canadian teams on that list! I would give them Kreider because he’s a head case who plays when he feels like. I’m sick of hearing about his potential. He’s had 5 years to show what he is and he’s don it.

      • pas44 says:

        Whose gonna trade away anything for Rick at this point, he will be half priced soon enough and probable still too expensive for the 2 way player he has become… I put him at 19 goals this season…

        I agree on moving Kreider for a good return, he doesn’t seem to be hitting this next level again, and IMO won’t do this in NY.

        I’m sure he will shine when he leaves though… Uggg

        but I just can’t see the HABS wanting this guy, and I doubt the Organization does either because of the “Hockey Play”

      • RichS says:

        If Kreider and his 28 goals last season is a head case we need a few more head cases on this team!!!!!!!

        • pas44 says:

          Johnny! He has a good point, the guy is a hockey player with an education, theres no way he is normal in the head my man!

    • Reenavipul says:

      Galchenyuk is tied for the lead in goals scored, leads the team in G/60. No helpers, but largely a function of who he isn’t playing with.

  8. SalMerc says:

    Galchenyuk & Pacioretty & a 2nd round pick for Krieder , Pionk and Zucc.
    Should get this done.

    People need to understand that both teams need a BIG shake-up. This will do that.

    • jrrangersdad says:

      A bit steep from Montreal’s perspective. As much as I agree a shake up is needed I prefer a new coach being a major part of that. Kreider would fetch a boat load at trade deadline so hopefully JG is working on something that doesn’t include one of our current forwards. Holden will be part of any deal. Any AHL Defensemen other than Graves and Day (Jrs) is fine by me but I don’t think any of them makes Montreal happy. As usual a 1st or 2nd rounder will be thrown in somewhere. Maybe a simple Holden, Pionk and 2nd for Galchenyuk gets us there. Nothing earth shattering, but perhaps from there we give Graves a few spins at the NHL level and move DD where he rightfully belongs.

    • pas44 says:

      Montreal taking Chris Kreider isn’t s shake up…
      It’s some other French word for Poo Poo
      The fans still freak out when he is anywhere near that city… if this happens I will eat some of those french fries with curd they call yummy up there

    • RichS says:

      When Pitts penguins were in a bad way a few years ago they DID NOT trade any of their players let alone their BEST players….they CHANGED the coach to Sullivan , brought up a few rookies, gave up next to nothing for hagelin….and won next two cups………
      STOP with the terrible/ stupid/ ridiculous trades of our best young players…..kreider, miller, vesey, buch, zib and hayes……….even sjkel and chytil……..
      When the 78 and 79 islanders lost t the rangers and maple leafs in the playoffs did they trade bossy or gilles or trottier or potvin????????

      • Creature Feature says:

        Different era, no Cap. Unproductive high paid players can no longer be protected. They must be moved to allow GMs flexibility.

        You can love all the players you mentioned, but you need to figure out the value proposition for each – included projected thru the life of their contracts.

      • pas44 says:

        Didn’t the Pens pick up Kessel and 2 D-men as well during that bad time?

      • jeff says:

        RichS right on! A new coach and helpers is what this team needs.
        Is this the end of JG. I think AV has him on the ropes. Do what needs to be done JG and make the necessary change….the guys on ice will respect you cause right now I don’t think they do…..

  9. Reenavipul says:

    Nothing like bringing a drunk to New York City to get him on the straight & narrow.

  10. Peter says:

    While Galchenyuk fits as the type of player the Rangers should covet, I would not lose Hayes, Kreider, or Miller in order to land him. Who does that leave? Zucc? I don’t see them trading that kid for Holden, it is going to take a lot more. It is never good to deal from desperation.

  11. Reenavipul says:

    The question is this: what does it take to get Shaw? Rangers need a bit of jam to take the checking center role so Hayes gets 2nd line minutes.

    What ever it will be, it will be a lot cheaper than anything for Galchenyuk.

    As for Patches, why bother? AV will make him a 20 goal scorer.

  12. Jerry says:


    Caps intended

    Maybe the brain trust who have squandered so many high draft picks which is part of the reason we are in this sad state, will pay attention. And maybe JG will learn from their mistakes.

    I believe 2018 draft is deep with talent. Let’s keep our high picks for a change.

  13. Stevesse says:

    It will be AV for Claude Julien

  14. Leatherneck says:

    Maybe they were looking at Kyle Turris

  15. Creature Feature says:

    Whomever they are looking at, the current players better be ready for the Las Vegas team. After losing to the Icelanders, they will be hungry to get back to their winning ways. I am worried that we may be down 2-0 with less than a minute into the first period.

    As far as trades go, the NYR are not one player away from being a playoff team. More like 2 superstars away. Move players and grab first round picks.

  16. Peter says:

    It is scary that Slats and his stogies were in Montreal. Here’s hoping nothing stupid happens.

  17. Andy says:

    2 ideas
    1. Kreider, Holden and a prospect(Graves) for Galchenyuk and Shaw. The Dollars actually work here. $6.275 mill going out $8.8 mill coming back and we have right about $2.5 to $2.9 mill in space.
    2. Kreider, Nash and Holden and something else(draft pick or prospect or both) for Galchenyuk and Pacioretty? I don’t think we go this route because:
    I do think we make a solid run at Galchenyuk as a stand alone trade. Leading up to signing Kovalchuk next year as a UFA to replace Nash.

  18. pas44 says:

    Miller and a youngster for Galchenyuk.

    it opens up a wing spot, gives up middle depth, and finally get miller away from AV…

  19. jrrangersdad says:

    Miller Hockey IQ is superior to Kreider’s, thus more upside: no way you trade Miller over Kreider. Miller has improved every single year where Kreider plateaus and disappears in playoffs.

    • John B says:

      Bad time to point out that over the same time span, JT Miller has scored 1 playoff goal while Chris Kreider has scored 17 playoff goals?

      Or that Kreider has outproduced Miller 25pts to 16pts?

      All while seeing roughly equal ice time.

      • jrrangersdad says:

        Points don’t tell the full story. All that while, Kreider has played on the top line (#1 or #2 Center) while Miller gets the scraps. Kreider has incredible skill but without the Hockey IQ, expectations will always be high and never attained. Miller can play and contribute to all facets of the game. Kreider can not.

        • John B says:

          Miller was playing with Kevin Hayes the entire season for the most part, including the playoffs.

          So suddenly, the player he scored most of his 56 points with is scraps?

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Thanks, was gonna point out Miller’s poor playoff performance record–especially compared to Kreider–but you beat me to it.

      • jrrangersdad says:

        Last 3 Year’s playoff totals are nearly identical and half of Kreider’s point were on PowerPlay. Considering Kreider had a Top Center and minutes, and bone headed penalties, Miller is my preference to keep.

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          Kreider is a better player than JT Miller. Not even debatable. Kreider’ produced more as a goalscorer already, both in regular season and playoffs. Kreider is also better defensively–Miller is still prone to regular lapses on D.

          Miller was utterly horrible in the playoffs last year; he wouldn’t shoot the puck or attack the net in any way. Given that he’d been one of NYR’s leading scorers that bad playoff was pretty much inexcusable. He’s a perimeter player far too often for a guy whose physicality is allegedly an asset.

          • jrrangersdad says:

            Surely you jest! The mere fact that Kreider with all that speed doesn’t play shorthanded is all you need to know regarding their defensive abilities and hockey IQ. Kreider’s +/- has progressively gotten worse over the past 4 years while Miller’s has gotten better (and surpassed).

            • John B says:

              I just don’t even know where to begin.

              All I can say is, just because a player is used in a situation doesn’t mean that player is good at that situation and/or belongs in that situation. Defense exhibit A- Buchnevich, Pavel. 4th Line minutes, 1st line player.

              Utterly ignoring the complete irrelevance of +/-, I’ll entertain it. Chris Kreider was on the ice for a total of 77 GF and 48 GA. He worked out to a +6, however when using the more accurate, and paulronty’s favorite stat, expected +/- (E+/-) he was a +7.3. JT Miller was on the ice for 74 GF and 63 GA and worked out to a great +17. However, his E+/- was a -10.3. Why? Because the NY Ranger goalies had a high save % on shots that were taken while JT Miller was on the ice.

              Neither Chris Kreider nor JT Miller are perfect players. However, Chris Kreider is the better more well rounded of the two.

              • jrrangersdad says:

                Considering both pools of data would have had to have had at least 500 shots if considering an average .900 Save%, the higher save percentage for Miller implies a poorer quality of shots (less scoring chances given up). Thanks, you helped prove my point.

              • John B says:

                Uh actually the exact opposite. Since you don’t understand it:

                “Hockey Reference is excited to introduce a new advanced hockey statistic we’re calling Expected +/-. This new metric, utilizing league-wide shot location data, shows what we’d expect a player’s +/- to be, based on where his team’s shots and his opponent’s shots came from while we has on the ice in even strength situations. The expected value of these shots is based upon league-wide shooting percentages from the various locations.”

                By Miller having a NEGATIVE E+/- means his overall quality of shots taken was LOW and the overall quality of shots against was HIGH, while Kreider’s was even.

                By JT Miller having a “normal” +/- of +17, means NY Ranger goalies faced TOUGHER shots against but made saves they otherwise might not have.

          • RichS says:

            MC I am a fan of both and i agree kreider so far has been the better goal scorer and more impactful……
            Given their talent, size, speed , physicality, youth, cheap contracts etc I would not trade either …..I would however get them a new coach who can make them better players…..they need to follow freddy sheros philosophy….”skate a straight line to the puck and arrive there with a bad attitude!!! ”
            Again we need a better/different coach and a couple of nasties…..saen avery, ese tikkanen, brandon prust……

    • pas44 says:

      theres something about miller that rubs AV the wrong way, it could be something we would be smart to lose.

      keep CK, drop JT, get those young wingers going…

      if we are bad, play the kids… LGR!!!

      • jrrangersdad says:

        He was a very cocky kid when he first came to the Rangers locker room. Probably didn’t listen to established players nor AV. Doubt most of the young guys did but Miller came across far more cocky than the average kid. He has settled down considerably – or perhaps matured.

  20. Leatherneck says:

    I actually want to unload and let the rebuild begin

    • pas44 says:

      Trade Henrik? get the cement truck in here, pour some foundation…

      see you in 2020

      a few years ago the leafs fans were tossing jerseys on the ice…

      now their wearing shinny new #34’s

      I’ll take that trade off


  21. Charles Hansel says:

    Rangers have put too many years between them and the last Cup! They need that connection, either hire Mike Keenan, 1st choice, or bring Mark Messier in to coach. Secondly, trade for a tier one center. Third, get your big men to play in front of the offensive/defensive net. Last get your defensive pairings figured out and stay with that rotation.

    • pas44 says:

      Pass that Dutchie!

      Neither of those guys can get the job done… leave #11 up where he belongs.. the rafters babe

    • RichS says:

      Well said Mr Hansel………..You are preaching to the choir here……
      besides physical play in front of each net which has cost us dearly, and which has been absent the day AV arrived add to that more physicality and a couple players with a nasty steak and some bad intentions………

  22. Kentric says:

    Where’s Bob Gainey when you need him? Staal for Galchenyuk straight up.