Mitch Marner (Probably) Isn’t Going to be a Ranger

November 24, 2017, by

The Rangers brain trust.

Larry Brooks did what Larry Brooks does earlier this week, when he penned a State of the Rangers column in the New York Post.  Brooks took a fair approach to examining the team, but towards the end of the piece, he wrote the following in regards to the Rangers potentially trading Ryan McDonagh:

“If Gorton could create a bidding war between the clubs that appear the East’s elite, perhaps the Rangers could come back with Mitch Marner from Toronto or perhaps Mikhail Sergachev from Tampa Bay in exchange for the player [McDonagh] who for a half-decade has been the Rangers’ most important athlete other than Lundqvist and who still would have another year and another playoff remaining on his contract.”

As expected, this touched off a firestorm on #RangersTwitter, and the takes began to fly.  Team Sell-Everyone and Team Go-For-It-While-You-Still-Have-Hank formed quickly.  Of course, Brooks knew this would happen, which is why he included buzzy names like Marner and Sergachev.  It’s what makes him a successful columnist, but also what drives the collective Rangers fan-base crazy.

The point of this post isn’t to decry the current state of the Rangers’ media coverage, or to rip on Larry Brooks, who I enjoy most of the time, and is actually one of the more open-minded “old school” members of the NYR beat.  I graduated college with a major in Journalism (the print kind), and I sympathize with the challenges that writers today face, with many media companies pivoting to video and successful writing often judged by clicks and engagement as opposed to quality.  Well-paying jobs are very hard to come by for writers today, and it seems like every week we hear about a major publication shutting its doors and laying off hundreds of great journalists.  It sucks, but I digress.

The point of this post is to remind everyone that we don’t actually know anything about what the Rangers are planning to do, which is why the “trade McDonagh” conversation this week was so absurd.  The value Larry Brooks and the rest of the Rangers beat is supposed to provide is access.  Their almost daily press conferences with Alain Vigneault yield very little insight, and the coach is rarely challenged on the dodgy decisions he makes in regards to the Rangers lineup.  And when was the last time we heard from Jeff Gorton directly?

Do we have any idea what the Rangers think of themselves at the quarter-pole of the 2017-2018 season?  Are they actively exploring the trade market?  Does the team use any analytics in player evaluation (I have still seen zero direct quotes either confirming or denying that they do)?  Was Alain Vigneault’s job ever really in jeopardy earlier this season, and is he safe now?  I realize it’s not as easy as calling Gorton up and asking him these questions, but that’s what reporters are supposed to do.

While I have no doubt that the return for Ryan McDonagh would be substantial, the reality is that – simply based on recent results – the Rangers are more likely to be buyers than sellers at the trade deadline.  So at this point, I feel relatively confident in stating that Mitch Marner is probably not going to be a Ranger.

But maybe we’ll hear differently from Jeff Gorton at some point soon,

"Mitch Marner (Probably) Isn't Going to be a Ranger", 3 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.


  1. Reenavipul says:

    Nothing like stoking a bidding war by shutting your best trade chip down for a week.

    • Bobby B says:

      Spot on Reenavipul!!

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      What? So it would be better to have the surgery right now? THAT would increase his trade value?

      You really love to just throw things up against the wall at times to see what sticks don’t you?

      • Reenavipul says:

        Like you write elsewhere, you’re not trading someone that’s hurt. If they are trading him and bidders will deal for him on condition that he’s fine after the shutdown, then Slats has nothing on GMJG.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          A trade is not going to be consummated without an exchange of medical information. If McDonagh is as seriously injured as you say he is, then whether he has surgery now or not is irrelevant. He would be compromised and therefore his trade value would be diminished.

          • Mancunian Candidate says:

            Looks like the self-appointed NYR diagnostic specialist is wrong again, if McD is involved in trade talks than obviously he’s not hurt that badly. Shocking! Who’d have thunk it?

            • Reenavipul says:

              If he’s not hurt badly, then he’s been taking maintenance days for over a month and they shut him down for a week for what reason?

              Was it part of a long con to keep McD going long enough to trade him that fell through? Or is McD just been hurt and gotten worse, So Larry decided to fill some column inches on what he thought a slow news day with an old idea before it got moldy?

              Stunad i stronzo is no way to go through life.

              • Mancunian Candidate says:

                You’re not a doctor, regardless of how much you may imagine yourself to be one. You’re the one making laughably wrong, needlessly dire predictions about supposed player injuries based off television viewing. If you’re gonna spew it, at least stand by it.

              • Reenavipul says:

                Remember: this is the medical staff that let Girardi play the game after the game he fractured his kneecap. So if they’re shutting him down, it’s preventive after the barn door is closed medicine. So you can get it; it’s like putting on a condom after your gal is pregnant. No, wait; for you it’s like putting on a condom so you don’t get your fist pregnant.

                I know thinking is hard for you and I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself by having to do it.

                For all I know, you might see the same doctors in some sort of bizarre jock sniffing by proxy.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Real classy Reena…way to elevate the conversation. Typical. Whenever anyone disagrees, you’ll revert to the most childish response possible. But that’s ok, because we all know that just means it’s your way of saying you have no reasonable response. So sadly, in your frustration, you morph into Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. What a pleasant individual you must be in real life!

                Come on….we all expect more from the Hockey Oracle…although perhaps we shouldn’t.

              • Mancunian Candidate says:

                Ha, what a lame response. As usual you’ve got nothing to back up your statements, Reena. And be as crass as you want to be, it says more about you than me. You, on the other hand? You’re a joke.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                MC…even if he WAS a doctor, no doctor is going to pretend they can diagnose an injury with any degree of certainty without examining the patient. We have medical experts on my various newscasts quite often. What they always do is lay out the possibilities of what a situation COULD be. No one can diagnose anything with certainty based on news reports or what they see on TV. Most responsible medical professionals know that. With Reena we are obviously dealing with someone who fits the classic mold here….he knows just enough to be dangerous. Very dangerous.

                As to his points previously about Girardi two years ago, Staal last year, and McDonagh this year, I have to scratch my head here and wonder if he really is a hockey fan at all. Girardi had a slight fracture of his knee cap. Pain management was all it was. He was medically cleared to play. He played. Staal was medically cleared to play last year after he passed concussion protocol. He played. McDonagh, we don’t yet know. But it was more than reasonable to try and play through the injury. What a shock! Hockey players playing through some degree of pain!!!! How in the world could the Rangers allow such a thing? I mean, when do hockey players ever do that?

                My goodness. I don’t even know what to say here. I know you (MC) aren’t a fan of AV and that’s ok, I respect that. We have debated and you make points, I make points. All good. But Reena’s “AV hate” is based on nonsense that is beyond belief. He would have us all believe that AV is the most powerful figure in the organization, that he has full control of the front office and all medical matters, and that he willfully puts his players’ careers in jeopardy, even though this has never been reported by anyone ever. Not even Larry Brooks, who would certainly have gotten some sniff of this after four years now wouldn’t he?

                And Reena can’t even get his timeline straight. At the time Brooks wrote the article about the possibility of McDonagh being dealt, it’s highly improbable anyone outside of the organization knew anything about the Capatin’s situation. That wasn’t reported until the next day.

                Yes, it will come as a real shock I guess to Reena, that’s likely exactly what happened—it was a slow news day. Brooks had such a column ready to go. That column could have run any day at all. There was likely nothing suspicious at all about Brooks putting out that column. He is simply speculating about an idea that we’ve all speculated about….McDonagh’s deal is up at the end of next year. He will likely command a big raise. He may possibly want to go home, who knows? If the Rangers are not legitimately in the playoff race trading McDonagh is a very reasonable idea. Just because Brooks speculated on it doesnt mean any discussions whatsoever have taken place. So the injury and the trade talk are likely totally unrelated events.

                Totally bizarre musings from Reena but sadly this is what we get at times from the Oracle.

              • Reenavipul says:

                E3, RE: Girardi, your timeline is shifted.

                Girardi broke his kneecap against Vancouver December 9, 2015.

                Played against Edmonton December 11th(go look at the message board that day to see comments about him playing on one leg FROM THE WARMUPS.) where Girardi was on for 6 GOALS AGAINST.

                The medical staff is really sharp because he was out against Calgary the next night, went on IR after that.

                THAT medical staff. I’m surprised McDonagh does leave a snail trail on ice with his duodenum dragging behind him.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Again, you have NO idea, none, zero what went on in that room and what evaluations were made during those decisions two years ago. Professional athletes generally have a high pain tolerance. Certainly Dan Girardi, aka RoboCop, was famously able to play through anything. He might not have been very forthright about what he was going through. An initial exam might not have revealed the extent of the injury, as some fractures, especially if it was a hairline variety, aren’t always easy to detect. I know this first hand, since this happened to me personally when I was playing baseball. Sometimes, you think it’s just a bad bruise but then it turns out to be something more. For a more modern example, look no further than Mark Teixiera, who, when he was with the Yankees near the end of his career, suffered a leg injury. They thought it was a bone bruise. Turned out to be a fracture. It took the doctors a few weeks to determine the extent of the injury. He tried to play through…couldn’t do it. It happens. That doesnt make the Yankees medical staff a bunch of incompetent idiots does it?

                Let’s assume the Rangers got it wrong in the Girardi case. Again, we are talking about the Rangers medical staff here. They have an incredible reputation, but no doctor or trainer is 100%. To denigrate them for one mistake, assuming it even was a mistake, is just way over the top and very unfair. To further make the leap that they are getting it all wrong with McDonagh is an even further stretch. And then to somehow say that AV is a “schmuck” for following the medical people’s advise makes zero sense at all.

                Personally, I think it is reprehensible to impugn people’s character in this way, especially in the anonymity of the blogosphere. You are basically saying the entire Rangers organization is morally bankrupt, and has engaged in a coverup of incompetency when it comes to medical issue, thus putting players in harms’ way. Would you be willing to write an Op-Ed in The NY Times, or The Hockey News, using your real name and citing your actual background, to make that claim? Somehow I doubt it.

                Now, that being said, on McDonagh, you may well be right about his need for surgery. We may learn tomorrow that he has a more serious injury. That happens in sports medicine. But my hunch is that the Rangers are not trying to create a smokescreen. Why do that? If they were concerned it was something more, they would have simply said, he’s undergoing testing, we should know more in a few days, and not even categorize the extent of the strain. Why say it’s a mild strain if it’s not? What does that accomplish? I suspect that he will be fine. It is likely just something that needs some rest. Or, if it is more than that, than perhaps they were derterming if other alternatives were possible, or the player himself wanted to get a second opinion and wanted time to think about it. Why an immediate decision would have to be made on surgery of this nature is something you still have not explained and certainly the delay doesn’t make anyone a “schmuck” here.

                Or maybe I should correct that…no one associated with the Rangers organization.

                We hopefully will know more tomorrow.

  2. Richter1994 says:

    This coming from the “insider” who swore that Shatty was not coming here.

    Larry’s “sources” with the Rangers are gone and he really does not have the inside info that he used to.

  3. Chris F says:

    I agree that I doubt the Rangers will be sellers come the deadline.

    Alot of assumptions go into this, but assuming McDonagh is not in fact going to be missing substantial amounts of time, and assuming that the Smith we’ve seen over the last few games is here to stay, and assuming that Lettieri or Chytil will be called up at some point to stabilize the forward corps, then I believe, and more importantly the front office believes, this is a team that not only can make the playoffs, but can compete in a conference that is still pretty wide open.


    *Kampfer (or maybe one of the Harford kids) in reserve

    This is a fairly competitive lineup, despite the rocky start.

    The PP can make teams pay, the PK has been above average, and one has to assume that ES scoring will start to make an uptick (there are already signs of this).

    This is a roster with 11 guys projected to get 40+ point campaigns, including 5 projected to hit 60 points, including Zibanejad on pace for 82 points (been awhile since the Rangers have had an elite producer like that).

    Hank is rounding into form, and the defense has shown glimpses of being able to play a structured shutdown game.

    Unless the bottom falls out, the front office isn’t likely to be inclined to scrap the whole thing come the deadline.

    • Reenavipul says:

      I’d posit that Hank is rounding into form because the D is playing a structured game.

      That goal he gave up over his glove hand against Chicago? Finally got to see the replay. He was square to the shooter, glove hand in the right place, didn’t dip his paw like he had been doing early in the year.

      When that puck came off the stick, there was zero reaction. None. He was square, had a clean look. Not even a late reaction. ZERO.

      Not sure it means anything, but it’s what I saw.

      • Chris F says:

        Against Chicago? I don’t think he gave up any glove side snipes that game. All those goals were in the paint and tips.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Reena is having a rough day. I believe it was the Columbus game that he was referring to when Hank gave up the glove side goal. That was a blast. It happens.

          Obviously, Reena is right to an extent. But it’s a chicken and egg thing. Hank is rounding into form. Defense is playing better. Both have been important factors in Hank’s stellar save percentage in November. It rarely is just one thing.

          • Reenavipul says:

            You both are correct, it was Columbus. Tough remembering things when you’ve not been in the same city two nights in a row for a fortnight.

            • Mancunian Candidate says:

              Doesn’t stop you from shooting your mouth off though, I see. At some point maybe you’ll shut up through sheer embarrassment of being constantly wrong? Maybe within another fortnight you’ll get it back together.

  4. Pete says:

    We’ll see what the team looks like as the trade deadline nears. As I’ve stated ad nauseam, I fear the panic move buy that trades valuable assets for a Hail Mary hope that one player will make all the difference. They usually are deals where the Rangers get fleeced. I’d much rather fleece the other team and build for the future. But that’s me, and I don’t run the team.

  5. michael says:

    As I see it McDonagh is over rated. Time to dump him and bring back assets this season. There are plenty of defense men within the organization to step up and fill the hole. Time for a rebuild is at hand! McDonagh Nash Zuc Stahl and Holder shipped out for prospects and kids! While the Iron is hot strike. But then again this lame asp General Manager gave Stephan away for a nickle on the dollar. Colorado had a similar player and hit the lottery. What else would Ranger fans expect! Deal Youth for Old washed up Stars, destroy the youth and make the worst trades hockey has ever seen. NYR

  6. bernmeister says:

    Good article, but your conclusion is seriously flawed.

    The Rangers WILL be sellers, not buyers.
    This is less about making another cup run which is hit and miss at best
    and more about BUILDING the team.

    Once and for all these stupid impulses to do win now and the idiotic trades that reeked of desperation must finally bend, buckle and break and give way to sanity.

    Regardless of how much it helps/doesn’t this season:

    senior vets incl McD + Zuc + Smith will be traded.

    A young core of Kreider, Miller, Zib, Skjei and a couple of others will be added to.

    Marner looks nice but he is real boom bust material like nearly all smaller players. Pass. A guy like Zuc shows up, free, proves himself, earns his contract, hell yeah. But it is bad odds to pay valuable assets for a smaller guy on the hope he turns into Patrick Kane.

    McD + Andersson
    Chabot + Paget