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Feb
01

There are no half measures in selling

February 1, 2018, by
mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

As soon as the rumors hit about the Rangers selling, names started flying. Ryan McDonagh. Mats Zuccarello. Rick Nash. Michael Grabner. Nick Holden. Henrik Lundqvist. Every name on the roster was mentioned, as a full gutting of the team was being envisioned by many.

Let’s be real for a moment. I doubt Hank is getting traded. Which means if the Rangers are truly punting this season, they are going to gear up for next season and the season after as a last ditch effort to get Hank a Cup. In the event of a full tear down, the Rangers likely wouldn’t be ready for a Cup run for 3-4 years, especially if they are content with getting picks and not NHL ready players.

And therein lies the biggest risk of the sale, if it happens. The Rangers have to toe a very fine line between selling and remaining competitive. The Yankees did a good job in 2016, but had young borderline star talent waiting in the wings and a coach willing to play that young talent. The Yankees also did not have a franchise player who has never won a Cup in what is likely the last phase of his career.

So the Rangers will need to make a critical decision. They need to decide if they are going to tear it down, or selectively sell and retool. There is no wrong decision when selecting from those two options. But as Pat mentioned on the podcast: If the Rangers take a half measure, then this will not go well.

By half measure, we mean simply one thing. If the Rangers trade Ryan McDonagh, then Mats Zuccarello also needs to go. If the Rangers do not trade McDonagh, then Zuccarello should be kept as well. It is not one or the other. It is both or none. Go all in on the sell, or go all in on the retool. There is no wrong answer here. It’s clear what Option 1 brings us. Option 2 may mean keeping McDonagh and Zucc, but it still means getting a good return for Nash and Grabner, while getting whatever you can for Holden and Desharnais.

Going all in on the sell means transitioning this team to Mika Zibanejad, Brady Skjei, and Pavel Buchnevich. It means leaning on Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, Neal Pionk, Ryan Graves, and Tony DeAngelo. There’s plenty of young talent, with some potential elite talent mixed in. It is a viable option.

Keeping both McDonagh and Zuccarello means keeping top line/pairing players at cost controlled salaries for one last kick at the can. It means leaning on them while also giving big minutes to the players mentioned above. It means we don’t wait 3-4 years for a Cup run. It means we maybe wait until next year or the year after. It means Hank can make one last run.

Again, there is no wrong answer here. The only player on this team I feel loyal to is Hank, so I feel the team owes it to him to make one last real run, which to me means retooling. However a part of me likes the prospect of getting some top prospects and picks for Zuccarello and McDonagh and entering a new era of Rangers hockey. The only wrong answer here is a half measure. Don’t hedge. Make a decision and stick with it. All eyes are on you, Jeff.

"There are no half measures in selling", 2 out of 5 based on 17 ratings.

76 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    I mostly agree, but I also think some other players may need to go if we are in the true sell mode. Players like Hayes and JT are floundering. While still somewhat young, their careers are going nowhere. This is a true change-of-scenery scenario for them, and it might reap hefty returns.

    If McD & Nash go, maybe instead of Zucc, you dangle Hayes and JT as that return might be better.

    Zucc might be the glue that kids like Andersson and Chytil need.

    • Agentsmith says:

      no thanks. Similar points… Im keeping the guys 6 years younger and double the size.

    • jrrangersdad says:

      Regarding Hayes and JT I think at this stage I am confident in saying it more of a byproduct of AV and his system/deployment.

    • Ray says:

      not watching carefully enough — Hayes is really the #1 forward on the team. You don’t trade him. OTOH, JT is just a forward with talent. You can keep him or trade him if the return is right.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        “Hayes is the #1 forward on this team”—hahahahahahaha!! You may need to see a doctor, you’re imagining a whole lot about this current Ranger season.

        Hayes is 8th among NYR forwards in scoring. 2nd among centers in faceoffs. 5th in Corsi. But yeah—he’s currently the best 20-point forward this league has ever seen!

    • CTfan says:

      In reality, the best answer is a change of scenery for a hapless coach.

    • cuch48 says:

      After watching a team last night that showed no passion, no skill, no defense, I hope the powers that be realize that this is a team that doesn’t deserve to make the playoffs. I think no one should be untouchable at this point.
      And sorry Hank, your time is come and gone.
      time for new coaching staff, new players and a new attitude cause this group ain’t cutting it.

  2. amy says:

    this team in the next few weeks will be playing pivotal games beginning tonight with the Maple Leafs and then going on the road to play Nashville who got Mike Fisher back and Dallas and then coming home to play Boston and Calgary so this what you do you add not subtract meaning you get a partner for Ryan Mac get more grit just play your game

  3. Agentsmith says:

    Great post. Ive said before on here that the team needs a new identity . that means completely cleaning out the non hank vets some of whom were here from tort days. BC lot of our instincts are from his days.

    Its fine if they want to give hank another run… Then keep every one and call up chytil instead of running a garbage bottom 6 out there.

  4. JERRY MALEY says:

    AV likes veterans over youth so perhaps we can pry the Sedin twins out of the Nortwest.. 🙂

    • flatbush says:

      I take that was a sarcastic comment. We are thinking backwards about talking players without replacing the coaching staff. They have to go first. That is really starting in the right direction.

    • CTfan says:

      Or bring back Brian Leetch.

  5. Pony says:

    Great call out to the single greatest monologue in television history.

  6. Peter says:

    Largely agree with your sentiments Dave. Regarding Nash and Grabner, their UFA statuses and the injuries to Shatty and Kreider mandate that they be dealt at this time. The team is not going to suddenly revive and become a powerhouse on its way to the cup this season under the circumstances.

    Dealing McDonough, Holden and Zuccarello are moves to manage assets and to secure the future. McDonough is set to earn a big raise soon and the team may not be able to afford to pay him and remain competitive. Still, it goes without saying that you don’t deal McDonough unless you get a haul for him. Zuccarello is cost controlled but may bring more in a trade in terms of young players or picks than he is worth to the team despite his dedication and effort. So it makes sense to test the market. Holden is playing fairly well. The Rangers might steal a younger pkayer by dealing him.

  7. pas44 says:

    Grabner will not be traded. Keeping MAC for his last season on the cheap too.

    unless Nash brings in talent ready to play the next 2 years he is staying a ranger as well.

    • pas44 says:

      I love it, sure thumb me down now, you’ll see…

      this organization wants this team to rebound and isn’t moving Grabner, MAC and unless NASH can pull in immediate usable talent, he is not leaving either….

      🙂 cheers

      • Peter says:

        I don’t see how they rebound enough not to be sellers with two very key players out. If you are correct, thenI think that they are the same old Rangers’ front office and are ensuring a middling team for the foreseeable future.

        Mike Grabner should love being a Ranger; it is a great fit. But if they let someone grab him at the deadline they could have a shot at resigning him if he’d take less dough to be in New York. Nash is in the same boat, but I’d pass on reigning him because of age and injury history unless they can’t find a winger.

        Win now is simply not going to work for this team and I’d be extremely disappointed if they fail to take the opportunity to restock the franchise.

  8. Monty says:

    I think the Trouba’s injury is a real opportunity for Rangers!

    Winnipeg needs some help as they are going to play offs! And Rangers don’t need to be good if they choose to sell. They need to be good next season.

    I’m not saying that McD necessarily needs to be in that trade but Gorton should explore all the options 🙂

    • Peter says:

      I watched the Jets beat the Bolts a couple of nights ago. They were pretty impressive against a very good team.

  9. Swarty says:

    As Brook’s noted yesterday the NYR have 13 games until the deadline to prove (or not) that they are a contender. So who do they play in the 13 games and just as importantly who does everyone else in the Metro play and how will the results affect the standings?

    Inquiring minds want to know….so I have been working on something along these lines for a bit and it is interesting.

    The driver of this analysis was the Ranger’s pre-deadline run of 2015/16 where they were lights out for about 12 games and then ended up with Eric Staal as the deadline door prize and then got beat up badly by the Pens. My concern was the effect that winning 9 or 10 of the 13 would have on the deadline process. I’m all for success but I am also realistic enough to see that:
    1) The Rangers are a flawed team and their chances of having a successful playoff run are not good.
    2) There is an “almost perfect storm” on the horizon that, with some savvy execution , has the potential to reload this team with young high-end talent and a bevy of early round draft picks.

    So – start with the standings as of today 2/1/18:
    -9 points separate #1 Wash & #8 Car
    – The NYR are one point out of a playoff spot and 2 points from being in last place

    Then look at each team’s schedule from now until the deadline – home/away, strength of their scheduled opponents (based on pts earned against the 2pt eligible for each game), and then add one more wrinkle – intra-Metro games where each game has a potential 4 point swing.

    Pts H A Div St of Sch
     Washington 63 5 7 3 0.555
     Pittsburgh 59 5 6 4 0.579
     New Jersey 58 8 5 8 0.574
     Columbus 58 6 6 9 0.583
     Philadelphia 56 5 7 6 0.518
     NY Rangers 55 6 7 2 0.572
     NY Islanders 55 7 4 5 0.558
     Carolina 54 10 2 5 0.544

    So here is what I see:
    Home/Away – Pretty even – EXCEPT Carolina has 10 of 12 at Home
    Division Games – Some variation – But CBJ has 9 of 12, NJD 8 of 13, NYR 2 of 13
    Schedule Strength – Similar with some interesting variation – CBJ toughest at .583, PHL easiest by far at .518, NYR at .572

    The Biggest Takeaways:
    -CBJ has the toughest schedule AND has 9 of 12 in the division – that is a tough road – we shall see how Torts manages this
    -Carolina has the 2nd easiest schedule AND 10 of 12 at home 5 of 12 in the division – should be good news for the Canes

    As for the Ranger’s – well they have 4th toughest schedule but only have 2 in the division – the thing that is concerning to me is that the lack of div games and whether that is a good thing or a bad thing – much of the division is playing each other in 4 point swing games and the Ranger’s will be off doing their own thing.

    The Ranger’s post deadline division schedule of 10 games is pretty much in line with everyone but Columbus (4). If you believe the Metro Division is the toughest then that would seem to say that the NYR current position is indicative of having the toughest part of their schedule complete.

    Is that Good or Bad? Deal or no Deal? I am just not sure…

    (I am not sure how the table format will look when posted – if it is not too readable I will try another way. )

    • Swarty says:

      Awaiting moderation for almost 90 minutes? I thought it was a good informative post. Did I say something wrong?

      • Dave says:

        I do have an actual job. I can’t check comments all the time.

        My recommendation – shorter comments. Long ones seem to catch the spam filter.

        • Swarty says:

          Fair enough Dave – no worries.

          Actually, I don’t know how you do all the BSB stuff and are able to keep your day job.

          Many thanks from all of us

    • Brendan says:

      This comment is blog-post worthy. Well done.

    • sherrane says:

      Good work and a great post.

      “As for the Ranger’s – well they have 4th toughest schedule but only have 2 in the division – the thing that is concerning to me is that the lack of div games and whether that is a good thing or a bad thing…”

      I think it is a bad thing. The Rangers have a chance to get hot, but not make up much ground. They have a chance to be mediocre and gain ground and regain playoff position. They have a chance to be below .500, but still be in the race. Let’s say they had Columbus’ schedule. Get hot, leap into 3rd place or higher because they are passing the teams they are beating. Mediocre, they’ll probably sink in the standings. Below .500? Next year.

    • odielicious says:

      Great post!

      I dont see them making the playoffs no matter how they do these next 10 games.

      Rangers have to go 21-11 just to hit 96 points which should get any team into the playoffs.

      19 games of the remaining 32 are on the road. With quite a few long road trips with a stop home for a game and then back on the road again.

      The only teams worse on the road are arizona, montreal, ottawa.

      Presently this team has a .363% on the road. .607% on home ice.

      So that works out to about 7 wins out of the 19 on the road that the rangers should win. That is 14 points.

      Then on home ice they simply would have to go undefeated and in doing so would gain 22 points. For a grand total of 32 points added to their present total of 55.

      And that just isn’t good enough. 87 Points is not making the playoffs. 91 points is the lowest total to make the playoffs in the last 5 years. It is not impossible for them to make the playoffs just highly unlikely considering their strength of schedule.

      A team that wouldn’t shock me to make the playoffs would be carolina. I think that they have all the pieces just no goaltending. If they could get one of their goalies to get hot I honestly could see them make the playoffs for the first time in 9 years. The whole game last time against the Rangers I felt carolina was the better team they just didn’t believe it.

      • Swarty says:

        Thanks and totally agree – looks like you’ve done some homework of you own.

        The Canes are 11-7-4 at home coming into a 10 of 12 stretch and the 2nd easiest schedule leading up to the deadline.

        They are up and comer’s and could very well be a buyer and a destination for Nash perhaps????

        Maybe we can just reverse the Eric Staal trade and get two number 2’s and a prospect back? Probably not enough for Nash at the deadline though – need at least a number one and then some

      • Art says:

        Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

        yes, the Rangers have struggled on the road this year but previously one of if the top road team in the league. There is a lot of hockey to be played. Keep the faith. LGR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Leatherneck says:

    Again Lundqvist rares it’s ugly head, so do a half assed rebuild to salvage his remaining years to hope for a cup? Get the F out of here.

    This path will lead to mediocrity for another 10 years.Lundqvist must go for both his sake and the teams sake. Only his fans will be butthurt but that’s ok because most of them will switch teams and thank the Lord for that when it happens.

    So here we are with prime assets to ensure a path to a successful rebuild and thoughts are out there to derail it because of 1 goalkeeper. I have news for you, the goalkeeper is not the main asset to win you a cup.

    So we have a goalkeeper that can truly be a value in a trade to drive in a nice haul and talk is to keep him and devalue him? Please explain this logic to me.

    • Peter says:

      Leather, even if the Rangers were looking to trade Lundqvist, his contract would be a huge impediment to any trade. Not many could afford him, if any at all could.

    • Spozo says:

      I think it’s funny that you need to label a group of people as “his fans” as if it weren’t implied that literally everyone but you and Seivequest are Lundqvist fans.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        I think Sieve & Leather are the same poster, Spozo. Writing style, opinions, “philosophy”, etc seem quite similar.

        • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

          Nope … We may both reside in warmer climate States … Not the same person though 😉 …. No team should be built around a high Priced goalie . They need to be built around a high priced center with a second line center and a few leading role guys that can steer the youth . Love McD but he’s no Captain and is gonna want a but load of money .
          Then you got Hank which someone just said it , nobody can afford to get him under the Cap … Ding ding ding ding .. Hello is this thing on ? Lmao

        • Leatherneck says:

          I assure you we are not

        • Dave says:

          They aren’t. That was the first thing I checked a few months ago.

    • Swarty says:

      I think this is a really valid point. If it ever came to that point – where would Hank agree to go?

      He is not going Ottawa, Minnesota, Buffalo or Winnipeg if you get the drift.

      I was thinking LA based on his lifestyle. He’s definitely a big city guy. But they already have Quick.

      Toronto might be a fit – they could use him and they have assets to bring back.

      I can hear the Garden now – Igor!! Igor!! Igor!!

    • Egelstein says:

      As has been noted myriad times before…N…M…C. Even all other hurdles aside, Hank is going to need to sign off on being traded.

      The other factor here (aside from your continued asinine stance regarding Hank’s performance) is that Shestyorkin is in Russia with absolutely no guarantee they could convince him to come over before that contract is up, and I don’t know if you’ve seen the AHL goalies lately… but it’s kinda ugly down there.

      Moving Hank, IF they found a suitor and IF Hank signed off, would not be part of a rebuild. That would be part of a complete tear down. That would be full on tank mode territory.

      The other thing that gets me about you very small percentage of fans who are for this…why are you so damn confident that tearing it down will guarantee a better result ___ years down the road? Buffalo has had 8 first round picks since 2012, all in the first half of the round, 5 of which were 8th pick or better. They’re still garbage. Picks are great, but they still need to be used wisely.

      • Ben says:

        Hank will OK a trade if they tell him they’re selling everyone and going full rebuild. Try to get him to a contender.

  11. tanto says:

    I wrote these exact same things yesterday in the Brady Skjei blog . As long as Hank is here they won’t go all in on a full rebuild and that’s fine with me — as long as they sell the UFAs this year and don’t buy. Besides, there’s always time next year for a fire sale.

    These guys deserve a few more kicks at the can, just get rid of AV — he’s rotting up on the shelf life.

  12. Andy says:

    This is most likely going to be a 2 tiered process…phase 1..Grabner, Nash and If you can Holden and Deharnais will go ahead of the trade deadline. McDonaugh and Zucc staying or going is going to be dependent on what teams are willing to pay for starters. If no one is willing to pay the price at the deadline I imagine this conversation resumes again at the draft. They get a kick at the can one more time and after that if no cup, they will get moved. So a mini re do followed by a bigger sell later. I don’t agree Zucc and Mc D both need to go. You need a veteran presence around to work with the kids. (other than Cody McLeod) I would probably keep Zucc because Mc D will bring back more and it’s going to be hard to see us resign him after next season. No objection to moving both, but has to make sense. I also think Hayes could come in to play next season if Andersson and Chytil work out. If those 2 make the team next year where will Hayes fit? Can’t see him being 4C. Also have to imagine they fire the coaching staff (ex Allaire) so they will want the next group involved in the draft process.

    All that said if Chytil and Andersson work out and you trade away all the folks mentioned but Zucc. Top line still Buch-Zib-Kreider second line Zucc-Cyhtil- Miller Third line Andersson,-Hayes-Vesey fourth Line Fast- Nieves- Letteri. Assuming you get someone good in the Mc D trade(Marner or Nylander as examples, not saying but assuming it would take that to move him) Miller moves to the 3rd line and Leterri as the 13 F.

    D looks like
    Skeji-Shatt
    Smith-Pionk
    Staal-Di Angelo
    Graves

    Also we should be in good shape for cap space. With the cap going up to $80mill? and Nash’s contract coming off the books, the young centers make the team with will be on entry level deals and we should have no problem resigning our RFA’s.

    That’s your foundation to build off of. Mix in some draft picks from the trades and you have a shot to draft a solid D man or 2 in the first round. You have Gettinger and Ronning ripping it up in the minors. Also consider Igor waiting in the wings to come over and hopefully get a year or 2 of mentoring with Hank. So as much as this year sucks I actually think our future looks pretty bright. In spite of the fact management has really mortgaged the future these past couple of years.

  13. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Seriously I’m tired of hearing this Hank doesn’t have a ring shit. This shouldn’t be about Hank. It should be about doing what’s best for the long term health of the franchise. Which is what the Yankees finally did. If it’s about Hank the sell off is doomed from the start. I would trade Hank to St. Louis for Robert Thomas,Jake Allen a first and three. Move on. Stop with the patchwork. One cup in 75 plus years FCKN laughable.

  14. Ray says:

    Dave, I am glad you are not the GM. This needs to be about the Rangers. It should not be about what we owe Hank. He is getting paid very nicely.

    First, the Rangers need t decide when they want to win the Cup. NY impatience (not debt to Hank) suggest sooner rather than later BUT they need to be realistic and maybe waiting a few years is the right course. Second, if this means no Cup for Hank, I’d be honest and tell him what I was doing. If you want a Cup, it won’t be here. If YOU want a trade to a contender, we will accommodate you, but we are not asking you to waive your NMC for our benefit. Third, I make trades that advance my plan, keeping guys who fit in and trading guys who don’t.

    And, if everyone can agree that you have taken no half measures, I will assert that you have behaved simplistically and therefore foolishly.

  15. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Original post taken down,WOW. I’m tired of hearing Hank has to have a ring. We have to do things to get Hank a ring before he retires. Seriously whatever is done and I say sell top assets. Should be done for the long term health of the franchise. That’s what the Yankees finally did. Trade McD for a NHL ready stud to be a number one and second. Nash for a first and NHL talent or 2/3. Grabner for a first and third. Zuccarello first or NHL ready talent and third. Trade Holden, Staal and David D. If the sell off is about Hank it’s doomed from the start. I would send Hank to St. Louis for Robert Thomas, Jake Allen a first round pick and a 2/3. Stop with the patchwork approach and move on. Seriously one cup in 75 plus years. Seriously!

    • Ray says:

      JFTR, Zuccarello took less money to stay a Ranger. Lundqvist did not. I am not saying you can’t trade Zuc, but if you start thinking about what you owe to your players, Hank should not be first on the list.

    • Egelstein says:

      That’s not what the Yankees did. I don’t know why this is being thrown around so much as a comparison point. They didn’t tear it all down in a fury. Look at the 2009 roster, last time they won the WS…that core simply played with the Yankees until they were naturally at the end of the line, and fortunately for the team, the timing was such that those guys all saw their careers come to a close within a few years of each other. Jeter, Posada, A-Rod, Damon, Texeira, Matsui, etc…none of those guys were shipped off for huge hauls in order to rebuild. They naturally came to the end of their line with the Yankees.

      Nash, Zucc, Hank – these guys are past their peaks, yes. But they aren’t done. I’m not really advocating for or against a certain approach from the Rangers, here…I’m just saying, the Yankees rebuild was not as overnight as some folks like to present it.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        Excuse me but did I miss the Rangers core winning FIVE CUPS? Those guys WON seriously they WoN. They earned the right to retire YANKEES and have their numbers retired. Seriously did I miss something?

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        Who said they torn it down in a fury? They changed their approach after not winning for more than several years. Yes they let the core retire but that core won multiple rings. They then started to patch again forgetting that Gene Michael put that core together thru the draft homegrown. They changed their approach. Started to draft better,scout better and develope players in house. Made smart trades for prospects when needed. Instead of going all in two years ago they sold. They’re now set up for years to come. This should be the Rangers model for the health of the franchise not Hank. It’s the SWEATER.

        • Egelstein says:

          Moving Hank is tearing it down in a fury. I addressed why I think that above in a different comment. That’s a pure tank territory level move IMO. You’re not gonna get a cherry return for a goalie making that much – that’s not to say that I believe Hank is not worth his paycheck, just that it’s a lot for any other team to take on out of the blue AND give up a cherry return for. Not impossible, just seems unlikely.

          My terminology of tearing it down in a fury is not so much to illustrate that you said that is exactly what the Yankees did, but rather to say that’s what the Rangers would be doing in moving Hank while he is still performing at a high level despite getting up there in age – and that’s not the same as what the Yankees did.

          • HARLEMBLUES says:

            It’s not that the said players are past there prime. It’s that they haven’t won anything to earn another shot. My point is you have to move on to another core. The Yankees again FINALLY did that while the Rangers keep trying to patch things. The run is over by this core it’s been over. The Yankees extended their core but they won and earn everything they got. But the Yankees still held on to long after the last championship. The changed their approach and the Rangers should do the same. This core didnt win a cup and people need to face that fact. Sell, perfect time to restock move on.

      • Ray says:

        Zuccarello is only 30 and is on a path to a career high in scoring. Not at all clear he is past his peak.

        • Egelstein says:

          Fair enough. Either way, my point is that none of the important Rangers are at the “riding off into the sunset” point like the Yankees players were when they finally left the organization and the team moved to the direction of rebuilding.

    • Dave says:

      Original post taken down?

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        I put a post up and it wasn’t there later? No biggie just wanted to point it out.

  16. Ray says:

    There are no players in Hartford who absolutely belong in the NHL, a handful who are marginal players at this point, a handful more who will develop, and a slew of players who never will belong. For example, Ryan Graves is a washout. Just because he excited us a couple years back does not make him an NHL player. Neal Pionk was not an NHLer in October and I doubt he is now, but who knows. There may be some guys on your list who are valid, but the Rangers simply do not have this great group of kids that AV is refusing to play.

    • mike says:

      Ryan Graves is a wash out? Based on what???
      No Players in Hartford…except for Chytil, Lias and Vinni

      I have been to 9 Pack games the last two years and he is definitely worthy of a chance to play at the NHL level. Will he be anything more than a low end 2nd pair guy, probalby not….but definitely NHL Caliber.

      Its not about a great group of kids that AV is refusing to play…its a bout a group of kids that we dont know what we have because AV has this AHL caliber group of veterans that he continues to play.

      • Ray says:

        The Rangers have a bunch of people who may or may not be better than you at evaluating talent who have actually seen Graves et al play a lot more than you have. They look at his AHL play and extrapolate what he could do at the NHL level.

        When Graves was not chosen to be a black ace last April, that said to me that the Rangers were not high on him. And I take that to mean not Kampfer level any time soon.

        Now you may be more perceptive than the Ranger brass — and the Rangers hung on to Graves in the “hope we’re wrong” tradition and maybe he has stepped it up.

        • Egelstein says:

          Professional scouts miss constantly. Obviously. If they didn’t, every first rounder would be a hit and every seventh rounder would be a bust. It’s a tough job. If you put three scouts together to watch a young player, you might get three completely different projections for that player’s career trajectory from those three scouts.

          It’s not even about the “kids”, though – Mike hits the nail on the head with his last paragraph. It’s not about what is at the AHL level as much as it is about what isn’t at the NHL level. This may come as a shock to you, but not all organizations wait so long to give a player like Graves at least a five game “let’s see what we have at the next level” call up. Or, as they often say in baseball, the “cup of coffee” call up.

          There are loads and loads of hockey players who got a few games at the NHL level and never made it back. That’s fine. The point is, they got those few games. Many of us care not to see what McLeod brings to the table, because we already know. Many of us care not to see what Kampfer brings to the table, because we already know. Many of us fans would prefer to see what some of the guys that have yet to get a taste of bring to the table.

          • Ray says:

            I have two problems with this. The first is that we want Graves to be called up because we want to see what he can do since we have no idea. But the organization really knows a lot about players.

            Second, a five game call-up is not particularly useful. There is the small sample problem. Then there is the problem of exploitable weaknesses. Let’s say hypothetically that there is a certain kind of move which few AHLers can execute that destroys Graves. Well, call him up and nobody in the NHL knows about it and he sails through five games. But then people get wise and word gets around and poof.

            Both Nieves and Lettieri started fast and faded.

  17. Ben says:

    You have to imaging that they’re talking to Hank about this. Or at least have talked to him. Because if they’re going to rebuild, they might as well trade Hank too, which requires his approval. It’s no use to keep him here if they’re not going to be competitive for a few years. Of course, he might want to stick around anyway – it is his home after all – and then maybe everyone’s okay with a few learning years.

    They’re a business. They don’t “owe” anyone anything, no matter what they’ve given. So it’s not for sure that they have, but it would seem likely that if they’re going to rebuild completely, they should at least explore the options. Hank would be a nice upgrade for a team like Dallas or Anaheim or Vancouver (this list is neither exclusive nor exhaustive nor significantly thought out).

    ***Note: this post kind got out of hand after this, so the TL;DR is that I think the best option is actually to completely rebuild, fuck over Shatty in a big way sadly, and trade Hank, Nash, Grabner, Holden, Zucc, and McD as soon as possible to get the most back, especially picks and prospects.)

    I think I may actually be in favor of such a complete rebuild. I was on the fence, but I don’t think they really have what it takes to actually win. Maybe I’m wrong, but Grabner doesn’t likely have a third season of absurdity left, plus at what it would cost to retain him, and we’re not easily going to replace him. Nash isn’t what he used to be, meaning that he’s not a 40 goal scorer anymore, despite him playing exceptionally well otherwise. He’d be worth retaining, but only at 4-5M a year or so for a few years at most. Then we’re also in the last year of McD cost-control, which is a terrible spot to be in come next year’s trade deadline since then we have to decide if we try to resign him for 6-7M per year (which I’m not sure he’s worth, honestly, despite my love for the guy), trade him then, or lose him for nothing. Hayes, Miller, and Skjei are up for more money this year, and those are in the 4-5M per year range too.

    Let’s say they try to go for it next year, meaning they realize that this team isn’t quite there and would need some significant moving to get there that isn’t worth it. Grabner (and maybe Nash) traded for picks and a few prospects, some salary retained. Maybe we get lucky and Holden is traded too (picks only here, realistically). Try to resign Nash at 5M (hopefully he likes it here), Hayes and Miller at 5M each, Skjei at 5.5M per yer, Vesey at 2M per year, ditch McLeod, Desharnais, Carey, and Holden if he wasn’t traded. That leaves a top 5 of Zucc, Nash, Kreider, Zbad, Buch. Hayes/Miller/Fast or Vesey as a third line, and a fourth of, say, the other of Fast/Vesey, Holland/Boo, and random fourth line winger, maybe Tambelli or another cheap signing (sub-1M). Dman are McD, Shatty, Smith, Skjei, Tony, and Staal, Kampfer as the seventh. Still need another centerman, either bring up one of the kids or sign someone. Also need a backup goalie, say 1.5M Cap hit without said centerman is approximately $74.5M. With a 78M cap, that’s about 3.5M to sign a second/third line center, which isn’t going to be great. Even if those numbers flex about, we’re only talking probably at most 5M free, and you don’t want to spend to the cap. If we’re really good, some of the Grabner, and potentially Nash and/or Holden, trade(s) work out well enough that we can flip some of those picks/prospects for another top 9 center so we can save some of that free cap space.

    So prospects sit in the minors to start next year, which I’m okay with personally, especially if we’re trying to go for it. Now we get to next year’s trade deadline, and we have two possibilities – either we’re in it, or we’re not. Let’s say we’re in it – great! We’ve hopefully got some cap space and/or prospects to trade for the “missing piece” and we’re good. But let’s say we’re not. This is an issue. Now we are again in this position of deciding whether to blow it up or not. If we don’t again, then we’re committing to resigning McD at 6-8M per year and Zucc likely for 6M per year, which isn’t working when nobody else is coming off the cap AND we have to resign Buch (and Tony, but that’s more questionable). And if we do blow it up, McD and Zucc are rentals (good ones, but still only half season instead of 1.5 seasons), Nash is resigned already which is trickier to trade, and Hank is a year older.

    The point here is that if we don’t choose to rebuild now, we’re going to pay for it next year when we are forced to make some really hard choices, either at the trade deadline or over the 2019 summer, and the returns for such decisions will be less, and we’ll be another year down the road. Is another average/mediocre/slightly-above-average year worth another year off our young forward’s best years? I have to imagine not. And Cap Hell in summer 2019 is going to suck.

    So what does a rebuild look like? Honestly, it’ll be a bit of a train-wreck and a trial by fire (okay, likely more than “a bit”). McD, Zucc, Nash, and Grabner are all traded at the deadline. I would even advocate for trading Pavelec as well and bringing up one of the AHL kids to play a bunch, since Hank could really help out here and it would give the front office some games to gauge what they have for next year. Holden should be traded as well, if we’re lucky. Try to move Staal (haha, I know….but man, that guy’s contract never seems to end). From all this, we should be looking to get back approximately a young second/third line center (currently in the NHL), 2-3 firsts, a bunch of other picks, and a handful of prospects, with two or so being NHL-close or NHL-ready. Bring up kids to replace the losses, thinking Andersson, Chytil, the prospects we bring in from trades, some other AHLers. Move some people around a bunch, tell AV to play everyone in all situations to give everyone a sense of what’s possible. Play an AHL goalie (or a few of them) a bunch. Bring up one of the AHL dmen to “replace” McD.

    In the summer, if we didn’t manage to trade Holden (somehow), do not resign him. He’ll cost too much for a rebuild, even though he kinda fits in age-wise, but we want to see our own prospects here. Make the easy move and ditch AV and his crew. Sign that European coach that somebody mentioned a few weeks ago (he was at the Ranger’s camp either this season or last?), and let him bring in his coaching group. Find a second goalie coach for the AHL that Benoit is okay with. Make the hardest move ever and trade Hank before the draft for picks and prospects, whatever we’re lacking. Make some good draft picks. Try to end up in the top five. Sign Miller and Hayes for 5-5.5M per for like six years. Nash can come back, but idk why he would at this point, for 5M. Vesey back for sub-2M, Skjei back for 5.5-6 for six. Give a contract extension to Buch now. Everyone else on the team without a contract to near-league minimum. Maybe sign a decent NHL goalie for some stability, though I’m more a fan of just letting who we have duke it out for a while. Lines would be on the order of
    Zband – Kreider – Buch
    Miller – Hayes – Chytil (?)
    Anderson – Fast – Vesey
    Holland — ?? — ??
    Shatty – Skjei
    Smith – Staal?
    Tony – Pionk/Graves/etc.
    Kampfer
    A warm body in net

    It could be a rough year. But it would start to set up something for the future, which would be a much better long term strategy than what we have.

  18. Mikeyyy says:

    Because this worked when they dumped Callahan and Dubinsky.

    Rebuild or don’t.

    By partially rebuilding the front office says to everyone we don’t care to go full bore for a cup.

    Those who do not heed history are doomed to repeat it.

  19. pas44 says:

    hank is the foundation of this team for 3 more seasons.
    you build a team from the net out. he is the poooo take a whiff,

    it is about hank, from a GM’s point, he’s the best foundation in net we can have for the next 3 seasons, from a fans point, HE IS THE KING…

    move on from the trade hank cries… you put another goalie in this teams net and YOU WILL SEE HOW GOOD HE REALLY IS.

    mic drop

  20. avsucks says:

    [img]https://i.imgur.com/9tm9V18.jpg[/img]

  21. JOE D says:

    I have come to hate the expression “one more kick at the can”.

    • Swarty says:

      I hated the second time AV said it – actually maybe the first – because every decision they have made since that phrase was uttered has basically move the team backward

  22. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    1. I’m a huge Hank fan. He will go down as one of the greatest Rangers of all time, certainly given the gallery of B-level players that have played in front of him for much of his tenure. That being said, I agree, this is a business. The Rangers owe Hank nothing. They have to do what is best for the organization.

    2. BUT……again folks, Hank has an NMC. He is likely NOT going to agree to be traded. And even if he did, what kind of a return would the Rangers get for an aging goalie, while still great, has a massive cap hit for four more seasons? I would say it would be nothing comparable to what we would lose if we dealt him. Even in a rebuild, you still need some guys to keep the franchise afloat. Similar to the rationale for bringing in Jagr back in ‘04. The whole “trade Hank” thing is simply ludicrous. It isn’t going to happen….not in the short term. A few years from now? Possibly.

    3. Some of you are still going off the rails overrating our suspects (prospects). Can you name me even one prospect in the Rangers system that went on to shine elsewhere in recent years? The organization has no track record of missing on these guys in terms of their NHL readiness, at least not once they are in the system. You need guys to round out your AHL roster, that’s why most of them are here. There guys are mostly unremarkable AHL players. They are at best borderline NHL assets. How exactly does “giving them a five game cup of coffee” help them or the team?

    I will say again. We are not some jury that needs to see them and weigh in here. Yes, talent evaluators aren’t always right, but they have a far, far better chance of being right than any of our “experts” out here, that’s for sure.

    4. As I said yesterday, the Yankees rebuild and Rangers alleged rebuild are not even remotely the same. The Yankees were able to draft or otherwise acquire guys who became top tier MLB players in short order. Severino and Sanchez were international free agent signings, the likes of which does not exist in the NHL. Greg Bird was a fifth round selection. In baseball, star players can literally come from just about any round. Judge was the only first rounder in this group. Then, as I said yesterday, the Yankees had true high-end assets to deal in Chapman and Miller, arguably the Crosby and Malkin of relievers. So of course the return on both would be enormous. There is no one currently on the Rangers roster that could yield that kind of return.

    If we are sellers, we can get some nice depth pieces, no doubt. More Cally/Dubi types most likely. But difference makers? We will have to get very, very lucky.

    5. The Rangers level of play the next three and half weeks combined with their health will dictate whether they are sellers or buyers. Way too soon and far too many variables to really know which direction they will go at the moment.

    • Ray says:

      Personally, I would decide on the extent of the rebuild. If it really looks like the Rangers won’t make the playoffs and are not likely to be contenders for several years, I would extend to Hank the COURTESY of offering to trade him to a contender. If you want a Cup, it ain’t gonna be here; do you want to leave and get your Cup elsewhere? If he wants to follow Ray Bourque’s footsteps, I would oblige him.

      Seriously though, I doubt the Rangers will even write off 2019, certainly not 2020 — and I doubt Hank wants to leave.

      I strongly agree with your jury comment. We do not have a clue whether or not Neal Pionk, to give one example, can play in the NHL. There is nothing wrong with that. We don’t get to make the decisions anyway. And the Ranger organization has plenty of information on which to base their decision. They may be dead wrong, but they are not uninformed.

      It seems more fun now to get to see Pionk than Kampfer, but before too long, seeing prospects fall on their faces regularly does get old.

    • Ray says:

      I don’t agree with point 5. I think the Rangers should be sellers. The over-arching question is not whether the Rangers can make the playoffs, but whether they can really contend if they get there. And I don’t see how just winning 10 of the next 13 games gets us there. The level of play has to change. Oh, if you can give me a Shattenkirk and DeAngelo who can play good defense, a suddenly grown up Chityl and Andersson, a healthy Kreider, a Zibanejad and Buchneich who really fulfill their promise, then yeah.

      But just a hot streak, I still sell.

    • Egelstein says:

      Those of you who (for some reason, unbeknownst to me) want to keep seeing a whole lot of fail from mediocre vets on this roster who wouldn’t crack a lot of rosters, still have yet to explain what there is for these Rangers to lose in benching or sending down journeymen/retread types so that a younger player can get a taste of the NHL and the brass can see them in that setting directly. Again, I know it is shocking to hear to those of you who insist it is sacrilege to test a prospect out who you are 99% sure isn’t a star in the making, but hockey and baseball teams (as they have fairly comparable minors-to-pro structure) do that pretty regularly. You can have a very vivid description of eating an orange from the best minds in cooking across the globe…it’s still not as good as actually eating an orange, now, is it?

      In my eyes it’s nigh impossible to make a case that this Rangers team could perform any worse than they did last night, for example, if you had a couple of the younger guys in to have a look at them over the guys who have concrete ceilings that are already well-established to be mediocre at best. That was a complete shit show last night out there on the ice, and it’s not as though that’s the first time it has happened this season with this cast.

      Speaking of last night, Justin Holl was playing in his second career game for the Leafs. Not exactly a household name. He’s 26 years old and has never lit up the minors. Probably not an NHL star in the making. His first game in the NHL was the game prior.

      Fun Fact: He’s scored in both games.