Feb
20

The calm before the storm

February 20, 2018, by

Here we are, just six days from the trade deadline. The Rangers haven’t made any moves yet, but the rumors are abound. All signs point to Alain Vigneault being dismissed at some point between now and the draft. Ryan McDonagh resubmitted his list of teams he will accept a trade to. Rick Nash submitted his a while ago as well. Michael Grabner keeps scoring, and we keep going cha-ching. Nick Holden will even fetch something.

But for now, we wait. The Rangers are in no rush to make a move yet. The offers are coming in. Nash and Grabner keep scoring. Value keeps going up. Other trades –like the Kempny to Washington trade– are setting the market for others. Jeff Gorton, is (hopefully) surveying the lay of the land and not rushing to trades.

The interesting thing to note is that the Rangers are focusing on getting higher end talent that is close to the NHL. That can be a dangerous game to play, since it might signal Jeff Gorton is aiming for readiness over elite talent. Of course it could mean readiness and talent, a guy like Eeli Tolvanen does fit both.

One thing we have learned from the past 10 years as Ranger fans is that depth is a critical piece of building a contender. The Rangers teams that made Cup runs had a ton of depth. However elite talent, the Crosby’s, Malkin’s, Kopitar’s of the world, is needed to continually be contenders. That’s the key. That’s what this version of the Rangers was missing.

If Gorton is targeting readiness over potential elite talent, then it is a mistake. But if it’s targeting elite talent that is ready for the NHL over first round picks, then it is a strategy that could pay quick dividends. It’s a fine line to ride, but I see the logic in trying to rebuild on the fly, like the Yankees just did.

The waiting period, this calm before the storm, is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. This is the first time the Rangers are sellers in the life of this blog, so it’s exciting to cover. However Gorton is already 0-for-1 in selling trades, so there is legitimate fear when combining that fear with the potential trade strategy news.

Sit back. Have a drink. Enjoy watching guys like Nash and Grabner on Broadway while you still can. Perhaps Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello as well. This is the last week we will see the Rangers as they are currently constructed.

"The calm before the storm", 5 out of 5 based on 17 ratings.

78 comments

  1. Richter1994 says:

    The McD situation scares me.

    • Walt says:

      Why???????

      • Walt says:

        The three stooges are at it again,dumb bastar*s!!

      • Richter1994 says:

        The Rangers MUST, MUST get a blue chip asset for him. None of this “settle” BS.

        He’s an elite D man. Serg and a first MUST be the price from TB.

        • Walt says:

          Tony

          If not by the end of this trade deadline, then at the draft, there will be interest my friend………………

    • Swarty says:

      It scares me as well Richter. I am concerned that we are not going to get the premium for his extra year and cap hit that should be forthcoming.

      I seriously do not think moving him is a must unless you get absolutely blown away by some package.

      It is not going to hurt this team to have him around next year and if appropriate trade him at the deadline.

      There is also something to be said about putting all your eggs in one basket or deadline as the case may be. You never know what next years deadline dynamics will be in terms of options in both draft choices and high end talent.

    • James1090 says:

      It scares me that you think that. I hope they don’ screw this up.

    • Ray says:

      Agreed. Replacing your best player is a dicey proposition at the best of times.

  2. flatbush says:

    I believe they need both ready now and elite prospect talent. To put all your eggs in one basket is not the way to go. Going a bit deeper into what they need is some size and snarl on the back end. Bless the speed and skill set of the new D men but you cant have a whole team of one dimensional D men. Same goes for the forwards, If we look at the way AV and the Gm’s have put this team together it was one way. Speed and play fast. Also need some sandpaper. I’m know there is a group that will immediately tell me that we don’t need goons. These same folks will say McLeod is a waste. They are narrow minded and don’t understand the value of guys who will never pass up a hit and deliver the hit with some extra zest. Here are two perfect examples of putting a player in a box. Pat Maroon played in the AHL with the Flyers and was tagged as the muscle. He was let go for whatever the reason. That was about nine years ago and I watched him skate at that time. Not anything to write home about. A couple of years later he’s playing with elite guys on the ducks and is being successful. Going way back a guy named Vic Hadfield was the hitter and really not much more until someone decided to let him run shotgun with two fast and skilled guys. He became a 50 goal scorer and could keep the peace. So I don’t buy the jump to conclusion that guys like McLeod have no value. If coaches put guys in that box they are the ones creating the goon. There are plenty of big men who can play and have snarl. They may not be the speedy type and look pretty but pretty has got us only so far. Sorry to have veered of course but it is something they need along with ready now and elite prospects.

    • Jack says:

      you must be crazy…all we need is speed and corsi to succeed.

    • Walt says:

      Flatbush

      When we say sandpaper, some on this site think goons, and blow their collective tops. I always wanted some grit, not goons, but guys that can fill their jockstraps, not sissy’s. I agree 10000000000000000% with your post, give me a dozen Vic Hatfields, and I can give you a steady supply of cups.

      It’s all coming to an end, changes are coming within the next week, and let’s hope that we get our wishes to come true. I’ll take all the north-south players we can get, and get rid of this Pro-Cess garbage…………………………As for the gum chewer, I’ll have an adult beverage to celebrate his departure!!!!!

      • Agentsmith says:

        Look at dallas. They aren’t just big, they play north south and strong on boards.

        We need to get rid of all the pass happy guys. You won’t win it all like that .

      • Bloomer says:

        Excellent point Walt. Fans tend to sterotype players. A physical player who never passes up a hit is considered a goon with no skills. A soft player is deemed skilled even though he may a shot that couldn’t break a pane of glass.

        I like players who have Moxy. Guys who play the game with pride and passion. Those are the ones that help you win championships.

        • Walt says:

          Amen brother!!! well said….

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          Yep, its not guys like Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Kris Letang, Sid Crosby, Phil Kessel, or Evgeny Malkin that win championships. It’s knuckle draggers like the Cup-less Cody McLeod that win championships. Got it.

          • Flatbush says:

            You mentioned. Three D that have game. Our guys no where near these goons. Oh yeah great comparison with Sid, Kane, Malkin n Kessel. We don’t have that eithrr

            • Mancunian Candidate says:

              Great use of the English language. 29 words in your post and you have 5 grammar and spelling mistakes. Learn how to express a thought coherently, why don’t ya.

          • HARLEMBLUES says:

            You just don’t get it. First off Sid plays tough and dirty. He gets and he gives. AV has a team that takes takes and takes. Elbows to the head sticks across the face hits from behind all this leads to injuries and concussions. It’s not goons it guys with skill to play who also punish people. You mentioned finesse players for the most part and then went right to a goon. You don’t get it. High end skill,picks or NHL ready prospects are need different type players but skilled. Guys who punish, guys who snipe, guys who create space and dish. A team that other fear to play because pain is coming to town.

            • Mancunian Candidate says:

              No, I do get it. I get that anyone who defends Cody McLeod as an effective hockey player has no real idea of what an effective hockey player is. To say that the McLeods of the NHL are difference-makers to the extent that they win championships is laughable in the extreme.

              • Walt says:

                MC

                I’m not calling for goons, and stated so, but I want players who won’t back down, and or turn the other cheek. It’s that simple, don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out!!!!!!

              • Flatbush says:

                You may be an expert on grammar and spelling but don’t think you comprehend posts which merely state that guys who play similar to McLeod have value. No where did anyone state he is a difference maker..

              • CTfan says:

                I don’t think McCloud is any good, but I will take him over AV favorite David Desharnais any day.

          • Bloomer says:

            The players you mentioned all play balls out. But I guess your too busy fondling your Henrik Lundqvist blow up doll to notice Mancucian.

            • Mancunian Candidate says:

              Whatever, man. Nothing lamer or more ill-informed than a “fan” who hates his team’s best player.

      • Flatbush says:

        Yes right on spot. I guess the thumbs down are the. ” want to be pretty people”

        • Jack says:

          don’t forget Corsi…not just pretty.

        • Walt says:

          No it’s the same dimwits that read my name, and show their IQ. Real guts to show how upset you are with even a simple question, Why, and the same three stooges went nuts. There is no excuse for lack of class, again dumb bastar*s!!!!!!!!!

      • tanto says:

        I want to bring back the smurfs. lol

      • WayneG says:

        So if this is the case, why do JT and Kreider get dumped on so much on this site?

  3. Bobby B says:

    One thing constant in life is change. This rebuild is overdue . This is when we see what Jeff Gorton is all abour.

  4. amy says:

    it is too quiet but one thing for sure activity will heat up by the weekend and Monday morning when you will have a flurry of activity

  5. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Disagree that we’re 0 for 1 on the rebuild trades.

    Book isn’t yet out on the Stepan trade. I look at it as a one step back two step forward thing.

    Also, I still argue that we came out looking good on the Brassard/ Zibanejad swap. We got 6 years younger and Zibanejad has out produced Brassard since the swap. At the end of the day, if Brassard were still a Ranger he’d be a guy with rumors swirling around him regarding the return he could bring to the rebilding Rangers, whereas Zibanejad is identified as one of the keeper pieces we build around.

    • Walt says:

      Hatrick

      Agree, we got Andersson for the Daisy, that’s worth the trade alone!

      Unlike most on this site, I have faith in JG, and I can’t wait to see the next edition of the Rangers………They will be younger, tougher, and play with some grit, that’s what he did in Boston…………

      • Ranger17 says:

        Think GMJG makes a move that know one sees coming .

        • Walt says:

          Could be, but I have faith in him. Not so much his boss, or the idiot owner!!!!!

          • AD says:

            I don’t have faith in Gorton Walt but he deserves more time. In my view he has been well behind the curve in guiding/executing the personnel decisions which lead to who is put out on the ice and bench each night. But for GMs it is a long game they play, so I am happy to give him more time and prove my doubts meritless.

            • Walt says:

              AD

              How much leadway did JG have to begin with? Hell, he was given a team signed to long term deals, NMC’s, old, and then has to get permission from Sather in order to make any moves!!!

              I still believe he will deliver a better package than what we currently have been force fed to watch, under the Pro-cess, for the last couple of years!!!!!!

    • James1090 says:

      Zib’s a nice player, but he isn’t a 1st line center. He doesn’t produce like one. He disappears for many games. I know its pretty much impossible, but I would love to see the Rangers get that true number one center like Tavares.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        He doesn’t have to be and that shouldn’t be the metric he’s evaluated on. The only mark on his record that I can see is a little bit of a lag in production when coming back from injury.

    • Ray says:

      Brassard has 74 points, Zbad 68. Zibanejad has fewer points even strength this year than Desharnais. If he improves – and he certainly has talent – he can be a real asset. But at his present level, the fact that he makes only $1.15M less than Stepan, a real (though weak) #1 center, is outrageous.

      Could be a star. Could be a buyout candidate in a few years. Jury is still out on this trade.

  6. DAVID k says:

    The fact that Nash & Grabner are still playing and McD is not leads me to believe McD is going and the Nash & Grabner are one hit away from being off the market due to injury. They have no value if they get hurt prior to trade deadline. IF THEY WANT TO MOVE THEM SIT THEM.

  7. Emile the Cat says:

    Just saw on Rotoworld that the Penguins are very interested in Grabner.

  8. Buch Nieves says:

    Gorton (The Fisherman) has a mixed record to this point. Mika for Brass seems like an A- trade, Step to Arizona to save cap space was completely futzed by the subsequent signing of Smith (so much for the cap savings), grade D. Draft picks, we’ll see next year, grade Incomplete.

    We’ll see what the Fisherman gets this week. When the Rangers are concerned I am always prepared to be disappointed, while always hopeful…

  9. Blue Seat says:

    I don’t think it makes sense to hold onto Hank, and trade Grabner and Mac. You want to trade them, then explain why you would keep the king, hopefully it’s not to let him finish out his career losing 7-2 games. Trading Grabner, Mac, AND Nash, AND possibly Zuc, means goals will be scarce.

    • Egelstein says:

      Hank is the biggest deciding factor in trading Hank. If he hasn’t waived his full NMC, then the team can’t trade him even if they wanted to (and IMHO, they don’t want to, anyway).

      • odielicious says:

        I don’t know about that opinion of yours. They traded Leetch toward the end of his career and that really pissed him off. And he was the best true home grown Ranger this franchise has ever had in my lifetime. Never under estimate the stupidity of Sather.

  10. wwpd says:

    I assume the angle on nearly ready talent is twofold 1) still dreaming of rebuild on the fly rather than over a half decade and 2) the later picks you get trading to serious playoff contenders are sharply lower value than a high picks and of course not eligible for the lottery, so you’re much less likely to get elite talent anyway, may as well aim at more mature players that are closer to ready and easier to scout and you can target your pieces better rather than subject to the unknown of whatever is available late first round in upcoming years.

    As mentioned the only way to reliable come up with elite skill seems to be to go in the tank for years at a time, and that’s not what this management team is about (at least not intentionally)

  11. Leatherneck says:

    This is why Lundqvist must go….worrying about his years instead of going full rebuild and creating a new culture.

    This whole idea of hey we can compete next year has been a Ranger MO and it has kept us in the middle of the pack with swings in both direction but mostly swings in the bad direction. So now here we have a goalie who is the darling of some Ranger fans, the media and late night shows which brought other fans and the franchise is going to worry about Leaky, his fans and the media?
    He should want to win a Cup more so than where he lives, if that is not alarming then you are a fool.

    There is a process to build a winning team that wins the prize at days end. It always has started from building from within. There is also a price to pay which means the suffering of the lowly days.

    System is the key, attitude and due diligence to bring in the talent that fits the culture and team emphasis. Team playing as one and all arrows pointing in the team in cohesion, determined and disciplined to keep the focus. There are only 5 or less teams in all of sports that have this concept.

    No player should ever become bigger than the team or sport. The coach must coach and not worry about political correctness or keeping a certain player happy. The GM must be the leader and all accountability goes right to him. He will take the blame but never say out loud when winning the Cup that he was the reason because he is part of the team. Winning is we and losing I as a GM

    The Rangers must go rebuild, not retool. I will Guarantee you that we are not going to win the Cup within the remaining years of Lundqvist’s time in NY. Band aid ain’t gonna work when there is a band aid being used thinking it will stop the bleeding and ignoring the fact that it’s an arterial bleeding and not the facade of a scratch.

    • Blueshirt in Paris says:

      What you would get in return for Henrik will pale in comparison to what you lose. Hank says he doesn’t want to go, he can still play and the Graden needs its marquee player. He will also help with the upcoming younger goalies.

      • Leatherneck says:

        The biggest value is the team goes rebuild and not worry about Lundqvists years and sabotage a very critical time in the clubs present and future.
        To build a team around lundvist right now is absolutely the wrong choice. First off he has lost it…He is what he is now, not what he was back when. Second way too many holes in this team to pretend everything is fine. Third with a solid team in front of him with a real contender he may actually win a Cup as part of a team and not the catalyst. He will never be the catalyst again.
        So he will fetch you a 1st and a high end prospect and seriously the Islanders would be perfect as a trade partner for Lundqvist. Keifer Bellows and the 1st pick in the first round of this years draft of which the Isles have 2. If you can get Dal Colle as well which they should go for then its a huge win all the way around.
        Isles are 2 pieces away from being serious contenders for this year and one of the pieces is a goalie.
        Heck I would even trade Zibby to them which is the other piece they need to suddenly becoming one of the favorites to win it.

        If you do Zibby and Hank to the Isles then a 1st round pick this year, a 1st round pick next year a 2nd this year …Pulock, Bellows and Dal Colle

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          The Rangers and Islanders have made 2 trades in the last 45 years. What you’re proposing has no chance of happening. Zero, zip, nada, not happening.

          • Leatherneck says:

            Then we are due for a trade….for it to have happened means it can happen.

            The big caveat to trading those 2 is John Tavares situation

            It absolutely makes sense for these two teams to consider a trade

            • Mancunian Candidate says:

              It’s not going to happen, the speculation may be fun for you but there’s no way that these 2 franchises will make a trade involving a marquee player. Plus as you continually forget, Hank has a no movement clause and has stated he wants to stay a Ranger.

    • Rich S says:

      Leatherneck
      Logic and reason fly out the window when you mention Hanks name!!!
      Your first line makes so much sense I cant see how anyone would disagree.
      At the end of the day its about winning……and unfortunately we wont with him here……..but again….who is taking on that contract????

    • Dave says:

      I disagree, but this is a valid point. NYR can’t tank with Hank, he’s too damn good.

      • Swarty says:

        Then Hank needs to get an attitude adjustment and add more fuel to the tank.

        He has done very well lately though – let’s hope he keeps up the…ah – good work.

        Honestly – it is not easy to watch him getting pounded night after night. He needs a mental breat

        This is really a good time to see what else we have in goaltending talent – but since Hank does not want to then I guess we won’t

    • wwpd says:

      we will all be eating our hats if VGK wins the cup this year 🙂

  12. Rjcy says:

    One of the better debates today, and civilly done to boot, with some of my favorites fellow bloggers…Walt, Leather, Swarty, did I see BobbyB?
    I will say that I think Henrik is not the issue. He can still bring it, and if the rest of the team had his drive and intensity they would be much better off.
    I see in today’s debate an implicit call for the balance I have preached on this site. We have a one dimensional soft roster that is easy to play against physically and is non-confrontational. We need a balance between highly skilled players who make it hard to play against us due to their speed and sheer skill, and those that make it hard to play against us due to their physical play. HOWEVER, the ENTIRE roster needs intensity and a high level of compete…like a Crosby, like a Hank and, of course, like the more physical players bring. My point is a player can bring that level without being a goon; all players must bring that to win.
    Final thought…as an old school guy, I admire the thought behind bringing in a McLeod, however, tough guys are no good unless they win the fights. This reminds me of the dark years in late 70s or 80s when mgmt brought in guys like Jeff Brubaker and Cam Connor. They were willing but just punching bags. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence to see your teammate and protector get beat. “Showing up” is not enough.
    Anyway….I am suspect as to NYR mgmt to do anything right, but as with you all, ever the optimist. LGR

  13. jrrangersdad says:

    Bruins Acquire Nick Holden In Trade With Rangers
    Boston sends Rob O’Gara, 2018 3rd-round pick to New York

    I’ll take it! I guess another Ryan Graves type player to compliment to the many puck movers we have. Saw him many times at Yale and think anything north of a 6 pack for Holden was sufficient. I wouldn’t mind seeing him go straight on to the NHL Roster.

  14. Blue Seat says:

    Shesterki in camp in 2019, so the Rangers could fill the void created by trading the king now. I don’t want to trade him, but otherwise the Rangers give hostage to fortune. The real question, what can we get for him?

    • Mancunian Candidate says:

      Hank has a no movement clause in his contract. He’s not going anywhere unless he ok’s the deal. He’s publicly declared he wants to stay. Do the math—he’s not getting traded.

  15. Blue Seat says:

    Players have waved those clauses, likely players that drew great interest. In price theory I was taught that “there is two ways to skin a cat”, therefore, doing the math is not always the answer.

    • jrrangersdad says:

      Okay I’ll bite. Name a team that has the salary cap space, Hank’s preferred lifestyle, and a very high chance of winning the Cup? The latter two have nothing to do with Price Theory as Hank holds all the cards where money is no matter.

      Hank knows full well the Rangers aren’t doing a full rebuild. There is a better chance of the Jets winning the Superbowl next year than Lundqvist waiving his no trade clause.

  16. Lon says:

    A few things:
    1. Hank is not leaving NY, period. He has become a fixture in this town and
    any thought of his being traded are a fairy tale. As he has said, ” I will finish
    my career in NY.
    2. Many of you are exaggerating or being unrealistic regarding the returns the
    Rangers will receive in exchange for the players they appear to be offering
    to trade. Other GM’s are not stupid and are willing to give up 1st or 2nd round
    picks to a team in a desperate situation. They will wait the Blues out.
    3. At this point, no one knows what the draft will bring and if past history
    is any indication, I’m not optimistic. At this point, I’m not crazy about last years two picks.
    4. We are not going to get a first line centre from anyone. They are simply too
    valuable. Wings and D yes, but that’s it.
    5. Ranger fan since 1946, and have lived thru this type of BS to often and come
    away seeing the front office f++k things up. Wish I had the optimism of many of
    you. I’m still hanging on!
    LGR

  17. CTfan says:

    Does anyone really think it is Gorton making decisions here. It is, and has been, Sather pulling his strings.