This is a rebuild, not a retool

March 5, 2018, by

Fans of professional sports teams are funny. Three weeks ago, after Jeff Gorton and company announced their intentions to sell at the deadline, we were gearing up for the excitement of trading for youth and picks and building a contender from the ground up.

Then the trade deadline passed with names like Erik Karlsson and John Tavares rumored to be heading to new teams at some point next summer. All of a sudden the Blueshirts, ripe with assets and cap space, should be trading for Karlsson and signing Tavares. I laughed a little.

Here’s the thing. This is a full rebuild. The Rangers are committed to rebuilding from the ground up, using their picks on elite (hopefully) talent, and playing the kids both in the system and acquired in the recent trades (and the ones to come).

Trading assets for Karlsson and/or signing Tavares goes against everything the front office has said and done in the past month. It might not even be a fast track to winning either. The club was more than a 1C and elite defenseman away from competing. Don’t get me wrong, they’d certainly make the club better, but they don’t fix all the issues.

The cap space required to keep both would most certainly result in the depth that the team acquired at the deadline being gutted. In this day and age, teams need elite production on cheap contracts. The only way to get that is by drafting well.

So we take a step back, we appreciate the solid depth the Rangers acquired and still have on the roster. Now it’s time to swing for the fences with the three first rounders and get that elite talent to fill out the roster. There is no quick fix here. But it’s going to be fun watching the kids grow.

"This is a rebuild, not a retool", 5 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
Categories : Musings


  1. Jerry says:

    Spot on Dave, spot on.

    • upstateranger says:

      always has been. i mean to play the kids and let them grow into better players.

    • Lace says:

      I personally hope Gorton uses at least 2 of those 3 picks on high end talented defenseman. I think that is what the Oilers neglected in their multiple rebuilds. They chose the best available players instead of filling in holes on the team. With all those top 10 picks they had, Darnel Nurse was the lone rearguard chosen.
      I wouldn’t want to be Jeff Gorton right now. He has some big decisions to make between now and June 1st. Not for nothing but from then until Training Camp won’t be easy either but he can help himself at the draft with a little luck and savvy moves.

  2. Walt says:

    There is no quick fix here. But it’s going to be fun watching the kids grow!


    You hit the nail on the head with this post. If we tied up all that money with these two players, we may be in the same position as Chicago, Pittsburgh. LA, were where they were forced to move very good assets due to cap issues.

    NY seems to have fans that lack patience, what instant gratification, marquee names at the expense of developing youth, who could be stars for many years down the road, instead go for “retreads”. Of the two players JT would be a much better addition, but at this stage of the rebuild, who really thinks he’ll come, and at what cost. Just think about the last expansion draft, the Pens were forced to let Fluery go, for zippo, and now due to injuries, were looking to trade with us for Hank. How ironic is that?????????

    Bottom line, let the management, under JG, due their job, draft and develop the picks, and see what magic they create. We can’t continue doing the same old, same old, and expect different results. They haven’t won a cup in 23 years, one in 78 years, that’s one hell of a track record isn’t it? Me, I want a cup, or three in the remaining years of my time on this good earth, and I don’t want to ever be a brides maid ever again!!!!!!!

    • Jerry says:

      Agreed Walt.
      I think Ranger fans will be more willing to endure growing pains then some might think.
      JG has a plan, which apparently is endorsed by Dolan, and iis unlike Sather’s ‘throw money at the biggest names, no matter what’ plan.

      I couldn’t be happier with our positioning going into the draft. And for the first time in ages Gordie Clark and his staff will have to earn his $.

      How wonderfully different will it be, watching the draft with all those Ranger crests on the board indicating the plethora of pics we have come June 22nd and 23rd!!!!!!

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Well said walt

    • Walt says:

      Good morning Moe, Larry and Curly!!!!!!!!!! Was awaiting your usual reaction.

      • Leatherneck says:

        Good morning

        • Leatherneck says:

          Lol…thumbs down to a good morning?…..Ok then

          • Walt says:


            Last week Tony posted and my response was simple, “why”. A one word post, and the the savants automatically went to the usual motion, thumbs down. Kind of reminds me of the movie “Rainman”. I like tweaking them,,and calling them out as the three stooges, kind of funny don’t you think?????? LOL

    • upstateranger says:

      these guys have been much more fun to watch than before the deadline. they had become too complacent, now they have something to work for. they’re also skating much better as a team, something that had been lacking for quite a while, enjoyable to watch again.

      • Mintgecko says:

        The stretch pass for coaches who aren’t aware of it is back in there now. The last time that this team could counter back that fast or use a stretch pass was when Klein and Dan Boyle were here. Those strategy’s save so much energy and can always keep your team in it. The way I see it is ADA, Gilly, Pionk and Skjei are all capable to get better at providing quick strike offense. Add in Shatty and more skilled forwards like Chytil and Andersson then you have 4 attack lines that can produce in a similar fashion ( that was the best part about the recent teams in 14 and 15 ).

        • Walt says:


          Exciting to watch, but no darn defense at all. That always led to exceptionally high shots against………

        • Reenavipul says:

          The stretch pass when not executed causes 5 on 3 scoring chances against and extended time in their own end.

          Our D is more suited to controlling the puck with zone exits.

          This is the square peg in round hole issue we’ve had this season and that AV wouldn’t adapt to until his bosses waved the white flag.

      • Chris.C says:

        I couldnt agree more. Now its all edge of the couch watching them play, which has been inspiring. I havent yelled at my TV in a while. I except the fact the kids will make there mistakes as they are just that.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Buongiorno dal ventoso High Desert, Big Walt.

      Hai idea di cosa sia successo all E3? Si è ammalato?

      Come sempre, buona salute a te, alla tua famiglia. I tuoi consigliere …

      • Walt says:


        When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Malato? I hope not. Have a bene gionarde, and to your family as well !!!!!!!

  3. HARLEMBLUES says:

    It amazes me how people continually bang their heads against the same wall expecting different results. One cup in 75 plus years that’s what it’s gotten the Rangers. Buy this old aging star or trade a load of young players and picks. JG stick to the rebuild because it will be exciting to see the young high skilled players develop. The Rangers can do this because shit the other nonsense hasn’t worked very well. Keep up the good work Dave because people and management need to hear it. Trust the process and it(the cup) will be won.

    • Walt says:


      Amen. By the way it’s called “The Pro-cess” !!!!! Smile my friend……..

  4. Leetch2Nash in DC says:

    Chasing FAs now would be similar to the Jagr trade during the last firesale. Yes it helped jumpstart the rebuild. Yes he became a great Ranger. But that 2005-2006 team was supposed to struggle and hopefully get a nice pick. (Maybe a Toews or a Backstrom) By straddling the fence they didn’t allow the team to get that young, elite talent the team eventually would need.

  5. Bloomer says:

    Throughout its club history the Rangers have sacrificed it’s youth for a quick fix big name washed up hockey player. With the excepton of Mark Messier, this practise has never been the ticket of success. No more Rick Middleton for Ken Hodge trades please and no we fans shall never forget that move.

  6. Mancunian Candidate says:

    The Taveras/Karlsson thing has gotten me thinking: has any writer ever done a study of NHL top level player contracts and their subsequent impact on the player’s team afterwards? Just off the top of my head, Pittsburgh/LA/Chicago have gotten decent value from huge contracts, and certainly Pittsburgh has been creative in restocking their roster while having lots of $$$ tied up in their top player contracts. Arguably these 3 teams are the only teams to really benefit from longterm big $$$ core player contracts though.

    The bill has come due for Chicago this year but I think most teams trade 3 Cups for future struggles. LA has had problems too over the past 3 seasons, but a couple of Cups take the edge off of that disappointment. Obviously guys like Lundqvist, Nash, Karlsson, Burns, Benn, and Stamkos havent won Cups after the big contract was signed. Just curious to see if every team gets their financial arms tied up after these contracts, and if that’s really the most tangible result of them.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      How many cups were won by Chi/Pitt/LA before the big contracts?

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        They each won one—the big paydays landed on all those teams after winning their first title.

        • Mintgecko says:

          So what was the Caps problem?

          • Mancunian Candidate says:

            I’m talking about the idea that maybe longterm contracts are a big risk for most franchises. And then I was talking about the 3 most dominant teams in the NHL in the past 10 seasons (Blackhawks, Kings, Penguins) and how impressive it is that they continued to win despite having a huge percentage of their cap tied up in 3 or 4 players.

            But to talk about the Capitals—you can definitely include Ovechkin on that list of huge contracts that are necessary for teams to keep elite players, but may ultimately cripple a team’s ability to stay a contender over the long haul.

            • Mintgecko says:

              I’m not sure if it was because they never won it all or got far but they never really blew up the team. I think they have had 2 or maybe 3 generations of different Caps teams since 2011. It’s not like they rebuilt their squad like Chicago after 2010. The league made it a big deal that they were moving away from a few role player’s as if their bottom 6 was changing. I see there top 6 to be basically the same after 2012. Ovi and Backstrom if anything got lucky to have the Caps draf Kutz and attract a expensive Justin Williams.

          • Leatherneck says:


            Same as us, they are one off….they don’t have all the parts….they still have a 3 year window to win it.

            Filip Forsberg may have been the 1 off last year

            But they were smart…they kept drafting in the 1st so their depth didn’t take a massive hit so they have a longer shelf life

          • HARLEMBLUES says:

            Only one superstar on the roster some above average players mostly. Pittsburgh Sid,Geno,LeTang and Kessel.Kane, a young Toews, Hossa and Duncan on D for Blackhawks. Anze,Drew a goalie playing out of this world and a big deep tough to play against team. It all never came together at once for the caps just OVI.

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          Ok, thanks for the info.

  7. agentsmith says:

    obviously they are not done, but if its a rebuild, not a retool, why on earth did they get back spooner and namestikov. I’m not sure I’m seeing their vision. the miller trade is basically a wash.

    I don’t think they planned for the post deadline enough. would they be bad enough to get to the top 5? If not this whole exercise could be a waste of time and energy, quantity over quality.

    Someone in the org has to have the sack to tell Hank, yo were gunning for a top pick.

    Also as long as zuc is on the power play point (or on team next year clogging up a top 6 spot) I cant take this ‘rebuild’ effort seriously. (obviously shatt would normally be there)

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Namestikov has a higher skill level and is smarter with the puck than JT. Spooner is young than Nash while it doesn’t command Nash attention moves the puck quickly to teammates which has led to scoring oppurtinuties. Both players are young less costly. We have cap space to resign our own FA’s. Younger, faster, smarter and more edge. Bring it on JG.

      • Agentsmith says:

        I agree we got the more dynamic player back but…. It doesn’t exactly help our lottery chances

      • tanto says:

        Someone has to lead the kids through everything. You don’t expect 22 year old rookies to lead 20 year old rookies, do you?!

        • Agentsmith says:

          Kreider will be what? 27. Shatt 29? Hank ? 37?

        • Mintgecko says:

          Spooner goes one way and Nash goes the other way but there’s no similar qualities.

          Hey Tanto- When Spooner arrived here he was looking up to Hayes, he’s superior to him and a year younger than him. His career high is like 13 goals and AS a PP specialist. He’s only reached +40 points once and has had to play wing in the top 6 to reach full potential. Thinking he’s the molder of men is a joke. There’s a reason why Boston took him off a young and upcoming team.

          I expect Hayes to be a leader here soon. All the vets have always said that he has a big influence on and off the ice. He was a huge part of the president trophy winner team in 15, scored two big goals in that playoff run and has skated in a conference final. Spooner could easily be flipped if he’s looking to touch north of 3 mill per year in his next contract.

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          If you sign a vet and I mean sign. It has to be a vet who can still bring it be a positive influence on the young guys. Kovy at two reasonable years would work well and help the talented RUSSIANS kids who are here and coming over. He’s big still can skate and a sniper. His job for 2YEARS is to help the kids that’s it that’s all. Doesn’t hurt or impede the rebuild or blow the cap space.

          • Fotiu is God says:

            If Kovalchuk can assume the leader/mentor role, if not the responsible three zone player Alexei Kovalev evolved into, I’m with you, Blues.

            Two years? Definitely.

      • Rich S says:

        ” Younger, faster, smarter and more edge.”–NOT in the case of Miller….JT is the younger, by a year, faster, bigger by almost 40 pounds, physical and HAS SCORED more goals and points than Vlad , despite not playing with top tier players like stamkos …..

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          I liked JT a lot because of some of the things you mentioned. JT isn’t as skilled or as smart with the puck. There’s not much difference between the two but Vlad doesn’t hold onto the puck to long or over handle like JT. He’s older by months not a year. He’s a true center who’s smarter with a higher skill level. One thing I do hope happens is the letting go of AV. I think he has hurt the development of some players.

  8. Richter1994 says:

    Guess I was wrong, sorry all.

    No more posts relating to acquiring anything other than 22 year olds or under.


    • Fotiu is God says:

      Easy, Anthony. No apologies necessary.

      Much as I relish transrational thinking, you simply need to cancel my subscription to the Rick Nash resurrection.

      • Richter1994 says:

        Funny thing is, it doesn’t matter what any of us think here. Because the Rangers will do whatever they’re going to do anyway.

        It just seems funny to me that the Rangers are going a full rebuild but still have Staal, Zuc, Carey, Holland, McLeod, and DD in the lineup, no less still be on the team period.

        I have always been on the side of going younger, but again, what I think they should do doesn’t matter. My posts deal with I think THEY will do as a team and fans here don’t like it. That’s fine, but I think people are setting themselves up for disappointment, IMHO.

  9. Eugene says:

    Agree on Karlson, when this team is going to be ready he is going to be over 30 and he is injury pron…. the guy goes to the team with the win now

    Taveres different story, I think he is not going to us

  10. James1090 says:

    Tarvares is the type of player teams need to win. He’s an elite center. Its not like you would be gutting the system to get him. Its only cap space.

    • Chris A says:

      The issue is, are you actually getting an elite center with JT. Yes, he’s elite now, but what happens in three years when he’s 30, deep in his decline from elite to good player and he still has four years left on his contract with a $10M cap hit and he’s only putting up 50-65 points a year?

      UFAs are good for signing middle 6 type forwards to 2 to 4 year contracts with manageable cap hits. Thinking you are going to land an elite game breaker via unrestricted free agency is a fool’s errand. By design, UFAs are already hitting or on the brink of their decline phase by time they hit the market at 26-28 years old.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Exactly. Tavares is terrible defensively also, to the point where he’s soon going to need to be kept away from facing first-line competition.

      • EZ Rider says:

        This is persuasive to me, but my concern is that Dolan and Sather might see Tavares as another irresistible piece for their collection.

        • Chris A says:

          The fact the Rangers were willing to move on from a 28 year old McD instead of signing him next year through his age 37 season, and insisted that Shattenkirk only sign for 4 years, signals to me that the front office is wise to the fact that most NHL’ers are useless after age 32.

          The days of collecting UFAs on max term deals that take them to retirement seem to be over.

      • Brendan says:

        Sorry, but in 3 years, Tavares will not be “deep in his decline”. It’s not going to happen, but I’d take ’em. Good luck finding a better player in the draft or free agency that you could legitimately build your team around.

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          Most likely Tavares will decline after the next 2-3 seasons. Most players do. And when he does it’ll be steep, as he’s not the best skater or defender. The guy already has a lot of mileage on him as well, he’s a nine-year vet already.

        • Chris A says:

          Nah, Tavares will see a decline. About 99% of NHL players see a decline in production after 27.

          You’re right, the Rangers likely won’t find a Tavares in this year’s draft, but I would argue that signing Tavares this summer doesn’t mean that you signed the Tavares of 2009-2018. Sure, he might have a good season or two, but the fact of the matter is that Tavares will have a $10M a year cap hit while averaging 55 points a year over the life of his impending 7 year contract.

        • Walt says:

          Marcel Dionne, Barry Beck, Pavel Bure, Phil Esposito, Theo Fleury, Marion Gaborik, Mike Gartner, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Wayne Gretzky, Doug harvey, Tim Horton, Jagr, Kurri, Lafleur, Lindros, Nash, Luc Robitaille, Bobby Rousseau, Shanahan, MSL, Eric Staal, did I miss anyone. I think I may have heard this arguement before, but I’m not certain??????????

          It doesn’t work, please!!!!!

          • Leatherneck says:

            Only two on that list….Beck….could’ve worked….but the Islanders were just too good and we were the only ones that challenged them in their dynasty era

            I feel pretty bad for Gartner….he should’ve won the Cup in 94….my heart goes out to him

      • Mintgecko says:

        I would welcome him with open arms if he went the Shatty route so even if he gets paid it won’t fleece the team since assumingly he would want try how the real NYC living would be like. Imagine Nash and Grabs as Isle all these years. If they wanted to remain in NYC than NYR is the place to be.

        Anyone denying the idea is semi crazy. Tavares attracts at least 1 or 2 names who would do the same thing and that effect would have started from Shatty. Maybe him and Doughty would want to create a super team here? If pay cuts are involved than the wise choice is to move cap and see if they can take advantage of the situation.

        Hayes behind a true elite 1c has been my one wish for awhile now. Guys like MSL and Nash have always said it while describing his game that he’s a match up in hell for NHL coaches. Hayes is a proven 5 vs 5 producer as a shutdown center, PK producer and finally got a chance to show that he can make the other PP run just as good as the 1st one. I would love to see a 70 point center in between Buch and Kreider. If he approaches the team in any fashion than get ready for him to sign here. We need a elite name for Dolan’s purposes and team purposes so it’s going to happen if he wants in.

    • Andy says:

      He’s been with the Isles for quite a while and the Isles have gone nowhere. He definitely can’t carry a team.He’s good but not worth the price.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        No one player can carry a team. This isnt the NBA.

        • Mintgecko says:

          You mean NBA news? That’s how they report it sometimes but even in basketball it takes a supporting cast and a strong 2nd floor team. Lebron winning his last ring was the closes thing to a one man team that you’ll ever see.

          Imo the sports that it takes for less than a whole team to show up is soccer with 1-2 dudes that could win it and lacrosse 1-3 dudes.

        • Andy says:

          agree… although Erik Karlsson did quite a job taking The Sens to the EFC. Didn’t win the cup but that was impressive.

        • Odielicious says:

          MARK MESSIER!

    • Odielicious says:

      We need a hall of fame center to teach the kids. Plain and simple. It can be anyone. If JT is willing to come at the right price and term then great. If he wants a king’s ransom see you later. we already have one king don’t need another.

      But we do need a LEADER! …and don’t kid yourself …mika or hayes just don’t cut it. They are good players but not great. Look at Marleau’s contract. And they signed Dom Moore. These are high IQ hockey players. Why would toronto do that mid rebuild? According to everyone here that is just idiotic. Just by playing with them you pick up on things and all the tricks they have learned over the years. What are the kids going to pick up from what we have now? How to hang out on the blue line for the stretch pass? Or how to win the occasional faceoff when it is not needed?

      Remember there is no first overall pick this year. No matter how bad we play til the end of this season …Dahlin is not going to be there for us to pick. And everyone else in the draft is a guessing game. And there is no hype around him like Eichel or McDavid or Crosby. He is good but that is it. If one of those 3 were out there in this coming draft by all means I would be screaming my head off for the total tank. Or trading up in the draft. But in this draft we are just as likely to end up with another Pavel Brendl as were are Kucherov. It is just who is there to guide these picks once they hit our system. Is it Hayes and Mika …Or is it going to be a JT type player? Where is Hayes and Mika when ranked against the rest of the Centers in this league? Are they even in the top 30?

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        What? You’re missing the point with what Toronto did and a JT signing. JT’s contract would be huge it would dwarf both Toronto signings together. Seriously what you are suggesting hasn’t worked in Ranger history. Which has led to one cup in 75plus years. No JT or Karlsson.

        • Odielicious says:

          If JT is willing to come at the right price and term then great. If he wants a king’s ransom see you later. we already have one king don’t need another.

  11. wwpd says:

    On the other hand, all else equalif the Rangers started this season with Tavares and Karlsson on the roster just pushing down depth,, they’re very likely contenders for another year or two.

    • Mancunian Candidate says:

      Contenders for what? Winning the title of “team that refuses to learn from past mistakes”? They won’t be serious Cup contenders in the NHL with Karlsson or Taveras. As good offensively as both Karlsson and Taveras are, they are both mediocre defensively, with Taveras being just shy of truly awful defensively.

      Adding a player who will command 10-12% of next year’s salary cap would be the worst move NYR could make, and all it might bring is an early round playoff exit at best.

      Any team that will offer long-term huge $$$ to Karlsson is dealing with a player who’s only got one ankle left. I’d be wary of that for sure.

      • James1090 says:

        You need to have elite talent to win the cup. Tavares is elite. The Rangers aren’t bad enough to draft that kind of talent so you acquire it by either trade or signing.

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          Got news for you—if they sign Tavares they’ll be continuing the tradition of using half-measures to fix this team rather than truly committing to a rebuild.

          Tavares has played nine years in this league, and made the playoffs 3 times. He’s been good in the playoffs but has only won one round in four tries. Paying $9-10 million annually for multiple years for a one-dimensional player would be totally foolish for the Rangers.

          I’d sign Karlsson before Tavares every time. And twice on Sunday. Karlsson’s a truly multifaceted player who has elevated his entire team for years. But the best move for NYR is to take their lumps next year, not to go for a quick fix for the millionth time in this franchise’s sad history.

      • wwpd says:

        I’m responding to “The club was more than a 1C and elite defenseman away from competing”

        chill out dude. no, that’s not what I’m saying at all. is that what you think “all else equal” at the start of this season means? how did you get from that statement to “sign/trade for them in summer 2018?” 🙂

        NYR have been fairly good at establishing their middle six forwards. and some middle D. with two elite players in the mix yes absolutely I would have seen them as contenders for the Cup. Tavares pushes down center depth and kevin hayes would have been your #4 center. karlsson squeezes let’s just say smith out of the lineup (that wouldn’t have happened at the outset, but eventually looks likely that’s how it would have played out regardless). that’s a legit team.

        if it makes it more clear, imagine the NYR had developed an elite 1C and 1D some time during the last decade, and we had them on the roster. the team has been largely all depth and complementary pieces and no difference-makers for awhile now.

        • tanto says:

          Spot on, those type of additions would have put us over the top — if those players actually played on an elite level with us. This is why the team went after guys like Gaborik and Nash who gave us an elite season or two each — although not in the playoffs when we really needed it.

    • Andy says:

      for what you would have to give up to get Karlsson…it’s not worth it. You could give up less and get the #1 spot…We would be much better off giving up assets for Dahlin than for Karlsson at this point. And not sure either is going to be an option.

      • tanto says:

        I would guess we would have to give up at least our 2 best 1st rounders (if not all 3) plus a Tier A prospect to move down to #1 — and it would have to be a team with very few prospects.

  12. Andy says:

    As tough as the rebuild can be, watch the game tomorrow night and pay attention to The Jets. As much as they have stunk for years, they have an amazing forward group. And a pretty good D group too. In particular pay attention to Laine and Ehlers. Also Connor and certainly Scheifele too. We need guys like this in our system at this age.(i’m a little jealous) Taveres and Karlsson are great, but super expensive and you have to give up a lot to get them. Stay the course and draft well.

  13. joe from newburgh says:

    There are still deals to be done before the draft, and more deals as a result of those, so, who knows where we’ll end up drafting? If JG can keep his mojo working, we may end up with a really high pick, and the depth needed to complement him. One can only hope at this time. (The last 3 games have been torture. It’s great to see them playing so hard and winning, but, on the other hand, I want that high draft pick, not the #10)

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Had to double back, Newburgh Joe. (Not just because my Irish mountain bike hooligan buddies reside in New Paltz and Wappinger Falls, respectively.)

      How can the last three games be “torture”?

      They’re winning. Competing. Fighting above both perceived weight and ability levels.

      Sure, a high draft pick would be bitching. What this dude doesn’t abide though is the message, organization-wide sent by tanking, throwing games, turtling. It’s corrosive. You think I’d tell my ten-year old not to dig in, if challenged, and throw? (He’s named for Fotiu, by the way.)

      What we’ve seen in the last three tilts, from Henrik to Vlad, CK/20 and Zbad, McLeod to O’Gara, Pionk and Gilmour: No. We ain’t playin’ that.

      • tanto says:

        Exactly … again, the players have pride, the organization is considered classy — they will not tank nor should they. It rots the soul. The difference between 7, 8, 9 or 10 is real, but they still have a decent little chance of landing in the Top 3. Tanking won’t guarantee anything, it’s up to those little ping pong balls to bounce the right way … and not off the goal post and out.

  14. dbendet says:

    Agree that we should not trade any young assets or sign any bad contracts. But consider that it’s very difficult to win consistently without an incredible group of Centers, particularly a 1A center and leader at the top.

    There are very very few opportunities to get great talents and great leaders who are not over the hill. John Tavares is that. It would be foolish for any team that has the chance to sign him to not take a hard look.

    With all of the assets we are acquiring, we should see them in the lineup in the next 2-3 years. Tavares will be 29 years old in a couple years, and would be the perfect 1A center and captain to lead a young core of players. We shouldn’t just accept that all rebuilds need to take a really long time. If you have the cap space, and can add elite players without compromising the future, you can go for that.

    Look at the majority of cup winners over the last 10 years — Penguins: Crosby, Blackhawks: Toews, Kings: Kopitar, Lightning?: Stamkos.

  15. Peter says:

    Just say no to Karlsson. Why would we let McDonough go, who is better defensively, just to wind up paying Karlsson even more money?

    Just say no to Tavares. He is not quite going to get McDavid money but he is not going to be that far off from that amount. Yes, he is an elite player, but he is on the downside of his career and they would need to sign him to a long term deal for megabucks. No thank you even though he is damn good.

    Yes, winning is probably not the best approach right now. But, seeing the joy on the faces of the team as they won the last three games makes me smile too.

    They have been playing hard; nothing not to like there. The team has allowed boatloads of shots against, but the goalies have been stellar. The young defenders for the most part have been able to move the puck quickly out of the zone after the initial shot, which is a big change from the recent past when the team was often pinned in their own end for what seemed like an eternity.

    I expect that they will lose a lot in the remaining weeks. It is very doubtful that they will tank enough to get down to a #5 pick. However, they are going to be in a great position in the draft no matter what. No reason to panic and over pay for a UFA.

    • Mancunian Candidate says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with your post. And to follow your comment about draft positioning: there have been plenty of recent championship-caliber elite players drafted below top 10 of the first round in this league. For every monster first overall pick like PKane, Drew Doughty, or Sid Crosby, there are players like Anze Kopitar (11th pick of 1st rd), Karlsson (1st rd, 15th), Jamie Benn (5th rd), Duncan Keith (2nd rd), or Kris Letang (3rd rd). There’s going to be value in the first ten picks for Gorton & the Rangers to find.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Solomon, Socrates, Plato, BSB/Peter.

      As ever, judicious and sound reasoning. Stick-tap, Pete.

      Indeed, this group competes. (Exhibit A: bantamweight Pionk battling hammer and tong with Milan Lucic. That was special.)

      The same expression of joy that lights you up has re-energized my love of the shield. (New decal, in fact for the rear windshield of the 23-year old Audi bought in Seattle.)

      I only take exception with your expectation of losing.

      No, Pete: imagine the great whim, the unthought of, that this group back-doors their way into the conversation. Daresay, the playoffs. My God, even AV emoted last week, if only for nanoseconds. (Maybe he just swallowed his JuicyFruit.)

      As Tanto, MC, if not others have posted, the emergent pride–post-deadline–is manifest. Our keeper has seemingly regathered himself, displaying world-class skill all over again.

      Agree: No panic. No UFAs/gargantuan contracts.

      Draft astutely; build from within. Inasmuch, perhaps look to add a complementary impact player, or two: Boone Jenner. Ryan Ellis, Auston Watson.

      Yea, LGR!

    • Mintgecko says:

      I would rather get OEL. His defensive lapses could be fixed up with a smart partner who plays solid D which I’m starting to view as Pionk. He also comes with alot of edge and chippy play as well as size and speed.

      Travares is a must have if his camp is coming to the NYR aware of the mini rebuild on the fly. If I learned one thing after watching so much playoff hockey is that you need a true elite 1c. Tampa fans and Philly fans use to get on Stamkos and Giroux because they haven’t been recent playoff successor’s but even they wouldn’t want to see their teams compete without them.

      If people out there love Kreider than this would be the time to show it. JT is as fast as Zib with superior offensive skills. He would be playing with a certain type of power forward that most elite 1c’s will never get a chance with and that speed and space would work in Travares favor if he were to slow it down in 3 years. At this point Kreider could set a career high in goals and still be a 50-56 or 58 point scorer. I want to see him touch in the high 30s in goals and be a 65+ producer overall. He doesn’t possess elite talent and Mika’s play won’t ever get him up on the boards. Buch’s playmaking would be better with a consistent scorer as a center and JT>. Zib’s career high is much closer to Hayes who has never played a offensive role or see top PP time so there will never be a comparison. I think there will be a chance that JT approaches JG and they at least talk it over as a option.

    • Joen7 says:

      Before the road trip I was thinking top 5 now….. not looking good.

  16. Ray says:

    OK, so the Rangers make a few moves of which you approve and suddenly JG and you are on the same page. If the Rangers are committed to playing kids, why are Carey and McLeod playing?

    I agree with the rebuild idea, but I don’t agree with the typical Ranger all-in to the plan de jour. Erik Karlsson is 27 years old and will probably still be playing hockey when all of the current Ranger defensemen are out of the league. I am not advocating acquiring him at any cost, but I would keep an open mind. Same with Tavares. I would keep Zuccarello, but then again, it does depend on what he would draw in trade.

    Seriously, can the Rangers win the Cup in 2020 — or is that absurd? And if they can, how can you make it more likely without really endangering 2021, etc. personally, I see no reason why Chityl won’t be a superstar then – and hopefully Day will be a strong first pair defenseman. And with good drafting this year, there may be a few others as well. And Zbad, Hayes, Kreider, Spooner, Namestnikov, Skjei provide some good mid-level players.

    Unless you have written off the goaltending, 2020 is viable. No, you don’t trade #1 picks for anything less than a Karlsson or a McDavid, but you don’t thumb your nose at a truly elite player — and you don’t refuse to sign free agents that carry long term benefit. You just don’t sign overpriced free agents like Holik, Redden, Shattenkirk just to prove you are trying.

    • Peter says:

      How many years at around 10 mil per annum would you be willing to sign Tavares up for? Seems to me that he would be looking for a deal that is quite lengthy. What would you be willing to shell out for Karlsson, for how many years? What does that do to the cap situation if they get a hold of some young talent they want to hold onto down the road?

      I wouldn’t thumb my nose at either, they are great players. The cost and the length of the contracts, with the inevitable NMC’s that are of concern.

      Perhaps after they see what they have when the dust settles after the draft and plan on going for UFA’s once the team is getting to the point of being competitive.

      I hate the cap.

      • Ray says:

        how many years Tavares at $10M a year? One maybe — the current road should leave them with lots of short term cap space, but you don’t want to make a deal that cripples you down the road.

  17. stuart says:

    I think they should go after both Tavares and Karlson. who says hey can’t do both rebuild and compete for a cup. While this version of the Rangers was not great, the fell apart when the entire defense went down injured. Cap Friendly says he Rangers have 13 players signed for 50M for next year. They have 4 RFA’s (Hayes, Skjei, Namestikov and Vesey) who will cost about 12M. If the Cap goes up to 80M like it is supposed to the Rangers could have 15 to 18M in Cap space and Karlson is under contract for another year. Should the Rangers not use that Cap space? That makes no sense. So why not use it on two generational players? The best thing about Dolan, while he makes gobs of money on the team, he is willing to put it back into he team. I think he should keep doing that.

    • Mintgecko says:

      I have this weird feeling like 2 or 3 of the elite free agents will try and create a super team somewhere. If they chose NYC as a destination than everyone’s speculation is useless imo because from there it’s on Sather/Dolan. It would be a done deal if they wanted to build brand names in the city that never sleeps, charity and maximum exposure etc. Winning a cup is legendary in NYC and calling MSG home with your bff or familiar faces would be the ultimate price. Hank showing the world that he still has it is insurance for D men like Doughty and Karlsson to come join this. They would have to shave 2-4 million and a couple of years like Shatty did but if it all fell through like that than sign me up as the #1 spectator since most on here aren’t for it. OEL and Karlsson might want take discount to try and win a cup with their fellow countryman.

      Trading for them would be a mistake though.

  18. SalMerc says:

    If Taveras were playing for any other team, I would try to get him, but he won’t leave the Islanders. While Karlsson is great, I feel we need a super forward. I think we would have enuf cash for Taveras, but he won’t come here.

    When you look at the Oilers, they have at least 2 studs. If there problem is on the defensive side, that that is where they went wrong.

    I think we have 5 solid defenseman, but only 4 solid wingers. Let’s draft well and put some kids to the test.

  19. Leatherneck says:

    We are not going to burn a year on the kids this year

    Namestnikov and spooner look great but only 1 will move forward with the new core if any

    This new core that has yet to be established needs time to develop

    We MUST be in the top 6 preferably 5 as we blew our chances for 3 and 4

    We MUST get another 1st and 2nd on draft day

    We must have a clear understanding of what Lundqvist wants a week before draft day

    Islanders, Detroit, Vancouver, Oilers and to an extent Blackhawks are tanking
    this is how important this draft is

    • Mintgecko says:

      It’s so obvious that Namestnikov will continue as a NYR. Paying Spooner north of 3.50 million a year isn’t worth it when Hayes can put up better numbers with zero PP time and also will be more expensive.

      Go take a gander on SNY NYR and see the recent interviews by JG. It sounded like he knew JT and Hayes will cost the same and be in the expensive bracket. It looked liked he knew if Namestnikov works out than he could low-ball as a top 9 player while paying for Hayes services.

      If you go and read those interviews on that site that I told you than the questions surrounding Hank will be answered.

  20. Leatherneck says:

    To reiterate, this draft you will get 1st round caliber players deep into the 2nd round.
    Top 6 picks possibly 8 are going to be elite players…..
    Bovqist will be elite if he is a complimentary player….not the go to guy
    Hughes is better than Bovqist, yet Bovqist as an Oiler will be dynamic, yet say with the Islanders a potential bust

    I am anxious for draft day and more so for ping pong day when the picks are set.

    Hayton and Veleno are interesting picks and should we slide down for the draft, …picks that could be real good or huge flops…Bode Wilde might be a good get too. I hope we tank into a position to draft Wahlstrom but as a consolation these picks will be picks to keep tabs on…..development here becomes critical for the Rangers brass

    Above all else a miracle will be the best and we win the lottery

    This draft, draft position is important where as next year not so much

    • Joen7 says:

      If we could get below 6 or 7 I think the lottery odds may be as good as 5 to 1. After 10 it would be a miracle.

  21. Joen7 says:

    We need to try to get to the top of the draft both this year and next finishing in the middle of the pack will kill us. If we are going to be picking in 10 to 20 range then why rebuild just go back to business as usual. Bench Hank force him out (for his own good also). Pull off 2 monster drafts then look for FA’s to fill in. What can we get for ZUC a high second? There are 5 or 6 good looking players at the top of this draft and here we are going the other way. When they left on the road trip I was thinking man we might be able to get to the 3rd or 4th worse record.

  22. Leatherneck says:

    I have ran the draft simulator now and an overwhelming pick is #10 with falling to #11…..better odds at 3….slight chances at 1 and 2

    should we move up to #7 way better odds of getting into top 3
    should we move up to #5 interestingly better chance of falling a spot or two

    Islanders have the best chance of moving up a spot or 2 with the most massive increase of any teams…shooting up 7 to 11 spots

    • Joen7 says:

      I was running it last week and we were coming up in the lottery like 3 out of 10 times. Now the odds are low. Thanks for standing on your head Hank! AV keep playing him maybe we can slip down another 4 or 5 slots.

  23. Joen7 says:

    I have not notice anyone pointing out that Brady S. has taken a big step back this year. Is it just me or is he always out of position?

    • Leatherneck says:

      I also noticed but am very curious as to that being a product of this year and not as much about his play

      • Joen7 says:

        Could be what’s going on around him to some extent, but I’m very worried about him. I was hoping he was going to be a solid top 4.

  24. Joen7 says:

    Other thoughts on the back line O’Gara is not impressive I do not see the upside like I see on the 2 kids they brought up from the Pack Pionk and Gilmour.

    What about Smith we should bring him back up here and build him back to trade-able asset even if we have to eat some of the money. I don’t understand sending him down, if he works his way out of his issues .. there is a sucker born every minute especially if some team gets in trouble on the blueline next year. He does us no good with the Pack, he could be either here building his rep back or improving our draft position.

  25. tanto says:

    People keep talking as if there’s a chance that Tavares will sign with us as a UFA. I say forget that, the odds are probably twice as good that we win the lottery and pick Dahlin. The market for Tavares would really have to disappear if we were to have a shot. If all things are equal he’s signing somewhere else. He’s made his feelings about the Rangers abundantly clear, he hates us more than any other team.

    • wwpd says:

      Why would anyone want NYR to sign Tavares? Boggles the mind. Then again I feel the same way about kovy and i see people penciling him into the lineup too , go figure. No, stay away from all this nonsense!

  26. Reenavipul says:

    Karlsson scares me for multiple reasons:

    The Achilles’ tendon. Ankles get poor blood flow, worried about long term prognosis. With the revisions where they were shaving bone to restart blood flow is a giant red flag. Sounds like a ticking time bomb.

    His on ice value. Puts up good numbers(though this is his worst rate in years) but even when he killed it on 5v5 the Sens bled shots and goals against when he was on ice.

    If the Rangers weren’t going to give McD a contract like he would’ve expected, why would you give up the moon for a guy who is in the same boat and serious injury concerns?

    • Walt says:

      Who needs a Bill Walton on skates? We certainly don’t, besides he is a defensive liability as well!!!!!!!

  27. Richter1994 says:

    1977 Rangers have 2 first round picks, Lucien Beblois and Ron Duguay, Duguay did ok but had his best seasons were with the Red Wings. Deblois was basically a bust being picked at #8 overall. Bossy passed over twice by the Rangers.

    1999 Rangers make Pavel Brendl the 4th overall pick who turns out to be a total bust.

    2003 Rangers pick Hugh Jessiman who blows out his knee and plays a few more games in the NHL than I do. That year, the Rangers could have thrown a dart on a dart board to make their pick and basically picked the only bust in the entire first round.

    2004 Rangers select Al Montoya 6th overall, who went on to have a less than favorable hockey career.

    Other than Hank, name me one Ranger draft pick in the last 20 years that has made any kind of impact that screams “elite talent.” Every one of their best offensive players have come from outside the organization. Kovalev being the last best offensive player drafted by the Rangers that had “elite talent.”

    And yet, most of you are 100% convinced that loading up on picks is the true way to bring the Cup here. Maybe, but history is against you. Big time.

    If it were me, I would target other team’s premier prospects via trade who have already played at higher levels that come with less risk than draft picks. Maybe that time has passed given the fact that the Rangers have already traded valuable assets.

    Time will tell.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Nobody deals grade A prospects unless you give up a ton in exchange. An inefficient use of resources.

      • Richter1994 says:

        Probably. That’s why you get them when you trade the assets the Rangers just traded.

        The only saving grace appears to be that the Rangers are drafting better. Chytil could be a steal. Andersson, not the same upside as Chytil but could be a strong NHLer for a long time.

        It’s great to get the picks, but you also have to close the deal with very good drafting. We will see how the Rangers use these newly acquired assets, meaning they use them for trade or they use them for drafting.

        • Reenavipul says:

          Drafting well means nothing without quality development. Not sure the team has done a good job of that, very sure that AVs usage has not been good in that regard.

          When the Devils did their cup run back in the day, they had 50 drafted & developed players playing throughout the league, but only 12-16 were on their roster.

          You coach up low round picks into bottom 6, 3rd pair D, turn them into 2nd & 3rd round picks, turn 2nd-3rd round picks into top 6-top 4 players which you trade $1.50 for a $1 top 3-1st pair player or multiple 1s depending on your place in the cycle.

          • Richter1994 says:

            Right, it’s a 2 step process: Identifying the talent and utilizing that talent in the right way.

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      Forgot Blackburn , wasn’t he like eight overall and blew the shoulder out messing around in the GYM ?

      • Richter1994 says:

        I think he was 10th overall, but I will say that he was the real deal. Too bad he got that nerve damage that ended his career.

    • Leatherneck says:

      96 to 02….there were no depth in those drafts,,,,,Brendl would’ve been selected in the 3rd or 4th round of this year

      • Reenavipul says:


        Brendl put up ridiculus numbers his draft year, nobody in the Western league is putting up numbers half as close as he did this year or last.

        The resources available to scouting departments today are tremendous in comparison to 98.

      • Richter1994 says:

        He was considered pretty high end at that time bro.

        • RagsFan says:

          Brendl had skating issues which made him a bust in the NHL. Ridiculous that we selected someone like that at all, never mind 1st round

    • Walt says:


      True statement about our history. Now, who was running the show at that time, Sather right? How serious was he when it came to drafting? His attitude was we’ll buy whomever we need, and go from there.

      Today, especially working under a cap system, it’s imperative to have a very solid scouting department, draft solid players, develop them, and keep the payroll within a certain range. I honestly believe that under JT, and the current scouting department, we can’t lose, especially with such quality for the entire 1st round, and deep thru the 3rd round. I’m excited for the very near future, youth, better defense, and a shot at some elite players!!!!!!!

      • Richter1994 says:

        All true my friend. Hard cap leagues make talent evaluation AND proper implementation a MUST.

        You summed it up properly bro.

  28. Reenavipul says:

    As for Tavares, my concern is that the Rangers window and his personal window do not exactly match up.

    I’d rather start Halverson the rest of the way and go for the number 4 pick this year so the team can get an elite player rather than quick fix where three years in Tavares is blocking our elite forwards coming up and saddled with that contract.

  29. stuart says:

    While this draft is deep, next year is the one with the big prize. JACK HUGHES!!!
    He is not Connor McDavid or Austin Matthews he is different but every bit a GENERATIONAL PLAYER. Tell me a recent team that has won the Cup without a generational player. He is playing in the GTHL but is going to the US National Development Program next year. That is what his older brother Quinton did and he is one of the top rated defenseman in this draft (I think he is a dual citizen). Forget about Dahlen this guy is the real deal. The team that gets him will win the Cup. That is who the Rangers should focus on. Finding a way to get the first pick in next years draft.

  30. lv says:

    Until we get the next #1 goalie, why would top players want to sign with us with an aging goalie versus other teams on the brink of the cup?

    • Robert Carroon says:

      We have got the next #1 goalie (s) Georgeiv and Shestyorkin. No need to look any further except as some insurance to play in Hartford or Greenville. When KH hangs up his crown they are ready to go, be it tomorrow or two years from now.