Quick thoughts on tanking

With the win last night, there seems to be two groups of people. One group is upset the Blueshirts won (over the Penguins!) because they need to tank. The other group is happy they won. There are a few people that want the tank and want to beat the Pens, but they seem to be few and far between. I fall in that group.

Let’s be clear about the tank. The front office sold off assets to set up for the future. They did not deliver a message to the players to lose on purpose. For starters, that’s just wrong. You don’t want that message to come from anyone in the club. It sets the wrong precedent and gives these kids, who we want to grow and develop and have that “competitive attitude” we all want. Telling them to tank does the opposite.

Second, players don’t tank. Players want to win. Even when the teams I played on growing up stunk, we still wanted to win. We wanted to be spoilers. We didn’t just give up and say there’s always next year. There’s pride at stake here. Players don’t care about lottery odds or Rasmus Dahlin.

With the player aspect out of the way, let’s look at the standings. The Rangers are 21st (10th overall pick) in the standings with 71 points. Ten teams are behind them. The closest to them are the Isles, with 70 points and two games in hand. The Hawks have 68 points and one game in hand.

Beyond that, there is very little chance the Rangers fall lower in the standings. Edmonton is the next highest team, with 65 points. Sure, the Blueshirts could lose out, but that’s highly unlikely. If anything, hoping the Isles and Hawks win a bunch of games is the best bet to drop to the eighth overall pick.

Let’s say that out of the nine points the Rangers have earned this month, they should have only earned five (wins over Calgary, Pittsburgh removed in this hypothetical. That drops the Rangers to eighth, as mentioned above, and Edmonton is two points behind with a game in hand. Montreal three points back with a game in hand. Perhaps sixth worst record is within reach. The magic number is getting in the top five (Detroit), but that would be highly unlikely.

Are we really going to get this upset over a scenario that likely wouldn’t have happened anyway? In the most realistic of scenarios, it was a stretch that the Blueshirts finished with fewer than five points, which was just outlined above. All In For Dahlin is funny and cute, but not realistic.

Plus, even if they did finish in the bottom-five, there’s no guarantee they even draft there. There’s no guarantee they don’t move up in the draft lottery from ninth to second. There’s a whole other aspect here. Yea, they can increase the number of ping pong balls, but it’s still random. I don’t know about you, but I’m not losing sleep over one or two draft spots.

"Quick thoughts on tanking", 5 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.

54 thoughts on “Quick thoughts on tanking

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    How it will work out is that if we want to get into the top 3, we will have to trade off both our first rounders and an additional player.

    I think the bottom teams need lots of help and our 2 picks and Zucc won’t do it. We will get a very nice player, but not someone who will step in and score 25.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Not many teams will trade the top 3 pick but if we get 2 or 3 I would trade it

      if we get 1 it’s an obvious….draft Dahlin

      2 or 3 is Svechnikov, Zadina, Bovqist….but I want Wahlstrom
      4 to 6 is 1 of Svechnikov, Zadina Bovquist…Tkatchuk and Hughes

      Say Montreal lands 6 and we get 2 or 3….trade down to 6 plus get 2 of their 2nd round picks 1st and 3rd of their 2nd round picks and their 3rd round pick

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Just root for all those other crappy teams to win instead of us losing.

    Again, players won’t tank and the organization can only do so much to help the tanking process along. If you really want to lay the blame for poor tanking on someone, blame AV. He has consistently shortened the bench in a number of these “wins”. That combined with the excellent goaltending we’ve been getting, even from an unproven rookie, makes it impossible to properly tank.

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Tell that to Chicago, Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit, Islanders and Vancouver

    They are smart in tanking….and players aren’t stupid to not realize strategy

    You don’t think the Penguins tanked? Oilers? Islanders? in past years?

    You need to draft your elite player to win the Cup….period

    Do you really think the Rangers are going to suddenly win the cup next year?

    This is foolish pride…..I was at an Army base in Wisconsin and a bunch of 82nd Airborne dudes got bold with us…..we walked (let them think we were scared)….to get reinforcements….and then we fought…I wanted to fight a 1 on 1 fight not a fight out numbered 10-1

    You also have to take into account that this years draft is special hence my reasons to tank….If we say miraculously get the 2nd or 3rd pick I would trade it to Montreal or Detroit to get more picks.

    Zadina is a pure scorer….Svechnikov a complete player and Wahlstrom all the above and a power forward and a righty hence why I want him…..yeah Zadina will score more goals but other areas are lacking….Svechnikov and Wahlstrom equal in many ways but Rangers need righty shooters and not much of a drop off in talent if any
    Svechnikov nets 32 and Wahlstrom 29….but compliments the team better……give me Wahlstrom….this is exactly why those teams mentioned for rebuild failed….especially the Oilers

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      First, let me say that I agree that it takes elite talent to win the cup. No, I dont think the above teams are tanking. Each has had a more than a few chances to lose to some elite teams. Ottawa goes into Fl and sweeps. Chicago is .500 last 12, most on the rd. Etc. Hockey is the only sport that has no subs! Fourth liners could get more minutes, but the only real way to tank is to play an inferior goalie. It seems the Rangers dont have any.
      Also, would you really want players to go through the motions. Who would want those players on your team. Besides the fact that injuries occur when you dont put out effort. I want the Rangers to move in to the top three, but I don’t see the possibilty.

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm

        Thank you Stevesse for bringing some reason to this discussion. Organizations and/or coaches can try to set up their players to fail, but players will rebel against the notion. It’s not about stupid pride versus intelligent pride, personal pride versus team pride, it’s about the soul of each of these players. Tanking on purpose eats away at a man’s soul.

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm

        No….you just put a different line up….this is not rocket science

        Tamballeni, Gropp, Lietteri. Fogarty. Perdie….

        • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm

          Correct me ir i’m wrong, butI do believe the teamhas a limited amount of new callups. If they are brought up, it blocks Chytl and Anderson from being seen this year.

          • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:25 pm

            And that’s not an issue….bring them up too as long as we don’t lose a year on their ELC

            • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm

              Of course it’s an issue. There are only so many call ups you’re allowed to make post trade deadline. If they call up Chytil and Andersson we’re likely to do even better than we’re doing now. lol If you want to ascribe blame somewhere (and it seems you do), blame the coach for his ice time distribution. Look at the numbers since the trade deadline and you’ll see what I mean.

            • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:48 pm

              Thumbs down guy….your thoughts? You’d rather lose a year on their ELC? Don’t bring them up? That’s a pretty silly thumbs down

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      We need size up and down the line. I would love Wahlstrom or Tkachuk. Also be interested in Riley Sutter. Pionk and Gilmour may have some growing pains but I love the way they both shoot first. Especially Pionk. Then we need garbage men in front that can’t be moved. Hockey hasn’t changed that much……

      PS. Who was harder to listen to – Susan Sarandon or Gasbag Mike Milbury?

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:59 pm

        Milbury. Always Milbury. I have skipped games I don’t really care as much about to avoid hearing him, and just watch online highlights instead sometimes as well. If I do watch one of his games, I mute it. Not kidding. Can’t stand biased national announcers.

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:05 pm

        Great question. Susan Sarandon was an abomination. I’m still trying to reattach my ears.



        “Hockey players are sexy”


        So much dead air, awkward silence and cliche nonsense. Never again. Get Kevin Hart on if you want someone who will be entertaining and also help bring in a new audience to a national broadcast. Hard fail.

        • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm

          Hey, Zuccarello is her favorite … she told him so before the game. Aren’t you glad now that you know that?

          In all honesty it was probably just because she was there … if they had seen Margot Robbie at the game do you think they would have passed up the opportunity to interview her instead? 😉

          • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:54 pm

            WTF was that Sarandon crap NBC had to be kidding

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        even though he wasn’t there, mike emrick !!!

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    To pick at 10 or lower (10 to 15) is a disaster when you have the opportunity to draft 5 to 7,,,,I hope this point sinks in with the readers

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      I am hoping that the Rangers Brass knows as much about these prospects as YOU do!!!! And I hope they approach the draft the way you are saying they should!!!!!! BUT after 50 years of following them and their constant mismanagement of assets/players………its only hope……

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm

        Do YOUR research…like I did….you’ll see this year’s draft is special

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I am AMPED they dumped the Penguins last night. The uncertainty of the lottery should quell any fan’s thirst for piling up the losses. Like Dave said, it’s a crapshoot.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Not this year….it.s not….middle of 2nd round are considered 1st round prospects….top 8 players elite…..1st a Generational player down to middle of 2nd high end prospects

      this will not be the case next year,,,,crap shoot is next year

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm

        So what you’re saying is that you actually like Lundqvist now because Gregoriev won’t stop winning games?

        I see you, Leather 🙂

        • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:23 pm

          I have never hated Lundqvist….I did hate the bias and preferential treatment he got

          I view Lundqvist in a different light….Just like McDonagh and a few others he just was no longer a fit for the Rangers and this is even more true today.

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Two things have changed since all these trades, thus the team will not be tanking. 1) AV is forced to give quality playing time and linemates (albeit Fast) to Hayes, Vesey, and Buch and we are seeing the results of AV historical errors (as to is Miller’s performance in the sunshine state), and 2) a number of young defenders are fighting for a roster spot next year. Compete level is much higher now than it was 2 months ago for these two primary reasons.

    By prediction on the latter is that DeAngelo will be the odd man out with Pionk and Gilmour performing well. DeAngelo will get traded for a 4th or 5th round draft pick before the draft or thrown in when moving up in the 1st.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Tony is a very skilled player who just needs to get stronger. I wouldn’t trade him and he’s worth more than a 4th or 5th. He’s the real deal providing a new coach with ice time he succeeds.

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm

        Jury is out on Tony but I would not move him yet not for a 4th or 5th. Give me a 2 and where to I sign.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Ridiculous valuation of ADA.

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:29 pm

        Well lets see. We got a 7th pick overall in the Arizona deal so lets assume that was for Stepan, leaving Raanta as the other piece for DeAngelo. The previous season Dallas Stars acquired G Ben Bishop from Los Angeles Kings for a fourth-round pick in 2017 Draft. And last building block to my analysis, DeAngelo was traded the prior off season for a 2nd rounder.

        So DeAngelo’s value has gone from 1st round (selected) to a 2nd rounder traded 2 summers ago, to no better than 4th rounder last summer based on a generous evaluation of Raanta (as being the equivalent to Ben Bishop).

        You really think the next time he is shipped off its going to be much better than a 4th or 5th rounder?!?!?!?! Kid has skill no doubt but you also need a brain in this game.

        • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:01 pm

          The problem with your logic is that Bishop’s career was going in one direction (trending down) while Raanta’s was going in another (up). Plus Raanta had 1 year left on his K, Bishop was going to be a UFA. Sorry if one of your building blocks fell down.

          • Mar 15, 2018 at 4:26 pm

            At the time of these trades Raanta was no Bishop regardless of age and/or contract.

            • Mar 15, 2018 at 5:49 pm

              Look at the numbers and then tell me that again.

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    If the Rangers end up 3/6 Wahlstrom is my pick but 6/10 it’s Noah Dobson. The Rangers shouldn’t trade any of their 1st round picks unless it’s for Dahlin.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:01 pm


      then try a trade offer to get back into 1

      Dobson/Bouchard (trade into) 8-9

      2nd round

      3rd round
      Riley Sutter/Florchuk (project with high reward)

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Obviously this was a half-baked tank. The moment you get back a Name or Spooner, RFAs playing for a contract, and not immediately flip them for draft picks or younger assets, you are not really in tank mode. I’d add trading JTM due to “coachability” issues and getting Name in return instead of a younger prospect or draft picks is another example of the team not being in tank mode.

    Also the fact that they have not fired AV into the sun means that the team believes in him, and is also probably on board with AV’s thoughts that Hanks “inconsistency” has a lot to do with why this team is a tire fire.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      That last point is my biggest fear about this all. I do not find it at-all far-fetched to consider.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Wow, wrong on virtually every point. 😉 AV finishes out the string at a minimum because who the hell do you replace him with at this time of the year? Ruff? No thanks. Is it possible he stays? I imagine so, but keeping him past the deadline tells us nothing about his fate after the season is over.

      Spooner? In part because of salary cap issues with Boston but he is just 25 years old. Not exactly ready for the wheel chair just yet. There’s still time to flip him over the summer and his value has only increased during his time with us —- plus JG has stated clearly that he isn’t done yet. The same holds true for Name — but add to that the fact another trade would have been impossible, they got the TB trade in at the wire.

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:59 pm

        People speak to the logic of having kept AV even if they intend to fire him, and I’m not saying that is necessarily flawed logic although I don’t personally subscribe to all of it…I really just don’t think that is the case here, though. I think it is because AV and Sather/Gorton are buddies, frankly. They gave AV a ton of rope IMO in letting him survive the Ottawa series. His coaching blunders in that series were on display for the world to see. The only way someone didn’t see them as a fireable offense is if they chose not to, IMO.

        Teams bring in interim coaches all the time and it isn’t exactly a secret they have no intent of keeping them around. While that seems to happen more frequently when there is a falling-out scenario, point is, you don’t need to have the coach of your dreams lined up for the next decade in order to make a coaching change. Those things are not mutually exclusive, and I really don’t get treating them as such.

        • Mar 15, 2018 at 5:59 pm

          There was no point changing the narrative, we weren’t going to salvage the season by making a change … keeping AV was cost-effective. Whatever the reasons for keeping him around, they’ve stated that all will be determined at the end of the season and I take them at their word.

        • Mar 15, 2018 at 6:48 pm

          There is no question that AV made some questionable moves in the Ottawa series. Putting all the blame on him for that series loss is unfair.

          Although on paper we were the better team, that doesn’t guarantee success. They played harder and got some puck luck. They also took Pittsburgh to double OT in game 7 before succumbing. They were no pushover

          Brady and Brendan were clearly our best defensive pair in the playoffs but were sat in key moments. I really wonder what the AV haters would say if they were on the ice for the decisive goals. Probably something like this: AV is a moron, how do you play a rookie and a career underperformer in crunch time?

          I’m on the fence about AV. He is definitely a flawed coach and probably not what we need moving forward. That said he has been pretty successful (yes hasn’t won a CUP but its taken many a coach a while to do so) and despite the occasional no show games, the team seems to play hard often. Coming back against the 2 time defending champions that are also one of the hottest teams in the league the past few wks is impressive

          • Mar 15, 2018 at 9:18 pm

            “I really wonder what the AV haters would say if they were on the ice for the decisive goals. Probably something like this: AV is a moron, how do you play a rookie and a career underperformer in crunch time?”

            No truer and funnier words were ever written Art!” Thanks for the belly laugh!

          • Mar 16, 2018 at 9:58 am

            Glass, Staal, and Holden were on for multiple devastating goals against that series. First thing, Glass should not have even been on the roster. So there’s that. Second thing, no matter what Staal has done in the past, no matter how much the coaching staff enjoys his company as a human being, they should realize that he simply no longer has the physical tools to execute a man/overload system well…and certainly not in crunch time when the opposing team has shortened their bench and is playing their first two lines as much as they can handle. Third, as for Holden, he was slightly more defensible…but only slightly. While he does have the physical tools to handle man/overload, he never had a good mind for it; not very heady. Most of his mistakes were mental – how many times did we see him double-up on someone else’s man or go behind the net and leave someone open in the slot or fail to find his man in time while coming out of the overload, etc.?

            To answer your question about us “haters” and how we may have responded had say Buchnevich and Skjei/Smith been on for those multiple crushing goals against instead, I personally would have said, “Well, at least AV didn’t have Glass, Holden, and Staal out there again. He did what he should have and put them in the best position possible, even if it didn’t work out.”

            One of a coach’s simplest jobs is to not neuter the potential of the team by making decisions based on anything other than performance. They were not on the ice because all other options were completely gassed. They were not on the ice because they were the hot hand. They were on the ice because, in AV’s best judgement, they were the prime guys for the job. Woof.

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Few quick personal thoughts, probably won’t be popular judging by some of the feedback above…

    Professional sports teams have definitely intentionally tanked before. Fairly regularly, if you ask me. Sometimes it is fairly obvious, other times not as much. Some teams do it for whole seasons, start to finish. Others switch into that mode when an unexpected development (or several) pulls the rug out and leaves them lurking in the weeds.

    Let’s not act like it has never happened in the history of reverse-placement draft order, lottery formats or not. We’ve seen suspiciously long minor injury recoveries. We’ve seen star players given more “maintenance days”. We’ve seen GMs keep best prospects down. We’ve seen interim coaches brought in who had absolutely no shot of being the long-term solution. We’ve even seen expensive but good players traded for suspicious returns in some of the more long-term tank efforts. C’mon now. Just because GMs don’t come out after the season and speak to the press about how well they orchestrated the tank doesn’t mean that GMs are never orchestrating a tank. Tanks are always “secret” even when they are clear-as-daylight.

    This is a unique draft. All-in for the top pick is not needed here to get a great prospect. Top three is your average range to draw true high-impact projection players; that’s not needed here either. A deep draft is top five. This draft is top seven according to most, even top eight or nine according to some. That’s an opportunity. They’re not doing themselves any favors stealing games at this point. That’s why you do not want a hot-seat coach overseeing a tank. They will (as Tanto mentioned above) do shit like continue to shorten the bench in games that serve the team’s future best if lost, because it best serves their future in perhaps staying put, or if not in padding their resume.

    Do I expect Kevin Hayes to “accidentally” shoot it into his own net? No. For some reason, that is where some peoples’ minds go when there is discussion of tanking. There are numerous other ways to facilitate losses, but the whole front office does basically need to be in cahoots. The GM can make it happen without getting himself fired so long as everyone is “secretly” on board. That just does not seem to be the case here though, and personally, while not losing sleep…yeah, I find it unfortunate. “Just our luck” sort of thing. Have the opportunity, yet they go out and beat the reigning world champs. Go figure. It’s making me grumpy, to say the least…this win streak literally could be turning a golden opportunity into another McIlrath. Nobody should be amped about that, if you ask me.

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:14 pm


      As usual, great post, and spot on. The thought that such very good players are available to us should we lose, temps me sooooooooooo!

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      As has been stated over and over again, players will not tank … whether it’s Kevin Hayes, Neal Pionk, O’Gara, or Georgiev. The bottom line here is that we were never as bad as we played after New year’s nor were we as good as we played prior. Even after all the trades, we’re still better than the teams beneath us for the most part. Besides, we’re a classy organization … if you prefer we be trashy and win it that way, well that’s your issue. I say leave it up to fate and the ping pong balls. Either we’ll strike gold or we’ll pretty much land where we are … no guarantees.

      • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:42 pm

        I hear you to some degree, Tanto. And that’s what my final point about Hayes speaks to. I don’t expect players to blatantly throw games. I do not, at all, however, have any problem with teams’ front offices gaming the draft system. At least not in this type of scenario. That’s the NHL’s problem, not the teams’ problem.

        • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm

          … but Egel, it isn’t just that the player’s won’t throw a game, it’s that they will play to win … Consider what the front office did to facilitate a tank, we traded are top goal scorer, we traded are best 2 way forward and we traded a youngish 50 point guy … we traded our best d’man as well … we’ve had as many as 4 rookies play on D at the same time … we’ve played our backup quite a bit … we’ve given up 40+ shots in most games, still we win … we gut them out. That gutting a win out mentality has been bred into our players from day 1, this is one of the reasons we’ve been so competitive over the last 12 seasons, we win games we should lose. The players just can’t forget that way of playing.

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I want a decent product on the ice, but if they fail, and we move up in the draft, I’m OK with it!

    It just irritates the hell out of me seeing that Cindy, and Igor wearing that uniform for a scumbag town, and team, hoisting the cup twice already, with a very good chance to do it again this year.

    Mario Le Wimp is a dirt bag, took government money to build their new stadium, both in Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre with the threat of moving if the state didn’t put up the cash. Under his ownership they dove, got these 2 schmucks in the same draft, Igor as well because of the lock out, and now it’s a very viable organization. Hate what they did, and always will, especially being a Pennsylvania resident.

    Last night when we were down 2-0 I was OK, then the thought of this organization, and their history, the disdain for them rose to the point that draft be damned, beat these turds. I only wish that they get eliminated in the first round, so I can call this a successful season!!!!!!!

    • Mar 15, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      If they’re gonna win, in theory, I’d rather have it be against a rival. Sure. I’d have been a lot more down for them to beat the Pens last night, however, if they hadn’t gone and pulled points out of the Flames, Oilers, Panthers, and Hurricanes games already this month.

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Too bad we didn’t start the rebuild in Dec. We would be in playoff position right now. Players don’t tank they are really playing much harder now.

  • Mar 15, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    The Rangers right now are shooting themselves in their feet, it looks like they are NOT going to get a top 10 pick which means they are not going to get an elite player with potential to be great.

    As I have warned weeks earlier, the winningest regular season coach or on his way to be the winningest regular season coach in NHL history wants to set another milestone for his lustrous career, and the rebuild and the future of the NY Rangers have nothing to do with AV’s next gig. Why the NYR didn’t fire him right after the trade deadline is mind boggling.

    To those who are happy about getting a win over the Pens, well sometimes you need to lose a battle to win the war, and currently the Rangers winning more games is clearly hurting their chances to get a top talent player in the coming draft, which makes them farther and farther away from the CUP.

    Here is a good article from Larry Brooks:


  • Mar 16, 2018 at 12:09 am

    Ty Ronning scored his 60th of the season. What is the kid? Can he be a big time scorer up here? I know he has playing in a wide open league but no one has scored 60 goals out there since 1996.

  • Mar 16, 2018 at 2:16 am

    Everyone labels him just a high energy bottom 6 guy. You never really know though until they get in the League, every once in a while someone surprises the pundits.

    If I was guessing I would say he’ll be a 15 a year guy, but there’s no reason to doubt at least the possibility that he could top out in the low 20s.

  • Mar 16, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Screw the tank, that game was awesome. were not getting number 1,2 or 3
    as for Susan….oooh wow….she can sit next o me any time.

Comments are closed.