Apr
09

Rumor: Rangers to sign Ilya Kovalchuk

April 9, 2018, by

ilya kovalchuk

Per Igor Eronko, the Rangers are set to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a 2-3 year deal. This comes a little out of left field, as there was always chatter but nothing concrete regarding Kovalchuk and the Rangers. The soon-to-be 35 year old winger has played the last five years in the KHL after finding a way out of his disastrous contract in New Jersey.

Before going to the KHL, Kovalchuk was a legit sniper in the NHL, averaging a point a game with one of the more lethal wrist shots we’ve seen. He was a prime talent. At 35 he’s unlikely going to be that dominant, but there’s a chance he will still be useful. I hate the idea of a multi-year deal for a 35 year old though.

Also, what’s the point of this in a rebuild? If the Blueshirts were looking for a fast turnaround, then trading Ryan McDonagh was silly. The Rangers are trying to pull a Yankees, and that probably won’t go as well as it did in the Bronx. Unless the plan is to spin him at next year’s deadline, I’m not a fan.

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106 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    Why?

    • Mintgecko says:

      Because with Illya you have a new voice to help jump start this rebuild…

      Because you can have alot of fun with line combos. He can play with either Hayes or Zib.

      Because the PP just got insanely cool…

      Because he has character and that crazy Russian blood like Malkin who looks like a maniac if someone touches him after the whistle. Or at least when Avery or Cally tried messing with him back in the day.

      • SalMerc says:

        New coach, new players, high draft picks – start fresh. Ilya is a step back IMO. Would rather bring Grabner back than Ilya.

        • Mintgecko says:

          Okay?

          Well I wouldn’t want to see that so you should be able to understand my excitement about this. You also should have read the warning signs beforehand that Kovalchuk was going to sign here soon enough after his season gets done and over with.

      • okligf says:

        fake

  2. Brendan says:

    This would be like a drug addict having a relapse. Like you said, unless it’s all a plan to flip him… then why would he want to sign here in the first place?

    • Mintgecko says:

      Maybe because certain Ranger fans aren’t shi# so that idea of a 2-3 year rebuild that most thought of was never in the plan? JG had to clearly give up on some intel on how far away their willing to wait until they take another shot at some cup runs.

  3. agentsmith says:

    the plan is even if they nab a wahstrom or take a d man first that puts a 2-3 year window for him to arrive. also I think they see that chytil /andersson need more time than perhaps anticipated, which is fine.

    • Egelstein says:

      Hot take: Chytil and Andersson do not need more AHL time. Nor should they get it. Are they polished NHL players at this point? Of course not. Are they already adequately skilled enough to play significant NHL minutes next season on a team that figures to finish in the bottom 30% of the league? Yup.

      • Agentsmith says:

        Not really a hot take. But 30 pts should be a reasonable expectation not 75.

        • Egelstein says:

          I concur that the expectations need to be tempered and reasonable, and in some circles, they may not be so. I do also think they both should be virtual locks to start with the big club next season, though.

      • Reenavipul says:

        If they’re strong enough to handle the NHL, then they should stay up. But I’d rather see them dominate in the AHL for a couple of weeks before calling them up. And when I say dominate, I’m talking more than 1ppg and a .5 gpg

        And the 1st person(besides me) who mentions a Bourque as the exception that proves the rule gets a thousand needles in their voodoo doll.

  4. hondo says:

    Great news 2 days in a row! At least we have 1 player who is a unique talent. Why does everyone think during a rebuild you can only have young players?

    • agentsmith says:

      well it sure beats having peashooter hobbit shooting 30 ft puffers from the circle on the pp.

      • Mintgecko says:

        Lol nobody is going to agree to the truth like that. You would have to bow down before trying to say another player is better than him and go outside to find a random puddle to put your coat on and than you might be in the clear.

        • Egelstein says:

          Um…what?

          • Mancunian Candidate says:

            More crackpipe prophecies from Mint I guess.

          • Mintgecko says:

            I was mocking that attempt to diss Zucc. I think you need to be elegant to put try and drag his game in the mud. It’s not rocket science homie…

            • Egelstein says:

              I legitimately did not understand that analogy with the puddle, is all. I’m not even bothering to respond to all of the vitriol being spewed at Zucc in some circles right now. Really don’t understand it short of the fact that with Nash gone, that ire had to transfer somewhere.

      • Reenavipul says:

        At this point it’s fair to argue whether the team would be better served with Fast taking Zucc’s role, as his P60 at 5v5 is now better.

        I write this as the person who thinks Fast is a fungible asset.

    • czech!!! says:

      Because all he does is keep you in mediocre draft position and still not make the playoffs. Its called spinning your wheels

  5. Blue Seat says:

    Being a Russian could be helpful to Buch, Name, Zib and the Russian youths on the way.

    Or maybe just a Democratic rumor.

    • craig says:

      Definitely intriguing, but somehow does’t make sense after they dismantled the team, going in a different direction. Will he decide to bang out of the contract like he did with the Devils? I doubt if he will help Bush or any team member develop if that is his character. He may be more of a cancer then a help. How much money will be wasted on him? How much skill can he bring at this point at 35? He may be another Jagr or maybe not. I say pass on this one, and stick with the kids.
      Zib is not Russian, but an Iranian from Sweden.

  6. TCJJ says:

    I don’t get the hate. It’s a move that cost the Rangers no draft picks, no prospects, and opens up the possibility of dangling one of the many middle six forwards for a stronger draft position or something else. The Rangers will have cap space to afford it without jeopardizing the UFA class. It’s a move that may have a marginal return on on-the-ice results, but it will be fun for fans, a boon for some of the team’s developing players, and does little to affect the process of rebuilding. And it could turn out that he has at least one elite season, which who knows what that might do for a young team. See Eric Staal.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Want to know why a 2-3 year contract would be a bad idea?

      CBA 50.2(c)(iv) All Player Salary and Bonuses earned in a League Year by a Player who is in the second or later year of a multi-year SPC which was signed when the Player was age 35 or older (as of June 30 prior to the League Year in which the SPC is to be effective), regardless of whether, or where, the Player is playing, except to the extent the Player is playing under his SPC in the minor leagues, in which case only the Player Salary and Bonuses in excess of $100,000 shall count towards the calculation of Actual Club Salary

      So even if he went back to Russia after a year, he would be on the Rangers cap

      Kovy has zero leverage: he’s the one that wants to play in NYC, he’s the one who wants to play for the Rangers, why are you outbidding yourself in a 1 party auction?

      In all likelihood that’s Kovy’s agent putting out a deal proposal, which he shouldn’t get.

      A 1 year, big signing bonus, $650k paragraph 1 salary with an AAV of $4mm and a ton of scoring bonuses that could get to $7mm if he kills it, $5mm if he’s a 25 goal scorer.

      • pavel_burrito says:

        Lessons learned from the St. Louis deal. Zero. Outbidding yourself in a 1 party auction is the Rangers MO

    • Mintgecko says:

      I think the hate stems through thinking that this was a win now move opposed to thinking that this reset would take up to 2-3 years. I’m assuming those fans weren’t native New Yorkers so reality just slapped them in the face.

      Regardless of this move I think it’s safe to say a bottom 6 forward was going to get traded. Vladdy and Spooner were against all odds to remain as Rangers once their fellow team decided to treat them like throw ins.

  7. Mikeyyy says:

    Click bait

  8. Walt says:

    I have always been opposed to getting guys that have passed their prime so that we have a marquee name to plaster out there for the world to see. I still am opposed to this idea of signing him for what was stated in the article, 3 years @ $6 mil per.

    I also understand we need some veterans to lead this team, which will be very young, but something doesn’t feel right just the same. I would offer a very bonus laden contract, with goals to reach instead of big money up front, with no incentives. Right me off as a big question mark, leaning against this move!!!!!!!!!

    • Walt says:

      There could be an upside to this move, that being we will get Igor, and Rykov coming to the states in two years, along with Buch, who all could use some Russian leadership. They are currently playing with Kovie in the KHL, and this would entice them to come over and play with this guy. The only question I have, he walked away form the Devils, what’s to say he wouldn’t do something like that again????????

      • Emile the Cat says:

        Walt, in 2-3 years they’ll have to wheel him away. 😛

      • Chris A says:

        Being a mentor for the other young Russians on the Rangers roster is a good point Walt. The other thing is that the Rangers don’t really need that cap space for the next two years.

        The Rangers are already looking at a ridiculous $25M in cap space this summer and that’s before the 2018-19 cap increase, rumored to be an additional $5M. Also, the Rangers are still carrying another $5M annually in veteran dead weight on their cap in Beleskey and Brendan Smith, along with boat anchor Marc Staal and his almost $6M cap hit.

        Might as well overpay for a veteran and see if you can catch lightning in a bottle with Kovy. At least with Kovy it’s only a year or two and won’t be a long term commitment. If Kovy is coming to the Rangers, his contract will be expiring just as the Rangers are ready to be serious players again. Also, if Kovy signs without any movement clauses the Rangers may have added another deadline trade chip.

        Maybe I’m wrong, but I really see no downside here. Anytime you can add an asset for only a portion of your abundant cap space, that tends to be a smart move. I know the initial reaction is to groan about how it’s the same old Rangers, but when you actually think about the move and examine it in context, a Kovy signing has the potential to be an extremely shrewd move by Gorton.

        • Mintgecko says:

          If Travares signs here than that’s literally gives the team a new top line to work with. Maybe Zib goes over to wing? I want to know what the deal is on that front already. Does signing Illya make JT sign here? Maybe his agent is telling JG smooth move to entice his client? Well since we know that Kovalchuk will definitely rep Ranger blue, I wonder if Kreider goes through a trade or maybe even Zib.

          Hypothetical: John Travares actually resigns here. PP1 would need to kick out either Zib or Kreider. I think one of those two names sre as good as gone if that signing happens.

          • Chris A says:

            Tavares isn’t coming here and I don’t want him anyway. Why would the Rangers want to be stuck with an annual $10M cap hit for the next 7 years to a 1C that is already past his prime.

            Pay Kovy because it’s only for two years, don’t pay Tavares because for the majority of his next contract he won’t be worth it. Unless you think 60 points a year is just fine for $10M a year.

            Older players on short term deals (Kovy) are tolerable to fine, the problems start piling up when you give long term deals to players exiting (Tavares) or past their primes.

            • Walt says:

              Have to agree, no to Travares and that huge cap hit! If the term were say three-four years, maybe, but even at that we are overpaying!!!!!!

          • Jeff says:

            Great talent Tavares is, and he is, but he has done nothing, zero with the Islanders. Who has he made better? where is the leadership? Go elsewhere make a ton and enjoy. Just not here. Reminds me of Scott Gomez deal….forget the numbers…remember what showed on the ice. Don’t blame the D or the net minder. The Isles are a better club than the Rangers and still aren’t there. Is Snow still the GM?

      • pavel_burrito says:

        Russian leadership from the guy who captained the team that walked off during Canadian Anthem at 2015 world championships?
        I don’t think that would be setting a great example for the younglings.

    • czech!!! says:

      Plus we already have veterans. Where is it written that a veteran has to be 30+?

      CK, ZiB, Hank, Staal, Smith. We have all the vets we need

  9. Emile the Cat says:

    I have no problem with a 2 year deal… might do wonders for Buch, might incentivize Shesty and Yegor to play in NY, especially if they see Kovy’s desire to come here. But I have the feeling it will take more than 2 years, and he’s not coming here for less than 5 mil plus per year, IMO.

    • Flatbush says:

      Emile the cat

      Not sure especially for 3 years at top money. This whole idea of him helping Buch is pie in the sky thinking to justify signing him. Buch need to learn how to play without the puck, stop being soft, go to dirty areas and for all his skill he hasn’t showed a thing. Its on him. Kovy will have himself to take care of, he will bring us something but don’t expect a 30 goal year.

  10. amy says:

    would the rangers sign Kovy I would take a chance what is there to lose?

  11. craig says:

    Definitely intriguing, but somehow does’t make sense after they dismantled the team, going in a different direction. Will he decide to bang out of the contract like he did with the Devils? I doubt if he will help Bush or any team member develop if that is his character. How much skill does he still have at 35, and how long will it last? He may be another Jagr, or maybe not. He may be more of a cancer then a help. How much money will be wasted on him?I say pass on this one, and stick with the kids.
    By the way,Zib is not Russian, but an Iranian from Sweden.

  12. Mancunian Candidate says:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • Monty says:

      that’s deep! 🙂

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Nah, not deep, just true. A quick fix rarely works. 1 championship in 78 years doesn’t happen by accident. If they sign Kovalchuk and Tavares it’ll be more of the same mediocrity, these guys will perform well enough to keep the Rangers from attaining real progress in the draft next season. They’ll be an easy first-round playoff opponent at best, and the east has the likes of Tampa, Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Washington ready to chomp them up. At this point even with those 2 additions the Rangers don’t match up with any of the top 6 teams in the Eastern Conference.

    • Mintgecko says:

      That sounds like messed up saying that a drunk Guru would give. Is that how Peter Pan sucker those kids into staying little forever?

      If they sign JT than the center depth might be at it’s best in NYR history.

  13. Peter says:

    Time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for Kovy.

    A 35 year-old after shedding older players for picks? I’d have to see the deal and the plan, but, my gut reaction is just say no.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      A la Hadfield to Ratelle, or Miller to Ridley, I usually line up with you, Pope Peter.

      But herein I ‘gotta step out.

      First, I trust Gorts, his instincts: The need for a mentor among the young guns. A bridge generationally. A Russian speaking liaise for the aforementioned prospects in The KHL.

      But its the subtext, the messaging I find intriguing.

      What I discern is Kovalchuk–or his rep–senses that this organization is verged on a dynamic about face. Arguably, Ilya could be to this group what Rick Middleton was to the Bruins: a polished, three zone player in the Autumn of his years.

      If Gorts limits term length to two years, I see a significant addition.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Just as long as they’re rolling 1 year deals. It’s better for the team and the player that the deal is performance driven.

        If he kills it, he can earn $2.825mm in A&B bonuses from the club on top of what the league kicks in on the schedule B bonuses. He can’t get them on a 2 year deal and the club gets all of the downside risk. A 2 year deal puts his AAV at a point that makes improving the team beyond him problematic unless GMJG really threads the needle on the current RFAs.

  14. Furls says:

    At 35 he’s still better than any other sniper on the team…
    Maybe if someone would move Zibanejad to Hayes’ right they wouldn’t need Kovi. He’s paid as a center, but salary shouldn’t have anything to do with where Zbad plays.

    • upstateranger says:

      the way i see it is that z-bad has got to really up his game to be of any use @ all. he’s gotta show some more grit not just a check casher !!

      • Mintgecko says:

        I still think Zib is a scoring winger and would reach heights that Kreider can’t touch. When he’s not scoring much than his game looks really bad as in rarely winning any of his 1 on 1 battles. All the same can be said about Kreider. I’ll die before I ever admit that anyone needs to do more before that guy.

    • Mintgecko says:

      Maybe if Kreider who has McDavid like speed could play like a power forward every game than we wouldn’t need Illya? That cat needs way to many moving parts to become successful in this league.

  15. Andy says:

    Worst kept secret in hockey…

  16. Pas44 says:

    It’s time Rangers sit down with Henrik and possible deal him this upcoming season’s deadline, obviously retaining some salary.

    If this Kovi rumor means Igor is coming, it makes sense.

    I wouldn’t mind the Kovi teaching some of our youth, not for more then 2-3 years…

    and at what $$

  17. Leatherneck says:

    This will be a dumb signing and not in alignment with anything,,,,As someone said…if you sign him then why trade McD?
    If you are rebuilding Kreider type Vets are required younger in age not his age

    Then there is that illusion….to go for a Cup when you are not ready and F everything up

    In fact Lundqvist has to go to align. Now I am starting to hate Leaky….because of the impact his name is generating and becoming a danger to this team. Suck it up buttercup…you ain’t winning a Cup with the Rangers…So move on

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      I can see bringing him over for the Yutes … 2-3 ur deal but not for the 6 mil he’s looking for! He’s good but not that good. Maybe at 4.5 , he gotta give us a discount … Lol

    • Mintgecko says:

      Because McD is like a broken Hess truck. It was smart to sign off on him right now at this point in his career. I think people forgot about how he almost got his hand taken off in the Philly series of 2014. I don’t think that the injury ever healed.

    • Rich S says:

      Here we go again……
      Trade youth…..Miller…….sign 35 year old Kovi………
      Trade solid d vet….mcdonagh…..for prospect d men kids……..
      WHAT exactly are we doing???????
      And I totally agree… any team paying a goalie over 6 million wont win a cup….

    • czech!!! says:

      agreed

  18. Emile the Cat says:

    I understand that we are in a “rebuild/retool” and we have personnel problems, but every team in the NHL is flawed, except, maybe, that team in Fla that uses us as a feeder farm system. And by flawed I mean clueless coaches and their system fits, cap problems, mediocre goaltending and filler players that are minor leaguers.

    The point is we really are not that far away from a very good team. An elite center (Tavares), a sniper (Kovy), a PP QB ((Shatty), and a reborn Brenden Smith puts us in the Stanley Cup picture, not just the playoffs. Not to mention a coach that will use his players correctly. Plus I ain’t gettin any younger! 😤

    • MRichter35 says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more…..Tavares, Zib, Hayes and Anderson down the middle can compete head-to-head with Penguins, Maple Leafs, Predators and NHL elite.

      I would love to see Zucc feeding Kovy (a fiery player which is also what Rangers need in the locker room) all year long! Rangers have a lot of skilled wingers but most of them are primarily “passers”. Gorton needs to find another shooter this summer!

    • Mintgecko says:

      Reborn in the sense that Smith comes back to his usual self? A year older with his regular self is not pleasing at all. I get the idea of wanting him to do good but he isn’t a stable top 4 D man. I thought everyone use to watch the Wings? He had like one good playoffs and that was probably his best series of his career. He’ll never live up to what Klein brought in a single season or let alone in the entire playoffs

      Zib-JT-Kreider
      Buch-Hayes-Kovalchuk
      Captain Zucc- Chytil-Beleskey because I have a feeling he’ll be the new teachers pet
      Fast-Andersson-Richardson from AZ

      Beleskey scores 16-18 even strength goals without PP time and gets flipped in the future.

      • Emile the Cat says:

        Even when Smith was having this crappy season he still brought something to this team it didn’t have… a pair of freakin balls. I, for one, am not counting Smith out for next season.

        Put him on this team with a new attitude from a new coaching staff and watch Zucc skate without having to keep alert as to who’s gonna take his head off.

    • Rich S says:

      ”’that team in Fla that uses us as a feeder farm system”’ 100% accurate!!
      They stole our best 2 dmen…..strallman and mcd…..and our best young forward….miller………
      they might win a cup …..but we got…….”’prospects”’

      • Kentric says:

        Strallman was signed as a FA. Anyone could have signed him. Difficult to agree with you on Miller being our best young forward.

  19. David says:

    Love the signing. Will be good for young forwards. And a sniper they need. It would make their forwards playoff competitive. But the Defense, oh the defense! That’s where rebuild will focus.

  20. Resident Genius says:

    With a decent coach, anything could be possible. KOVALCHUK is a leader not like the last leader we had.

  21. Peter says:

    No doubt, Kovi has a lethal wrist shot and always had a ridiculously high shooting percentage. At 35 that talent is probably on the wane to at least some degree but he probably can still fill the net. I think that people might fail to remember that he was not exactly stellar defensively. Because he has earned big money in the past, I wonder how much it would take to sign him. He would not be a terrible signing but I wonder how he fits in with the rebuild? If he is signed, it has to be for a short term, otherwise they’ll be paying him when he is pushing 40.

  22. joen7 says:

    Any watch the press conference today? I brought it up and was watching it but paused it and could not continue. Anything interesting other than they will talk to 5 to 10 people with head coaching experience.

  23. Mark says:

    Set up move leading up to the Tavares signing I’m sure.

  24. Egelstein says:

    Meh; I apparently do not feel as strongly either way about Kovy as many folks do. So long as it isn’t a blatant overpay in either money or term, I don’t mind them signing him, even considering the rebuild aspect. They are still in the business of selling seats, and Kovy could help in that area. He definitely could be a mentor to the Russian prospects (a growing pool in the organization) as well as help the coaching staff overcome the non-hockey things like how to make those players as comfortable as possible once they do get looks with the NHL squad, translation issues, cultural differences, etc. He’s certainly not the player he once was, but he also isn’t clearly declined past the point of potentially-decent NHL performance.

    If they want to throw 5 years at $6M per at him, then yeah, hard pass, please. If it is something like a two year deal with reasonable base value (league minimum is probably not gonna do it, but I guess you never know) and some nice bonus incentives to keep him interested and stateside, then I don’t really have any issue with that. As has been mentioned above, indeed, even significantly-rebuilding teams need veteran players as well, and unlike the Cody McLeods of the world, this guy can still actually play hockey in a way that meaningfully contributes to the effort as well as teaching the young lads some stuff that might come in handy in their development.

    • Mintgecko says:

      No offense but who cares what you think of who should make what. I want to know why so many on here talk like this? I’ve heard that line of ” I don’t mind them” one to many times to not ask. Like you really don’t mind If the team does this or that? In the great scheme of things, did your opinion matter? I just really want to know why you would believe that? It’s not me being a D bag so the voting button is by default which means I got mad because I’m right. I think a healthy way is to expand your mind to what will happen.

      I been reading the ” I don’t mind” lines from the anti Hayes crowd for a while now. Ask them how that turned out because he’s still here while Stepan and JT are long gone.

      • Egelstein says:

        I’m not sure why you targeted my pretty-vanilla post for this commentary, or why it needs to be explained to you. I think it’s all fairly clear.

        Using your logic, why do any of us bother to comment on the sport; what the hell are you doing here, yourself, rendering opinions? It’s entertainment, and part of that in a cap league involves consideration of the contract amounts, and part of a fan submerging themselves in following a team is having opinions about such things.

        No offense, but this was an egregiously jackass comment you just made here, rife with hypocrisy and completely nonsensical in relation to the utterly mild post I made rendering my thoughts on the situation. Did you accidentally reply to the wrong post? If not, I honestly have no idea what you are on about, here.

    • Ranger Ricky says:

      Best case for both would be a ONE YEAR DEAL. This commits no one. And gives Kovy something to play for. As well as the Rangers a chance to see what he still has left. Before really paying him. And at the end of the day if he pans out. But doesnt look like a long term fit they move him at the trade deadline. For a pot of gold.

      • Egelstein says:

        Yes, one year deal would be what I would like to see them ultimately do, as well. However, everything I’ve seen so far – which, granted, still doesn’t seem to be super concrete – speaks of “2-3 years”.

  25. Ranger Ricky says:

    Once again you guys are killing me. Signing this guy cant hurt anything. We can not field a team of just kids. And even less in NY. You all know full well the fans will riot in NY waiting for a 4 to 5 year rebuild.

    This team is not that bad. You cant throw away 5 years. Waiting for players that you draft to hopefully pan out. Just because you draft them doesn’t mean they will turn out to be the net great ones. Even the teams that are winning had to go out and get players in FAs,

    There is not one player in this draft that would put us in the direction that a REAL rebuild would need. There are some nice players. But there is not one Crosby or McDavid type in this draft. And there might not be in the next three or four years for all we know. And then what is our chances that we are the ones that get him/????

    By the end of this draft we will have at least 8 to 10 D men fighting for just 4 spots in the next two to three years. And that doesn’t include getting a FA or the next two drafts. If all goes well. We have three Centers fighting for TWO spots after Hayes, Z Bad. And then if you go out and get Traveras. that would make 3 centers fighting for ONE spot.

    This team has no wingers in the system other then what you have seen or possibly Gropp or Ronning. And they are question marks at this time. So why would it be so bad to bring in a player who might be the best winger on your team for at least the next two years???

    If I was the Rangers with the draft being such a crap shoot. I would Sign Kovy. Then I would target either Traveras, Kane JVR or Athanasiou and build from there.

    • Leatherneck says:

      Dumb to keep doing the same thing over and over….how does 1 Cup in 78 years sound to you?

      Time to do something different and build our own team with our own kids

      • James1090 says:

        So should we never sign free agents then? The Rangers would be stupid not at least kick the tires on Tavares. He’s better than every single center on the Rangers and would be the number one center this team has been missing for forever.

        • Leatherneck says:

          Tavares ain’t going anywhere

          Islanders are vulnurable….need to make a point to their fan base and as such we can be great trade partners

    • Reenavipul says:

      With what money? If you pay the RFAs(Hayes, Skjei, Namestnikov, Spooner) in the low end of the range and sign Kovalchuk to a Bonus driven 1 year deal with an AAV of $4mm, you have about $5-6mm to bring in other free agents, even with the cap going to $80mm. If those RFAs go towards a Zucc contract or slightly less, you have cap space that you can bank going towards the next trade deadline.

      JVR *might* take a hometown discount and Kane *might* want to make it rain in the big city on a bit of a discount, but I sorta doubt it.

      Of course if you do Kovy for 2 years and pay him $5mm plus, you might not have enough money in 2019-20 to re-sign Buch, Pionk and DeAngelo, and Zucc would have to go.

      So when you write that it would “hurt anything” you are failing to look forward and you are severely discounting opportunity costs.

      I have no problem signing Kovalchuk, but it has to be a series of 1 year deals that are performance bonus driven and is easily dealt.

      • Ranger Ricky says:

        What makes yo think that anyone on this current roster is gonna be here next year??? Yes there are a few that some might consider as untouchables. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Zuc, Krieds, Hayes, Nemestnikov as well as Spooner could all be gone. Or at least half of them. One of either Smith, Stall or even Hank could be brought out in order to make even more cap space. And yes Hank is a BIG long shot to be brought out. But buying out Stall saves us millions. Every player that gets moved frees up space. And with that the team could go after at least three FAs Watch how this roster that everyone keeps putting together wont look anything like it does now come Sept. There will be at least three different forwards and at least one different Def men. Who they are or how big their names are is anyone’s guess. Their are also players like James Neal who wont break the bank that the Rangers could bring in here to help add some Veteran presence.

        Its gonna be a long off season. But anyone that thinks the Rangers are gonna tank two to three years and NOT put a team on the ice that can compete. Has NEVER really followed this team. We retool on the fly. And doing so has not always failed.

        We can compete and still build as LONG as we don’t throw away our youth to do so. They can draft make player trades. As well as sign FAs. All at the same time.

        • Egelstein says:

          I don’t assume anyone will be bought out this off-season. It’s not generally good business to commit to the cap penalties/dead cap further down the road right when the team might be getting back to contention and need every penny. Not for a team with a healthy organizational balance sheet like the Rangers (AKA they don’t desperately need to find ways save cash or face going into the red), anyway.

          While I agree that they are not looking for this process to actually take more than 2-3 years from now, it also is not the right timing to push all the chips into the center of the table IMO. I’m not saying I can guarantee they won’t of course, but I would be rather surprised to see them buy anyone out at this particular stage of the situation.

        • Reenavipul says:

          Crazy concept here: Staal was our best defenceman this season.

          You don’t build rosters by playing 52 pick up with your O-Pee-Chee collection. You can only move a handful of players at a time, otherwise you destroy team chemistry.

          Now it can be argued that if a new coach is announced quickly, GMJG thinks that new chemistry needs to be introduced and that could very well happen. Usually throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not a good idea.

          • Egelstein says:

            I haven’t looked at advanced metrics enough to render an opinion on “best” defender this season for the Rangers, yet, personally. That said, I would agree Staal was by-the-eye-test the most consistent and reliable defender this season in terms of health, effort, and not making completely egregious errors of the bunch, which in of itself is something I couldn’t have projected myself saying now as of eight months ago. I obviously still do not see his performance as commensurate to his paycheck, but I would also say he has definitely fairly earned the “privilege” of not being bought out at this time.

            • Reenavipul says:

              At the start of the season I listed the Rangers D and had Staal pretty high(when not concussed as a caveat) except for McD and maybe 2 other guys.

    • Mintgecko says:

      Huge Evander Kane fan. I still kinda want him but his injury bug is more in my face now and that’s a scary thought. It seems like anytime I watch him in San Jose, he has to miss multiple shifts from getting injured. He would be great to put on the PK1 with Hayes. His power forward proweress would expose Kreider for being a soft power forward. My guess is that he’ll resign there due to all the voices he knows on that bench.

      I would pass on JVR

      If JT comes over then the top 6 could have everyone scoring over 20 goals easily. Buch can’t afford to be like Zucc and score more assists than goals. That got Stepan kicked out… He needs to be a mid 50s guy on the second line if he has to imo. I think Zib could go over to the wing next to Hayes. Those two will be 25+ goal scorer’s again for this team.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        When not attempting to beat up women, or physically force them into his car, Evander Kane is still not the player Chris Kreider is. During the last five seasons Kreider has 3 less goals than Kane (106 to 103); Kane has been outscored 23 to 0 in playoff goals by Kreider; and Kreider has never been publicly insulted by the vets on his team like Kane was by Byfuglien in Winnipeg. As an added bonus, Kreider has managed to spend his NHL career NOT being a drunken idiot who attacks women who won’t sleep with him. Too bad the same cannot be said about Kane (Evander or Patrick, to be totally accurate).

        People without impulse control shouldn’t live in or near NYC. They’ll ruin themselves. Evander in NYC will end up like Kevin Stevens or Theo Fleury.

        • Ranger Ricky says:

          I don’t agree the same was said about getting Deangelo. And he turned it all around in just one year. In fact the things we were told about him NEVER reared its head in NY. Not once.

          Evander is still just a kid. And it looks like he is growing out of that stupid stuff he did. You want to put stats into play. Come on now. Evander has been on far worse teams then Kreider He also still has potential. Something I don’t think can be said about Kreids I think we have seen the best of him in NY.

          Kane has also not seen the playoffs proving my point of the type of teams he’s been on. Take a good look at what he has done in San Jose.

          • Mancunian Candidate says:

            What are you talking about? DeAngelo was never accused of physically attacking women on 2 separate occasions, like Kane was. To conflate DeAngelo’s immaturity and on-ice loud mouth with Kane’s actions is ridiculous. Tony D is a hothead, Kane is an entitled jackass.

            • Egelstein says:

              I wouldn’t rush to defend either of these guys in terms of some of their personal conduct choices or their character as far as I have access to such things, but I agree that Kane is probably the bigger risk overall, even if he has behaved in SJ. DeAngelo has had a mouth on him and been tough to coach at certain stops in his career, no doubt about that…but Kane has been involved in much more egregious instances of conflicts (such as those mentioned above) than calling some refs some terrible names, or getting into Twitter-fights about politics. I feel like if DeAngelo is still having conduct issues, 1., AV would have banned him to the Adam Clendening Memorial Suite, but also 2., we’d surely have heard about it by now, even if just the rumor stage. I don’t see those two as all that comparable in this particular light, either.

              • Ray says:

                To be fair, we don’t know anything about AV and DeAngelo. For better or worse, Gorton gave AV six defensemen after the deadline (5+DeAngelo before the injury, 5+ Sproul after). AV played everybody because he had to – there was no Clendening Suite available. All we really can conclude is that TOI tells us he trusted Pionk more than the other kids.

                I do agree with the second point.

              • Egelstein says:

                That’s a quite fair point. DeAngelo did average more minutes than I would expect if AV didn’t like the cut of his jib, though. AV certainly has not been shy about snipping the minutes of young players not on the same page as him or meeting his standards of approval, that’s for sure. Hard to say though, indeed…I just feel like we would have noticed something (would put that in italics if I knew how) had there been a problem in this specific area.

    • Chris A says:

      Because signing ok players like JVR or E. Kane to expensive long term contracts as they are aging out of their primes is a sure fire way to win!

      Kovy signing for a year or two is nothing like signing Kane or JVR or McD.

      The Rangers target is to be a contender in about 3-5 years, but they are still going to try to be competitive in the next two years, as long as what they are doing for those next two years with regards to free agency isn’t tying up cap space in three years.

      That’s why Kovy makes sense for the Rangers and 27-30 year olds looking for 5-7 year contracts do not make sense for the Rangers (or any team, really).

      • Ranger Ricky says:

        I think all of those players I mentioned will be playing at the top of their game. At 32,33 years of age. No matter what your team is gonna have players that are older then that on your team. The key here is to not give out NT, and NM clauses

  26. Ray says:

    Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. The rebuild requires amassing and developing young talent. The best way to develop is to play players at the right level. Letting some overmatched kid play above his head on a bad NHL team is counterproductive. And for those who belong, playing on a competitive team – and maybe even the playoffs – is a good thing. Getting used to losing is not helpful.

    The Rangers are likely to have cap space to burn these next three years – and that is the cost here. The Rangers are not going to have twelve forwards who demand playing time – and a move like this buys respectability without costing assets.

    And if you are looking for new faces, Kovy makes a lot more sense than bringing back Nash or Grabner.

    • Ranger Ricky says:

      That was very well said. Like Me and others are saying there is NO WAY we field a team of all kids. That’s not happening in NY. Some players will have to be signed. And right fully so. These kids have to have something to play for other then a roster spot.

    • joen7 says:

      Would bring back Nash and Grabs to flip them again at the deadline. Kovy is ok for 2 year deal assuming we do not sign JT.

      I would not do any buyouts at this point not worth it we aren’t winning the cup next year. I would love to trade Hank if we can talk him into it.

      I’d really like to move some assets for a first pair D.

  27. 43 says:

    I like this move. If anything, it’s a move more for the development of Pavel Buchnevich.