Thoughts on a beautiful Saturday

What are you doing inside on a day like this? Go out and play. Oh….you’re outside and reading this on your phone? Well played.

1. Good for Dan Girardi last night on his game winning goal. He took a beating around these parts, and I’ve always maintained that it was never about the guy (it wasn’t) it was about the role, contract, and declining play. It seems now that a good portion of that was the system as well. On a lower pairing, on a much more consistent and stable team, and he’s been doing fine. I still stand by what I say that the Rangers needed to buy him out. Just because it was needed for one team doesn’t mean he isn’t useful somewhere else.

2. I always find it funny when people root against former players on their favorite team. I understand if a guy burns the club, but let’s remember that every single Ranger on the Bolts right now left because the Rangers forced them out. Ryan Callahan, JT Miller, and Ryan McDonagh were traded there. Girardi was bought out and signed there. Anton Stralman was lowballed and got his market value elsewhere. I hope they all win a Cup. I was thrilled when Carl Hagelin won the Cup, but it was horrible to watch him do it with the Pens. Either way, I hope that quintet gets a Cup.

3. How about those teams out West? It was just four years ago when the LA Kings and their big, brutal style of play dominated. Now? Not so much. All four teams are fast, skilled, and fun to watch. That is what hockey without the headshots looks like. It is a fast, skilled game that makes you sit on the edge of your seat. That’s what I hope the Rangers become. You can’t hit what you can’t catch.

4. Imagine how upset Gary Bettman is going to be if Tampa comes out of the East and any team except Vegas comes out of the West? These are small market teams that likely won’t do well on a national ratings scale. But if we get a Tampa/Winnipeg or Tampa/Nashville final, think of how much fun that back and forth will be.

5. On to the Rangers, since this is a Rangers blog after all. It looks like two of their coaching options (David Quinn – BU, and Jim Montgomery – Dallas) are off the board. Montgomery went without the Blueshirts even making an offer. I’m not all that surprised. But all signs are pointing to Sheldon Keefe as their primary target. Keefe can’t talk to any teams until the Toronto Marlies wrap up their season.

6. I’m not overly concerned about the Rangers picking 9th overall. I would have loved to get into the top three, but the Rangers can get elite talent at nine. The difference –in this draft, at least– between top-three and top-ten is NHL readiness. The top three can slide into a lineup right now (Dahlin is a generational talent). The rest of the top-ten project to be top liners or top pairing defensemen, but need more time to develop. Oliver Wahlstrom, whom I love, needs a few years. That doesn’t take away from his ceiling, it just means we need to wait a little longer.

7. There’s lots of talk about the Rangers moving up. I don’t think it will be from the #9 spot though. I think they move up from the early 20’s to the teens. They have the assets to do so. They need as much potential elite talent/ceiling players as they can find. They certainly have the depth to spare.

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48 thoughts on “Thoughts on a beautiful Saturday

  • May 5, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Larry Brooks walked back on his comment “ David Quinn out of the running” Quinn never Notified the Rangers of his intention of staying . “ as of today David Quinn is still in the race it be the next Rangers head coach

  • May 5, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Sardonic cartoon – classic!

  • May 5, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Nashville is weird as it’s basically the team of the South West of the Smoky Mts. to Little Rock. So you’re getting, Nashville, Louisville, Memphis, Birmingham. A lot of little markets add up.

  • May 5, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Dave, agree on all points.

    I was always a Girardi supporter, he unfairly took a lot of crap in here. But look what a different system can do for you!

    Like you I always pull for ex-Rangers to do well as individuals And Haglin and Nash are two great examples. I want the whole ex-Ranger group AND the Tampa team to win it all this year, so next years second from Tampa turns into a first.

    I have faith in JG and if the RIGHT deal is there I think he takes it, but like you, feel he keeps #9.

    • May 6, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Never hated Girardi, never hated the payday, I just hated the usage.

      Not much point re-litigating the past.

      But if you wanted to, you could wonder why the Rangers didn’t offer Brad Morrison or Keegan Kolesar considering the lack of depth in the system.

      I’m not a fan of either, but the downside risk was negligible and they produced enough that they’d be worth a 2nd contract if the kelt & played them.

      You can’t increase value of your picks if you never offer guys contracts.

  • May 5, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Great thoughts on Girardi and other former Rangers. I’ve been a big Girardi fan since his first game with us. I think his decline has a lot to do with what he gave to us in blocked shots, hits, and annual playoff runs…..and he may be one of the older 34 year olds around. I was ok with them needing to move on, and happy he didn’t sign with a team I hate, and where his steadiness could be an asset.

    The only thing I don’t agree with is the top pairing thing. The bottom 2 get a lot less minutes for most teams, but the top 4 doesn’t mean the best 2 D and then the second best 2. It’s a complementary pairing, often with a stay at home D-man and an offensive D-man. What pushes the 1 guy to the most minutes (like Hedman now) is often the special teams. Teams will otherwise play to the situation (Cooper moving Sergachev up with Hedman when a goal is needed like Shattenkirk will be, etc.). Like a #1 starting pitcher, I think the designation of top pair can be overrated.

    Agree 100% on not rooting against most guys when they leave town. I think people used to automatically boo, but it’s less than it used to be. I remember countless good guys who never wanted to leave NY (many sports) getting booed almost as a recognition. Also some jealousy in play….I remember a good friend in Boston was rooting against Colorado because he didn’t want Ray Bourque to win a Cup if not with Boston. But maybe the transient nature of sports has made things a little less personal to some now.

    I would love to see the former Rangers hoist the Cup, but struggle with my son being a die-hard Predators fan.

  • May 5, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I can root for TB, I can root for Hagelin personally, Nash personally, etc., but I will NOT root for the Pens or the Bruins, just like I would never root for Montreal, the Islanders, Philly or the Devils under ANY circumstances. There’s just too much history there … and it’s not good.

    There was nothing really wrong with Girardi here in NY aside from his total mismanagement by the coach that will remain nameless. He needed to be rested, as in at least once every 5-6 games or as needed, He needed to be off the top pairing at all times. It’s clear we missed his character. Staal is pretty much in the same boat, hopefully they can figure out a way to obtain some assets for him (probably involving the Rangers eating half his salary).

    As far as picking up more assets for the draft, or better ones … I’m hoping they don’t package multiple picks, instead I prefer that they utilize one of Spooner, Zucc or Namestikov, preferably Namestikov to snag another 1st round pick. Aside from Zucc it would probably require an additional asset.

    • May 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm


      I was very critical of Dan, and now the reason for the poor performance was due to the coach, and his so called system. Had that dip stick ever made an adjustment, say to a zone defense, both Dan, and Marc would never have been as bad as they were playing on the top four together!!!!!!

      I hope that the Bolts win the whole ball of wax, I couldn’t stand to see that piece of dog crap lift the cup again, sweet Cindy that is!!!!!!!!!!

      • May 5, 2018 at 8:42 pm

        Anyone but Cindy! 😉

  • May 5, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Even with the 9th pick the Rangers can still land an impact player. Between last year’s draft picks and the abundance of picks this year, the Rangers should be able to restock their pipeline of talented young hockey players.

    What concerns me is there still talk of moving their remaining veterans. While it’s true if the price is right no player is untouchable, I can’t express enough how important it is to have experienced veterans in the dressing room to mentor the kids.

    Enough with the tear down, it’s time to rebuild the team.

  • May 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Zucc is one of my favorite players. But it’s time for him to moveon . He’s in his thirties, he’s in the last year of his contract and he’s worth more as an asset than he is as a player now. His cap space can be used on younger talent, either through trades or free agents.

  • May 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve said it for the last few years until Girardi was bought out. Girardi was not a bad player. He was a bad contract and a bad top pairing defender.

  • May 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Girardi is the poster child of Alain’s mismanagement. He should have been rested while he was here and the team overall allowed him to come back from injuries too quickly and too often – especially in the years when the playoffs were a lock in February. The rest of the Rangers “new/old” core still playing this late in the season further indicts Alain’s coaching. Sickening to see Stralman do well on what became Smith’s salary.

    Couldn’t have been happier for Girardi and his GWG last night. How many times did we see him in front of the opposing net and in Tampa, instead of trying to make 4 perfect passes, they throw the puck at the net and he gets rewarded. BTW: it will be fun to see how much more Callahan gets under Bergeron’s skin now – sure you all saw how Bergeron embarrassed himself.

    No more moving any current top-6 forwards, especially Zuc until after a coach is named and the system being implemented is known. For all we know, a good coach with a good system and Zuc is a 90 point scorer. I hated seeing Zuc play with Nash since Nash wasn’t in constant motion leveraging Zuc’s passing abilities.

    I am not expecting a Cup run next season, but a decent FA signing or two, integrating the kids and some good health of the vets, we should be playoff competitive. Watching Nash – if he returns, it better come with a home team discount. Grabner’s speed is probably worth more to us.

    • May 6, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Spot on comments RD3……Great points ….you make……especially regarding callahan and strallman…..and girardi also……… should post more often……..

  • May 5, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I agree regarding four of the five ex-Rangers in Tampa. But Callahan is different. Technically, yes, he was traded. But the rangers offered him a nice contract – far more than he was worth – and he still was not satisfied.

    • May 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      The NMC was Callahan’s sticking point. Dagger wouldn’t give it to him so they had to trade him.

      • May 6, 2018 at 1:31 am

        Agreed spozo I loved Cally but it was time to let him move on.

    • May 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Ray,I agree with most of your posts on this blog,strongly disagree with this one,if you were offered 6yrs @ 4.5 mil,but knew you could get 6yrs @ 5.5,what would you do?
      The NTC was the straw that broke the camels back ultimately.

    • May 6, 2018 at 4:49 am

      Agreed Raymond. 6 years at $6M per was a compete overpay for what amounted to nothing more than a 3rd line player.

      I was thrilled that Cally thought more of himself than he should have, because then we would have been stuck with another bad contract.

      • May 6, 2018 at 11:59 am

        Correction: 4th line player. Last 3 seasons…. 10 goals in 73 games. 2 goals in 18 games.5 goals in 67 games.

        Thank God we moved on from him. Only issue was that Sather threw in a bunch of #1 picks. Just crazy!!

        • May 6, 2018 at 1:29 pm

          Ah yeah, you’re actually correct, I was trying to be charitable my friend, lol.

          18 pts in 67 games this year. yikes.

    • May 6, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Us giving away 2 pics was the problem.

      • May 6, 2018 at 7:50 pm

        Preach it brother Seive….yuttttt

  • May 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Where was the love for Girardi when he was blocking 100mph shots and putting it all out there for his team.

    • May 5, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Depends. Was that at the time he was passing the puck to the Kings for GWG’s in the SCF?

    • May 5, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      Girardi got pretty solid love from fans for 8 or 9 seasons, and a lot of critique once his new contract coincided with diminished performance on the ice. Even most of his detractors in the site recognized his effort and sacrifice of his seemingly indestructible body. Much was written too about how the system and role in it were as much the problem as anything else. Great to see him contributing to a great team in an appropriate role. Hope he gets that Cup the rangers couldn’t

    • May 6, 2018 at 4:52 am

      I loved the guy too, but I love winning the Cup more.

      The guy is getting paid twice and is on a Cup contending team, don’t cry too much for him. Just because he didn’t belong here anymore doesn’t mean that he wasn’t appreciated.

      • May 6, 2018 at 9:08 am

        Agreed Richter—Dan G was a good Ranger and a very good player for his first 5 years in NY. But in fairness Girardi was a strong candidate for the worst first-pair defender in the NHL for his last 3 seasons with the Rangers. (And that’s as much Vigneault’s fault as anything else, honestly.) And he really wasn’t that good for Tampa this year either—he’s clearly the 5th or 6th best defender they have at best. But at least Cooper plays him as a 3rd pairing dman, and gets effective value from Girardi that way. If Girardi is in that role for NYR at a $3 million annual price tag, nobody would’ve had a problem with him as a player. But he wasn’t—he was misused by the coaching staff and massively overpaid for what he can offer as a player. It’s a shame that a heart-and-soul player like Girardi became a NY whipping boy, but for that we have Alain Vigneault to thank.

        • May 6, 2018 at 1:32 pm

          Right MC.

          The guy was worn down to nothing over time. Torts destroyed him, having him log not only a lot of minutes, but very tough minutes on top of it.

          Good for Dan that he’s on a contender and with forwards that actually have the puck to take the pressure off their D corps.

          Well, with AV, it’s the same ole, same ole. Right Eric Staal?

    • May 6, 2018 at 7:38 am

      Bloomer – the guy just plain out has to hurt! Unless he was wearing goalie gear under that skater equipment. Ever get hit by a good slapper? I’ve gotten hit with just some misc beer league guys shooting and that s@$t aint no joke. Cally too … hes gotta be beat up still from the Torts years of collapsing and clogging up the middle and block shots at all costs.

  • May 6, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Dave……..Loved the article, a very good read…….and couldn’t agree more with,
    ”’ let’s remember that every single Ranger on the Bolts right now left because the Rangers forced them out.”’
    I think it was a combination of a terrible, clueless coach and terrible mismanagement by sather and gorton…….
    Look at the talent we let go…..strallman, mcdonagh, miller, grabner, nash, eric stall, nash, hagelin, callahan, numerous draft picks for washed up players…….Think of where we would be without the free agent signings of hayes and vesey….Bottom 3 in talent!
    How do you remain positive and have any faith that this management team can turn it around, after all their botched moves?
    And I ask again , if tampa wins and I am rooting for them, does yzerman give sather and goeton get stanley cup rings?

    • May 6, 2018 at 10:22 am

      It’s a lot easier to take the Rangers spare parts, add them to the likes of Hedman, Stamkos, and Kucherov and make a Stanley Cup winner than to make those spare parts the focal point of a Stanley Cup winner

      • May 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm

        Yes Spozo you are right……we dont have a stamkos or kucherov but add those players strallman, mcdonagh, miller, grabner, nash, eric stall, nash, hagelin, callahan to what we have now and then evaluate…..
        kreider eric stall buch Every player in this lineup is
        nash zib miller a 20 to 30 goals scorer , or
        grabner hayes zucc more—
        haglin vesey fast

        mcdonagh strallman
        sjkei shattenkirk
        pionk girardi
        And we still would have andersson, chytil, and the two number one picks we gave up for st louis……

        • May 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm

          I’m sure you did the math and made sure every player you mentioned could fit on a roster with that thing called a salary cap.

          10 million locked up in a combined 50 points this past season in Hagelin and Callahan. Sounds fantastic.

          • May 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm

            Proves my point of how BAD management is/was…….signed girardi, mark stall and hank to ridiculous contracts…… yes we couldnt afford what the market dictates for forwards…..

            • May 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm

              So the inability to add bad contracts like Callahan and Hagelin highlights your point that the rangers gave Staal, Girardi, and Lundqvist bad contracts?

              I don’t even know where to begin with that one.

        • May 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

          Sorry I didnt check to edit before posting…..
          This is the lineup we could have had….
          kreider eric stall buch
          nash zib miller
          grabner hayes zucc
          haglin vesey fast
          Every player in this lineup is a 20 to 30 goals scorer or more….
          Plenty of talent, size ,scoring……

          • May 6, 2018 at 1:27 pm

            Out of your proposed lineup you claim everyone “is a 20 to 30 goalscorer”—the problem with that is four of the 12 guys you mention have never scored that many goals in a season. Fast, Vesey, Buchnevich, and Hagelin to be exact. And in 5 full Ranger seasons Zucc has done it once. Then there’s salary cap considerations. But feel free to ignore all that and instead constantly blame the front office, like when you constantly ignore the fact that the Martin St Louis trade occurred when Marty was 2nd in overall scoring in the NHL. And that without that trade the Rangers don’t make the Finals in 2014. Feel free to ignore as much reality as possible.

            • May 6, 2018 at 10:18 pm

              Buch and will absolutely be 20 + goal scorers, to think they will not is silly. Vesey got 17 despite being jerked around all year including lots of time on the 4th line. Fast … have a point…..but despite missing 9 games still managed 13 goals.
              Yes, MSL……. who scored just 2 points in the finals! And got pushed off the puck constantly and finished playoffs at sparkling -5 !!!!! And we gave up 2 number 1 draft choices , besides callahan ….once again yzerman fleeced the inept rangers management.
              Do you honestly think the current rangers team has a better roster that the one we should have had? I know you will not answer the question… i will answer it for you..NO. That my friend is reality.

              • May 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

                No, it’s not reality—your statements are conjecture. There’s a HUGE difference between the two. When you say a proposed lineup is made up of “all 20 to 30 goal scorers”, and in fact one third of the players you name in your lineup haven’t scored 20 goals in a season, that is what is called an inaccurate and exaggerated statement. It’s not reality—it’s hyperbole. Not reality—instead it’s mere wishful thinking.

        • May 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm

          about those picks. would drafting josh ho-sang and anthony beauvillier with the picks we traded to TBL have made a big difference to the rangers the past few years? or are you assuming the Sather&Co would have made much better picks at #28 in 2014 and 2015?

          • May 6, 2018 at 5:16 pm

            not a knock on beauvillier btw, looks like he may develop into a solid guy, just i don’t necessarily see any of those traded picks as ones that would have altered our fortunes between 2014 and today.

          • May 6, 2018 at 10:32 pm

            Dont know if sather and gorton would have made a better pick, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally….
            Point is they keep getting fleeced by other GM’s.

        • May 6, 2018 at 7:49 pm

          Yzerman /Cooper geniuses, AV/Sather/Gorton( to a small degree) imbeciles.

          • May 6, 2018 at 10:29 pm

            Bobby B,
            I read and responded to your post regarding the Steve Vickers interview and his admitting Emile Francis didnt bother ”protecting”’ his skilled players. I remember he sat Bert Wilson for the playoff games against the flyers, another one of his ”brilliant” moves. Did you realize we once had Jim Dorey, steve durbano, moose dupont, the plager brothers, battleship kelly and dennis hextall……yet not one of these players ever played a minute for the rangers in a time when the bruins and flyers were beating the heck out of the rangers every game………

            • May 7, 2018 at 8:54 am

              Yes Rich, Francis even admits his blunders of ignoring tougher players for skill and finess in his book we did everything but win. ( A must read) . He also blames Vic Hadfield for not coming to Dale Rolfes aid while Shultz was beating him to a pulp in that 74 playoff series. Hadfield was totally useless in that series due to an injury, he convinced Fransis to play him in game 7 in case the Flyers got chippy. He stood around doing nothing as Shultz humiliated and destroyed Dale Rolfe. Still burns in me over 40 years later.

              • May 7, 2018 at 10:27 am

                The hadfield news is new to me……but he should have dresses bert wilson….not the biggest guy but fast hands and made a career in LA as one of the leagues tough guys…..fought all the tough guys and won most of them, even against beck …….but wouldnt that team be tougher with/play better/ maybe win a cup with jim dorey and steve durbano on defense and wilson and battleship kelly on the wings !!!

  • May 6, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    On point six. What do you see as the holes in he lineup?

    Looking down the depth chart I see

    LW – C – D

    As the priority. It’s not that we have a lot of top talent in any position I just see us short handed with nhl ready or worthy candidates if we get any injuries.

    The two pickups are RW fighting for the 3-4 spots with vinnie leterrei. So pretty stocked.

    On center after zbad , Hayes, chytil and Anderson there is nothing there worth calling up.

    On left wing after kreids and beset there is Ryan gropp and matt Beleski both who I don’t see making the club out of camp.

    Ok D after the top 4 we definitely can have better options but can survive as is.

    And goalie we are set with 3 worthy talents.

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