By doing (almost) nothing, Jeff Gorton won big yesterday

jeff gorton

Yesterday was the first day of free agency, and it was the third test, and perhaps the first true test, of the Jeff Gorton rebuild. Big names were available, and the Rangers had –and still have– oodles of cap space to work with. When the clock struck midnight, and Day One turned to what will be a less eventful Day Two, the Rangers re-signed a key RFA and added one low cost UFA defenseman.

Despite being linked to Ryan Reaves and Leo Komarov, Jeff Gorton allowed them both to go to the Golden Knights (two years, $2.775) and Islanders (four years, $3 million), respectively. That was too rich with too much term for the rebuilding Rangers, and both were contracts they would regret.

Instead it was Frederik Claesson for one year and $700,000. Claesson has good zone entry/exit numbers, and there’s a solid chance his less than ideal metrics are a part of being on an abysmal Ottawa team. Gorton also made a bet that Vlad Namestnikov would be cheaper than JT Miller, who got five years at $5.25 million from Tampa Bay. He was right, and Namestnikov got two years and $4 million a year.

So the Rangers walked away from free agency with absolutely nothing except a depth defenseman on a low risk contract. Meanwhile Komarov got four years, Jay Beagle got four years, John Tavares, he of 30 27 years old, got seven years. Ryan McDonagh, whom I love, got a six seven year extension through his age-36 season. Paul Stastny got $6.5 million a year. It was, in a word, madness.

But as the deals kept coming in, and the eyes kept popping out of our heads, the Rangers stayed silent. They have $23.725 million in cap space to re-sign four more RFAs. The Blueshirts are flush in flexibility to make deals and take advantage of teams that missed out on Tavares, Stastny, or any of the other centers.

There are no long term commitments coming from yesterday. No questionable contracts that will come to haunt the Rangers in four or five years. There are no ill fitting players taking space and ice time from the kids.

By doing nothing, Jeff Gorton won free agency. By doing nothing, the Rangers continued to commit to the rebuild.

"By doing (almost) nothing, Jeff Gorton won big yesterday", 5 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.

124 thoughts on “By doing (almost) nothing, Jeff Gorton won big yesterday

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 6:23 am

    I don’t think they are close to being done because essentially its the same top 9 that finished last year. so much for change and development. looks like it’ll be a long year either way.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Patience, let the trade market come to Mohammed, I mean Jeff.

    And if it’s not there on the Rangers’ terms, then oh well.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:34 am

      I agree Ric. If you want to commit to a true rebuild, then you have to have patience. If you are in a rush to trade older players away, Gorton runs the risk of getting beat in return.
      Next season is going to allow the Rangers to showcase remaining veteran players like Hayes in larger roles than they’ve played in the past.
      Gorton is a Cap man. That’s what he does and I’m time he will build a competitive team. It will take another year and draft at least. Let’s hope Andersson and Chytil play large roles next year on the Rangers.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:17 pm

        There are trade opportunities out there, make no mistake about that, the difference is that, in the past, the Rangers would overpay to get their man.

        Now Gorton is taking his time and letting the trade market come to him. If it’s there, great, if not, then move on.

        This is the better way for sure.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Better to completely dissect what we have; can vets step up and show leadership and hockey sense?
      Can young players prove they were worth drafting or gotten in the purge?
      Can the new coaching staff show they are the right men to lead us to the ‘promised land’?
      Will Dolan be inducted into the R&R HOF and really decide to sell the Garden Garbage teams?

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:23 pm

        See, that’s a very good point. Do we really know what we have in the guys that played here last year? I don’t think we do.

        We will find out this year. Can Hayes, Vesey, Skjei, Kreider, etc., all take the next step under this coach? Same with the younger players? And even Namer, who obviously is in the fold, for now.

        Very good point my friend.

        Lots of rumors on Doaln, sell? Spin off? It has to be something because the stock went up quite a bit. Someone knows something. They always do, lol.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      Lord Anthony. You’re our Seneca, the elder Blueshirt philosopher of high esteem, counseling all would-be Neros, if not advocating the virtues of stoicism.

      Not that any of us didn’t trust The Gorts not to overreact. But I think the messaging beneath his cool hand says no diarchy, no dual governing.

      Slats appears–thankfully–resigned to an eccentric, robe wearing figurehead with no overbearing of The GM/new regime. Seemingly our history of self-harm–Wade Redden/Bobby Holik–has passed.

      Now for you, our shadow GM, I chummed up one of K’andre Miller’s best clips.

      • Jul 3, 2018 at 6:30 am

        Thanks bro, I appreciate the very kind and generous words.

        Gorton is standing tall. Would we love to have Karlsson? Sure. But Jeff will not pull the trigger based on what the trade cost will be, not to mention that he’s not shelling out a “Doughty” contract out for Erik. Not happening, IMO.

        Jeff is more likely to take on $7M of cap space from the Leafs in Martin and Horton to pick up valuable young assets. That’s his mindset right now, like it or not.

        I (still) hold out hope that the Jets will relent and take on Hayes (plus whatever) as their lefty center in exchange for a much younger Trouba who will cost about $6M per as opposed to Erik’s $11M per. Jacob has a relationship and a past with Quinn through the US development system and may be trying to force his way to the Rangers, by saying that he will not sign an extension with other teams, so why would they trade for him for one year?

        Patience is the word going forward. I just wish that Jeff would get Gordie out of the draft decision making as well. That’s Sather, unfortunately.

      • Jul 3, 2018 at 10:22 am

        Good one my friend – hopefully K’andre can skate as well as he can dance…

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Although no deals might sound good, can’t help the feeling that we did nothing and we could have been in on something, like the ROR deal. We will need help next year, and you cannot get it all from 20 year olds.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Sal, my friend, see what STL gave up? And for $7.5M per year.

      Do you think that ROR is THAT much better than Hayes at $5M per? The answer is a definite “NO” and you do not have to give up assets for Hayes.

      Did you see the contracts given out yesterday?

      McD, 7 years at almost $7M per.
      Komorov, FOUR YEARS!!
      Jack Johnson, FIVE YEARS!!

      Just examples of the stupidity that is July 1st, and exactly the reason why the Rangers were WINNERS by doing NOTHING, except for 2 very smart signings, that on the surface look like nothing, but were very efficient and low risk contracts.

      Let the trade market settle down and there will be opportunities, and if not, then stay the course.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:04 am

        I also read this morning ST. Louis paid his $7.5 million bonus due yesterday. which is why they pushed to finalize he deal before midnight.

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:23 am

          It was a steep trade cost and now a steep cap hit per year.

          ROR is a nice player but not at $7.5M per, IMO.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:36 am

        I do think ROR is better than Hayes

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:17 am

          But not by $2.5M more per year in cap hit my friend. Not even close.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:20 pm

        Totally agree ric. In years past the Rangers would have been all over some or all of those deals. I would like it if we simply add a depth defenseman or 2 and stand pat going into camp. Allow camp to dictate who is ready and who is not as far as the kids go. Maybe we get lucky and the Russian forward is ready to go as well as Andersson and Chytil. All of a sudden the Rangers have 6 or more centerman up front. Would rather have centerman playing on the wing than not have enough pivots.
        Aside from that, Gorton could help to add a righty stick or two for the RW at 5v5 and the PP/PK. Off wingers are dangerous on the PP and necessary on the PK for board battles. Don’t want to clear the puck on the back hand from the off wing.

        • Jul 3, 2018 at 6:33 am

          It’s a new era my friend.

          But I will say this, Chytil is untouchable for trade, but Andersson is not.

          I’m not saying that Andersson will be traded, but if the right deal comes along, like for Trouba or Panarin, then he would be included.

          The Rangers LOVE, I mean LOVE Howden, and would not hesitate to plug him in for Andersson if it makes sense, trade wise.

          • Jul 3, 2018 at 9:07 am

            Well, that’s an endorsement for members of the “Gordie Sucks” club. Of which I am a card carrying member.

            • Jul 3, 2018 at 4:17 pm

              I’m not a Gordie fan at all. Too many “I know better” picks.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:14 am

      You know that there’s 13 players on the team that are 25 or older, right?

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:25 am

        “cant have all twenty year olds” is talking points for

        “lets go trade for erik karlsson”

        “lets extend Zuccarello 5 years”

        “lets trade for pacioretty”

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:18 am

        And none of those 25+ y/o’s are great

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:05 am

          Luckily you’re not GM and Gorton is.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:51 am

      Spitta Who wants ROR? The guy has no heart and went out the back door from Buffalo.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Tavares not 30 for a couple of years.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Yea my bad. I’m gonna fix that now.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:33 am

        WTF Dave!!

        Josh would not have done that!!


  • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:02 am

    a couple of things. McDonagh got 7 years not 6 and Tavares is 27 not 30. All that said yesterday was like shopping at Sak’s and offering 110% of retail price for your items. Even with the cap increase lots of teams are going to need help to get out of cap hell.

    They have quietly lowered expectations for next year and that’s fine. Next year’s draft looks like it could be pretty deep again. It will most likely be the 3rd year in a row we draft in the top 10. (possibly top 5 next year)

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:10 am

      the way we pick, top 20 is the same as top 10.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:59 am


  • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Dave… wrote…., ”Gorton also made a bet that Vlad Namestnikov would be cheaper than JT Miller, who got five years at $5.25 million from Tampa Bay. He was right, and Namestnikov got two years and $4 million a year.”
    So what? Namestnikov scored 4 points in 20 games since he got here,which means several things …..
    1. He got paid more than his worth
    2. Yes he was cheaper than Miller because he isnt HALF the player that Miller is, Yzerman and the bolts recognize that!
    3. Our idiot, clueless GM traded a really good player for one we cant give away right now and over paid him.
    4. Gorton is in the process of building a really crappy team, evidenced by the draft and other moves

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:00 am

      JG had to retain his asset because he was threatening to leave for the KHL. Remember that this was the last RFA that they talked to. I see the deal yesterday being more on the fly.

      It might not be right but the Rangers didn’t care about JT and JG has been secretly shopping him for a while now. The forced him with one foot out the door and even took shots at him by a week after his trade.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:12 pm

        He does the Rangers more good (or should I say less harm) in the KHL. Patting ourselves on the back for not signing Ryan Reaves and then paying a lesser player 50% more than what Reaves got.

        Not that it matters. The Rangers have cap space to burn the next two years. From JG’s perspective, it was the right call. Letting him walk would have been an embarrassment at a really bad time. When they let him walk in two years, no one will care. If the rebuild is going well, it is just a bump in the road. If the rebuild is going badly, JG is probably gone in any case.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Dave….you wrote…”Gorton also made a bet that Vlad Namestnikov would be cheaper than JT Miller, who got five years at $5.25 million from Tampa Bay. He was right, and Namestnikov got two years and $4 million a year.”
    Namestnikov is cheaper because-
    1. He scored 4 points in 20 games her
    2. He is not Half the player Miller is and yzerman and tampa recognize this
    3. He is now officially overpaid and we cant give him away
    Gorton is building a really crappy team, his draft and personnel moves/trades were terrible……..

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:28 am

      While I don’t agree with the rest of your post, I have to agree on Miller. I don’t see his cost as being outrageous and he is far better than Namestnikov. I can’t figure out why they included him in the deal. There has to be something more there.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:19 pm

        We really don’t know how the discussions between Tampa Bay and the Rangers played out. We sort of imagine that Yzerman and
        Gorton had it all worked out and suddenly at the finish they decided to add a Names for JT swap because each side craved the other player. But in fact, it is quite reasonable that one side did not want to make the deal before those two players were included. Maybe, just maybe, Yzerman wanted more and asked for JT and agreed to give Vlad in return. We just don’t know.

        I am sure no one here agrees with me, but I can’t believe the Rangers could not have landed Slater Koekkoek instead of Namestnikov and I wish they had. I don’t know what the roadblock is, but he sure looked good in the playoffs a few years back.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Rich – There is no doubt JT fits in well with Tampa but they play a different game and have a coach named Cooper. JT looked like a square peg trying to find a round hole under AV’s “tutelage.”

      I agree Vlad’s 20 games were unspectacular but let’s put the thing into perspective. He went from Tampa, who was deep into a President’s Cup race and was a Cup favorite, to the Rangers just as they began their tear down.

      Certainly there is some level of mental fatigue of going from first-place Bolts to worst-place Rangers that would affect one’s on ice play.

      That said – Gorts and the boys decided to give Vlad a shot with the new team, new coach, new players, etc. $4M for two years is a fair deal and allows for both sides to see where it all goes.

      Now it is on Vlad to prove he has a game that is worthy of keeping him around. I am of the mindset that he will flourish this year in this new environment. Certainly there are leadership spots there for the taking. I hope Vlad realizes what he has in front of him and puts it all together.

      And if not, we can all spend the season speculating on the best destination for him on 3/1/19.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:03 am

        That Cooper narrative is going to get burnes out real quick. JT had the whole world infront of him and managed to lose his spot and play on the 3rd line.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:23 pm

        Maybe just maybe, the key to winning isn’t getting good players – everyone has that – but getting players who are not prone to mental fatigue. Vegas got to the SCF with an expansion team by playing 60 minutes day in day out, not by having anywhere near the best players.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Our first line scares nobody. Our powerplay scares nobody. We are relying on 2 kids to anchor the 3rd and 4th lines with a defense that is really not that good.
    2018/19 here we come! Pay the $100/ticket fee and we will give you what?

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:10 am

      …we’ll give you a team that works hard every night and will eventually strengthen as the season progresses – Welcome to the rebuild my friend. 🙂

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:16 am

        As a season ticket holder, rebuild a tough pill to swallow

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:25 am

          Then don’t swallow … spit it out.

          • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:27 am


            • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:06 am

              Really, what did you expect? You think as a team the Rangers would never ever have a rebuild going on while you owned season tickets? Yeah right, a bit unrealistic of you.

              • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:18 am

                Tell me what they are saving their CAP dollars for? Next year? The year after? We pay top dollar in the league. Figure out a way to grow new kids while still putting some stars on the ice. Zibby/Krieder and Buch as a first line is not star-power. In fact, for years they did not have an elite player, but were competitive. Now they have average players plus kids we are supposed to anoint? There is no way a player like JVR couldn’t be had to add some star power to a lackluster team – instead we resign Namesnikov, just like we are a third world franchise. Get a stud if you want the kids to learn, not a center/winger who knows how to pick up scraps when the superstars get double coverage.

                Our defense is all hopeful wannabees after Shatty and Skjei. Where is the depth? Pionk? Gilmour?

                We are looking at a bottom dweller where Gordie Clark shows the world how smart he is by taking a little known Swede or Russian with the 5th pick.

                Doomed I tell you, DOOMED

              • Jul 2, 2018 at 5:02 pm


                Sure $7M a year for a 29 year old middling forward is going to work out great for Philly!

                First, Philly give JVR away for … Luke Schenn

                Now they wildly overpay the aging goal scorer.

                An old, slow winger making $7M a year to post 35 point seasons is a sure fire way to ice a terrible team.

                But hey! At least they will have STARPOWER!

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:37 am

          As a “true” hockey fan. That should make it that much better!! You get to be up close and personal, there every night to see the growth and progress first hand. If that “pill” doesn’t excite you a little, might be time to find a different team or sport I guess…
          BTW I’m from Ohio and could gladly take those tickets off your hand sir! 🙂

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm

          I am (almost)m a season ticket holder as well my friend. My friend has the tix but I by and go to most of the games.

          I will tell you that:

          #1. This is not the team they will go into the season with.
          #2. Gorton is refraining from giving away big contracts to players who probably are not worth it that take up big cap space to keep them from fielding a contending team.
          #3. The fact is that teams are calling the RANGERS about THEIR prospects for trade. Which is a very good sign for progress and development of these players.
          #4. We are not used to this, a rebuild. We do not know what it looks like and feels like, lol. Does not mean that it’s a bad thing because we don’t understand it or accept it.
          #5. I think the Rangers make some noise, maybe not this year, but the following season.
          #6. But in the meantime, we will get to see a team that is hungry, with a coach that takes no BS, and will play hard almost every night.

          Enjoy it, like I will. 🙂

          • Jul 2, 2018 at 4:07 pm

            I disagree completely, except for #1 and #2 and #3 and #4 and #5 and #6.

            • Jul 2, 2018 at 6:38 pm

              I apologize Raymond, lol.

          • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:04 pm

            Richter…..1,2,3 How do you know any off the things you say? How often do you speak with Rangers management?
            4,5,6 I hope your guess is right.

            • Jul 3, 2018 at 6:41 am

              Hey Rich, I hear some “chatter” as my friends know people in the know with the Rangers.

              Things change every day. The overall plan is to rebuild but if the right opportunity comes along then Jeff will pull the trigger.

              But, IMO, he’s not going to get Karlsson and then give him $11M per, it’s not happening from what I’m hearing.

              But I feel like some moves will be made before the Rangers’ home opener.

          • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:28 pm

            Sometimes Mr. ’94, you surprise me, and today, I like it!

            • Jul 3, 2018 at 6:42 am

              Thanks Joe!!

              I will have to say, that sometimes I do say things to create discussion on the blog.

              That’s what we are here for, to talk Rangers!!

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:19 am

      Hey Creature, I think you might have missed the memo. The NYR are rebuilding and taking a different direction. In case you don’t understand the term, it means that it will take some time to compete while they take the time to build the team.No one ever expected the Rangers to compete this year! Excepting, of course, the people here that would have bitched and moaned if the Rangers got Dahlin this year.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:08 pm

        Joe S
        What part of the rebuild makes it smart to give away big, strong, fast productive , talented players [ miller] ….for small less talented ones [nemchinov] ????????
        Which part of the rebuild requires passing up big time prospects [walstrom, dotson] for guys probably available later????????

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:31 pm

          Which part of the rebuild makes you right?

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:33 pm

          or should I say, “probably” makes you right.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Wtf are you talking about? Kreider is like the second coming of Franzen and Holmstrom games and intensity. I would rank him with Simmonds and Hornqvist for being down low on the PP. His 47-52 points is proof of that, be afraid, very afraid.

      Zib may never touch pass 55 points due to injury and whatever else like not being a good 5 on 5 point producer. He still could be in the range of Ovi, Stamkos and Laine as that trigger man on the PP, I promise it’s real lethal.

      The KBZ line has been in tact since day 1 on the PP. Just let them be for 2-3 more years and I promise they won’t let you down.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:27 am

        KBZ sucks.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:19 am

        Hey—could you give me the name of your cable company? They obviously broadcast a different Ranger team than I see every night—I’d love to see exactly where you get your optimism from.
        Kreider hasn’t been the same since the Price issue—you want to blame that on AV, go ahead, but I’d rather put the onus for poor play, on the player.
        Buchnevich is still basically trying to keep up with the physical aspect of playing in the NHL. He is a good passer on the PP, I’ll give you that. But he is woeful defensely and his shot, so far is nothing to write home about.

        Zebanejad is only effective when those long bombs from the point actually hit the net—something that happens a lot less than we should expect from a supposed #1 center. He doesn’t make his linemates any better and disappears for weeks on end.

        So again, what is the name of YOUR Cable Co.? It would make the weeks of watching this “KBZ” ineffective play, a lot easier to swallow if I was getting the alternate reality version.

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:27 pm

          Whoa pump the breaks, Mickeydee. I sure hope your comment wasn’t a reply to me. I thought I was being sarcastic enough with truthful ” jabs ” to make my point clear that the line itself ” KBZ ” isn’t squat and both Kreider and Zib aren’t top line and top PP weapons. When I’m using net front presence from the recent Detroit’s cup winning teams or Simmonds than I think it’s safe to say that I was mocking Kreider’s game and his 45-52 point career. If you see me using Stamkos and Ovi as a building block for Zib’s game on the PP than you should know I’m just poking fun at everyone who actually thinks that he’s some lethal 1 timer option on the PP. They both have some game in those area’s on the ice but nothing close to what some fans try to proclaim.

          I use to feel the same way as you do about Buch but I saw major improvements in his board battles. He was doing really well at one point during the second half of the season. Him and Nash kept connecting but Zib’s 5 on 5 play really hurt his overall performance and especially during that stretch. I just think that people want him to be the next big thing so much that anytime if he makes a dazzling play, than it get’s overblown for weeks. Example of that would be him taking it once to the net and scoring, kind of like how Vesey got his blue collar bs narrative. Hayes had more of those kind of plays in his rookie season combined to Buch’s first 2 seasons in this league. Nobody likes to mention his 200 ft plays that he finishes on but if Buch does it than it must be elite.

          I was going to respond to Tanto with this kind of comment about Kreider last night but it was to late. I agree with your whole analysis about him. I’ll one up on you and say that Kreider was never the same after the 2012 playoffs. This was what lead Torts not liking him and getting blamed as the bad man even though I personally hated the guy. If his season ended right now than the best tribute to him would be a backhanded compliment saying that he should have been more. That includes forecheck, scoring goals, creating chances and tipping pucks in from the slot. This is exactly why Hayes will make more money than him in a couple of days.

          • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:48 pm

            My bad! Didn’t catch the sarcasm; I’m at work and have been dropping in and out of site to see if there was any news.
            Overall, we agree. The elevation of Kreider to someone with super-human abilities is just head scratching. Most nights, you don’t even notice him in the lineup. On Buch, I’m just not impressed. I don’t see the elite talent others do. I hope he proves me wrong, but I have my doubts.

            Zebanejad is a good #2 center, IMO. He hasn’t shown, on a consistent basis, that he is a true #1.

            I don’t believe this team has a formidable #1 line. Hasn’t in a while. Hopefully Chytyl and the new Russian kid can make up one in the future—but not now.

            IMO, its gonna’ be rough sledding at MSG for the foreseeable future.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      I’m 85% sure CF is a parody commenter.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:43 pm

        Really? bummer!

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:26 am

    A rebuild is not easy on the fans. I said on these pages a while back that once the reality of what the rebuild is going to look like there will be a lot of complaints about the lousy team being put on the ice.

    But you really have to take the long view if you want a team that is going to be a perenial contender. I said back in February that it was going to take at least three years for that to happen. With only one cup won so far during my life time, I am willing to be patient for a couple of years while they try to build a team that might bring one before my last Zamboni ride to the great beyond. 🙂

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Well said Peter. I agree 100%.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:39 am


      Let me be your echo chamber, spot on with the post!!!!!!!!

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:25 pm


        Let me be your echo chamber”

        Sounds like a song or something bro, lol

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 3:53 pm

          It was recorded by Wally Gator, and the boys!!!!!!!! LOL…..

          • Jul 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm

            Tell the boys that I said “hello” lol

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Dave, once again great piece.
    I’m very satisfied with the approach JG is taking. I applaud his restraint in the Free Agent market.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is a rebuild and no one said it will be easy. Good for JG for staying the course. The help a rebuilding team needs in experienced players and they will come, grit will come. JG does not have to overpay in dollars nor term for those type of assets.

    As an aside, can’t help but smile, ear to ear seeing the Islanders lose JT for NOTHING!! Now that made free agency fun for me.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Yes, seems they miscalculated on Tavares.

      It also seems that Toronto might have to shed some pretty good young players. Maybe the Rangers scoop up someone at a bargain price?

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:27 am

        I thought that a couple of days ago, but at $11mm they’re farting through silk as long as somebody doesn’t offer $6mm+ for Nylander.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:23 am

      If JT wanted to come here along with Kovy than your narrative wouldn’t be true. I guess you can say that us fans lucked out to do this the long way if that’s how you feel a rebuild should truly go. I have no doubt in my mind that the management would have taken full advantage if JT wanted to be a NYR. I think we would have probably seen a bidding war between LA for Kovy

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:53 am

        To be clear, it was the Islanders who miscalculated on Tavares. If they had a real clue he was a goner, then they should have at least did some deal last season to get some kind of bodies or picks out of someone.

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:36 pm

          What does that have to do with my comment? Your response should go to the Isle forum for all the butthurt fans who still can’t believe that he ” left ” them.

          My piece was directed at Jerry who I thought is trying to play this down as a chill and safe type of rebuild. I still stand by what I originally said about if JT wanted to become a NYR than this rebuild would have ended as fast as a blink in the eye. Moves to shore up the team to win now would have eventually followed right after a JT signing. Most likely a bidding war for Kovy would have happened between LA Kings and the NYR’s.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      I think that Gorton tied Sather’s hands to his chair, lol.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      and the islanders are still way better than the rangers!!!!!
      and with lou lamoriello they will continue to be better than the rangers…..just look at the draft—New York Islanders
      New York had an outstanding draft in Lou Lamoriello’s first as its GM. USNTDP right wing Oliver Wahlstrom (No. 11) is a top-end offensive force big enough (6-1, 208) to score from down low and has a hard, accurate shot he can beat goalies with from the outside. Acadie-Bathurst’s Noah Dobson (No. 12) was considered by some to be the most complete defenseman in the draft after Dahlin. Still smiling?????

      • Jul 3, 2018 at 11:22 am

        Leo Komarov … 4 Years at $3M per!

        Someone wake up Lou, he still hasn’t figured out the NHL has a salary cap. That would explain why his teams haven’t won much of anything since 2003!

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Gorton made a bet on Namesnikov?

    What bet did he make? That he would come here and fall apart, so they could pay him less? Sry, that was not a “savvy” move by any means. I didn’t think that were equal players at the time, and I still believe JT is better overall. Good for Gorton to pay the lesser play less money, but I don’t give him kudos for it. That’s exactly what he’s supposed to do.

    Vlad messed up this deal for himself. It’s also another example of how fancy stats are driven a lot by where you’re playing and who your linemates are.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Namesnikov will not be playing here with a 30 goal scorer. In fact, we might not have a 30 goal scorer on this team. We need to see if he can great creative with linemates who are less than superstars.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

        What are you talking about? Chris Kreider with his McDavid speed and strength like a prime Chara. He’ll be a 30 goal scorer in no time, just wait and see.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Why is Namestnikov “messing up this deal for himself” a bad thing? Vlad’s lack of success under Vigneault just saved the Rangers at least a million dollars annually, and probably one year of term. That’s a good thing.

      Now I’ll put my $$ where my mouth is: in 2 years Tampa will be the loser of this trade, based on contract/cap situation alone. JT Miller’s contract is ludicrous, and as much as I loved McDonagh as a Ranger, his contract extension is horrible. I think McD is one more concussion away from having a Marc Staal-type collapse in his game. By the time Tampa was knocked out of the playoffs, Miller had already been demoted to 3rd-4th line status by Cooper. Miller’s dunderheaded brand of defensive hockey cost Tampa plenty in the playoffs last year. While Miller was stinking up the ice as usual in the playoffs, McDonagh was awful for them as well. Yzerman is signing these guys longterm because he has to justify their acquisition. After the dust has settled, the Rangers now have a tradeable asset signed in Namestnikov, got a first-round pick, and received two good pro prospects in Hajek and Howden. The trade is already looking miles better than it did at first blush.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:11 am

      The “trade” was never Vlad for Miller, it was more like McD for Hajek, a 1st rounder and the conditional 2nd … and Miller for Howden and Vlad. In all likelihood a bit of Howden and Vlad might be spill over from McD, but in no way was this just Miller for Vlad — that is a poor characterization.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Quinn wasn’t hired to bring the Cup home this year. The process included the development and the teaching of the “kids”. At least that was the message that Dolan and Gorton seem to deliver. So,yesterday,no moves were good moves.

    Now, that being said, if the Rangers (Quinn) don’t play these kids it will be another waste of time and effort. I can live with this rebuild if they play and are given a real chance. I just hope they’re given a full opportunity.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:37 am

      It depends on how they fit them in, just forcing them will be a bigger waste of time. You should go read what Zucc said in back Norway a few months ago. He basically thinks that this team shouldn’t baby anyone and that these kids need to be accountable and learn on the fly in a good manner. The interview is online but that’s what I got from it and he did use word like accountability which means he doesn’t want to see this club turn into a daycare. He thinks they have a decent amount of moving pieces to contend right now. The right calls and competitions need to be in order so that the players earn their way in and work their way up.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Duclair soon? I was hoping so and hearing, maybe…

    I would not mind De Haan either…

    Trouba and Karlsson market still there in the background, but it appears that Jeff is standing tall so far.

    BTW, lots of teams calling about our prospects, so that should give everyone a nice, warm, fuzzing feeling for the future. 🙂

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Forget Duclair. There’s a reason teams keeping getting rid of him. Any truth to the Matt Martin to the Rangers rumors?

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:27 am

        Worse, Martin and Horton with assets to relieve Leafs of cap space, from what I hear.

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 12:44 pm


          How’s that going to work. Would you mind giving an example of a potential trade involving those 2? That’s a lot of $$$ to tie up over the near future. What young assets are coming back with them?


          • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:29 pm

            Let’s say Rangers take Martin, Horton, and Nylander (let’s say, but more probably future high draft picks and/or prospects) for the Rangers’ 4th round pick or something like that.

            The Rangers would be getting thee much better side of the deal other than taking on cap space for Toronto.

            Now, the key is that the return would have to be work tying up approx $7M in cap space.

            • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:30 pm

              that should say “worth tying up…”

            • Jul 2, 2018 at 2:40 pm


              What you posted is not a bad deal at all, although it does take away a good chunk of that cap space.

              • Jul 2, 2018 at 3:20 pm

                That’s really the point, is that you are giving the other team cap relief in exchange for receiving hockey assets.

                IMO, the only way the Rangers do this is if they get something very valuable in return.

            • Jul 2, 2018 at 8:41 pm

              Martin, Horton, and Nylander (let’s say, but more probably future high draft picks and/or prospects) for the Rangers’ 4th round pick ….. I’ll have what you are drinking……

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:21 pm

          Depending on what the assets from Toronto are it can offset Martin.

          • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:33 pm

            Probably picks and prospects, but if Gorton does this, it should be a nice haul. He has no reason to do it otherwise.

            • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:47 pm

              I would love Marner over Nylander, I mean he basically has Vlads style of game. Nylander is scared of playoff hockey though. I have a feeling that he could turn into one of those semi elite regular season players who goes ghost during the playoffs due to the physical nature of most games. Maybe he will get it by the time he’s 27-28 but I wouldn’t be shocked if that label becomes stronger as time goes on. Meanwhile you can blast Marner on one shift and the next one he’ll come back with a move to burn you.

              • Jul 2, 2018 at 3:21 pm

                I would gladly take either one my friend.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 9:56 am

    If we are actually going to rebuild this team, then we not only need young players on the roster, we also need to let them play. Picking up other team’s cast offs isn’t going to help it they take playing time from the “kids”, so Gorton is doing exactly the right thing by being patient with this. I’m sure that some attractive deals that fit our plans better will materialize before training camp starts, and we still have the cap and roster space to take advantage of them. And, interestingly, I read that Stamkos’ and Kucherov’s numbers dropped when J.T replaced Namestikov on their line. That might be one reason Gorton wanted him.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I’m stoked about the “pill” of this rebuild. GULP!

    The organization is doing what needs to be done.
    I applaud our MGT for sticking to the plan!

    For the past few years I always commented on how all the capitals fans jerseys were shinny red, all seemingly brand new, now they have the cup to go along with their red sweaters…

    I can’t help but think about the Garden, how it will be filled with our legends’ jerseys soon to be mixed with players we watch grow into NHL rockstars…

    Bring it on! Drop the Puck!


  • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Do we not remember the lifeless hockey this team has played over the past few seasons since we made the ECF against Tampa? Always playing from behind, no passion, weak … AV lost this team awhile ago. That series against Pittsburgh in 16 (I know we were outmatched but that was embarrassing) as well as game 7 against Ottawa (it’s playoff hockey, balls to the wall for 60 mins, they didn’t show up for the first 2!! periods). I’m not even going into the debacle of those games in Ottawa prior to game 7.

    When a rebuild happens, you need a new voice from the top down. Sather … out. AV … out. Enter JG and Quinn. I’m willing to give this a chance. It’s not gonna be easy … but no one has been handed a crazy NMC contract for 6-7 years to guys in their late 20s in the last two years. We’ve drafted in the top 10 for two years, as well 5 total first round picks. We’ll prob have another first rounder (or two) next year. If the kids develop like we hope and they picked the right players, then you make a free agent splash. JG did the right thing, he’s gotta let the market come to him, in addition to making a savvy trade here and there. Exciting to see this team develop and come together over the next few years.


    • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:28 am

      That’s all well and good, but if you look at the prospects—there is not ONE surefire future star among them. Some have the potential to be special—but there is no universal opinion among the NHL community that any of them have the potential to carry a team to the promised land.

      That’s why its so essential that the right players be picked in the Draft and in future trades. IMO, watching some of the moves that Clark and Co. have made recently, I have serious doubt whether they are up for the challenge of rebuilding a franchise. Hey, its not like they won Cups with what they brought in, in the past. Close only counts in horseshoes.

      I agree its going to take time—lots of it. But I fear that it is going to be a lot more painful to watch, than most of the optimists would have you believe.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm

        Hey Mick I think this would be the most conscious time for JG to pick the correct core to build within from. I think it will be important for him to remember who was around and apart of the good old days when every team in the league could already cross out the NYR’s as loss before they even play them.

        Hayes and Hank fits the bill. Hank had to be nothing short of elite to help carry this team. Meanwhile Hayes is a different breed. We will never sign a NCAA player or any other prospect who only played winger and than transforms into the best 3c as a rookie on the drop of the dime. After BB, Dubi and Richie all left one by one, Hayes made it work so much that he was the main cog of depth on that presidents trophy winning team. He didn’t need any PP time like the other 3c’s below in the league did. He managed to help both Hags and JT set career highs after each of them came from the top 6 and helped Grabner come back to life. He managed to take our PK to new seasonal rankings year after year since he took over and even lead the league in shorthanded goals and points with a crappy defense behind him. When has Cally, Stepan, Dubi, BB, Artie and whoever else ever managed to that as past PK’ers? Nash, Hank, MSL,Dan B all have compared him to some high quality elites, bottom line is that he should be apart of the future because when he’s playing, he makes everyone’s job a little more easy.

        Kreider in the meantime was putting up 45-50 points as a top line player who sees PP1 minutes. He has been around since day 1 when this club was running things but was he really apart of all of it? 47 points, 23 goals and everyone wanted to act like it was some amazing breakout career that he had. Do you flip him now? Add pieces to try and bring back a haul? It’s not like we have a true 1c to finally pair him off with. The Cali teams might be able to offer up something real nice for his presence.

        Zucc has been at the top of regular season success but the untold story is that you can’t count on him for alot of playoff wins. Do you keep him around?

        Zib, we already know this story. His best time with the Rangers was in 2017 when the team was pretty deep down the middle and on the depth charts. I would keep him over Kreider and convert him to wing if Chytil could become a top 6 center anytime soon.

        Skjei- I didn’t start seeing it until the summer of 2016 when he played in one of those tournament for team USA. He’s extremely overrated at being a 2nd PP QB man. Watching Hank freak out on him shift after shift has opened up my eyes to his DZ play. It’s just cringe worthy to see him give instructions on the ice during games to the younger guys when he’s out of position 80% of the time. Is our D good enough without him? If we took the Oiler’s garbage for Skjei with either Kreider or Mika and whatever attached to it than would that be enough to pry Leon out?

        Those 5 names need to be in consideration on wtf to do while using them to help forward this rebuild.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I could not be happier great day for us. Now let’s sign our he other RFA and we will be sitting with all the cards. Buy low sell high. Keep your powder dry Jeff.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Jared Clinton, yesterday regarding the Blues, after they traded for Ryan O’Reilly: “Are they overnight Stanley Cup favorites? Maybe not. But one season removed from selling at the deadline, the Blues most certainly aren’t to be taken lightly.”

    So a team does’nt have to be stripped down to their underthings, to right the ship. The Rangers should not be in this pickle in the first place, but thanks to either dumb moves or lack of prudent actions, they are now bottom feeders.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:26 am

      So right. He created this problem, not unlike what the Mets are going through. I can handle some rebuilding, but we still do not have an elite player, and if you think Chytil and Andersson are going to be elite in a year, I think you are drinking Gorton koolaid.

      Some star-power would really help this team grow and learn. I think when you have to look up to Zibby (hurt, can’t go today) and Krieder (disappears for 10 game stretches), I think you are doing them a disservice. Zucc is the only player these guys can model themselves after.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 12:53 pm

        “zucc is the only one they have to model after”

        No wonder no one on the team can or actually shoots.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Blues are super top heavy, they lack a bottom 6 and their D corps is mediocre to poor after Pietrangelo and Parayko. Also, they really don’t have a trusted guy in net.

      St. Louis could very well enter free fall if some of their 30 somethings, Perron, Steen, Bozak, Bouwmeester start to show their age this season.

      I get why they made the ROR deal. Tarasenko, Schenn, and Schwartz, are all 26-27 and about to exit their career primes. ROR gives them a better chance at a trip to the Finals during this small window. But at the same time I could see this team being stripped for parts 20 months from now at the 2020 trade deadline.

      The 17-18 Rangers didn’t have that core of players that were about to age out of their prime. The one they had, McD, they dealt. There was no point in the Rangers bringing in a gun like ROR just to miss the playoffs next spring.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 12:54 pm

        What a problem – thin in the bottom 6. Probably more of a problem to be thin in the top 6, wouldn’t you agree?

        We might be thin in the bottom 9.

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:13 pm

          Yeah, that’s why the Rangers are rebuilding.

          And I’m glad they are rebuilding instead of putting off the inevitable, like the Blues did yesterday.

          St. Louis just like the Ducks, will be stuck with aging players on gigantic contracts and will be just good enough to compete for a wildcard every year for the next 5 years. Also known as the treadmill to oblivion. I’m glad the Rangers jumped off that ride and decided to blow it up as much as they could.

        • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:17 pm

          Actually the Blues might have their biggest problem in net, in addition to what Chris A mentioned in his above post. Jake Allen was awful for them last year (.906 SV% in 56 starts, 59 games played overall) in the regular season. He’s extremely inconsistent, each year is an adventure with him as their goalie. Allen doesn’t seem to be able to handle the 60-start workload common for most #1 netminders.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    So I guess we should “embrace the tank” before the season even starts.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      There is huge difference between a tank and realism. The Rangers are not trying to lose; they are not compromising their long term goals to increase their short term success. Short term, they have no cap issues. But signing like Tavares and McDonagh for example have long term cap implications that deserve consideration. And you don’t sign a player like John Moore for example, who would get in the way of young players you want to develop.

      The Rangers see themselves like the Blackhawks after they got players like Toews and Keith, but before the team had really gelled. The Ranger defense will likely be poor this year. But a year from now, the very same players may be a good defense.

      Also, and this is key. To contend, the Rangers need development of their young players and fine tuning of the roster. Does it not make more sense to fine tune after you see what you have and not before? The Rangers have a vast number of talented young left-handed defensemen. Do they have a true first pair guy (long term)? Two or three? We just don’t know.
      If no, you need to get one. If three, you trade one or two for different assets.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 3:24 pm

        If the young players pan out, and I think they will, the Rangers will have mucho cap space going into 2019-2020. Then on July 1st, 2019 hopefully you spend wisely (and judicious trading) and augment the roster with good players that compliment the kids, plus selected vets and we’re right in contention. Yes, I’m embracing the tank, but I feel it will only be for one year.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Yesterday was not as crazy as we think. The rise in the salary cap is actually not a boon to the teams, but a boon to the players. If the salary cap goes up 10%, salaries will go up 10%. It is not that teams will be able to afford more good players, because the bottom line is that there are just not that many real good players. Because of term, one can question JT and McD signings, but certainly those players are worth three and two of Namestnikov respectively in the short term.

    And in the long term, well if the cap keeps going up, maybe they won’t turn out so bad. We can argue about how well Marc Staal played last year and whether he can maintain that level, but if one interprets the information in his favor, his contract no longer seems very bad.

    Five years from now, Ryan McDonagh might just be an average second pair defenseman who is getting paid like an average second pair defenseman.

    • Jul 2, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      If the accumulation of injuries doesn’t make him even more ineffective.

      • Jul 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm

        Everything is an educated guess. My point was that the rise in the salary cap meant that the jump in short term salaries is natural and long time salaries are not as oppressive as they may appear. For example, assuming both players lived up to expectations, the Carey Price contract is actually less of a burden than the Lundqvist contract because of wage inflation. Of course, if Price plays like he did last year instead of his career norms, his deal will be a disaster whereas in hindsight we know that Hank did not fall apart.

  • Jul 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Gorton talked to

    “…When he was asked on Monday who he felt from this year’s development camp roster had a realistic chance at making the team’s roster out of training camp, Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton began with Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil…”

    They’re sticking to the plan.

  • Jul 3, 2018 at 8:04 am

    If TB wants Karlsson, then let’s help them out by trading a 5th round pick for Stralman.

    Then sign De Haan.

    De Haan-Shatty

    Not too shabby.

    • Jul 3, 2018 at 8:41 am


      Let them have Karlsson. How much cap hit will they have with their top three d-men? At least Hedman can play, Mac Truck is slowing down, and in a few years Karlsson will need a wheelchair to get around with. And they call Stevey Y brilliant??????????????

      JG, stick to the plan!!!!!!!!

  • Jul 3, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Clearly this year I’m going to find something else to do this winter, this team may be rebuilding but I don’t see how they compete for anything other than the top pick in the draft. A young team with not much talent and prospects that don’t excite. At least I don’t have to worry about buying tickets. Thanks Jeff I’m saving my salary cap for doing something better than sitting through your failing rebuild.

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