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The smoke surrounding Kevin Hayes

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kevin hayes

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

As the Rangers retool continues, a name that has been brought up a lot recently is Kevin Hayes. Hayes was first mentioned by Larry Brooks mentioned him over the weekend, stating that Hayes would likely be involved in any big move the Rangers make heading into the draft. Then Josh Marshall noted that Hayes is on the Calgary Flames’ radar.

In terms of Hayes’ availability, it makes sense. He’s the most desirable of the three big RFA centers the Rangers have this summer. He’s also someone who could get a good haul. The kicker is that Jeff Gorton has said he’s not done making moves, hinting that moves involving players on the roster before the deadline will be made.

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pavel buchnevich

Bruce Bennet/Getty Images

Late last night, a big trade went down between Montreal and Arizona. The Yotes landed their #2 center in Alex Galchenyuk, giving up promising top-six winger Max Domi. The deal is another one of those lopsided deals we are all making fun of, but mostly because trading a top-six center for a top-six winger is never a good idea. Galchenyuk and Domi have similar stat lines and point-per-game stats. Domi is a passer, Galchenyuk is a shooter. That’s really it.

The cost for Galchenyuk makes you wonder if the Rangers should have been in on that. And let’s be real, it’s safe to assume Jeff Gorton made some sort of phone call and no deal could be made. To see what the Rangers needed to give up, you look at what Domi is: A young, cost controlled top-six winger with more upside. The only player on the roster that matches that description is Pavel Buchnevich.

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Categories : Around the League
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Rangers re-sign Marek Mazanec

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marek mazanec

The Rangers have re-signed goalie Marek Mazanec to a one-year, two-way deal. The contract will pay Mazenec $650,000 in the NHL (unlikely), and $200,000 in the AHL. Mazenec played 20 games with Hartford last year, putting up a 2.97 GAA and a .905 SV%.

Mazenec’s line isn’t sexy, but Hartford was a train wreck last year, so I’m not looking too deep into that. With Mazenec on board, the Pack seemingly has four goalies, including Brandon Halverson, Chris Nell and Alex Georgiev. That does not include AHL contracts, which don’t appear on CapFriendly.

It’s safe to assume one of that quartet will be int he ECHL, likely one of Halverson or Nell. We will get a clearer picture of the AHL goalie situation when the NHL free agency period concludes, as that likely tells us where Georgiev will play next season.

Categories : Transactions
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Some Tuesday thoughts

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lias andersson

Another day, another few hours closer to the draft. These days drag because we know something is coming, but we don’t know what or when. The Rangers are expected to be busy, hopefully before the draft because I have a wedding during the draft. Anyway, here’s just some ramblings I’ve been thinking about lately.

1. It is entirely possible to think that 1) The Derek Stepan/Antti Raanta for the #7 and Tony DeAngelo was a bad trade, 2) The Rangers reached for Lias Andresson at #7, and 3) Lias Andersson will be a good hockey player. I believe all three. However in this black and white world of absolutes –remember that only a Sith deals in absolutes– you aren’t allowed to believe two of these, let alone all three. Let’s live in the grey people. Both in hockey and in life.

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Categories : Uncategorized
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jeff gorton

The NHL’s offseason has officially begun, and in New York all eyes are on the Rangers and how they are going to manage their rebuild. They made the critical first step in March by selling off stars and rentals for future assets. Their second step was made last month by naming David Quinn as head coach.

Next up comes the draft and free agency, and all the fun stuff in between. That is where we will begin to see the roster take shape and what our expectations of next year’s squad will be. Will they retool? Or will it be a full tear down? These are the questions that will get answered next month. But no matter what, the Rangers need to stick to a plan.

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Categories : Offseason
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Thoughts on the Ryan O’Reilly rumors

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ryan oreilly

Ryan O’Reilly is apparently on the move in Buffalo. There were several reports last week that the Sabres are looking to trade the center just two full seasons after acquiring him from Colorado and signing him to a massive deal that has five years remaining at a $7.5 million cap hit.

ROR is a top line center who puts up about 60 points per season. For those wondering, he’s basically Derek Stepan, just with five additional points and $1 million more per season. The two are almost identical in terms of production, role, and possession stats. The only difference is the contract.

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And now we wait

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david quinn

The NHL season is over. Alex Ovechkin has finally lifted a Stanley Cup. The NHL Draft is a few weeks away. This is going to be the calm before the storm. There will be theories. There will be speculation. There will be spitballing. There will be rumors. It’s going to be a fun time.

For me, I enjoy spending time thinking about how the Rangers can maximize on their current assets for the rebuild without completely tanking next season. They can’t tank with Henrik Lundqvist in net, he’s just too good. His in game performances alone mean they won’t finish below the bottom feeders. So we can kiss that theory goodbye.

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Categories : Offseason
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rangers hurricanes

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

One of the things we’ve been discussing a lot on this blog lately is the ability for the Rangers to exercise their financial clout this offseason. In the past, the Rangers have been able to offer a ton of money to free agents because they had the deepest pockets. The cap has changed that, but now the Rangers have another unique possibility.

The Blueshirts will have about $30 million in cap space this offseason, assuming an $80 million cap ceiling. With just a few RFAs to sign this year, and even fewer heading to big contracts the year after, the Rangers can use that cap space to take on a contract and get some assets in return. There are a few interesting targets as well.

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Categories : Offseason
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Mailbag: Draft trading scenarios

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Bobby Ryan. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

A few questions for the mailbag today, all revolving around trading up or down at the draft.

Josh asks (1 of 2): Think Chicago takes the 26, 28, and 48 for the 8 and the Hossa contract?

I like the thought process. Chicago is always up against the cap, and the Rangers happen to have oodles of it right now. Hossa carries another three years and $5.275 million on his deal, but he’s only owed $1 million a year for that duration. That said, Chicago balks at this for two reasons.

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Categories : Musings
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jeff gorton

One of the major stories heading into the draft, other than who will be selected and who the Rangers will be trading, is whether the Rangers will make all their current selections in the draft. The Blueshirts have 10 picks in the draft, with 7 of them coming in the first three rounds. The only round in which they don’t make a selection is the 7th round (Ottawa in the Zibanejad trade).

With so many picks, and specifically two picks close together at the end of the first round, there is speculation the Rangers might try to package those picks to move up. It’s a popular theory. As is perhaps trading one of those picks to move back and grab more picks in the later rounds. It is, after all, a fairly deep draft.

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Categories : Musings
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