The Rangers have re-signed defenseman Chris Summers to a one-year, two-way contract. Summers has been a depth defensemen for the Rangers since being acquired from Arizona in the Keith Yandle deal, playing a total of six games for the Rangers in that season and a half.
Summers carries a cap hit of $600,000 at the NHL level. His salary will be $300,000 at the AHL level.
Jeff Gorton is entering his first full offseason as the GM of the New York Rangers, and he couldn’t be tasked with a more difficult offseason. The Rangers have toxic contracts, a system that doesn’t fit some of the players, and the worst of them all, a combination of the two. But with rumors abound that they are taking offers on pretty much everyone, the big concern is making splashes for splashes sake.
It’s pretty clear where the issues are on this team. For those that need a refresher, it’s summed up in one tweet:
1st in shooting%
7th in goals
14th in PP
21st in scoring chances against (5v5)
25th in high-danger scoring chances against (5v5)
26th in PK
— HockeyStatMiner (@HockeyStatMiner) June 12, 2016
A true hockey icon and legend has passed, as Gordie Howe has died, according to several reports. Howe was a legend and a true iron man, playing professional hockey into his 50s. His 801 goals and 1,850 points were league records until a kid named Gretzky came along.
The Rangers infamously had Howe in their grasp, but let the then 15-year-old go back home after a rough experience at a pro training camp in 1943. The rest, as they say, is history.
RIP, Mr. Hockey.
The Rangers have released their six game preseason schedule. Preseason is delayed this year due to the World Cup, starting on September 27 this year, and continuing through the first week of October.
- 9/27 vs NYI
- 9/29 vs NJD
- 10/1 @ NJD
- 10/3 @ PHI
- 10/4 @ NYI
- 10/6 vs PHI
For those who follow me on Twitter, I’ve been ranting about two players for a long, long time. Mostly because it is starting to look like an absolute necessity to add them to our system, as there is a huge issue on the right side of the blue line. This extends from the NHL through the system. With the club allowing Ryan Mantha to re-enter the draft ,you have to think they will be looking to add a body or two soon.
The first player is Jerret Smith, a 6’2, 207 lbs defenseman. He attended the Rangers training camp and is the captain of fellow Rangers’ prospect Ryan Gropp’s team (Seattle Thunderbirds). He discussed in October how much he enjoyed the training camp, and this season worked on improving his skating, something the Rangers asked him to do.
Ever since the ball dropped that the Rangers are fielding offers on everyone not named Brady Skjei, Pavel Buchnevich, or Henrik Lundqvist, the focus has been on trading names like Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, and Ryan McDonagh (Marc Staal/Dan Girardi notwithstanding). But when it comes to Stepan, very few bring up Derick Brassard, who may actually be the best chip for the Rangers.
When comparing Stepan to Brassard, most Rangers fans think this is either a toss up or lean Brassard. It’s a valid argument, as Brassard is putting up comparable offensive numbers to Stepan and is on a cheaper deal. With the Rangers crunched for cap space, trading Stepan seems like the way to lean if they decide to trade one of their top two centers.
But is that truly the smartest approach?
One of the more interesting viewpoints this offseason is that the Rangers need to trade Derek Stepan. The thought process here is that he “is not a true 1C”, “he doesn’t make anyone around him better”, and “he is overpaid.” Add on the apparent interest from the Minnesota Wild, and you have a lot of smoke around this.
While I am not opposed to trading Stepan in the right deal, I take issue with the above three statements. Stepan is not in the elite class of centers like Sidney Crosby or Anze Kopitar, but those are generational/elite talents, and few teams are privileged to have them. Stepan is in the class below that, as a solid center who can be any team’s 1C.
The deadline to sign draftees is June 1 two years following their draft year (for the most part, there are exceptions for NCAA/Euros). For the Rangers, this means that 2014 draftees must be signed by midnight tonight. Keegan Iverson (3rd) and Ryan Mantha (4th) remain unsigned, and appear to be on the verge of being let go by the Rangers.
Iverson, who was drafted with the pick acquired from Vancouver for Derek Dorsett, was a questionable pick when made. The 6’1, 218 lb forward scored 22 goals in his draft year, but has seen his goal and point totals slip in subsequent years. Junior hockey players are supposed to see improvements in scoring as they get older and more mature than their teenage counterparts. Iverson did not.
Ulf Samuelsson will not be back with the Rangers next season. The Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the Carolina Hurricanes’ affiliate, hired him as the head coach of their team. Samuelsson concentrated on the defense and penalty killing for the Ranges.
There is no word on his replacement yet. It is assumed that Jeff Beukeboom has the inside track, but anything can happen with coaches.
The official start of summer is here, and it is historically a slow weekend for hockey teams not still playing. There is no hockey tonight, but there will be hockey on Monday.
However May 29 has some interesting history recently for the Rangers. In 2013, they fired John Tortorella. In 2014, they eliminated the Montreal Canadiens to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. In 2015, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Final by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Interesting how that works out.
Use this thread for your discussions this weekend. I’m thinking Pens in 6, but I’d love to see Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau finally get Stanley Cups. If the Pens win, at least Carl Hagelin will get his hands on a Cup.