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Mark Spector of Sportsnet is speculating that the Edmonton Oilers are not going to give the Rangers the #16 pick unless a defenseman is included in the trade. This seems to make sense, since the Oilers need a defenseman as well and the Rangers need to shed an additional contract from the blue line. My guess is that the delay is that Slats is either trying to work a bigger deal, or he is trying to squeeze that first rounder out of them.

Spector also notes that Slats prefers not to deal Talbot to Buffalo, since they are “in state.” But the Sabres are in a different division, so I don’t know if that adds up.

In the end, if it’s Talbot alone, I think he nets either a pair of 2nds or a 2nd and a prospect.

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More Cam Talbot stuff from Darren Dreger, who noted that the Oilers offered two second round picks in exchange for the goalie. Update: Sorry, I misunderstood. Dreger said the Oilers were not the team that offered two seconds. But a team did offer it. Glen Sather/Jeff Gorton turned down that offer, and are trying to land a first round pick, the #16 overall, but the Oilers haven’t bitten yet.

Mark Spector thinks that the Oilers are more likely to deal the #33 pick and “something else.” My guess is that this will eventually be settled for the #33 and a forward prospect.

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Jun
23

Salary cap ceiling set to $71.4 million

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The NHLPA announced that the upper limit of the salary cap will be set at $71.4 million for the 2015-2016 season. This is just a $2.4 million increase from last season’s $69 million ceiling. The reason for the small increase is due to the decreasing value of the Canadian Dollar.

The Rangers are in a bit of a crunch with the cap, but should be able to get their RFAs signed if they can move salary. There are other teams (Chicago, LA, Boston) with much more pressing issues.

Categories : Offseason
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Jun
23

The need to address right defense

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dan girardi

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

The New York Rangers defense has been called elite by some, and a disaster by others. The reality of the unit is that it is somewhere in the middle, much like how Suit graded them yesterday. The Rangers seem to be set on the left side. They have a legit top pairing defenseman in Ryan McDonagh, at least two solid top-four in Keith Yandle and Marc Staal, and then, well, it gets fuzzy on the right side.

Starting with Dan Girardi, who appears to be the most divisive topic among Ranger fans later, the Rangers have a player who thrived under John Tortorella’s zone collapse defensive zone style. But under Alain Vigneault, Girardi’s lack of foot speed, poor gap control, and poor positioning have many questioning if he can keep up in a strong side overload/man coverage system. I’ve already suggested that the Rangers consider dropping him from his top pairing role, to mixed reviews.

Dan Boyle was brought in to help the powerplay –at the expense of Anton Stralman, who I needed to mention at least once in this post due to the situation, but will forego mentioning him again– and was relatively unsuccessful. He made the opposition mindful of his presence, and he certainly gave them options, but the results simply were not there.

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Categories : Defense
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Jun
22

Dreger: Rick Nash trade highly unlikely

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Per Darren Dreger, a trade of Rick Nash is highly unlikely. There had been some rumblings that the Rangers were going to move Nash, but it was mostly speculation. Nash has the highest cap hit on a New York Rangers team that needs to clear cap space. However, there are much smarter ways to go about clearing cap space than dealing the team’s top goal scorer. The full video is below.

Dreger also discusses the Cam Talbot sweepstakes in the video. Talbot is discussed around the three-minute mark, Nash at the four-minute mark.

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Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers are expected to move Cam Talbot this week leading up to the draft. Edmonton has been the overwhelming front runner, but the perceived interest from San Jose, Buffalo, and Dallas has driven his price tag up. I initially had a Talbot trade to Edmonton returning a prospect and Montreal’s 2nd (#57 overall), but Talbot may actually fetch a first round pick.

No matter which way you slice it, the Rangers are going to trade Cam Talbot, which is the right move for the organization and Talbot.

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kevin klein

Is it time to sell high on Klein?

It’s no secret that the New York Rangers are in a bit of a cap crunch. They are already deep in conversations to clear $1.45 million by trading Cam Talbot, but even that’s not enough to sign their four key RFAs. The blue line for the Rangers currently costs them $25.925 million, which is relatively absurd. Out of those contracts, the only one that seems remotely moveable is Kevin Klein.

Klein’s contract is actually pretty cap friendly, with three years remaining at a $2.9 million cap hit. What makes him more appealing for budget teams is that after Klein’s $3 million salary this year, it drops to $2.75 million for the last two years of the deal. That makes him even more marketable to budget teams that need to save money every step of the way.

Klein is coming off a career year, where he scored nine goals and added 17 assists for 26 points. He also finished a whopping +24, which for some reason still means something to some GMs. For the first three months of the season, Klein was arguably the Rangers’ best defenseman.

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Two quick rumors for you this morning:

  • Larry Brooks has noted the Rangers are out of the running for free agent defenseman Mike Reilly, who went unsigned by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Reilly was a fourth round pick of the Jackets, and has the potential to be a second pairing guy with great PP skills. Oh well, this was always a long shot.
  • Darren Dreger noted that Cam Talbot is drawing significant interest from the Oilers, Flames, Sharks, Stars, and Panthers. This works in the Rangers favor, as they can get a bit more for Talbot than initially anticipated. Talbot’s performance while filling in for Henrik Lundqvist is the reason for the interest, but the contract is also playing a large role. It may actually be possible for the Rangers to land a first round pick in a trade, which I didn’t think to be possible prior.
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Jun
17

Projecting Derek Stepan’s next contract

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derek stepan

Stepan (AP Photo/Bruce Bennett)

Yesterday, I looked at what Carl Hagelin’s next contract might cost the Rangers, and it came out to be maybe $250,000 more than most had him pegged. I usually guess a little higher, so that people aren’t shocked if the contract comes in higher than expected. The other expensive RFA is Derek Stepan, the Rangers top-line center. Stepan, like Hagelin, is coming off his two-year bridge deal, which paid him $3.85 million this past season, and came with a cap hit of $3.075 million.

Stepan, who turns 25 tomorrow, had a weird season. He put up 55 points (16-39-55, 3-7-10 on the powerplay). Those numbers seem to be on-par with normal expectations, but are a far cry from his pace in the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season, when he put up 18-26-44 in just 48 games. I think Stepan is a 50-60 point center, putting him in the middle range of top-line centers. Stepan is also one of the few right-handed shots on the powerplay. Stepan, like Hagelin, is also arbitration-eligible.

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Categories : Offseason
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Jun
16

Rangers RFA qualifying offers

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The Rangers have four roster players headed to restricted free agency this summer. Two (J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast) are coming off their entry-level deals, and two (Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan) are coming off their two-year bridge deals. Per the CBA, any RFA making over $1 million must be offered the current salary. Players making between $660,000 and $1 million must be offered a 5% raise. Players below $660,000 must be offered a 10% raise. These numbers are based off base salary from their most recent season, not bonuses or cap hit.

Using that, the qualifying offers for the four roster players are as follows:

  • Derek Stepan: $3.85 million
  • Carl Hagelin: $2.4 million
  • J.T. Miller: $874,125
  • Jesper Fast: $945,000

These numbers are based off contract figures from www.hockeyscap.com.

Categories : Offseason
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