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Ahti Oksanen

Ahti Oksanen (Photo: SBN)

Per @_NYRvana_, Finnish prospect Ahti Oksanen has been invited to Rangers prospect camp in July. Oksanen just finished up his third season with Boston University, putting up a line of 25-13-38 in 40 games. The 6’3, 209-lb  forward/defenseman is unique, as he played both positions with BU this season.

HockeysFuture had this to say about him:

Oksanen is versatile in that he can play both forward and defense almost equally well. His style has often been described as that of a rover. Oksanen possesses good size (6’3”, 209 lbs.) and utilizes his strong frame at both ends of the ice. This has been especially evident in his drives to the net and in his ability to protect the puck. He is a strong yet fluid skater with very good foot speed. One of Oksanen’s attributes that scouts have taken particular notice of is his shot; he possesses a hard, lethal shot and can get pucks to the net. Oksanen also possesses an excellent stick. While Oksanen plays with a good amount of grit, he also plays with remarkable discipline.

Oksanen is an undrafted free agent, and the Rangers likely are intrigued by his size and speed. That combination is rare, and any player that possess both is generally looked upon highly. He seems to be a solid undrafted UFA, and it will be interesting to see what comes of his prospect camp invite.

Categories : Prospects
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Jun
12

Carl Klingberg headed to KHL

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Per Alex Nunn, New York Rangers RFA winger Carl Klingberg will head to Torpedo of the KHL. The Rangers acquired Klingberg at the trade deadline from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for winger Lee Stempniak. The deal cleared Stempniak’s contract in order to land James Sheppard and later that day. Sheppard was supposed to be a better fit for the fourth line, but he never played.

Klingberg, 24, was struggling to crack an NHL roster, so this move isn’t that surprising. People are going to look to this move as “Stempniak was traded for nothing,” which I guess is a fair conclusion. I don’t see it like that though. I wasn’t all that pleased in letting Stempniak go for nothing (would’ve preferred a draft pick), and the injury to Mats Zuccarello showed the Rangers could have used him, but on the surface, Sheppard was a better fit for the fourth line.

The Rangers will retain Klingberg’s NHL rights, depending on the length of the deal in the KHL.

Categories : Signings
Comments (19)
Jun
11

Making sense of the mess in Glendale

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Sigh.

Sigh.

In case you missed it, the city of Glendale voted to revoke the Arizona Coyotes lease with the Gila River Arena, meaning that the Yotes will have to find another building for next season. Yotes ownership will fight this, of course, but the fact remains they need to find a building.

The first thought is that they will go to Quebec City, which makes no logical sense because the whole point of realignment was to keep all Western Conference teams west of the Eastern time zone. Quebec is Eastern time zone. So, while it could work for a season, it doesn’t make sense long term. Plus, the NHL is going to expand to 32 teams at some point, my guess is they want the $500 million in expansion fees from a city/ownership group ready and willing to pay it.

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Categories : Around the League
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Jun
11

2015 RFA draft pick compensation

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There has been a lot of talk about RFAs this year, as the Rangers have a bunch (Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast) heading into the offseason. But it’s also been a hot topic because teams like LA and Chicago have major cap problems with key RFAs –Tyler Toffoli and Brandon Saad, respectively– of their own. Below is the draft pick compensation for poaching an RFA.

Average annual value Compensation
Less than $1,205,377 Nothing
$1,205,377-to-$1,826,328 Third-round pick
$1,826,328-to-$3,652,659 Second-round pick
$3,652,659-to-$5,478,986 First and third-round picks
$5,478,986-to-$7,305,316 First, second and third-round picks
$7,305,316-to-$9,131,645 Two firsts, a second and third-round picks
$9,131,645 or greater Four first-round picks

I can see Hagelin potentially getting a deal that goes into that 1st/3rd round pick compensation territory, which would put the Rangers in a pretty pickle. The absolute worse case scenario for the Rangers would be Hagelin getting $3.6 million annually, meaning they would only get a 2nd round pick. Of course, electing to go to arbitration makes this point moot (Hags and Stepan are arbitration eligible).

Other than that, I can’t see a situation where the Rangers don’t match on Miller/Fast, since they likely won’t get north of $1.2 million a piece. Stepan may get $6 million, but I’m guessing that’s the budget for him anyway. Stepan/Hagelin are arbitration eligible as well, so that takes away some of the poaching appeal.

Categories : Offseason
Comments (17)

Per Alex Nunn, the Rangers are showing interest in 22-year-old Czech defenseman Vojtech Mozik. A rough translation of the original article here:

Additionally, you are dealing with yet another dilemma.New York Rangers will offer two-way contract.What about your future?
These are good issues. They watch me longer period of time, I’ve been there twice at the camp. We’ll see how everything goes. A few days ago ended in a playoff, in a few days everything should be resolved.If staying in Pilsen, whether or interest Rangers take on.

If the offer will be valid, you decided to leave?
Furt drilled me in the head, it’s a tough decision. In Pilsen is a super team, I’ve got a great environment, I get a lot of space on the ice. But the NHL will probably refuse. Yet even now I do not want to say either yes or not.

Mozik attended Rangers prospect camp in 2013 and 2014, and has apparently impressed enough to possibly earn an entry-level deal.

Mozik, a right-handed shot on the point, put up 10-19-29 in 51 games with Plzen HC in the Czech league this season, an improvement on his 8-6-14 performance the prior season.

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alain vigneault

Alain Vigneault (Source: Getty Images)

The coaching of Alain Vigneault has come under fire in past months, as he appeared to be routinely outcoached by Barry Trotz and Jon Cooper in the playoffs. Compounding this was his decision to play Tanner Glass regularly, a decision which left most fans baffled.

But Vigneault is a Jack Adams finalist, so it’s not like he was all bad this season. He did a lot of good, and there’s a ready why he’s a Jack Adams finalist.

Good: Easing the kids into the lineup

The Rangers came into camp with a lot of question marks on the roster. No one knew what to expect of Kevin Hayes, who made the roster out of camp, and was transitioning to a new position. J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast were sent back to the AHL to work on little things in their games as well. In the end, it wound up being the right decision.

Vigneault took the slow approach with the roster, seeing what he had in veterans Ryan Malone, Matt Lombardi, and Chris Mueller. All three played a good portion of the first two months with the big club. Perhaps Vigneault wanted to see what they had, or perhaps he wanted to buy time for the kids to develop properly.
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Categories : Coaching
Comments (46)
Jun
08

New theme, again

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Sorry for all the changes to the design of the site. Once the slider in the last design proved to be a failure, I knew that design wasn’t lasting long. It was a pain to manage. This one is easier (it’s also the same layout of nyrgifs.com, which makes it easier on me). Hopefully this is the last change for a while.

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Some quick notes that broke over the weekend:

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Got four questions for the mailbag, so let’s have at it.

Q (More of an FYI, from Ray): I questioned the SAT data showing the Lightning dominated the first two periods of Game 6 in a BSB comment.  Anyway, I actually didn’t watch the game live – I taped it -and so I could revisit it. I tried to keep track of zone time in the first period (too mindless to do the entire game).
My numbers aren’t perfect, I’m sure, but they are unbiased with presumably small errors which likely mostly balance out.

I believe OZ time itself is a better indicator of possession, but the NHL stopped tracking it in 2001 for some reason. We use SAT because, logically, if you have the puck in the offensive zone, you are getting shot attempts. Yes, this does undervalue the cycle, and wearing down and pinning the opposition, but the goal of the cycle is to get shot attempts. You can cycle all you want, but if you don’t get shot attempts, the puck won’t go in.

Your email was very detailed. I’m posting the full email in the comments so that people can discuss.

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Categories : Musings
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Per Larry Brooks, Glen Sather is considering stepping down as General Manager of the New York Rangers. Slats has been GM since the 2000 season, and has been apparently grooming Assistant GM Jeff Gorton to replace him (which is why Slats denied teams the ability to interview Gorton this season).

Slats’ pre-salary cap run was mired with unsuccessful big-money signings and trades, aimed at buying a Stanley Cup. With the salary cap in place, Slats has seen the Rangers make the playoffs nine of the last ten years, with two runs to the Eastern Conference Final and one to the Stanley Cup Final in the past four years.

This does not mean that Slats is stepping down. In the article, Slats clearly states he is undecided about his future.

Comments (22)