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Larry Brooks had a bit of a “brain” dump today in his daily NY Post article. After a page and a half rant on the Phoenix Glendale Arizona TBD Coyotes, and how they are just a money-suck for the NHL, Bettman got into a few tidbits about the Rangers. To summarize (and perhaps save you some reading time):

  • It’s all but a certainty that the Rangers trade Cam Talbot at the draft. They are going to try and get draft picks, which makes sense. It’s been rumored that the Oilers are willing to part with the #16 pick for Talbot. Personally, I think that’s an overpayment, but Cory Schneider got the #9 overall pick. So what do I know?
  • The Rangers also targeted Shane Doan at the trade deadline last year, after landing Keith Yandle. Talks didn’t get far, but this was the second time Slats tried to get Doan, after trying to get him as a free agent in 2012. Doan is 39, on the last year of his deal at $5.25 million, and has declining production each of the last four seasons. Please stay away.
  • Dan Boyle will be back next year. He isn’t retiring and he isn’t requesting a trade. He was far from the biggest problem on the blue line anyway, and while his production decreased, he was still effective at moving the play up the ice. In the proper setting (sheltered OZ starts), he should be fine. Deployment is key.
  • Martin St. Louis won’t be back in New York. The final tally from that trade: Ryan Callahan, two 1st round picks (2014, 2015) and a 7th round pick (2015) for MSL and a 2nd round pick (2015). The Rangers went to the Stanley Cup Final and Eastern Conference Final in his 1+ years on Broadway.
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Welcome aboard, Josh Khalfin (@_NYRvana_)

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As we continue to grow the blog and the content we provide, something we’ve recognized here as a need is someone who knows the prospects. At Becky’s recommendation (and after I spent a long time on his blog, we are pleased to welcome aboard Josh Khalfin (@_NYRvana_). Josh is one of the few that knows Rangers prospects inside and out, and will be a big addition to the folks here.

As we lead up to the draft, Josh will be providing insight on draft prospects the Rangers may target with their picks in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th rounds. Assuming you guys don’t want to burn him at the stake, Josh will continue providing draft and Rangers prospect insight, as well as contributing regularly to the blog.

Welcome aboard Josh, glad to have you.

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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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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
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Making sense of the mess in Glendale

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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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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
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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
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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, 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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