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Jun
21

Report: Oscar Lindberg headed to Vegas

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Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

Per Larry Brooks, center Oscar Lindberg is headed to Vegas via the expansion draft. This was relatively expected, especially after the news broke that Antti Raanta would remain a Ranger. I’ve been thinking it would be Lindberg since about March, writing about it as recently as this week.

Losing Lindberg certainly stinks, but it’s definitely not the worst thing that could have happened. Lindberg is 26 years old, so he’s not exactly a kid/prospect. He likely peaks as a decent 3C that can fake it as a 2C in short bursts. He is 100% not the top-six center that folks made him out to be. And he is 400% not better than Derek Stepan.

Guys like Lindberg, believe it or not, are easily replaced via free agency or within the system. Personally, I’m happy it wasn’t Jesper Fast, who is more versatile. But in the end, the Rangers will lose a good 4C that wins face offs and kills penalties.

Categories : Offseason
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Jun
21

Brooks: Antti Raanta remains a Ranger

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antti raanta henrik lundqvist

Per Larry Brooks, goalie Antti Raanta remains a Ranger for the time being. Brooks tweeted out that Raanta was not Vegas’ selection off the Rangers roster for expansion. It’s also widely believed that the Rangers did not strike a deal with Vegas either.

I believe the Rangers will lose a forward in the expansion draft, and I also firmly believe it will be Oscar Lindberg. However a thought did occur to me. I wonder if a young prospect goalie like Mackenzie Skapski intrigues Vegas. He can develop and take over for Marc-Andre Fleury. Could be a dark horse

But still, my money is on Lindberg (there are rumblings of this already).

Comments (9)

kevin shattenkirk

The biggest free agent prize of the 2017 offseason is defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. A top pairing defenseman on most teams, Shattenkirk isn’t an elite defenseman, but he is a steady puck mover who is great on the powerplay and racks up points regularly. He’s clearly the best player available this year in free agency, and is likely headed to a big time contract.

But the question for most Rangers fans is going to be what that contract looks like. With the salary cap ceiling headed to $75 million, the Dan Girardi buyout, and the Kevin Klein retirement, the Rangers all of a sudden have a ton of cap space to work with. Believe it or not, they actually have the cap space to land Shattenkirk and re-sign their key RFAs if they so desire.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (100)

oscar lindberg

The Rangers announced their protection list for the expansion draft yesterday, and there were no surprises. Any rational mind knew the Rangers would protect Nash, Stepan, Zuccarello, Kreider, Miller, Hayes, and Zibanejad up front. With the Dan Girardi buyout final, protecting McDonagh, Staal (NMC), and Holden were the obvious choices by the front office on the blue line.

While I disagree with protecting Holden, it was evident that the Rangers were going to protect him. The coaching staff loves him, and a defenseman that puts up 11 goals and 34 points is tough to find. But with the protected players noted, it’s almost a certainty that the Rangers lose a forward from the NHL roster. In fact, it’s a foregone conclusion.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (116)
jt miller nick holden

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Per Sean Hartnett, the Rangers do not have any surprises in their expansion protected list. They went with the 7-3-1 model:

This means Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Michael Grabner, and Antti Raanta will be exposed. The Rangers will lose one of those guys, which is a manageable loss. Nick Holden was obviously the sub-in for Dan Girardi, who has been bought out.

Categories : Offseason
Comments (50)
Brendan smith

Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

One of the under publicized storylines of the offseason is what the Rangers plan on doing with Brendan Smith. Smith, acquired at the trade deadline last season, was a solid if unspectacular player for the Rangers down the stretch. He was certainly one of the top three defensemen on the team, and was a rock in the playoffs.

Smith is an interesting player. As a UFA defenseman capable of playing the right side, he’s in high demand. But without a solid scoring line or a reputation as a “shut down defender,” his contributions are tough to measure using traditional methods. What we do know is that Smith is a solid skater who is good in his own end. He has good positioning and doesn’t leave people open in front to deliver a hit. He also doesn’t snow angel often.

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Comments (48)

derek stepan

The news came fast yesterday. First came the front office moves. Then came the Matt Puempel extension. Then the Dan Girardi buyout. Then came the next bombshell, as Bob McKenzie noted that Derek Stepan’s name has been “prominent” in trade talks around the league. Now that doesn’t mean Stepan is going to get traded, but McKenzie is not “Rumor Break” or “Hockey Insiderrrrrrrrr” or “NHL Rumors Daily.” When McKenzie says it, it’s legitimate.

With the Girardi buyout, Kevin Klein’s potential retirement, and now the possibility of a Stepan trade, GM Jeff Gorton is making some serious moves to retool this team for a Cup run in Henrik Lundqvist’s window. The Girardi buyout and the Klein retirement save $5.8 million ($2.9 million each) on the cap. As for the Stepan trade, there are several ways Gorton can go, and each option is intriguing.

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Comments (114)
Jun
14

Rangers to buy out Dan Girardi

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dan girardi

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

The Rangers have made it official. They will buy out the remaining years of Dan Girardi’s contract. Girardi had three years remaining at a $5.5 million cap hit. The buyout will save the Rangers almost $3 million this year and $2 million the next two years. The Rangers will have a $1.1 million cap hit for the three years following.

Girardi was a career Ranger with a great story, going from undrafted free agent to top pairing defenseman on a Stanley Cup Finalist. However his game deteriorated very quickly under Alain Vigneault, and his lack of foot speed was exploited over the past three seasons.

Girardi finishes his Rangers career with a line of 46-185-230 in 788 games, and 6-27-33 in 122 career playoff games.

Categories : Transactions
Comments (86)
Jun
14

Rangers re-sign Matt Puempel

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matt puempel mats zuccarello

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Rangers have re-signed forward Matt Puempel, which now makes them compliant with the expansion draft. The terms of Puempel’s deal were not disclosed. The contract is for one year and $725,000.

Puempel was plucked off waivers from Ottawa last season, and put up 6-3-9 in 27 games while playing primarily on the fourth line. It was necessary to re-sign Puempel (or Fast/Lindberg) before the expansion draft, as the Rangers were not compliant until they had him signed.

It’s unlikely Puempel is selected by Vegas. Expect him back next year, serving as a 13/14F.

Categories : Signings
Comments (5)

jed ortmeyer

The Rangers have announced former players Jed Ortmeyer and Steve Eminger to the front office. They have also added Ben Prentiss as a strength/conditioning coach.

It’s cool to see Ortmeyer back in the fold, he was one of my favorite Rangers post-lockout. Worth noting that Prentiss was the main trainer for most NHLers in the Northeast, including Kevin Shattenkirk.

Categories : Transactions
Comments (4)