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Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

When the Rangers dealt Antti Raanta to Arizona in the Derek Stepan deal, a quick survey of the market revealed plenty of useful options to serve as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup.  There was a decent mix of higher upside projects and relatively safe veteran choices.  When it came out that Benoit Allaire had zeroed in on Ondrej Pavelec for the role, many were surprised, myself included.

The 29 year-old Czech native (30 when the season starts) was a 2nd round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers back in 2005.  He had shown tremendous promise in the notoriously offensive environment of the QMJHL before getting his first cup of coffee the year after he was drafted.

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Categories : Goaltending, Offseason
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Photo Credit: New York Rangers

Happy Friday, BSB faithful.  Sorry to double down on the “Thoughts” and “Musings” posts this week, but it’s been a very active week in Rangerland.  The last time I wrote, it was the day before the Expansion Draft.  Obviously, quite a lot has happened since then.  So, as you can imagine, I have some thoughts.

1. Since there is a lot to analyze, let’s take this in semi-chronological order. Let’s start with the Girardi buy-out.  It had to be done.  I know it sucks carrying his cap hit for the next few years, but the Rangers really had no choice.  They needed to get younger and more mobile on the blue line and starting to clear the log-jam of overpriced veterans was the first domino.  I wish Dan all the best in Tampa, even if I gagged a little when I saw the contract.  Nice try, Yzerman.

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Jun
30

Replacing Antti Raanta

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(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Since last week when I talked about trading Antti Raanta, he has since, in fact, been traded.  The crew here has covered the return in-depth, so now we need to talk about replacing him.  I’ve spoken at length about Benoit Allaire’s seemingly superhuman ability to help young goaltenders develop into capable NHL starters, but given the current goaltending market, we don’t need Allaire to work miracles.  After perusing the readily available goaltenders who will be looking for jobs on July 1, I thought we could breakdown some of my preferred candidates…

Obviously, the Rangers could swing a trade, a la Antti Raanta, but for our purposes we are just going to look at pending UFA’s that will be available on July 1.

Steve Mason- Philadelphia Flyers

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Categories : Goaltending, Offseason
Comments (27)
Jun
23

Trading Antti Raanta

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New York Post

After months of speculation, debate and general hand-wringing, we now know that it was Oscar Lindberg who ended up being poached off the Rangers’ roster by the Vegas Golden Knights.  Various options had been “sure things” since the off-season began.  Michael Grabner, Jesper Fast and of course Antti Raanta have been speculated to be joining a newest team in the desert.

It’s Raanta I want to discuss this morning.  The 28-year old Finn had a tremendous year as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup and many feel that he is an interesting trade chip, given the low cost options on the market and Benoit Allaire’s seeming ability to turn your average midtown commuter into a quality NHL backup.  Let’s dive a little deeper into market and trade comparables and see if Raanta is worth moving.

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Jun
02

Some pre-Expansion Draft thoughts

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www.NHL.com

Happy Friday, BSB faithful.  The Stanley Cup Final is winding to a conclusion and most of the league’s front offices are gearing up for the Expansion Draft.  There has been a lot of cryptic information coming from the media about different strategies, objectives and potential hand shake deals.  If nothing else, it will be an incredibly interesting experience for industry types and fans, alike.  As we ramp up toward June 21st, I have some thoughts.

1. Can someone explain to me why we don’t have some sort of 24/7 style show recording this? From assembling a front office from scratch to the creative maneuverings of the draft itself, this is a unique and rare opportunity to get a glimpse into this process.  If you are a fan of the sport on even a casual level, it would be a phenomenal watch.  Don’t give me that crap either about the cameras compromising the job, leaking information yada, yada.  I’m sick of these guys getting to do their jobs without any transparency.  Let the fans see how it works.

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May
19

2017 BSB Offseason Plan Contest

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msgnetworks.com

After an unceremonious loss to the Senators, we find ourselves here again.  The offseason.  This one is particularly interesting, not only because of the major changes likely on the horizon for the Blueshirts, but also the Expansion Draft that threatens to throw a wrench in the roster planning for the entire league.

We typically get everyone’s basic perspective and team building philosophy in our lively comments section, but let’s take it up a notch, shall we?  We want to put you in the driver’s seat of the New York Rangers’ offseason. That’s right, the Offseason Plan Contest is back.  For the uninitiated, we have run this contest a few times in the past and gotten some killer submissions.  We want you to become the architect of the New York Rangers organization and outline your plan to bring the team back to glory.

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I feel ya, Hank

The Rangers’ 2016-2017 season has come to an end.  I, like many of you, I’m sure, was left with a disappointed taste in my mouth following the Blueshirts untimely exit to a fairly mediocre Senators team.  Fortunately, my writing schedule allowed me to digest for a couple days before committing my final impressions of this season to the interwebs.  In thinking about concepts, angles and a final position for this article, I cycled through many emotionally driven think pieces.  The title “What a Waste” stuck in my head for several days.

I was seriously considering a sanctimonious diatribe about wasting another of Hank’s prime years and the complete unfairness of the generational level of performance he has given the organization over the past decade plus only to be rewarded with consistent disappointment.  Though this isn’t ultimately the point of this article, I do want to touch on that concept briefly.

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Categories : Musings, Offseason
Comments (47)

Daily News

After a miserable showing in the first two games of this series, the Rangers have been dominant for the past two in evening the series up. Heading back to Ottawa, there have been several changes made by the coaching staff that has paid dividends on the scoreboard. Obviously, the players need to execute, but having an effective game plan can go a long way toward putting the players in a position to succeed.

There has been a lot of talk around here about adjustments, or lack thereof. We have seen specific weaknesses of this team exploited over and over again with seemingly no recognition from the coaching staff or front office. The thing about adjustments is that they are incremental. They are local. They matter in the minutia, as opposed to the big picture.

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Apr
27

Scouting the opposition: Craig Anderson

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James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are moving on to Phase 2 of their “skip the Metropolitan and tear through the Atlantic” master plan to win the Stanley Cup. Their next opponent is the Ottawa Senators. After dispatching an injury-riddled Bruins’ club in six games, the Sens aim to punch a ticket to the Conference Finals.

A big part of Ottawa’s success in the first round was the solid play of goaltender Craig Anderson. He has become something of a cult hero in the Canadian capital due to his wife Nicholle’s courageous battle with a rare form of cancer (nasopharyngeal carcinoma). Her treatments are progressing well from all accounts, and on a personal level, the Anderson family is easy to root for and we should all hope that everything ends well in a difficult circumstance. Read More→

Categories : Goaltending, Playoffs
Comments (27)
Apr
14

Thoughts prior to Game 2

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Montreal Gazette

To the surprise of many, the Rangers went out and stole game one against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night, shutting out the Habs 2-0 on the back of the ever so rare Tanner Glass goal and turn-back-the-clock brilliance from Henrik Lundqvist. With game two looming this evening, I have some thoughts on game one and where the team goes from here…

1. Forgive me for beating a dead horse, but the performance of the defense was nowhere near what is necessary to get past this round. Nick Holden was abysmal. I would like to see Clendening in for him, but honestly, I think I would take Klein over what I saw from Holden Wednesday night. Read More→

Categories : Musings, Playoffs
Comments (66)