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Tyler Seguin will be just 27 when he’s scheduled to become a UFA next July (Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s nearly impossible to figure out what the roster might look like in August, let alone a year down the road. But for the first time in a while the Blueshirts have plenty of cap space and a world of possibilities in front of them.

A chunk of that pool might already be earmarked for Ilya Kovalchuk and it’s possible GM Jeff Gorton chases other big fish this summer. He also has a group of RFAs that will either get substantial raises or be shipped out of town.

Regardless – there’s flexibility. And that’s particularly interesting if you look ahead to next year’s crop of potential free agents.

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kevin shattenkirk

Most of the time when you come to Blue Seat Blogs, you can expect to read smart analysis and commentary from our staff of knowledgeable writers. This post is a little different.

Three years ago I put together the first edition of this series and it has since become an annual tradition to scour the internet for the funniest, most ridiculous photos, videos, GIFs and so on of the men that will proudly wear the Rangers uniform that season.

I think it’s a good way to provide a little human connection with each player before we scrutinize their every move on the ice when the games start. I hope you enjoy scrolling through this as much as I did compiling it.

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Categories : Players
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Promising signs for the power play

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Kevin Shattenkirk has racked up 25+ power play points in each of the last four seasons

Though we’ve yet to see the fully assembled new-look power play deployed in game action, there are already numerous encouraging signs that this could year could be different on the man advantage.

One of New York’s biggest bugaboos in years past has been the seemingly simple task of bringing the puck safely into the attack zone. But the team seems better equipped to handle that this season thanks largely to the arrival of Kevin Shattenkirk. He has already demonstrated the ability to hit streaking forwards in motion at full speed – which seems like a minor thing but commands attention from the wall of opponents assembled along the opposing blueline.

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Categories : Special Teams
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When was the last time you saw a Ranger D-man make a move like this? (Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jeff Gorton is not blind to the hole at center
Gorton was very careful with his wording in response to reporters’ questions about attempted deals for help at center over the course of the summer. Though nothing materialized, it’s clear that Gorton has been active in conversations. But he’s also willing to be patient. When camp opened Alain Vigneault said he wants to see J.T. Miller at center because he’ll be needed there “at some point.” AV also indicated that both Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil have a real chance at making the team. It’s up to all three of those players to prove their merit and take the pressure off Gorton. But for the time being, it seems that Gorton is willing to let things play out.

Trading for Matt Duchene makes all kinds of sense for the Rangers, but not so much for the Avs
Josh wondered aloud the other day about the absence of trade rumors between Colorado and New York given the Blueshirts’ glaring need and the availability of such an obvious solution in Duchene. Gorton has surely conversed with Colorado GM Joe Sakic, but there still doesn’t appear to be a trade match between the two clubs. It’s widely known the Avs are seeking a blue chip young defender and the likes of Ryan Murray, Cody Ceci, Thomas Chabot, Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin have circulated through the rumor mill as potential building blocks from known interested parties.

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Categories : Musings
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Neal Pionk registered 51 points in 82 college games

– The buzz is building around rookie Neal Pionk. On Monday Gordie Clark gushed about Pionk’s offensive abilities and said he thought Pionk might “shine” when given the chance to play with legit NHLers at camp. And last week prospect guru Corey Pronman chose Pionk as his young player to watch at camp for the Blueshirts in a piece for The Athletic:

There is always a bit of hesitance on my part projecting old college free agents to the NHL, and in Pionk’s case I don’t get overly excited over a 22-year-old defenseman without a history of high-level performance. However, I’ve talked to scouts that watched him in college who feel he could be as good as Troy Stecher was for Vancouver this past season (which was quite good) and potentially provide that kind of offensive spark to the Rangers. I want to see it first before feeling as confident, so I’m looking for him to blow doors down at camp.

Pionk’s path to the pros is pretty murky right now given the glut of defensemen, but he may be heard from later in the season.

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Categories : Musings
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The obvious choice for many of these

The premise is simple: if all the Rangers were cast as competitors in the major reality TV show competitions, who would come out on top? Yep, I realize this is silly – but we’re at that point in the summer. Here goes!

American Ninja WarriorChris Kreider is a little tall for a typical ninja, but he’s a physical freak of nature. He has upper body strength for days and should be able to beast his way through most of the obstacles.

Survivor – While the Wisconsin and Beantown alliances would be formidable foes and strategically eliminate most of the top contenders until their inevitable showdown, Mats Zuccarello would skate to a classic under the radar victory. He’s small, unassuming, unintimidating and nice to everyone. Zuke is the classic “wait, how is he still in this thing?” guy that outwits, outlasts and outplays his competition.

Ink MasterMichael Grabner is covered in tattoos, so if he’d have the inside track on this one. But can he actually operate a tattoo gun?

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Categories : Offseason
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How the roster might look in 2019-2020

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Ryan McDonagh is scheduled to be a free agent in the summer of 2019 – but will he be retained?

This summer, The Hockey News has embarked on a noble quest to predict how teams’ rosters will look entering the 2019-2020 season.

To keep things simple no external free agents or trade acquisitions were taken into account, so this is an incomplete picture – but it’s still a fascinating exercise. Here’s what THN came up with for the Blueshirts: Read More→

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There are plenty of reasons Alex Kerfoot might want to join the Rangers

– Though there are mixed opinions of Alex Kerfoot’s pro potential, landing him would still be a coup for the Blueshirts. I’m very uneasy about the pressure on Lias Andersson entering training camp. Heck even David Desharnais is far from a sure thing. Bringing Kerfoot into the mix would be a very nice insurance policy and create a healthy competition.

– It’s almost comical to see the difference in the offseason between the NHL and NBA. While only the most rabid Ranger fans are still refreshing Twitter for Kerfoot updates, the world exploded when the Kyrie Irving blockbuster went down last night out of nowhere. I think there are pros and cons to both situations. On the one hand, I’d love it if my sport were discussed 24/7 across society and the excitement was this high even in August, which is normally such a dead period. But on the other, I don’t necessarily mind a month or two each year to take a break from the action before I get completely sucked in all over again.

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Categories : Musings
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Chris Kreider led the Rangers with 28 goals last season

This list is my best guess at how the front office collectively views its depth chart now and looking towards the future. That means that age, contract, potential and position matter. Past performance holds less weight.

Note that though it’s a foregone conclusion Filip Chytil is going to win multiple Hart Trophies, I’m only including the players that seem to be in the mix for roster spots this season.

While I naturally assumed that Henrik Lundqvist would top my list going into the process, I came to a different conclusion upon further consideration.

I invite you all to share your own rankings in the comments as I think you’ll come to similarly surprising results. So without further ado…

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Categories : Offseason
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Is Brian Elliott the answer in goal for Philadelphia?

Washington Capitals

The Caps experienced the most significant turnover of any Metro team, and not for the better. Washington lost Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Williams, Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson. They did lock up Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov, but any way you slice it this team took a giant step back. To his credit, GM Brian MacLellan admitted that the salary cap had simply caught up to him and after going for it the last two seasons the writing was on the wall. Washington still has a ton of talent and will absolutely be in the playoff hunt, but the Caps don’t look like the bona fide contender they’ve been for the last decade.

New Jersey Devils

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