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The Emotional Paradox of Draft Week

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mats zuccarello

It’s almost time. The 2018 NHL Draft will begin this Friday (the first round is Friday, the latter rounds will be Saturday) and given that we’ve already seen a big trade go down in Max Domi/Alex Galchenyuk, all the rumblings at the trade deadline about players the Rangers may/may not be trying to move (Mats Zuccarello being the most notable one). Judging from the general vibes emanating from the Rangers front office in the post-Letter landscape, well, we’re likely in for a wild ride. It’s safe to say that more or less anything could happen, especially if, as often happens, other teams do wild and crazy crap – the Rangers will surely either attempt to anticipate the maneuvers and machinations of rival GMs or at the very least react accordingly. We’re in for a wild ride.

All of this is quite exciting, at least in a vacuum. If Jeff Gorton is smart we’ll be walking away with a Quinn Hughes, Oliver Wahlstrom type, and, in typical Rangers fashion, a late-round steal (there’s always at least one, because Gordie Clark sure knows how to pick ’em). With all of the high-quality talent in this draft we’ll likely be seeing new faces much sooner than later, which means new moments of excitement, new stories to tell, new experiences to share with our friends and family. Sounds good, no?

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Categories : Offseason
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The time between the end of the postseason and the beginning of offseason shenanigans is always a weird one, but this past week the hockey news cycle has taken a particularly grim turn with reports of two things I’d like to draw your attention to.

The first is the disgusting report from Elliotte Friedman that Slava Voynov is interested in returning to the NHL this season and that his interest has been reciprocated by some NHL teams. This report should be enough to make your blood boil: Voynov plead no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence charges and opted to go back to Russia rather than face potential deportation hearings in front of an immigration judge. The officer who responded to Voynov’s home described it as akin to a murder scene, and a social worker at the hospital that treated Voynov’s wife testified that he was told it wasn’t the first time. Still, Voynov has an expungement hearing set in California, that, if favorable to Voynov could clear the way for him to apply for a US work visa and return to the NHL.

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Categories : Around the League
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pavel buchnevich

It’s the offseason, so of course that means mindless speculation and endless hypotheticals. I’m not hating on our national passtime by any means – I love conjecture and imagining things that totally won’t happen as thought exercises. One thing that came up on twitter recently however has me concerned, because while thought exercises and potential scenarios are important, we’ve also got to keep it in the realm of reality for any of it to be illuminating.

Without that grounding we either state the obvious over and over to the point where it lacks any utility, devolve into reactionary contrarianism, or begin to set an agenda that dominates the conversation once other people take it too seriously (this last bit implies that we here on the Rangers blogosphere are Thought Leaders, which of course we are). I’d like to address it head on: there are almost no good trade hypotheticals involving Pavel Buchnevich.

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Categories : Musings
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Some Key Quinn Quotes

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david quinn

It’s a new era in New York. Not only is Alain Vigneault gone (and John Tortorella before him), but the Rangers have officially embarked on what some might call a rebuild (others might not, and that’s fine, but as we saw at the trade deadline there’s already been some major changes towards the future). Enter David Quinn. The now former BU coach is behind the bench for the Blueshirts and while some may have their (probably valid) criticisms, I think it’s a phenomenal hire. He’s a breath of fresh air and represents a total sea change as far as the mindset of this organization goes. If Jeff Gorton can convince Glenn Sather and James Dolan to get weird with it, then there’s a bridge I might just buy from him.

Going beyond the representative aspects of this hire though are the actual, ya know, coaching things. While Quinn may get a knock from some people for lacking in the X’s and O’s (which I’ll reserve judgement on until I actually see it for myself) there’s a few things buzzing around Quinn, many of which he’s said himself that have me excited. Most of these are from an interview he did on the Michael Kay show, but if you haven’t read his letter to the fan base that’s worth checking out as well. Without further ado, here’s David Quinn, in his own words.

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Categories : Coaching
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It’s a little bit dull around Rangerstown these days, given that our beloved Blueshirts did not make the playoffs. I’ve mentioned this on twitter a couple times, but in case that’s not your communicative medium of choice, it’s a kind of an empty feeling walking around midtown Manhattan, and Penn Station especially, without the buzz of the postseason in the air. I almost miss that dumb double-decker bus that does a loop of the lower 30s with all of the gaudy Rangers decorations and shouting Rangers fans on top of it (almost, but not actually).

Still, life, and the playoffs go on, and if you’ve been watching and taking notes (I haven’t actually been taking notes) then you may have made a few observations about what it takes to be successful in today’s NHL past the month of March. Or at least I have, so here’s a few thoughts. Feel free to share yours in the comments as well, because it’s always fun to take postseason hockey.

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Categories : Musings
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No Need to Panic About Picking Ninth

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gordie clark

The draft lottery took place yesterday, and the results have some Rangers fans frazzled. The Blueshirts unfortunately didn’t land in the top three this draft, and will therefore be missing out on any of Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, or Filip Zadina. The three of them are generally understood to be among the best prospects in recent memory, in particular Dahlin, and the fact that they won’t be Rangers any time soon is definitely a bummer. Still, this is an exceptionally deep draft, and I don’t think there’s any reason to panic about the Rangers picking 9th overall this upcoming draft. Allow me to explain.

1. We can still trade up – it’s likely not a great idea because of what we’d have to give to move into the 4-7 range (or even 3rd, as the Habs are allegedly open to trading the pick) and there will still be great players left at 9 (more on that in a moment), but if Jeff Gorton really really wanted to he could. There’s always a deal to be made, and this draft could be one of the silliest in recent memory, so I wouldn’t sweat it that the Rangers got the 9th pick because there’s a non-zero chance that they don’t actually wind up picking 9th. Still, GMJG may decide to stand pat, and then what? We’re left with some scrub? Quite to the contrary, we’ll be alright because…

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Categories : Draft
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Remembering John Amirante

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John Amirante died on Tuesday. I’ve been thinking about it almost nonstop, and the feeling of grief still hasn’t left me. I’d only met him twice, briefly, and aside from that I’d only ever heard him do one thing: sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Rangers games. Still, John Amirante was more than just the guy who sang the national anthem before Rangers games. He was a part of the Rangers family, what the Rangers meant.

I choose those words carefully, because right now, there’s no guarantee he’ll still be a part of what it means to bleed blue in this ever-changing era. Our team, the sport of hockey, and the world we live in are rapidly shifting, all given to us by our forebearers, many of whom are still with us but many of whom, like John, have either moved on or will be moving on as the pages turn. As this passage of time occurs we must commit ourselves to remembering and retelling their stories, over and over again, to keep them with us and one day pass them on to those who come next.

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Categories : Uncategorized
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It’s been a short while since Alain Vigneault was fired as the Rangers’ head coach – hopefully the feeling of relief (or whatever you may be feeling) has settled in a little bit and you’re ready to look toward the future. Along those lines I thought it’d be fun to take a look at a few coaching options for our beloved Blueshirts, but to make things interesting let’s stick to Rob’s rule of “never coached an NHL game”.

I’m following this dictum for a couple of reasons. The first is that I genuinely believe that the Rangers would be better off trying somebody new, provided they do their homework thoroughly and have a good idea what they’re in for with a strong candidate. The other reason is convenience: you probably have heard enough about Darryl Sutter, he of two Stanley Cups with the Kings, or even Bill Peters, rumored to have an out clause with the transitioning Carolina Hurricanes. So let’s make some new friends, shall we?

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Categories : Offseason
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On this emergency podcast we break the news that Alain Vigneault has been fired by the New York Rangers (just kidding, you knew that already) and unpack his tenure and undoing as Rangers head coach, while looking ahead towards the future. As always you can find us right here, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes. Feel free to leave us a comment or a review as well!


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Prayers and Funds for the Humboldt Broncos

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I didn’t have the chance to write anything about the Rangers last night or this morning but just wanted to throw up a quick post regarding the tragic bus accident that took the lives of 14 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in Saskatchewan and injured 14 others. I can’t really find any words to express how deeply upsetting this is, so I figured this might help instead: below is a link to the gofundme page set up to raise money for any expenses incurred by family members of the team, and if you have the means I’d encourage you to donate. Hockey is a tight knit community and even though we’re far away I’d imagine this one hits close to home for a lot of us. Let’s all say a prayer for the Humboldt Broncos.

Categories : Uncategorized
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