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Metro Division Preview

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Since hockey season is almost upon us (certainly the preseason at least) I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to write a quick preview of the Metropolitan Division, to refresh all of the things that went down this summer in our hockey backyard. It can be tough to remember every offseason transaction, so why not compile them all in one place and offer a little bit of analysis? Anyways, here’s your 2017-18 Metropolitan Division.

New York Islanders

This team got undeniably better, on the addition of Jordan Eberle alone. His chemistry with John Tavares is going to cause problems for teams around the Metro, and when you factor in Josh Ho-Sang the Isle’s scoring depth just became a force to be reckoned with almost over night. Still, although they’ve improved substantially up front, they’re the Islanders, with such luminaries as Dennis Seidenberg and Casey Cizikas down the depth chart, which is to say they’re not exactly stacked as you move down the lineup. I’d project them to make some noise as the playoff push begins to come together, but ultimately they’re a bubble team at best.

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Categories : Around the League
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5 Signs it’s almost hockey season

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It’s Labor Day weekend, which means that summer is over. What that means is that although we’re still a couple of weeks away from preseason, hockey is almost upon us. In case you don’t believe me though (I mean I can hardly believe we’re at this point either) here are some signs that hockey season is right around the corner.

  1. It’s (hockey) sweater weather – Although we had something of a mild summer here in the New York Metropolitan Area (don’t think I forgot about you Long Islanders/Northern NJ types) there were a few weeks there in July that were quite hot. Even when things weren’t scorching temperatures were still at least 80-something degrees. That seems to have tapered off as of late, with weather as low as the high 50s. All of that means it’s finally appropriate to don your favorite extra layer: your Rangers jersey.

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Categories : Offseason
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Don’t Worry About Bobby Farnham

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Bobby Farnham

This week has been chock full of important Rangers news, like the recent signing of Bobby Farnham to a PTO. While this may be cause for concern among some fans, I’m here to tell you that it’s all going to be fine. Farnham is likely just a body for preseason and maybe the AHL (if that), and while he might be someone AV tries out on the fourth line at absolute worst he’ll be Daniel Paille – around for a little while and eventually gone, as the ill-fitting nature of his inclusion on the roster becomes apparent.

Let’s start with the primary reason why they likely signed Farnham, who is more or less just an enforcer (although he scores once every year or so). Preseason is coming up, and since not everybody on the first team will show up in the few games that precede opening night against the Avs, somebody (literally almost anybody) needs to play hockey alongside the various youngsters that get a look. So enter Farnham, a warm body who’ll help to fill out the lineup in case any of the regulars have nagging injuries, oversleep, etc etc.

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Categories : Preseason
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Why the Rangers should sign Jaromir Jagr

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Photo Credit: Ken Goldfield/NY Daily News

It’s August, which means the hockey world is beginning to gear up for the preseason in hot anticipation of their new rosters. One mystery that still hangs in the air like an Islanders fan yapping about how their fourth line is the best in hockey remains however: Jaromir Jagr is unsigned. It’s a truly bizarre thing, and although there may be a few reasons teams are hesitant to sign him there are also plenty of good reasons for a team like the Rangers to add the living legend to their roster.

Let’s get it out of the way right now – no he is not going to score as many goals as he did his last go around with the Rangers. Last season he put up 8 goals and 25 assists at even strength, with an additional 8 goals and 5 assists coming on the powerplay. That’s still a pretty respectable total for a player his age however, and there’s no doubt that he’d be playing in a depth role on the third or fourth line were he to return to NY. So while he won’t be quite as magic as he was during his first tenure with the Rangers, he won’t have to be and could still put up some solid points anyway.

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Categories : Offseason
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Options at Center

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jt miller

Trading Derek Stepan and losing Oscar Lindberg to Vegas sent a shockwave through the Rangers lineup this offseason, leaving two major holes at center and turning what was one of the Blueshirts’ biggest strengths into what could be their biggest weakness. Although the Rangers did acquire David Desharnais to help fill a bottom six role there remains one slot at center to be filled, and I thought it would be a good idea on this hot summer day to sketch out some of the options the team has for filling that gap.

The first is trading for a top-six center. The most obvious name on the market is Matt Duchene but unfortunately you’ve got to give to get. Still, considering the Rangers’ considerable depth on wing and new found glut of defensive prospects, theres pieces in place to make a deal happen. I still think this one is unlikely to happen, but it’s certainly a possibility.

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Categories : Forwards
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marc staal
The dog days of summer are once again upon us, with little news breaking or fun happening. This week the only bit of excitement to go down was Mika Zibanejad renewing for another five years at $5.35m per. Since that wasn’t enough though what I’m going to do here is propose some more fun and games – and something that would actually make the team better to boot. That’s right folks, it’s time to toil in futility and speculate about a Marc Staal buyout.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, we already had our shot at buying out Staal and clearly he’s still on the team. The buyout window is closed and our beloved cyclops is still a New York Ranger. However, thanks to the aforementioned Zibanejad deal the Rangers now have a second buyout window and shifting circumstances make buying out Staal’s contract a prudent thing to do.

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Categories : Offseason
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lias andersson

It’s mid-July, which in the hockey world means any news is good news. These past two days’ news, also happens to be actual, real, good news to boot: the Rangers signed both of their 2017 first round picks, Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil to 3-year entry level contracts.

This bodes well for a few reasons; at the very least it means that the two of them will be coming to North America eventually but I’d propose that there’s reason for further optimism here too. The Rangers’ “rebuild on the fly” may wind up bearing fruits earlier than expected.

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Categories : Prospects
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david desharnais

The Rangers have had a pretty decent run of it so far in free agency, with Kevin Shattenkirk joining the Blueshirts and Brendan Smith re-upping for another four years. Aside from rebuilding just the defensive corps though, Jeff Gorton has begun reconstructing the Rangers’ center depth, after losing Oscar Lindberg to Vegas and trading away Derek Stepan.

Signing David Desharnais is a positive step in the right direction, and although finding a replacement for Stepan will be trickier, having Desharnais around will give the Rangers some options in the bottom six. I thought it’ be worthwhile however, to examine just exactly how Desharnais will replace Lindberg – if their playing styles are the same, how they stack up against one another, and how they complement their linemates.

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Categories : Players
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This week we’re joined by special guest Rob to discuss the Shattenkirk signing, the significance of David Desharnais in Jeff Gorton’s masterplan, and the difference between good process and bad process in management. As always you can find us right here, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes. Leave us a review or a comment too!


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Some Free Agency Predictions

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joe thornton

Free agency is upon us, with the big announcements coming later today. Who will end up where remains to be seen for now, so I figured a predictions thread might be in order. For this post I’m going to focus on the big three: Kevin Shattenkirk, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. First is because those three are the ones I’ve been following closely, and I don’t want to throw out useless conjecture about guys like Jimmy Hayes, for example (although maybe this all is useless conjecture, depending on how you look at it, I don’t know). Second is because it’s a relatively week FA class, so those three names are likely to be the biggest ones you hear about anyways. Third is because those three are most relevant to the Rangers.

So here’s the thing with Shattenkirk: the Rangers would be stupid not to at least make a push, so no matter what Brooksie says I think there’s a possibility. It just makes too much sense – he’s the puck moving defenseman and PP QB they’ve needed for so long, and his defensive ability is actually quite good (7th overall in CA/60 over the past two seasons is not so bd for a guy who can also net you a lot of points and allow Ryan McDonagh to finally reach his potential). Buffalo is apparently out, especially after today’s Scandella deal, which leaves Boston (where he played in college), NJ and our very own Blueshirts, as well as a few other teams. Don Sweeney, the Bruins GM has said that his focus is on left defense, which makes them less likely, and NJ is close to home for Shatty and could throw a boatload of money at him, but according to Bob McKenzie NJ may offer more term but less money. Tampa Bay is also interested and may offer more money but less term, all while Arizona and Colorado remain interested.

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Categories : Offseason
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