Archive for Around the League

in simpler times… photo c/o Sporting News

The past five days have shown signs of life around the NHL, first with the Arizona – Montreal trade, and then with the Barry Trotz contract blunder which leaves him a ‘free agent’ of sorts. A straight trade and a forgetful front office should be enough to keep us busy as fans, but neither of these are as interesting as the trade that occurred yesterday.

If you’ve taken the summer off from hockey (except for your beloved Blue Seat Blogs, of course), you might have missed the trade between the Ottawa Senators and the San Jose Sharks today:

To the average hockey fan, this trade looks awfully one sided in favor of the Sharks (who flipped Mike Hoffman to Florida for trade picks shortly after the acquisition). To the gossip monger, or anyone who follows Canadian media, you know that this trade was a requirement for the sake of the locker room, and that Hoffman had to go. Why? Glad you asked!

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pavel buchnevich

Bruce Bennet/Getty Images

Late last night, a big trade went down between Montreal and Arizona. The Yotes landed their #2 center in Alex Galchenyuk, giving up promising top-six winger Max Domi. The deal is another one of those lopsided deals we are all making fun of, but mostly because trading a top-six center for a top-six winger is never a good idea. Galchenyuk and Domi have similar stat lines and point-per-game stats. Domi is a passer, Galchenyuk is a shooter. That’s really it.

The cost for Galchenyuk makes you wonder if the Rangers should have been in on that. And let’s be real, it’s safe to assume Jeff Gorton made some sort of phone call and no deal could be made. To see what the Rangers needed to give up, you look at what Domi is: A young, cost controlled top-six winger with more upside. The only player on the roster that matches that description is Pavel Buchnevich.

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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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Debunking stupid narratives

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Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY

Last night, the Washington Capitals won their first ever Stanley Cup.  Now, as Rangers fans and division rivals, that may rub some of us the wrong way.  However, what it did was save us from one of the most irritating and stupid media narratives; that Alex Ovechkin couldn’t win a Cup.

When it comes to sports media, it is their job to create narratives for a couple of reasons. First, they need to appeal to the emotional needs or wants of its readership.  Second, it needs to craft a relatively simple through line that can help sum up a player, team or season.  However, this one is so catastrophically stupid that I found myself routing for Ovechkin to deliver us from this nonsense. Read More→

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Why Can’t We Just Enjoy Hockey?

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I’m about to lead this post with the understatement of the century: Twitter can be an interesting place.  I use the word interesting deliberately, because the platform can be, on a literal tweet-by-tweet basis, equal parts hilarious and infuriating.  As an avid sports fan, sometime blogger and someone who’s employed by an independent sports media business, being on the platform is essential, if not addictive.

One of the best aspects of Twitter is how it actually forms communities of like-minded people and provides them a platform to discuss their interests. During massive events – such as the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals – that discussion often turns to quips, quips transform into memes, and much hilarity ensues.

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Categories : Around the League, Rants
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Folks, it’s the first time ever here at Blue Seat Blogs that we’re doing a playoff preview without our beloved Rangers. Sure, we can be sad and lament a lost season, but instead, let’s look at the bright side. For starters, no home bias! Woo!

Let’s take a look at the bracket:

And now, for our (non-)expert takes on the series….

New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning — the blowout

Rob: TBL in 4. Sweeps are extremely rare in the NHL playoffs, but I’m going to be bold here.  Tampa Bay is firmly a contender, while the Devils are more of a “nice story” on their way back to relevance.  In many ways, they’re similar to the 05-06 Rangers, who we all remember fondly but were crushed by a more talented and experienced Devils team in that year’s playoffs.   Read More→

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For the first time in eight years, the Rangers are not going to be in the playoffs. It’s just the second time in the Henrik Lundqvist era. It’s unfamiliar territory for us. But have no fear. We are here to help you through these troubling times. Here is a guide to get you through these 2018 playoffs – specifically who to root for, in reverse order.

16. New Jersey Devils

Let’s be real, if you’re rooting for the Devils in any capacity, then you’ve lost your way. The Rangers also hold their second round pick, so losing quickly helps the Rangers as well. Rooting for the Devils is like hitting yourself in the face. Repeatedly. With a brick.

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rangers coyotes

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Welcome back all to this week’s edition of How Not to Rebuild. After two riveting examinations of the laughably bad Edmonton Oilers and the actually-just-kind-of-OK Carolina Hurricanes, I figured we’d go back to another team that is really, truly, not very good. For this week I figured it’d be appropriate to take a look at the Arizona Coyotes, our favorite desert hockey team (as opposed to the LA Kings, who are no friends of ours here, or the Vegas Golden Knights, who are just sort of bizarre).

The boundaries we’re going to place on this analysis is the 2012-13 season to present, given that in 2011-12 they made it all the way to the Conference Finals, having lost the previous two post-seasons in the first round. So really, not as if they had a ton of sustained success in the first place (their 2009-10 playoff berth was their first since 2001-02) but whatever, playoffs are playoffs (or so I’m told). It’s worth pointing out that things don’t break down as easily in terms of the rebuild lining up with coaching/management changes either, as Dave Tippett was coach from 2009-2017 and Don Maloney was GM from 2007-2016, with the former being replaced by Rick Tocchet and the latter by the infamous Computer Boy, John Chayka. In any event, let’s take a look at their draft history first.

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Categories : Around the League
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AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Continuing on in the series about how not to rebuild a team, I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at the Carolina Hurricanes in the wake of their firing of their general manager, Ron Francis. What makes the Canes especially interesting is that they’re not in an Edmonton or Buffalo situation – they’re a decent team with decent players, it’s just that every year they seem to be on the cusp and can never quite get over the hump. Why is that?

Let’s start with the good – Ron Francis has done a fine job of managing his salary cap, the details of which can be found here, on CapFriendly, with the real big doozy here being Jordan Staal’s long-term contract, signed before Francis became GM. After that their next highest paid forward is Victor Rask, who, although he isn’t exactly star talent, is hardly what’s ailing the Hurricanes, at least in terms of dollars and cents. Justin Faulk’s contract is reasonable for the kind of player he is, and the Pesce and Slavin contracts are (at least in my opinion) veritable steals as far as locking down two excellent young d-men go for many years at reasonable cost. Really, aside from that Staal contract, the next big issue is the risk Francis took on Scott Darling, who although he’s had a rough year, could conceivably bounce back (or not) depending on a coaching change, the personnel in front of him, etc.

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See you soon, old pal

On the eve of Game 13 of the season, the Rangers find themselves firmly in panic mode, needing to right the sinking ship. If the Titanic has taught us anything, it’s that a) Jack could have fit on that door, and b) you need to make sure you have enough life boats to save the ship. It seems the life boats, as the “gimme” games against Montreal and Arizona, have sailed far away.

The Rangers are looking out on Games 13, 14 and 15 this week against two very hot teams and one team playing average hockey. The time to have turned the ship around would have been last week, and it looked like that almost happened against Montreal. Unfortunately, the regulation loss against the Canadiens on Saturday night could prove to be more harmful than it seems.

Let’s take a look at what lies in the week ahead.

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