Archive for Around the League
Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have denied a request by the Buffalo Sabres to interview Assistant GM Chris Drury for their General Manager position. Drury was promoted by the Rangers to the Assistant General Manager position before this season. Prior to this position, Drury was serving as Director of Player Development. He was instrumental in recruiting Jimmy Vesey.
It’s not really a surprise to see the Rangers decline permission to the Sabres. He was named Director of Player Development in September of 2015, and a year later was promoted to the Assistant GM role. It may not seem like a huge jump, but a promotion that quickly indicates he is an important piece of the front office. Plus, the Rangers are in the middle of a playoff run. Not sure if that last bit means anything significant, though.
We’ve made it to Round Two of the playoffs, Rangers unscathed and surprisingly a lot of statistically advanced teams going home. The playoffs, as we know, are a whole different animal, and we’re already deeper here in the New York Metro area (or wherever it is you cheer from!) than we were last time. May hockey is a wonderful, heart attack inducing, fun thing to experience.
Of course, here at BSB this means a fresh crop of predictions. Let’s see how the BSB staff have done through one round:
The second round of predictions includes Justin, so let’s all go blank slate and see how we can fare from here on out. As always, please share your predictions for the four upcoming series in the comments.
Ahh playoff time. The time is finally here for us to throw our covers to the wind and let our crazy fly free. The time of year when you can banish shirts to the bottom of the drawer if the Rangers lose when you wear it, when you swap Febreze for Tide if those jeans haven’t lost since March. A time when it’s acceptable to literally put an opposing trinket on ice… in your freezer.
It is also the time when your friendly basement-dwelling nerds here at BSB (except for Justin, inexplicably, always) predict who will win it all — round by round. Let us know your thoughts for the upcoming eight series in the comments. Happy Hockey Season, part 2!
With the Vegas Golden Knights now confirmed as the NHL’s 31st franchise, one of the major story lines of this coming offseason will be each organization’s preparation for the Expansion Draft. Even though the draft does not take place until June, the strategic implications for each club have been a hot button topic for both fans and media, alike. Salary cap simulator and contract tracking site, CapFriendly launched an expansion draft tool back in November, and according to their figures, over 30,000 simulations have been run to date. Needless to say, the upcoming draft has been of interest, pretty much all season.
During the general managers meeting in Florida a little over a week ago, a report came out that the league was considering not publicizing each’s team protected list ahead of the draft. For those who may not know, each team is allowed to protect currently rostered players in one of the two following formats of the team’s choice: 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goaltender, or 8 total skaters (forwards/defensemen) and 1 goaltender.
Per Arthur Staple, the plans are being finalized for the Rangers to host the Sabres in the 2018 Winter Classic, to be held at Citi Field. This will be the first time the Rangers are in the Winter Classic since 2012, when they beat the Flyers in Philadelphia. The Rangers also had a pair of outdoor games at Yankee Stadium in 2014.
This is the first time the Winter Classic has been held in New York, as the Stadium Series games were technically not the Winter Classic. The initial rumor was that the Rangers would host a Winter Classic at West Point, but it appears that Citi Field will be the venue.
For Buffalo, this is their first time since the very first Winter Classic in 2008, when they lost to the Penguins.
Update: St. Louis gets 1 1st rounder this year, a 2nd rounder next year, and prospect Zach Sanford.
The Rangers did not get their man. The Washington Capitals have swooped in and given St. Louis a better offer for the highly sought after defenseman. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the trade call is happening as this post is being written. The kicker is that the Caps play the Rangers tomorrow, so he will be coming to MSG, just not in the way we had hoped.
With Shattenkirk off the table, the Rangers will need to take a look back at their plans and reassess. They need a pair of trades to really compete, the first for a stud, the second for an improvement on Kevin Klein. Unless someone of value from Anaheim becomes available, then they will be in the rental market for Brendan Smith, and perhaps more playing time for Adam Clendening.
I’m not a fan of selling assets when they are a top-five team in points in the league. However they are not beating Pittsburgh or Washington in a seven game series. They need two RHD. It’s a tough call to make. I can see great arguments for all three approaches (big move, small rental, selling Nick Holden and Michael Grabner). I do not envy Jeff Gorton right now.
We’re a short week into the 2016-17 NHL season already and have seen some high scoring hockey in our hometown at the Garden. With the excitement of new faces like Jimmy Vesey, Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad, etc., it’s been easy to forget that other hockey teams exist around the league.
Don’t be sad, dear reader. Our job here at BSB is to keep you clued in on not only all things New York Rangers, but all things hockey. It’s been an entertaining week in hockey-land, so let’s break it down systematically.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Acquiring fresh faces for your team usually results in endless discussion about the players ceiling of impact. A fan learns all they can about the player and their ideal fit in with the team. In the case of a trade, one may notice what left the team for the new player. Otherwise, it’s mostly focus on the new, out with the old.
The Rangers lost some players this offseason to free agency (or basically free agency, in the case of Keith Yandle), who were considered peripheral players that were, well, replaceable. So, what about these players futures?
I was thinking the other day just how solid an offseason Jeff Gorton had been having (despite not being able to significantly improve the blueline) and it got me thinking about where Gorton ranked amongst his peers. Taking that one step further it got me thinking about General Manager’s around the league, who’s doing well and who’s not. All this made me spitball about a power ranking of the NHL General Managers.
Everyone loves a pecking order, no? There’s been some significant change throughout the NHL recently and some GM’s will be hard to judge given their shallow bodies of work but it doesn’t mean we can’t try. Split into three posts over the couple weeks (starting at 30 and working our way up), here’s a brief insight into how I think the NHL’s key decision makers stack up against each other and where I think Jeff Gorton fits as he enters his second season in charge of the Rangers.
GM Ray Shero pulled off the coup of the offseason when he landed Taylor Hall from the Oilers in exchange for Adam Larsson. Hall gives New Jersey the top offensive talent to build around its been lacking for years – and with Kyle Palmieri and Adam Henrique’s continued emergence, plus 2015 first-rounder Pavel Zacha and 2016 top pick Michael McLeod on the way, there are finally some pieces up front. The Devils are set in goal with Cory Schneider firmly entrenched among the league’s best netminders, but New Jersey’s defense was weakened with the departure of Larsson. The Devils signed Ben Lovejoy – who should play major minutes – but they are still waiting for some of their other blueline prospects to emerge. New Jersey won’t be easy to play against, but the Devils are still likely a couple years away from being serious contenders in the division.