Archive for Around the League
Last year: 38-30-14, fifth in the Metro Division. Missed the postseason by three points.
Key additions: Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Justin Peters
Franchise direction: Like the rival Penguins, Washington chose to make major changes in the front office over overhauling its roster. In for George McPhee is Brian MacLellan as General Manager while long-time Predators coach Barry Trotz replaces Adam Oates behind the bench. Trotz is one of the most respected men in the business, but he’s made his living as a defensive-minded coach and faces an entirely new challenge in the nation’s capital. Trotz was surely part of the inspiration for the team’s two big signings, Niskanen and Orpik. The Capitals needed a major upgrade on defense after finishing 21st in goals against, but lobbing $67.75 million at Niskanen and Orpik was a bit excessive, especially in Orpik’s case. The acquisitions certainly don’t say much for the team’s faith in its long-time top-three of John Carlson, Karl Alzner and Mike Green. Focusing on bringing in defensemen from outside the organization does make some sense given that Washington has several talented forward coming up through the organization.
For several years now we have been nominating GMs around the league as the “worst GM in the NHL award”. Past nominees include Scott Howson, Pierre Gauthier, Greg Sherman, Paul Holmgren, and Darcy Regier to name a few. By the way, all have been fired or have lost their responsibilities. In other words, we may be on to something here.
Here’s how it works. We nominate the GMs (based on their risky trades, unspectacular drafts or financially unsound signings). You vote the winner. Got it? Good.
Here’s 2014 nominees:
Last year: 51-24-7, first in the Metro Division. Eliminated by the Rangers in the second round.
Key additions: Patric Hornqvist, Christian Ehrhoff, Nick Spaling, Steve Downie, Blake Comeau, Thomas Greiss
Franchise direction: The Penguins roster has been retooled, but the major news of their offseason was the firing of coach Dan Bylsma and GM Ray Shero. In their place are Mike Johnston and Jim Rutherford, respectively, but while Pittsburgh has had higher expectations than Bylsma and Shero have been able to meet in recent years, it’s hard to view the changes behind the bench and in the front office as an upgrade. Pittsburgh did improve its depth up front and cleared dead weight that should allow some youngsters to make an impact. But why was playoff goat Marc-Andre Fleury retained while sweeping changes were made in every other facet of the organization?
Last year: 43-32-7, fourth in the Metro Division. Eliminated by the Penguins in the first round.
Key additions: Scott Hartnell, Brian Gibbons
Key subtractions: R.J. Umberger, Jack Skille, Derek MacKenzie, Blake Comeau, Nikita Nikitin
Franchise direction: The Jackets are happy as clams with the way things are going after they made a surprise postseason appearance and gave Pittsburgh all it could handle in the first round of the playoffs. Columbus had to let go of a few spare parts to provide flexibility and allow the team to lock up key long-term pillars like Ryan Johansen and Brandon Dubinsky, but the team has quality reinforcements. Read More→
Last year: 35-29-18, sixth in the Metro Division
Key additions: Mike Cammalleri, Martin Havlat, Scott Clemmensen
Franchise direction: The Devils have finally turned the page on the Brodeur era, but that doesn’t mean the team is any younger. New Jersey added the 32-year-old Cammalleri and 33-year-old Havlat to a group that already includes 34-year-old Michael Ryder, 36-year-old Dainius Zubrus, 37-year-old Marek Zidlicky, 38-year-old Bryce Salvador, 38-year-old Patrik Elias and 42-year-old Jaromir Jagr. The Devils are certainly not rebuilding, but their plan is a little puzzling. Read More→
Last year: 42-30-10, third in the division. Lost to the Rangers in the first round
Key additions: R.J. Umberger, Nick Schultz
Key subtractions: Scott Hartnell, Adam Hall (likely)
Franchise direction: I didn’t quite know what to think when Ron Hextall replaced Paul Holmgren, but so far the new general manager has demonstrated restraint uncharacteristic of this organization. Yes, the Hartnell/Umberger trade was a little bit of a head-scratcher and the rampant rumors that Philadelphia tried to move up to grab the No. 1 draft pick were interesting, but all in all this has been an unusually quiet offseason for the Flyers. Read More→
Free agency is upon us, and teams that were not allowed to talk specific contract details will find a way to work out extremely complicated contracts within minutes of free agency opening. The Rangers have four key guys headed to free agency, with three likely on their way out. We summarized those here. We will be live-blogging the free agency signings, with moves made by the Rangers in bold. Discuss anything you want, keep it civil.
- Dallas has traded Alec Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and 2nd round pick in 2015 to Ottawa for Jason Spezza and Ludvig Karlsson
- Christian Ehrhoff to Pittsburgh: 1 year, $4 million. Bargain.
- Manny Malholtra to Montreal: 1 year, $850k.
- The Rangers are out on Anton Stralman.
- The Rangers are not in on Mark Fayne or Ryan Carter either.
- Oilers sign Benoit Pouliot (5 years, $20 million) and Mark Fayne (4 years, $14.5 million).
- Brian Boyle has at least one five-year offer.
- Chad Johnson to the Isles, two-years, $1.3 million per.
- Milan Michalek re-ups in Ottawa – three years, $4 million per.
Free agency is upon us, and the Rangers will see four key players test out the market. Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman, and Benoit Pouliot all seem destined to cash in big elsewhere, while Dominic Moore is still hoping (along with the rest of us) to remain in New York. There are a lot of rumors out there, so let’s go through all of them before the click strikes twelve.
- The Rangers are hoping to get Moore under contract, who is seeking a three-year deal at $1.7 million per year. The Rangers are offering two-years at slightly less money.
- Boyle will hit free agency, as his agents have requested a deal that “he would get on the open market.“
- Pouliot seems to have priced himself out of New York. The Senators are interested in him.
- Stralman has a long-term deal between $4.5-$5 million coming his way, which is again out of New York’s price range.
- Dan Boyle is seeking a two-year deal around $5 million, and listed the Rangers as a top-five candidate. The Rangers want to give him a one-year, incentive-laden deal.
- Mark Fayne is seeking a multi-year deal around $3 million. The Rangers have shown interest in him and teammate Ryan Carter.
- Paul Stastny will hit free agency. The Rangers have inquired about him.
- Michael Del Zotto was not qualified by Nashville, and will hit free agency.
- The Rangers have contacted the Tanner Glass camp. Ick.
Considering the $69 million cap, I think Carter, Fayne or Tom Gilbert, and Mikhail Grabovski are the realistic targets that can fill holes, improve the team, and leave competition for kids.
The first shoe has dropped in the 2014 NHL offseason, as Ryan Kesler has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks. The Canucks will get Luca Sbisa, Nick Bonino, and 1st (#24) and 3rd (#84) round picks from Anaheim in exchange for Kesler and a 3rd round pick.
For those wanting the Rangers to trade for Kesler, the Rangers didn’t really have equal pieces there. They didn’t have the first rounder, and for players, it would be close to the equivalent of Carl Hagelin and John Moore.
Update: The Canucks have also dumped defenseman Jason Garrison’s contract, sending him to Tampa Bay with a 7th round pick and the rights to Jeff Costello in exchange for Tampa’s 2nd rounder (#50).
Ryan Callahan has re-upped in Tampa Bay on a deal that is 6 years and $5.8 million per year (basically a Dustin Brown contract, shocking). As a part of the trade with Tampa Bay for Martin St. Louis, the Rangers will receive TB’s 2nd round pick in 2015, and the Rangers will send a 2015 7th rounder to Tampa Bay. To summarize the now completed trade:
- To New York: Martin St. Louis, 2015 2nd round pick
- To Tampa Bay: Ryan Callahan, 2014 1st round pick, 2015 1st round pick, 2015 7th round pick