Archive for Business of Hockey

Photo Credit:Cesar Diaz/Latinosports.com

Yesterday afternoon, the Yankees won on Opening Day for the first time in the last seven years.  In honor of this momentous occasion, I am here to deliver a PSA: do not compare the Rangers’ re-build to what the Yankees did.  Ever since the Rangers announced their intentions to recognize and re-build a flawed roster, some fans have been comparing the Rangers’ sell-off to what the Yankees were able to accomplish in 2016.  This is really not a fair comparison.  For those non-baseball fans amongst us, the Yankees, after several years of mediocrity (sound familiar?) made the difficult decision to buck New York sports tradition and have a deadline sell-off when it was clear they were not going to be able to contend.  They held three of the best relief pitchers in the game as trade chips for the stretch run.  Read More→

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wrongsideofthepond.com

Happy Friday, BSB faithful!  The Rangers will take on the Blues on Saturday, but that’s not what I am here for today.  We all know the Rangers suck and are rebuilding/re-tooling/limping toward the finish line, etc.  Tomorrow night won’t change anything there.  So, to keep some levity in an otherwise morose time in Rangerland, I want to engage in a hypothetical exercise.  Yesterday on Twitter, Tyler Dellow posited a notion of the NHL moving to a 40 team, dual-league relegation model, similar to the way European soccer leagues operate.  As a break from the normal Rangers-related content around here, I thought it would be fun to explore the feasibility of this idea.  Let’s take a look… Read More→

Categories : Business of Hockey
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Feb
02

Trading Lundqvist is a fool’s errand

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

With the possibility of the Rangers selling for the first time in forever coming more acutely possible, the focus from the fan base has understandably turned to hypothetical returns for the teams’ more attractive trade chips.  Naturally, the logical discussions (many of which have been examined in this space) involve Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Mats Zuccarello.  One target that a fairly vocal minority of the fan base has consistently brough up has been, oddly enough, Henrik Lundqvist.

Now, the reasons why Hank’s detractors (or trade advocates) feel moving the King would be a prudent move aren’t all that far-fetched.  He takes up a significant amount of cap space.  His overall performance has delayed a (probably necessary) rebuild longer than it should have taken.  The organization clearly wants to win as long as they have a generational talent on the roster, etc., etc.  These are valid opinions.

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Per Pierre LeBrun, the salary cap could be as high as $82 million next year, with $78 million apparently the low end of that projection. No matter what, it looks like a large increase on the current $75 million cap ceiling. Most of this is due to the success in Vegas, but it remains to be seen if it is sustainable.

This is good news for the Rangers, as they have a whole bunch of guys (Miller, Hayes, Skjei, Nieves, Vesey) they need to re-up. Three of those are due for some hefty raises as well. More money is always good. Hopefully this gives the Rangers the room they need to keep guys they want.

Categories : Business of Hockey
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Jun
02

Some pre-Expansion Draft thoughts

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www.NHL.com

Happy Friday, BSB faithful.  The Stanley Cup Final is winding to a conclusion and most of the league’s front offices are gearing up for the Expansion Draft.  There has been a lot of cryptic information coming from the media about different strategies, objectives and potential hand shake deals.  If nothing else, it will be an incredibly interesting experience for industry types and fans, alike.  As we ramp up toward June 21st, I have some thoughts.

1. Can someone explain to me why we don’t have some sort of 24/7 style show recording this? From assembling a front office from scratch to the creative maneuverings of the draft itself, this is a unique and rare opportunity to get a glimpse into this process.  If you are a fan of the sport on even a casual level, it would be a phenomenal watch.  Don’t give me that crap either about the cameras compromising the job, leaking information yada, yada.  I’m sick of these guys getting to do their jobs without any transparency.  Let the fans see how it works.

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www.nhl.com

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.

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Jul
15

The Tides of Change

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@GraphicComments

@GraphicComments

The concept of change is not a complicated one. One thing becomes another. Yet, out in the real world, change embodies complication. It can be lengthy, violent, compromised, terrifying and exciting. It tends to affect most things, some more than others. Some is met with little resistance, some with the greatest force you could ever imagine. The way it effects you will be determined by your investment, your willingness to adapt, and what you stand to lose. It effects economics, politics, art, religion and yes, sports. At this juncture, our beloved sport of hockey is at such a crossroads of change.

It was brought to light yesterday that Matt Pfeffer, an analytics consultant for the Montreal Canadiens was let go from the organization for his impassioned plea for the club to reconsider trading PK Subban. Now, in a vacuum, while it raises operational questions, it is not a big deal. Any employee who does not see eye to eye with their employer can be let go. However, this situation is emblematic of hockey’s growing civil war between the current powers that be and the emerging sub-culture of analysis-driven management. Read More→

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bvocy

In the least surprising news of the offseason, four Rangers have filed for arbitration. Forwards Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, and J.T. Miller, and defenseman Dylan McIlrath all filed for arbitration before yesterday’s 5pm deadline. This is a part of the process, and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. It’s a common occurrence for the Rangers, and it buys them more time to negotiate a contract.

This does protect all four players from receiving an offer sheet, something some people were concerned about. I’d expect that all four players reach deals before going to arbitration, since these hearings can get pretty ugly (remember the Sean Avery hearing?). Also this triggers the August buyout period for the Rangers, so they will have a second window to buyout players, if need be.

Only Marek Hrivik and Tommy Hughes remain without contracts at this point. I’d expect those to get done pretty quickly as well.

Categories : Business of Hockey
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Zuccarello's contract stands up to almost any other league wide

Zuccarello’s contract stands up to almost any other league wide

Give good players time and you will be rewarded. Mats Zuccarello had to fight off traditional hockey stereotypes, climb up the Rangers cluttered depth chart and fight his way into a prominent position over a long period of time but Zuccarello eventually became one of the Rangers most reliable and cost effective players. Zuccarello’s contract is looking better every game and it’s worth looking into the value again because right now, there are few better value deals around the league.

Zuccarello is likely going to lead the Rangers in scoring for the second time in three years by season’s end. Over the past three years (going on numbers after the loss to the Red Wings) Zuccarello is averaging around 54 points per season and this is with 14 games of the current season to go.

Zuccarello is of course, in the first year of his new deal that pays him 4.5m per season. Prior to this season Zuccarello had bagged 142 points in 222 regular season games for an average of .63 points/game. This season he’s scoring at a .77 clip; a pretty significant increase.

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Categories : Business of Hockey
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jeff gorton

Should Jeff Gorton follow the Chicago model?

Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, hell even Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. Right now the Rangers have a handful of contracts that – to varying degrees – aren’t offering full value and ‘value’ is über critical in the cap era NHL. However, the fact that the Rangers have a handful of big contracts on their books shouldn’t make them shy away from adding more. On the contrary. If a player is worth the investment, it’s the Rangers duty to upgrade their talent base. After that, well that is when the Rangers need to get creative, but spending big shouldn’t be a concern.

People think that salary needs to be spread out around the roster: a spread the wealth approach as it were. However, the best team in the league right now, and arguably for the past half decade, has been the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks have taken a significantly top heavy financial approach to staffing their roster, one that many people would have thought would lead to major depth issues yet year after year the Hawks are in contention.

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Categories : Business of Hockey
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