Per BC Hockey Blog, the same blog that broke the news about Chris Kreider signing his ELC (hey, one for one so far), Kevin Hayes has been informed that he has made the opening night roster for the Rangers. Hayes had a strong preseason, and it appears that the injury to Derek Stepan cleared his path to the opening night roster. There was nothing flashy about his game, he was just very solid.
Hayes likely only made the roster because of Stepan’s injury, but the seasoning he would have needed in Hartford was minimal. It’s still likely the Rangers send him to the AHL once Stepan is ready to go.
Per Blueshirt Banter, citing Jeremy Filosa, Anthony Duclair has made the opening night roster for the Rangers, and it will be confirmed tomorrow. Duclair played in five of the six Ranger preseason games, putting up three goals and two assists while holding his own without the puck. Duclair shot 30% during these five games, so that scoring rate will likely come down some, but the kid is more than just goals. His speed gave all three of his opponents (Chicago twice, Philly twice, New Jersey) fits.
If the report is true, the Rangers will need to get rid of a contract before opening night. If none of the three on waivers are claimed, a trade will need to be made.
Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers are trying to dump a contract via trade to make room for Anthony Duclair, should he make the club out of camp. Duclair is playing incredibly well, and the Rangers have nothing to lose by keeping him around as long as he earns it (his ELC clock starts this year regardless). However, since they are at 50 contracts, they need to dump one before Duclair can play an NHL game.
Even if Duclair doesn’t stick with the club, dumping a contract would give the Rangers trade flexibility in the future.
Per Larry Brooks, the initial negotiations for a Marc Staal contract have begun. Per Brooks, Staal is looking for around $6 million on a 6-7 year deal, while the Rangers are looking to give Staal a Dan Girardi-esque deal:
Staal, who will turn 28 in January, is believed to be seeking a six- or seven-year deal in the neighborhood of $6 million per — perhaps somewhat more. The Rangers are believed to be offering the same deal to which they signed Girardi, six years at $5.5 million per — perhaps somewhat less.
The wording of this is somewhat suspect, since Brooks says Staal’s demands could be somewhat more, and the Rangers offer could be somewhat less. The general consensus has been that Staal will get the same deal Girardi received, so that’s not really a surprise. If Staal’s demands are indeed in the range that Brooks states, than this deal shouldn’t take too long to get done.
It’s worth noting that a few different outlets have said nothing is imminent with Staal.
The lone item remaining on the Rangers to-do list this summer is getting RFA defenseman John Moore under contract for the season. Jeff Gorton, via USA Today, said he is “pretty sure” the Rangers will get him under contract before the season starts:
“We like John a lot, just trying to get him signed,” Gorton said. “I’m pretty sure we’ll get him signed, and get him ready to go. He’s a good player for us; he’s been a good fit for us, he’s a great kid, and we like his upside.”
Moore, 23, is coming off the best season of his young professional career, putting up 4-11-15 while playing half the year on his weak side with Michael Del Zotto. There was a noticeable improvement in his play when he moved back to the left side after the Del Zotto/Kevin Klein swap, but Moore has a long way to go. The club likely wants to get him on a bridge deal, and we have him pegged around $1.2 million.
Yesterday, Howard Bloom noted that the NHL was looking to expand to four cities: Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City, and Toronto (second team). This was not the NHL looking to move a franchise or two, but full-blown expansion to 34 teams by 2017. Las Vegas was actually confirmed by multiple sources, and it makes sense if you read between the lines of recent NHL moves (award ceremony). However, Renaud Lavoie quickly refuted that, citing Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. But what else is Daly supposed to say?
Adding four teams is a bit much, but I’ve been of the belief that expansion is coming sooner rather than later. If the NHL is really looking at these four cities, then it would make sense to move a struggling franchise or two (Florida comes to mind) and expanding to 32 teams instead of 34. No professional league has 34 teams, and while expansion would create a lot of jobs, it would severely water down the talent pool.
These are just rumors and conflicting reports for now, but we are going to see a change in the landscape relatively soon. Nothing is done yet, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
In case you missed it, the Rangers blog-o-sphere picked up a story from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune saying the Rangers had been speaking to Ryan Malone. Usually this is something we would post here, but the problem is that the article is from August 21, one day after the Rangers landed Kevin Hayes. The article also explicitly talks in the past tense:
Malone looked good and with his legal issues soon behind him from Tampa, one would think somebody signs him (Rangers have talked to him) or he attends a training camp on a tryout.
All it says is that they’ve spoken to him at some point, likely as a backup if they couldn’t land Hayes. The Rangers now have no use for Malone, especially with Hayes and Lee Stempniak under contract. Plus, Hayes puts them at 50 contracts, so even on a PTO, the club would need to make a trade in order to sign him. I’ll chalk this to outdated
Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images
Per Danny Picard, the Rangers got their man, signing BC forward Kevin Hayes to a two-year entry-level contract. Hayes, Chicago’s first round pick in 2010, chose not to sign with Chicago by the August 15 deadline, making him a free agent. Hayes cited that he wanted a chance to play immediately, and it was something Chicago could not offer due to a stacked roster.
The sweepstakes was rumored to be down to five teams on Monday, with the Rangers are among the five finalists for Kevin Hayes, via Picard of WEEI and Mark Divver of The Providence Journal. The Avs, Bruins, Predators, and Panthers were the other rumored teams. After three long days, Hayes chose New York.
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At midnight last night, forward Kevin Hayes –Chicago’s first round pick (#24) in 2010– officially became a free agent. Hayes cited Chicago’s depth at forward as the reason why he chose free agency. He wants to play right away, and Chicago appears to be set at forward this year. The Rangers have been linked to Hayes, as they love targeting NCAA graduates without homes. Hayes would be a solid addition to a bottom-of-the-league prospect pool, injecting the Rangers with another high-end skill player who put up 27 goals and 65 points last season with BC.
The problem is that the Rangers are at 49 contracts (including John Moore, not including Ryan Graves). The max number of contracts is 50, and signing Hayes would severely limit the Rangers in trade flexibility during the year. Of course there are ways around this (trading a contract), but it’s easier said than done.
The one major concern I have with Hayes is that he shot 20% this year, his final year with BC, while on a line with Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau put up 36-44-80 (!) in just 40 games last year, and seemed to be the catalyst on that line. Hayes’ previous career high before this year was 7-21-28. There’s also this whole “pooping in the stairwell” thing, but he was a drunk college kid, kids do stupid things. It happens.
Hayes could land in New York, and since he’s on an ELC, he is affordable and can fit under the cap. Landing him would be awesome, but I don’t think he comes to New York.
Photo: Edmonton Journal
Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers may have been a catalyst to the Flyers sending Shea Weber that now infamous offer sheet in 2012. The Nashville Predators were at a stand still with their star defenseman, and the Flyers swooped in and sent him an offer sheet for $110 million over 14 years. The interesting tidbit here is that Friedman states that Weber, who visited New York during his “super secret” tour of potential suitors, may have been Broadway bound via a trade. That news is what prompted the stunning offer from the Flyers.
All that is well in the past, but it’s August and there isn’t much to write about. So I had a little fun and started to piece together what the Rangers could have sent to Nashville in exchange for Weber. The deal from Philly came on July 19, 2012. The deal for Rick Nash came on July 24, 2012, so this predates the Nash trade. New York would make room for Weber’s cap hit (likely not in the $7.85 million range, but let’s say $7 million).
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