Per Elliotte Friedman, there is a $600k gap for the Rangers on a new Chris Kreider contract. Kreider’s initial ask was $2.8 million per year, with the Rangers opening at $1.9 million (since upped to $2.2 million). I initially ballparked Kreider at two-years, $2 million +/- $250k. At this point I’d assume he gets a deal similar to Carl Hagelin ($2.25 million over two years).
Kreider is set to have his arbitration meeting on Wednesday. Per CBA guidelines, both sides must submit their contract terms 48 hours prior to the meeting.
Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers are targeting 2010 first round pick Kevin Hayes out of Boston College. Hayes may become a UFA if Chicago does not reach an agreement with the forward by August 15. Hayes is a big kid at 6’3″ and 205 lbs, and put up 27-38-65 in his final year with the Eagles, a whopping 40 point increase from his totals a year prior. In 2012, HP had this to say about Hayes:
The Good: Hayes is a pretty toolsy player. Aside from being 6’3”, he’s an above-average skater with notably above-average possession skills—he’s a very coordinated puck-handler with impressive vision. When he’s on his game, Hayes simply makes plays. For a player his size, Hayes’ offensive skills make him a very intriguing prospect.
The Bad: Hayes’ main concern is his consistency. His game to game effort wavers and he doesn’t play with a high level of energy. He could be a little more physical as well.
It’s worth noting that the Hawks might try to trade Hayes’ negotiating rights, much in the way Calgary traded Tim Erixon to the Rangers a few years back. Since Chicago would get a 2nd round pick as compensation for not signing Hayes, that is the minimum asking price in a trade.
Per Ryan Rishaug, the Rangers had interest in center Mike Ribeiro before he signed in Nashville yesterday. The Rangers are lacking center depth and Ribeiro likely would have slotted in at the 2C position. Per Rishaug, no state tax in Tennessee helped sway Ribeiro, who signed for $1.05 million for one year.
Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers may target ex-Devils Mark Fayne (27-year-old right-handed defenseman) and Ryan Carter (30-year-old left-handed center). It is assumed that Carter could feasibly replace the minutes played by the soon-to-be-departed Brian Boyle, and Fayne could replace the minutes played by the surely-to-receive-a-ridiculous-contract Anton Stralman.
Looking at Fayne first, compared to Stralman, there’s a noticeable difference in relative CF% and in quality of teammates. Fayne would more or less be a poor-man’s Stralman. The good thing is that Fayne is 6’3″ and 215 lbs, so he’s a big body that the Rangers could really use on the blue line. He can also move pretty well for a guy his size. That said, he’s not a bruiser. Here’s how he compares with Tom Gilbert, another potential poor-man’s Stralman.
As for Carter, we know him well from the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. He did pretty well in a mismatch against the Rangers fourth line. He’s got some speed, some nastiness, and some halfway decent size (6’1″, 200 lbs). He can chip in offensively too. Here’s how he compares to Boyle. For the fun of it, here’s how he compares to Boyle and Dominic Moore.
According to Norweigan reports, RFA winger Mats Zuccarello is more interested in staying with the Rangers and winning than he is with getting top dollar. Per the translated article, Zuccarello is looking for 3-4 years on his contract, but doesn’t want to hamstring the Rangers with his salary. Naturally talk is one thing, but if Zucc follows through and signs a team-friendly deal, then this helps the Rangers retool in an offseason where they will see significant turnover.
Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers will be among five teams that will submit a two-year offer for Dan Boyle. Submitting a multi-year offer for a 35+ player is incredibly risky, especially when it looked like Boyle lost a step this year with San Jose. The Rangers need to get some more physicality into their game, but not at the expense of speed. I’d be wary of this one at even strength, but Boyle can still put up points with the man advantage. He may need sheltered minutes though.
Apologies for the tardiness on this one, it was a gorgeous weekend and we spent it outside after the draft. But, in case you haven’t heard, Larry Brooks is reporting that the Rangers would like to keep Dominic Moore, but don’t want to pay him at his current demands. Moore is currently looking for a three-year deal at somewhere between $1.6 and $1.85 million, per Brooks. That’s Brian Boyle money, and since Boyle will be departing the Rangers for sure, there seems to be no reason why the Rangers wouldn’t keep Moore. He would be the only returning member of one of the best fourth lines in hockey, he is their prime penalty killer, and he can chip in offensively as well.
If this is a cap issue, and there may be a slight one for the Rangers at a $69 million cap, then so be it. It may also be a “kids” issue, as Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg appear ready to make the jump. Perhaps J.T. Miller is ready as well (less likely). Whatever the reason, the Rangers are looking at replacing their entire fourth line this offseason.
Per Renaud Lavoie, winger Benoit Pouliot is looking for a long-term deal and will likely get it. Ten teams have already contacted the winger. One of those teams is obviously the Rangers, as they are looking to keep Pouliot in New York. Pouliot was one of the best bargains in the NHL last year, finding chemistry with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello to the tune of 13-19-32 in the season’s final 53 games.
Based on the comments made by both Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman, it looks like both will be playing in different uniforms next season. Boyle has said he is looking for a bigger role –likely a third line role with less defensive zone starts– and won’t get that in New York. Stralman is looking for “security” for his family, which is code for “money and term.”
We haven’t heard much about the ongoing negotiations with Boyle’s camp, but the Stralman negotiations aren’t going so well. Stralman wants more money and –likely– years than the Rangers are willing to offer. Considering Nikita Nikitin’s absurd deal ($4.5 million for a marginal defenseman is indeed absurd), Stralman is likely getting at least that, and probably more, over a longer term. That’s too expensive for the Rangers.
With the draft just one day away, it makes you wonder if the Rangers should pursue trading their negotiating rights to recoup draft picks.
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Per Renaud Lavoie, talks between the Rangers and UFA defenseman Anton Stralman are not going as planned. The Rangers are allotting $4 million to Stralman, but it definitely seems that Stralman will get north of $4.5 million, probably closer to the $5 million that Andrew MacDonald got from Philadelphia. If AMac’s contract wasn’t enough proof, Nikita Nikitin got $4.5 million from Edmonton after trading for his rights. Nikitin, mind you, is nowhere near a $4.5 million defenseman, but that’s the market.
All signs point to Stralman getting an enormous contract elsewhere.