Archive for Irresponsible Rumormongering

Feb
29

Trade Deadline Open Thread

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Trade_Deadline_DL_1415

The 2016 trade deadline is today at 3pm. There have already been a few moves, two by the Rangers. The Rangers sent Aleksi Saarela and a pair of second rounders to Carolina for Eric Staal, and then sent Ryan Bourque to Washington for the non-musician Chris Brown. They also returned Marek Hrivik to Hartford. Around the league, there were a few other moves made yesterday. I will be updating this thread with trades made, Rangers moves bolded.

  • Kings acquired Kris Versteeg from Carolina for prospect Valentin Zykov and a conditional 5th rounder.
  • The Caps acquired Daniel Winnik and a 2016 5th rounder from Toronto for Brooks Laich, prospect Connor Carrick, and a 2016 2nd round pick.
  • Arizona acquired Sergei Plotnikov from Pittsburgh for prospect Matthias Plachta and a conditional 7th round pick.

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Feb
28

Yost: Rangers in on Brandon Pirri

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Naturally, there is a lot going on today. Per Travis Yost, the Rangers are in on Brandon Pirri of the Florida Panthers (11-13-24 in 52 games). The rumored asking price is a second round pick for the 24-year-old winger. Pirri isn’t a strong possession player, despite favorable matchups, but he’s certainly cheaper in terms of trade value and cap hit.

I’m ok with a move like this over something like a blockbuster for Eric Staal. What I can see the Rangers doing is both trades, landing Staal at the cost of a roster player, opening up room to move a player down when Pirri comes on board.

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Per Bob McKenzie, the Rangers and Hurricanes are hard at negotiations for Eric Staal, but the breaking point for both teams seems to be the inclusion of a first round pick. The Rangers refuse to give one up –likely in 2017, as Arizona owns their 2016 pick– while the Canes are adamant about including one.

It’s good that the Rangers won’t give one up, but considering the rumored asking price of “a young roster player, a high pick, and a prospect” it is alarming that the Rangers have agreed, at least in principle, on the young roster player. I’m not a big fan of deleting a young, cost controlled player for the sake of a rental, especially with how inconsistent this club has been. But that’s just my two cents.

It seems this is going to happen at some point, and the cost is what should scare many.

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Feb
26

About those Eric Staal rumors…

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Staals are brothers

Over the past week or so, members of the mainstream media just cannot get enough of the “Eric Staal to the Rangers” rumors. To be honest, it’s gotten a bit out of control. These rumors seem to neglect a number of factors that make this type of trade improbably, but hey, anything can happen, right? Let’s take a look at some of the basics and see how hard we have to squint to see a legitimate fit here.

First, on Staal’s contract. He is in the final year of his seven year/$57.75 million contract he signed back in 2009. Staal’s cap hit is $8.5 million ($9.5m actual salary) and he will play this year finishing out his age 31 season. If Staal was to be traded for on deadline day, his remaining cap hit would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.92m. The Rangers are believed to have about $4.83 million of cap space on deadline day.

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Oscar Lindberg has one goal in his last 30 games

Oscar Lindberg has one goal in his last 30 games

By Alain Vigneault’s own admission, the Rangers are being very conscious of their cap situation because they expect to add a player or two before the trade deadline. With Monday’s 3 p.m. buzzer looming, let’s take a look at how the Blueshirts might use their assets to bring in reinforcements for another Cup run.

Chris Kreider – The 24-year-old still possesses all the tools to be a star and should be a bargain as a pending RFA thanks to his disappointing season. With that in mind, Kreider is possibly the team’s most valuable bargaining chip, but it would take a huge return for the Blueshirts to pull the trigger – likely a better player than is currently believed to be available. Depending on how the rest of the season shakes out, it’s perhaps more likely New York considers dealing Kreider in the offseason.

Oscar Lindberg – There have been whispers about the Swedish rookie over the last few days and it’s possible that he’s a player the Blueshirts would be willing to part with. Lindberg burst onto the scene with unsustainable offensive production, but has been very quiet over the last couple months. Once seen as the heir apparent to Dominic Moore’s role as the team’s fourth-line pivot, Lindberg’s future role now is a bit more uncertain. For clubs that can’t or won’t take on salary and are looking for young roster players with future potential, Lindberg could be very appealing. The Rangers probably won’t even consider moving J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes or Pavel Buchnevich so Lindberg might become expendable almost by default. Read More→

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Versteeg please (Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY)

Versteeg please (Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY)

During yesterday’s media scrum, coach Alain Vigneault gave a hint at the Rangers’ plans for the deadline. Vigneault stated that the Rangers won’t be making any moves until the deadline to conserve cap space, as they will look to add at the deadline. Since cap space is accrued daily, this makes sense. The Rangers need every cent they can get on the cap.

Now it’s that second part that may scare some people, especially since Elliotte Friedman confirmed that the Rangers are “all-in” again this year. I think it’s been clear from the start that the Rangers will add at the deadline. They need another forward, preferably a top-six right-handed guy that looks to shoot. They may look to add a fourth line player as well, probably someone that can kill penalties, since both have been an issue this year.

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Rick Nash carries a $7.8 million cap hit for two more seasons

Rick Nash carries a $7.8 million cap hit for two more seasons

It still remains possible, maybe even likely that the Rangers just aren’t quite ready to hand Dylan McIlrath or Brady Skjei a full-time job yet and want to maintain a veteran presence on the blueline for this playoff run, with the knowledge that Marc Staal and/or Dan Girardi must go following the season. And while many fans are concerned that neither player would have any suitors, last week’s Dion Phaneuf blockbuster (and the David Clarkson deal before that) should provide ample evidence that there’s no such thing as an untradeable contract.

But if management can’t – or perhaps more accurately, won’t unload one of the veteran blueliners for some ungodly reason, then moving Rick Nash during the offseason is an alternative.
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Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

The New York Rangers will be buyers at the trade deadline this year. Make no mistake about it. And depending on the moves they make –assuming they land a legitimate top-six forward– they will be a better and deeper team after the deadline in the short term. It’s still the classic “all-in” scenario, but the Rangers are bluffing.

Buying at the deadline won’t fix the foundation issues that run rampant with the on-ice product. The organization still thinks they can win with a fourth line consisting of one –if not both– of Dan Paille and Tanner Glass. The coaching staff thinks that Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are their two best defenders. The staff thinks they can win playing man coverage in the defensive zone with an aging roster that is slowing down.

These are fundamental issues that go beyond any trade deadline rental.

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Courtesy of Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

With the All-Star break in full swing, GMs from around the NHL will go on overdrive trying to find that missing piece. The goal is always the same this time of year. Improve now, improve for the future or for some teams, do a combination of both.

The Rangers needs are well documented at this point. To quickly recap, they could use another defensemen, a top 9 winger and perhaps some of their draft picks back. After all, they haven’t had a 1st rounder since 2012 and won’t have one till 2017, which is insane.

Anyway, with those goals in mind, below are some targets I would consider as the trade deadline approaches. As always, I’m happy to debate these ideas (civilly) in the comments.

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WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 12: Andrew Ladd #16 of the Winnipeg Jets looks on during first period action against the Vancouver Canucks at the MTS Centre on March 12, 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Canucks defeated the Jets 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub)

Anyone that watched the mini-debacle against the Ottawa Senators will know that there are a few serious flaws to be found on the Rangers roster. The win against the Sabres shouldn’t change the way people view the Rangers. This team doesn’t engage enough along the boards and they certainly don’t go to the net enough or make life difficult enough for the opposing goaltenders. The blank in Ottawa wasn’t an isolated case. This team needs to change its DNA up front (or at least mix it up) and needs a different type of top six forward.

In theory, the Rangers should have the players to get to the net with regularity. When Rick Nash wants to he can absolutely dominate most defenders and when he drives to the net he’s hard to stop. Same goes for Chris Kreider but too often both players play on the perimeter. At least, when you consider the physical tools at their disposal. Even if you consider their attempts to generate traffic appropriate, the rest of the roster doesn’t get to the high traffic areas nearly enough.

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