Archive for Offseason


It’s Draft day!

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Happy Draft Day, BSB faithful! After a long and arduous run since the announcement of the re-build/tool/et al, all eyes are on the NHL Draft.  This is the first year in a long, long time that the decisions made by the organization will have such a profound effect on the future of the team.  Sure, we have all cared about the selections made in the past, but most of the focus was on trades and improving the team to contend for the Cup.  There are several layers that make this particular Draft one of the most intriguing events in recent years.  Let’s take a look at what is at stake this evening…

First, one of the deepest Drafts we have seen in a while happens to coincide with a surprisingly public declaration of rebuilding by the organization.  A frustrated fan base watched with baited breath as rental players and franchise cornerstones alike were sold off for futures in anticipation of this event.  The Rangers own three first round picks this year and five in the top 48.  They have fresh new assets from which to deal and a ton of cap space, to boot.  There are endless options and while the organization has made it clear a change was necessary, we don’t have a great idea of how that will manifest itself. Read More→

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The Emotional Paradox of Draft Week

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mats zuccarello

It’s almost time. The 2018 NHL Draft will begin this Friday (the first round is Friday, the latter rounds will be Saturday) and given that we’ve already seen a big trade go down in Max Domi/Alex Galchenyuk, all the rumblings at the trade deadline about players the Rangers may/may not be trying to move (Mats Zuccarello being the most notable one). Judging from the general vibes emanating from the Rangers front office in the post-Letter landscape, well, we’re likely in for a wild ride. It’s safe to say that more or less anything could happen, especially if, as often happens, other teams do wild and crazy crap – the Rangers will surely either attempt to anticipate the maneuvers and machinations of rival GMs or at the very least react accordingly. We’re in for a wild ride.

All of this is quite exciting, at least in a vacuum. If Jeff Gorton is smart we’ll be walking away with a Quinn Hughes, Oliver Wahlstrom type, and, in typical Rangers fashion, a late-round steal (there’s always at least one, because Gordie Clark sure knows how to pick ’em). With all of the high-quality talent in this draft we’ll likely be seeing new faces much sooner than later, which means new moments of excitement, new stories to tell, new experiences to share with our friends and family. Sounds good, no?

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Categories : Offseason
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jeff gorton

The NHL’s offseason has officially begun, and in New York all eyes are on the Rangers and how they are going to manage their rebuild. They made the critical first step in March by selling off stars and rentals for future assets. Their second step was made last month by naming David Quinn as head coach.

Next up comes the draft and free agency, and all the fun stuff in between. That is where we will begin to see the roster take shape and what our expectations of next year’s squad will be. Will they retool? Or will it be a full tear down? These are the questions that will get answered next month. But no matter what, the Rangers need to stick to a plan.

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And now we wait

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david quinn

The NHL season is over. Alex Ovechkin has finally lifted a Stanley Cup. The NHL Draft is a few weeks away. This is going to be the calm before the storm. There will be theories. There will be speculation. There will be spitballing. There will be rumors. It’s going to be a fun time.

For me, I enjoy spending time thinking about how the Rangers can maximize on their current assets for the rebuild without completely tanking next season. They can’t tank with Henrik Lundqvist in net, he’s just too good. His in game performances alone mean they won’t finish below the bottom feeders. So we can kiss that theory goodbye.

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Listening to the Ghosts of Rebuilds Past

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The last decade-plus of Rangers hockey has been characterized by stability and relative success.  As summer approaches, the possibilities and paths forward for the franchise are seemingly endless.  Oodles of cap space and a bevy of draft picks mean that basically anything is on the table.

While it can be fun to discuss the minutiae of roster construction and team management, it’s also important to look at the big picture.  The front office and new head coach have spoken in generic terms about youth, development, playing style and team culture, but those are all just ideas.  What’s most important is to take those words and turn them into actions.  In many ways, the Rangers really are starting from scratch.

What’s encouraging is that this franchise has been here before, and it wasn’t all that long ago. Those past experiences may provide a blueprint the team can follow as it begins to write the next chapter of New York Rangers history.  I’m referring specifically to the 2005-06 Rangers, who were tabbed by most experts to finish last in the NHL.  Instead, they surprised the entire hockey world by nearly winning the Atlantic Division, and recaptured the hearts and minds of the city by playing scrappy, entertaining and fun hockey.  In a single season, the culture was completely transformed, and the stage was set for the forthcoming decade of success.

Yes, the circumstances are different, but the Rangers may be able to mimic some of what their 2005 forbears did and establish a new culture and identity upon which to build.  Read More→

Categories : Musings, Offseason
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rangers hurricanes

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

One of the things we’ve been discussing a lot on this blog lately is the ability for the Rangers to exercise their financial clout this offseason. In the past, the Rangers have been able to offer a ton of money to free agents because they had the deepest pockets. The cap has changed that, but now the Rangers have another unique possibility.

The Blueshirts will have about $30 million in cap space this offseason, assuming an $80 million cap ceiling. With just a few RFAs to sign this year, and even fewer heading to big contracts the year after, the Rangers can use that cap space to take on a contract and get some assets in return. There are a few interesting targets as well.

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Categories : Offseason
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Discussing advanced statistics

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Happy Friday, BSB community! As we all know, our beloved Rangers missed the playoffs this season.  Suffice it to say, this has created a much longer off season than we have all recently grown accustomed to.  While a huge bummer, I prefer to look at it as an opportunity.  For one, I personally have enjoyed watching stress free playoff hockey for the first time in forever.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  When the Pens, Devils, Bruins and Flyers were alive there was a little stress, but thankfully they didn’t last long.

More importantly, it gives us an opportunity to discuss the game, the team and other hockey related issues without the break-neck pace of a typical off season.  This is exactly what I would like to do this morning.  But, I need your help.  We have an incredibly diverse readership here.  People coming from all walks of life to enjoy content and discussion about our favorite team.  Different ages, professions, education, geography, gender, etc., creates a multitude of different perspectives and ideas, which is a great thing. We don’t always get along, but the variety of opinions is what makes this site so great. Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Offseason
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The need to keep some players around

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pavel buchnevich chris kreider

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/AP

The Rangers are in the middle of a rebuild. We don’t know exactly what that means yet, other than jettisoning some expiring contracts and avoiding a likely terrible contract for Ryan McDonagh (yes, I said it). What we do know, or at least we are hoping/assuming, is that the Rangers are going to give their newly acquired youth time to play and grow.

There are a lot of people out there who want the Rangers to completely tear it down and trade everyone. From Mats Zuccarello to Chris Kreider to Marc Staal to Kevin Shattenkirk. Trade every possible piece on the roster that can fetch something younger and run with it. Fill in the roster with deadbeat free agents, and tank for the top pick next year. I am not a fan of that strategy.

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Categories : Offseason
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Can David Quinn Fix Brendan Smith?

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Hey, remember Brendan Smith? All-around solid defenseman, slated to be on their second pair last year, a potentially perfect partner for Kevin Shattenkirk? Yeah, that guy.

The Rangers acquired Smith in a trade from Detroit at the deadline two seasons ago, and he helped them reach the second round of the playoffs. Despite a rough game six against Ottawa (perhaps a portent of things to come), Smith’s play down the stretch was a revelation. He was the embodiment of the modern “stay-at-home” defenseman; he played a reliable defensive game with an edge, but also moved the puck efficiently and chipped in on offense (seen here):

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Categories : Analysis, Offseason, Players
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A Quick Word on Coaches

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Three of the four coaches still in the playoffs, and Peter Laviolette.

It has been an interesting spring for Rangers fans who have in recent years become accustomed to the hockey season lasting until around Memorial Day Weekend (and sometimes beyond).  Instead, the Blueshirts are at work off the ice, planning a rebuild that will hopefully serve as the foundation for another decade-plus of sustained playoff success and contention (and hopefully, the ultimate prize).

Yet it feels as though that process can’t really begin until one massive blank is filled in: the Head Coach.  But what if I told you that it doesn’t really matter who’s behind the bench on opening night come October?  Allow me to explain.

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Categories : Coaching, Musings, Offseason
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