Archive for Offseason

Jun
23

Trading Antti Raanta

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New York Post

After months of speculation, debate and general hand-wringing, we now know that it was Oscar Lindberg who ended up being poached off the Rangers’ roster by the Vegas Golden Knights.  Various options had been “sure things” since the off-season began.  Michael Grabner, Jesper Fast and of course Antti Raanta have been speculated to be joining a newest team in the desert.

It’s Raanta I want to discuss this morning.  The 28-year old Finn had a tremendous year as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup and many feel that he is an interesting trade chip, given the low cost options on the market and Benoit Allaire’s seeming ability to turn your average midtown commuter into a quality NHL backup.  Let’s dive a little deeper into market and trade comparables and see if Raanta is worth moving.

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Jun
22

Rangers release 2017-2018 schedule

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No trades to announce just yet. Heck, not even a rumor to announce yet. But the Rangers announced the 2017-2017 schedule, you can view the full schedule here. The schedule is tough, but mostly because the Metro is going to be another blood bath this year.

The games may be tough, but I only counted 11 back-to-backs. That’s not overly terrible, considering how many we saw over the past few condensed seasons. Not many storylines in the games yet, aside from Vegas on 10/31. That should change when Dan Girardi signs somewhere.

Categories : Offseason
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Jun
22

Rangers will not re-sign Marek Hrivik

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marek hrivik

Photo: Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty

The Rangers will not re-sign winger Marek Hrivik, per Larry Brooks. Hrivik has been with the Rangers organization for the past five seasons, appearing in 21 games with the big club (three assists). A bottom-six forward, it was clear that Hrivik was not going to get a legitimate shot with the Rangers.

Hrivik looked good during his stints this year with the Rangers, but it’s painfully obvious that he was getting buried on the depth chart. Kids like Adam Tambellini, Steven Fogarty, and Boo Nieves have supplanted him in Hartford, with undrafted UFAs filling out the roster as well. Hopefully he catches on somewhere.

Categories : Offseason
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mats zuccarello derek stepan ryan mcdonagh

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

In case you missed it, and it’s tough to really figure out how you missed it at this point, the Rangers lost Oscar Lindberg to Vegas in the expansion draft. When you take a look at it, Lindberg was the only real choice for Vegas. The other talked about options were either hurt (Jesper Fast), old and unlikely to repeat their great season (Michael Grabner), or just way overhyped (Antti Raanta). But believe it or not, Lindberg isn’t all that difficult to replace.

That doesn’t mean Lindberg is a bad player. He’s a great 4C and probably a solid 3C who plays a good two-way game and kills penalties. However on the Rangers, he’s a fourth line center behind Derek Stepan, Mika Zibanejad, and Kevin Hayes. And don’t let the crab people fool you, Lindberg is in no way, shape, or form better than any of those three players. But with the relative predictability of the Vegas selection, the Rangers have likely accounted for losing Lindberg.

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Categories : Offseason
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Jun
21

Report: Oscar Lindberg headed to Vegas

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Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

Per Larry Brooks, center Oscar Lindberg is headed to Vegas via the expansion draft. This was relatively expected, especially after the news broke that Antti Raanta would remain a Ranger. I’ve been thinking it would be Lindberg since about March, writing about it as recently as this week.

Losing Lindberg certainly stinks, but it’s definitely not the worst thing that could have happened. Lindberg is 26 years old, so he’s not exactly a kid/prospect. He likely peaks as a decent 3C that can fake it as a 2C in short bursts. He is 100% not the top-six center that folks made him out to be. And he is 400% not better than Derek Stepan.

Guys like Lindberg, believe it or not, are easily replaced via free agency or within the system. Personally, I’m happy it wasn’t Jesper Fast, who is more versatile. But in the end, the Rangers will lose a good 4C that wins face offs and kills penalties.

Categories : Offseason
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Jason Demers carries an affordable $4.5 million cap hit for the next four years

Recent developments including the buyout of Dan Girardi, pending retirement of Kevin Klein and $2 million cap ceiling increase have dramatically shifted the offseason picture for the Blueshirts. What appeared to be a team in a relative bind a week ago is now one armed with the cash necessary to make seismic changes this offseason.

Assuming Klein does indeed hang up his skates, the Rangers should have upwards of $16 million available – and that’s before factoring in the player New York will lose this week to expansion. If it’s Antti Raanta, the number will climb to over $17 million, and if it’s Michael Grabner, the figure jumps to the neighborhood of $18 million.

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kevin shattenkirk

The biggest free agent prize of the 2017 offseason is defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. A top pairing defenseman on most teams, Shattenkirk isn’t an elite defenseman, but he is a steady puck mover who is great on the powerplay and racks up points regularly. He’s clearly the best player available this year in free agency, and is likely headed to a big time contract.

But the question for most Rangers fans is going to be what that contract looks like. With the salary cap ceiling headed to $75 million, the Dan Girardi buyout, and the Kevin Klein retirement, the Rangers all of a sudden have a ton of cap space to work with. Believe it or not, they actually have the cap space to land Shattenkirk and re-sign their key RFAs if they so desire.

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oscar lindberg

The Rangers announced their protection list for the expansion draft yesterday, and there were no surprises. Any rational mind knew the Rangers would protect Nash, Stepan, Zuccarello, Kreider, Miller, Hayes, and Zibanejad up front. With the Dan Girardi buyout final, protecting McDonagh, Staal (NMC), and Holden were the obvious choices by the front office on the blue line.

While I disagree with protecting Holden, it was evident that the Rangers were going to protect him. The coaching staff loves him, and a defenseman that puts up 11 goals and 34 points is tough to find. But with the protected players noted, it’s almost a certainty that the Rangers lose a forward from the NHL roster. In fact, it’s a foregone conclusion.

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jt miller nick holden

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Per Sean Hartnett, the Rangers do not have any surprises in their expansion protected list. They went with the 7-3-1 model:

This means Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Michael Grabner, and Antti Raanta will be exposed. The Rangers will lose one of those guys, which is a manageable loss. Nick Holden was obviously the sub-in for Dan Girardi, who has been bought out.

Categories : Offseason
Comments (50)
marc staal dan girardi

Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/NY Daily News

Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers did not ask defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi to waive their no-move clauses by the 5pm deadline today. That means both will be automatically protected in the coming expansion draft next week. Ryan McDonagh will be the third defenseman protected.

This comes as little surprise to me. There weren’t any other defensemen worth protecting. Kevin Klein isn’t a regular. Nick Holden also isn’t worth a protection spot. Even with his 11 goals and 34 points, dangling him in the draft takes attention away from Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, and Michael Grabner.

No need to panic. The true test will be following expansion, to see what Jeff Gorton has up his sleeve.

Categories : Offseason
Comments (8)