Archive for Offseason
If you’ve been around these parts long, then you know we really push process over results when it comes to roster moves made by the Rangers. If the right idea was there, but a player didn’t work out (Lee Stempniak), then so be it. The thought process was correct, but hey, not everything works out. The premise here is that proper process is usually a precursor to success. Stempniak was one of many bargain bin free agent signings meant to address scoring depth (Benoit Pouliot, Viktor Stalberg), but the only one that didn’t work. Two out of three isn’t bad.
The process started to get away from the Rangers right before the 2014 run to the Stanley Cup Final. Mistakes made in talent evaluation on the blue line was the big blow. But there were other signings that were puzzling. Tanner Glass is the most obvious here, but others like Jarret Stoll, Daniel Paille, and Ryan Malone also belong in this category. None of these players added anything to the lineup other than the hope that they could regain enough to be a fourth line forward. Not exactly high reward for the risk.
In case you missed it, the Rangers signed another forward this week, inking Brandon Pirri to a one-year deal. The signing is a nice pickup, and another indication that this front office knows what it’s doing. Still, this now leads to a glut of forwards all fighting for roster spots, and it’s hard to say exactly where he might fit in. So let’s get to some thoughts heading into this season with this logjam at forward.
-Ideally Vesey and Buchnevich would be getting sheltered starts on the third line, which would then bump Pirri down to the fourth line. That’s all fine and good except that Pirri’s strength is shot generation and not much else – his shot suppression numbers are pretty bad, and for comparison I’ve included Kevin Hayes’ HERO chart as well (i.e. if you think Hayes is defensively irresponsible, get a load of Pirri). This leads to the question of where to put Pirri, and on that question I really have no idea.
Welcome to our second installment of the 5th Annual Top 30 goaltenders. Today, we will be discussing the 20-11 ranked tenders in the NHL. If you missed last week’s rankings, be sure to check them out here. That post covers rankings 30-21 and all the introductory/housekeeping considerations, so make sure you get up to speed.
Without further adieu, goaltenders 20-11… Read More→
The Rangers landed Jimmy Vesey on Friday, which bolsters their forward depth at a bare minimum cost. Vesey isn’t a savior and likely isn’t even going to crack 40 points this season, but he certainly opens up some options for the Rangers. Vesey likely slides into a third line role with Kevin Hayes and possibly Pavel Buchnevich. That pushes Michael Grabner and Jesper Fast to permanent spots on the fourth line.
This, of course, is if no other moves are made. The blue line has gone suspiciously unaddressed this offseason, and a change there is needed. Moving Dan Girardi and/or Marc Staal likely isn’t happening, but there are still other ways to upgrade the blue line if Jeff Gorton goes that route. The forward position is a major strength for the Rangers. They have arguably ten forwards that could feasibly play a top-nine role on this team, plus another three that slot in well on the fourth line.
Welcome to the 5th Annual Pre-season Top 30 Goaltenders List. It’s that time of year again, and after five years of putting this list together, the one thing I have learned is the value of consistency. Many a goaltender has now passed through this list with worlds of talent and bright futures’ ahead. The NHL, however, often has other ideas. The mainstays at the top are some of the most talented and hard working athletes on the planet, and it is truly a pleasure to watch them work.
This year’s list felt a little bit thinner than in seasons’ past, as performance attrition reared its ugly head on more than a few tenders this season, both vets and rookies, alike. There are a few bounce back performances and some steady steps forward, but I feel like this list has been scrambled quite a bit over last season. Read More→
August is the worst for hockey fans. There is almost never anything of substance to talk about as we eagerly wait for Rangers hockey. Over the last few days I was wondering what to write about and the only thing that seems to come to mind is the intriguing cap and roster situation that the New York Rangers are in. Even though I am young, I cannot remember the last time that the Rangers would seemingly be walking into a season with over $3 million in cap space with five contract slots open.
With the forward group for next season looking filled and the defense currently having eight guys (including Clendening), I find it hard to believe that the Rangers will be making a signing involving the likes of Jiri Hudler or anyone of that stature. The only moves that I can see coming to the actual roster would be the anticipated Rick Nash trade with nobody knowing what the return can be, or maybe just a PTO to a player like James Wisniewski or Jakub Nakladal, two good right handed defensemen that can be given a shot with our shaky blue line.
In any case, that still gives us 45 contracts (44 after Zborovskiy slides) out of 50 possible slots and I believe those slots can be used the following ways.
Happy Friday, BSB community! Can you believe it is August already? It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve had the time to write, as the summer is the busiest time of year for me at the office. I suppose I haven’t missed much, though, as most of the Rangers’ business was taken care of in early July. We are now only a few weeks away from the return of the World Cup and training camp/pre-season is just around the corner.
There are still a few features I plan to write before the season (Top 30 Goalies!), but for this morning, I wanted to share some thoughts now that I have had some time to digest the summer moves.
Chris Kreider is set for arbitration on Friday, and the details of his case and the ongoing negotiations have hit the interwebs:
- The arbitration numbers have the Rangers coming in with a $3.2 million offer, and Kreider looking for $4.75 million, both on one-year deals (that’s how arbitration works). Naturally, the Rangers are low and Kreider is high –negotiation 101– and the middle ground is about $4 million.
- Apparently both sides are negotiating to a long-term deal. Kreider is looking for $5.25 million over five years, the Rangers offering $4.75 million over that time frame. I’m with Melissa here, and say just get it done. Five years, $5 million. That’s the logical contract.
As Dave pointed out earlier in the week this offseason has been eerily quiet, especially considering the rumors early in the offseason that big changes were coming to the roster. Instead we’ve seen the Rangers make small, savvy moves like the recent acquisition of Josh Jooris. While it’s entirely possible that there’s still a trade to be made (I remain cautiously optimistic, as usual) I think its also worth entertaining the notion that the Rangers have waited too long to make any serious trades.
The possibility that the organization’s conservative approach so far has resulted in any potential trade market drying up shouldn’t be cause for doom and gloom however, at least not entirely. Due to the Rangers’ unique RFA situation, with more than 2 players filing for arbitration, the Rangers now have a second buyout window. If the market for trades really has dried up it may be in the organization’s best interests to utilize that buyout window to clear at least some cap space for the future.
The concept of change is not a complicated one. One thing becomes another. Yet, out in the real world, change embodies complication. It can be lengthy, violent, compromised, terrifying and exciting. It tends to affect most things, some more than others. Some is met with little resistance, some with the greatest force you could ever imagine. The way it effects you will be determined by your investment, your willingness to adapt, and what you stand to lose. It effects economics, politics, art, religion and yes, sports. At this juncture, our beloved sport of hockey is at such a crossroads of change.
It was brought to light yesterday that Matt Pfeffer, an analytics consultant for the Montreal Canadiens was let go from the organization for his impassioned plea for the club to reconsider trading PK Subban. Now, in a vacuum, while it raises operational questions, it is not a big deal. Any employee who does not see eye to eye with their employer can be let go. However, this situation is emblematic of hockey’s growing civil war between the current powers that be and the emerging sub-culture of analysis-driven management. Read More→