Archive for Offseason

Chris Kreider led the Rangers with 28 goals last season

This list is my best guess at how the front office collectively views its depth chart now and looking towards the future. That means that age, contract, potential and position matter. Past performance holds less weight.

Note that though it’s a foregone conclusion Filip Chytil is going to win multiple Hart Trophies, I’m only including the players that seem to be in the mix for roster spots this season.

While I naturally assumed that Henrik Lundqvist would top my list going into the process, I came to a different conclusion upon further consideration.

I invite you all to share your own rankings in the comments as I think you’ll come to similarly surprising results. So without further ado…

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Aug
12

Why the Rangers should sign Jaromir Jagr

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Photo Credit: Ken Goldfield/NY Daily News

It’s August, which means the hockey world is beginning to gear up for the preseason in hot anticipation of their new rosters. One mystery that still hangs in the air like an Islanders fan yapping about how their fourth line is the best in hockey remains however: Jaromir Jagr is unsigned. It’s a truly bizarre thing, and although there may be a few reasons teams are hesitant to sign him there are also plenty of good reasons for a team like the Rangers to add the living legend to their roster.

Let’s get it out of the way right now – no he is not going to score as many goals as he did his last go around with the Rangers. Last season he put up 8 goals and 25 assists at even strength, with an additional 8 goals and 5 assists coming on the powerplay. That’s still a pretty respectable total for a player his age however, and there’s no doubt that he’d be playing in a depth role on the third or fourth line were he to return to NY. So while he won’t be quite as magic as he was during his first tenure with the Rangers, he won’t have to be and could still put up some solid points anyway.

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Is Brian Elliott the answer in goal for Philadelphia?

Washington Capitals

The Caps experienced the most significant turnover of any Metro team, and not for the better. Washington lost Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Williams, Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson. They did lock up Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov, but any way you slice it this team took a giant step back. To his credit, GM Brian MacLellan admitted that the salary cap had simply caught up to him and after going for it the last two seasons the writing was on the wall. Washington still has a ton of talent and will absolutely be in the playoff hunt, but the Caps don’t look like the bona fide contender they’ve been for the last decade.

New Jersey Devils

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Aug
06

Keeping up with the Rangers

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That’s not a Rangers jersey

August is just the most boring month for a hockey fan. Each day is yet another day without hockey. Our agonies of the end of the season have passed, and we’re looking forward to a new year filled with new promise.

The only thing is…. we all need something to write about. And with the lack of players on the ice (save for Junior Rangers activities and some light skating), we all turn into Larry Brooks bickering over whatever nonsense pops in to anyone’s left brain. It’s not a great existence.

So let’s take a look at what our beloved Rangers have been up to this summer in anticipation for the preseason. Read More→

Categories : Offseason
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Aug
04

PTO’s anyone?

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After weeks of waiting for a trade that would bring a new (at least) depth center to Broadway, the Rangers are looking at the same roster they had in early July.  Either an acceptable trade for one of their existing defenseman or someone else’s center never presented itself, or Jeff Gorton is truly comfortable with the roster, as constructed.

We can debate endlessly the merits of the latter statement, but we are getting to the time of year when out-of-work veterans decide a PTO (Pro Try Out) contract is better than nothing and hope to stick with a new team.  Let’s take a look at some of the more attractive out-of-work NHL-ers and see if any are a fit for the Rangers.

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marc staal
The dog days of summer are once again upon us, with little news breaking or fun happening. This week the only bit of excitement to go down was Mika Zibanejad renewing for another five years at $5.35m per. Since that wasn’t enough though what I’m going to do here is propose some more fun and games – and something that would actually make the team better to boot. That’s right folks, it’s time to toil in futility and speculate about a Marc Staal buyout.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, we already had our shot at buying out Staal and clearly he’s still on the team. The buyout window is closed and our beloved cyclops is still a New York Ranger. However, thanks to the aforementioned Zibanejad deal the Rangers now have a second buyout window and shifting circumstances make buying out Staal’s contract a prudent thing to do.

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Jul
28

A few things on my mind

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newsday- “Yes, Jeff. You need four centers”

Welcome to the dog days, folks.  The time of year when hockey news is as dead as can be.  #HockeyInsiders are hanging out at their Ontario cabins and the closest thing to on-ice activities are various prospect camps.  This is all well and good if the Rangers weren’t two defensemen heavy and two centers light.

When Jeff Gorton started to re-make the defense this offseason, it was really inspired stuff.  He pulled the trigger on a Girardi buy-out, convinced Kevin Shattenkirk to take a sweetheart deal to come home and recognized how effective Brendan Smith was down the stretch in stabilizing a weak back end.  He had courted some Shattenkirk insurance in Alexei Bereglazov and Neal Poink.  The Rangers’ defensive depth this offseason looks an awful lot like their forward depth last offseason.

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Only 10 regulars remain from Gorton’s first season running the organization

Jeff Gorton was officially named general manager of the Rangers on July 1, 2015 and though his influence on player personnel decisions began long before then, that date marks a clear crossroads in organizational strategy.

Gorton spent last summer methodically revamping the forward corps and followed that up with a defensive overhaul this offseason. His fingerprints are now all over the roster, with a clear commitment to youth, speed and skill.

While there have been a slew of minor transactions along the way, I’ve focused on Gorton’s more significant moves to gain perspective on his tenure thus far.

June 27, 2015: Traded Carl Hagelin, a 2nd-round pick and a 6th to Anaheim for Emerson Etem and a 2nd (Ryan Gropp)
Though Gorton didn’t technically take office until a few days later, he was assuredly calling the shots here. And while the Blueshirts were in a cap bind and needed to shed salary, the return for Hagelin was a pittance. There’s still a chance that Gropp turns into a serviceable NHLer, but right now it’s hard to view this swap as anything but an unmitigated disaster.
Grade: D- Read More→

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Jul
24

Can the Rangers find a young center?

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ryan nugent hopkins

With all the work Jeff Gorton has done this summer, the last piece is another forward/center to round out the roster. There were rumblings about Tyler Bozak, who recently put his condo in Toronto up for sale. The Leafs are in a tough cap spot, and moving Bozak’s $4.2 million contract gets them off the hook.

While there’s smoke around Bozak –and perhaps James van Riemsdyk– it may not add up for the Rangers. They are a club that wants to get younger and faster. Bozak is 31 years old. JVR is only 28, but he isn’t a center. That can be fixed by moving JT Miller to center, but that comes with its own challenges.

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James van Riemsdyk scored a career-high 62 points last season

Though there remains the possibility of a trade for a center, the dust has mostly settled on the 2017 offseason.

But what might the future hold? There will likely be significant changes again next offseason, when Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, David Desharnais, Nick Holden and Ondrej Pavelec are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents.

Assuming Mika Zibanejad re-signs, that will leave the Blueshirts around $23 million in cap space. A big portion of that will go towards re-upping RFAs J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey and Brady Skjei, but there should still be some cash to play with.

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