Archive for Offseason
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→
The dog days of summer are here, with limited hockey activity and extended lazy days, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on with the home team. Free agency has come and gone, and now development camp is the most action that we can see. It’s easy to lose sight of a winter sport while playing in the ocean, grilling in the yard, or relaxing with friends.
This year has been particularly difficult, though, in a way that was not apparent in years past: I immediately stopped caring about the Rangers halfway through the final game against the Penguins. It felt as though the Rangers stopped caring, and, as any good jilted lover does, I withdrew. It has been months and I barely wonder about them at all. Read More→
The ridiculousness of free agency is now a week behind us, and a whole lot has happened. Not much with the Rangers, mind you, but that is more or less a good thing. The Blueshirts brought in Michael Grabner, Nathan Gerbe, Nick Holden and a couple AHL signees. Most of the heavy lifting appears to be done, and as you can imagine, I have some thoughts…
- I can’t help but wonder if Jeff Gorton was aiming for some sort of actual return for Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. I am painfully aware that the number of cap floor, analytically-averse teams are dwindling rapidly and that there simply may have been no interested parties. This could explain why no one has signed Kris Russell yet. Point is, I hope Gorton would have jumped on the opportunity just to shed the salary and not hoped for an actual return.
Jimmy Vesey has a lot of admirers. Not least in Toronto, Boston and the recently highly active Sabres who acquired his rights. The Rangers are apparently also in on the young, soon to be college free agent but the timing of Vesey’s public saunter toward free agency is not good for the Rangers and they cannot wait for Vesey. Vesey should therefore be treated as a bonus and nothing more.
There’s no doubt that the Rangers would be better off if they could entice Vesey to New York (on an entry level deal) and add a quality prospect for nothing but dollars and an NHL contract. For a talent pool as diminished as the Rangers’ that would be a great scenario.
Any prospect that has finished his college career the way he did (104 points in 70 games, during his final two years at Harvard) and who has his finishing ability and size (6’1, about 200lbs) would be a great add for the Rangers.The problem is that August 15th (when Vesey becomes a free agent) is a long way off right now and the Rangers will need to address their issues long before then. They cannot wait for Vesey.
The first two days of free agency are over, and the Rangers –to everyone’s expectations at this point– stayed relatively quiet. Many, including most of us here at BSB, expected the Rangers to make a big trade at the draft. When that didn’t happen, a quiet July 1 was all but assured. The Rangers did just that, stayed quiet. July 1 is a nice tradition of GMs spending way too much money, so let’s jump into some thoughts following the first two days.
1 – First and foremost, the Rangers did the right thing by staying out of the madness. The dollar amount on most of the contracts wasn’t bad, and it can be argued that a lot of players received fair market value. However term was insane. Seven years for Andrew Ladd? Six for David Backes? The Rangers already have two terrible contracts that are already in “regret” years. Be happy they didn’t add another.
Ah, the first day of free agency. That magical time of year when GM’s completely lose their minds and spent huge amounts of precious cap space on mediocre players. Unlike most other sports, NHL free agency is like a shotgun blast followed by several hours of “musical cap space”. It’s like a bizarre version Supermarket Sweep (note my dated reference) where everyone throws their items into their cart without looking at prices and runs to the checkout. It makes no sense.
In fairness, players want to sign quickly. No one wants to see teams use up all their cap space and be left without that lucrative contract that will set up generations of your family (hopefully). It had gotten so bad that the NHL has decided that a window for teams to meet/woo free agents prior to the formal offer window was necessary. This seems to make for an awkward courting period/possible tampering fest going on between the Draft and July 1.
With the decision to let Keith Yandle go and the Rangers in position to dump more salary this week, it suddenly looks like New York may be a player in free agency once again. With Friday’s frenzy nearly upon us, here’s who the Rangers should look to add and who to steer away from.
Who they should target
Viktor Stalberg – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Stalberg was inconsistent to start last season, but fit like a glove on the third line in the second half of the year. He didn’t produce enough to warrant a huge increase in salary, so the Rangers should be smart and bring Stalberg back for another go.
Brandon Pirri – I was extremely frustrated when the Blueshirts didn’t top Anaheim’s deal of a sixth-round pick for Pirri at the trade deadline, but sure enough the Ducks weren’t even high enough on Pirri to extend a just-over $1 million qualifying offer. Maybe I’m way off base with this one, but a 25-year-old former 20-goal scorer is definitely worth that money in my book. As a third-line scorer, Pirri would come much cheaper than Thomas Vanek and still has room to grow.
The Rangers have officially extended qualifying offers to eight of their RFAs.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 27, 2016
These eight were expected to receive qualifying offers. Qualifying offers, for the amounts below, secure their rights, and guarantee compensation if one signs an offer sheet with another team.
Much to the dismay of about half of Rangers fandom, the Keith Yandle era is over in New York. After dealing his rights to the Florida Panthers for a sixth and conditional fourth round pick on Monday, the Cats came to terms with Yandle on a seven-year/$44.45m contract yesterday. His deal includes a no movement clause for the first six (!) years of the deal, with a modified no-trade clause in year seven.
We all knew going into his big contract that Yandle would not come cheap. We also knew that his gross misuse over the past season would likely lead to his exit. The cap hit for the deal is a pretty representative $6.35m, but it was the term that really knocked me over. I certainly did not expect Yandle to get max term, but in a barren waste land of free agency and Alex Goligoski already off the board, I feel like the Panthers did what they had to do. Read More→