Archive for Offseason

He’s like a tiny lion

When the Rangers made the organizational decision to re-build a flawed roster, there was immediate debate about the future of Mats Zuccarello.  At the time, he had 1.5 years left on his (very affordable) contract and had turned 30 in training camp.  I don’t think there was anyone out there claiming that Zucc was running out of gas, but it was fair to say there was some uncertainty about where he fit best in the future plans of the organization.

Fast forward to the present; the Rangers had traded almost all their pending UFA’s and pulled the trigger on trading their captain and number one defenseman, Ryan McDonagh to the Lightning in exchange for futures.  The Rangers were all in on the re-build.  Mats Zuccarello remains on the roster.  Read More→

Apr
27

Should the Rangers sign a UFA backup?

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Codie McLachlan/Getty Images North America

Last July, the Rangers reversed course with their backup goalie plan when they signed Ondrej Pavelec to a one-year deal.  Typically, Benoit Allaire has taken youngish goaltenders with upside remaining and helped them reach their potential.  That upside has brought serious production to the backup goaltender position.  With Pavelec, he was banking a guy who had NHL success being able to resurrect his career.  A little bit of a different plan.

The results were mixed. Overall, Pavelec was fine and had some downright fantastic games in blue.  However, injuries and long stretches where Alain Vigneault was not willing to play Pavelec somewhat derailed the original intention.  Late in the season, a youngster named Alexandar Georgiev had a short cameo, indicating he was ready to get a longer look in the NHL.

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Categories : Goaltending, Offseason
Comments (30)

Erik Karlsson isn’t going to be with the Ottawa Senators for long. He was rumored to be on his way out at the deadline, but that never happened. Now all eyes are on the draft, when teams have significantly more cap room to work with. As always, the Rangers are always mentioned with big ticket names, and with a newly stocked system they have the tools to pull it off.

But is that the right move for this team right now? It could be if they are looking for a fast turnaround on this rebuild. Karlsson is a one of a kind player, an elite defenseman who can put up 80 points in a league where 50 is considered fantastic for a blue liner. That said, Karlsson might not be the route the Rangers want to go. Let’s go into three reasons why.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (84)
Apr
21

The fear of a “quick turnaround”

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john tavares

When it comes to a rebuild, there seem to be two approaches. The first is the complete tear down and build through the draft and trades. The second is leveraging current assets and bringing in new faces to help be the complement to what already exists. The latter, at least from what I’ve seen, rarely works. The former does work, but not all the time. Indeed, there is an element of luck involved with every rebuild.

The Rangers, though, appear to be merging the two strategies. After selling off many assets at the deadline, they acquired a bunch of picks and prospects that will help them in the long haul of a rebuild. Three first round picks, several high floor prospects, and promotion of existing prospects are the building blocks of a competitor.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (94)
Apr
20

First thoughts of the off-season

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www.themorningskate.com

Well, the off-season is officially upon us.  For the first time in years, we can watch playoff hockey stress free.  Kinda stinks.  There has been quite a bit of noise so far in Rangerland, between coaching rumors, exit interviews and an uncharacteristically vocal James Dolan.  As you can imagine, I have some thoughts…

1. First, I want to talk out the coaching rumors.  Dolan has seemingly cast a wide net of potential candidates, ranging from NCAA to NHL experience.  He has indicated they are keeping an open mind with regard to experience, prioritizing a certain skill set over a set resume.  This is a good thing.  If there is a clear direction within the organization about what type of mindset they are looking for behind the bench, the more likely they actually get it as they move through the interview process.  I know I felt a little baited and switched with AV.  I understand the hire based on where the team was at the time, but he was advertised as progressive coach who was going to use data to try and gain a competitive edge.  We all now know he turned out to be just another hockey man.  Hopefully, with a clear mandate, we actually get what the team is telling us they want. Read More→

Categories : Musings, Offseason
Comments (60)

AP Photo/Nick Wass

With Alain Vigneault, Scott Arniel, and Darryl Williams all relieved of their duties earlier this month, the focus has moved to the new coach. It’s more than just a new voice in the locker room, though. It’s about a new system that will get the most out of the roster. We can’t predict what the roster will look like in October, but we can at least guess what the impact of a new system will be.

Perhaps the best example to use regarding a new system is Dan Girardi. Way overpaid and completely lost in AV’s system, the Rangers cut him loose to free up cap space. He has found life in Tampa Bay, improving on basically all of his puck possession stats while being used in a more passive system. Jon Cooper has certainly gotten a better version of Girardi than his final few years in New York.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (98)
Apr
17

Using cap space as a trade asset

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jeff gorton

The Rangers are in a situation that we’ve never seen before. Always strapped for cash, the Rangers have never had the luxury of breathing room and flexibility to make trades. However heading into the offseason, the Rangers have oodles of cap space, with plenty to spare once they sign their key RFAs.

Cap space is an interesting thing. The Rangers have never had any, so it’s been a scarce commodity. However for teams with plenty of it, it’s been an asset. The Isles landed Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy for basically nothing. The Coyotes acquired Chris Pronger and Pavel Datsyuk –both retired and with big cap hits– with prospects to help teams free up space. Vegas did the same in the expansion draft. Now, it might be the Rangers’ turn.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (48)

It’s been a short while since Alain Vigneault was fired as the Rangers’ head coach – hopefully the feeling of relief (or whatever you may be feeling) has settled in a little bit and you’re ready to look toward the future. Along those lines I thought it’d be fun to take a look at a few coaching options for our beloved Blueshirts, but to make things interesting let’s stick to Rob’s rule of “never coached an NHL game”.

I’m following this dictum for a couple of reasons. The first is that I genuinely believe that the Rangers would be better off trying somebody new, provided they do their homework thoroughly and have a good idea what they’re in for with a strong candidate. The other reason is convenience: you probably have heard enough about Darryl Sutter, he of two Stanley Cups with the Kings, or even Bill Peters, rumored to have an out clause with the transitioning Carolina Hurricanes. So let’s make some new friends, shall we?

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (33)
Apr
13

Thank You

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I started writing for Blue Seat Blogs back during the 2011-2012 season.  It still astounds me that it has been six years, so far.  It really doesn’t seem like that long ago. I remember that there was an article about Milan Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller (I honestly can’t even find the post now), but I was so worked up about people saying that goalies should be fair game when they come out that far that I went on a tirade in the comments section, which is highly unusual for me (before I began writing I never really engaged in the comments section).  Next thing I know, The Suit had sent me an email asking if I would be interested in contributing to the site.  Man, I miss that well-dressed, head-less maniac.  Read More→

Categories : Offseason
Comments (50)

oliver wahlstrom

As the days and games keep on moving along, it seems the Rangers will pick at tenth overall in the 2018 draft. There are a few other possibilities that make the Rangers either a top-seven or a top-three pick, but it’s getting more and more evident that the Blueshirts will pick at that 10 spot.

Rasmus Dahlin isn’t happening unless the Rangers win the lottery. At tenth overall, that’s about a 3.5% chance of happening. Filip Zadina and Andrei Svechnikov, currently slotted at #2 and #3 respectively, are only an 11.4% chance of happening. Even if the Blueshirts somehow get to 7th overall, that increases their odds to 6.5% (Dahlin) and 20% (top-three). Suffice it to say, we should be preparing to pick at tenth overall.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (66)