Archive for Offseason

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.

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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.

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Jun
12

Potential trade partner: Calgary Flames

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jets antti raanta

John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP

As the expansion draft nears, we are going to begin hearing rumors of trades with Vegas to protect players and/or bribe Vegas into taking a contract. We’ve seen one such rumor publicized already, and it’s likely we will see more. But we will also begin seeing trades made by clubs who are in a bad position with protected players. Anaheim is one such team, as is Minnesota.

But not all trades are about protecting players. Enter the Calgary Flames. Both of their goaltenders –Chad Johnson, Brian Elliott– are UFAs, and neither played well last season. Elliott was supposed to stabilize their goaltending situation, but that did not work out as planned. As such, they definitely need a goaltender. Enter Antti Raanta.

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Jun
10

Why the Rangers should trade for a goalie

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antti niemi

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After the other night’s game the Pittsburgh Penguins are one step closer to their second consecutive Stanley Cup, which means we’re all one step closer to the end of the 2016-17 campaign. It was a long and grueling effort, and our dear Rangies did not make it out alive, but here we are. That also of course means it’s almost time for the offseason, and this one is shaping up to be a pivotal one for our beloved Blueshirts. Along those lines let’s take a look at a move that might, on its face, seem counterintuitive, but could actually be quite savvy: trading for a goalie.

Now of course I’m not just talking about any goalie. I’m talking about a top of the line, true starting goaltender, worth his salary and then some for his ability to carry a team deep into the post season. Just kidding, I’m talking about trading for one of the Dallas Stars’ goalies. You see, trading for one of Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen would be a wise move, because then the Rangers could buy whichever one of them they acquire out. OK fine, let’s back up a bit.

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Jun
09

Should the Rangers Trade Derek Stepan?

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Hey folks, and welcome to a new weekly series where we’ll take a look at potential trade candidates on the Rangers roster and explore the reasons for and against trading them this offseason.  Of course, the case for making a trade is inherently dependent on the value of the return, but this column won’t speculate on that.  Instead, I’ll focus on the merits of the individual player himself in a fun (and dare I say, hot take-ish) way.  It should also make for some interesting debate in the comments.  So, here goes:

Yes, the Rangers should trade Derek Stepan

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Categories : Offseason, Players
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Jun
08

Potential trade partner: Minnesota Wild

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matt dumba jared spurgeon

Pioneer Press: John Autey

As the expansion draft nears, we are going to begin hearing rumors of trades with Vegas to protect players and/or bribe Vegas into taking a contract. We’ve seen one such rumor publicized already, and it’s likely we will see more. But we will also begin seeing trades made by clubs who are in a bad position with protected players. Anaheim is one such team, covered already last week. Another team in a precarious situation: Minnesota.

Minnesota is a little stuck right now with no-move clauses. Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and Jason Pominville all have no moves up front, with Ryan Suter having a no move on the back end. If you assume that the Wild will go the 7-3-1 route, then they have a serious problem.

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Jun
03

A Window into Jeff Gorton’s Mind

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jeff gorton

Now that we’re knee deep in the Stanley Cup Final, and it’s looking like the Penguins could do the damn thing, it’s naturally time to start worrying about what comes next. After all, who actually likes watching hockey anyways – it’s all about the crazy offseason machinations leading up to October, right? All jokes aside though, in about two weeks we’ll have a pretty solid look at what GM Jeff Gorton’s general roster construction philosophy is, and that’s a pretty big deal, so here’s a look at a few key dates coming up that’ll give us that inside perspective.

First, and perhaps most consequential, is the buyout period that opens on June 15th. Here is where we’ll see if Gorton has it in him to cut ties with one (or both) of the Rangers’s stalwart defensemen/black hole contracts in Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. I’m fairly certain at least one of them gets bought out, but nonetheless we’ll see whether Gorton really does value speed and skill as much as he seems to on the forward side of things, and whether he gets how addition by subtraction works. It’ll also be telling to see if he buys out both or not – maybe indicating that a trade is still possible for the Wonder Twin left standing (or that he’ll end up making the roster in October, but that’s less exciting).

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Categories : Offseason, Uncategorized
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