Archive for Offseason
The Rangers have four roster players headed to restricted free agency this summer. Two (J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast) are coming off their entry-level deals, and two (Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan) are coming off their two-year bridge deals. Per the CBA, any RFA making over $1 million must be offered the current salary. Players making between $660,000 and $1 million must be offered a 5% raise. Players below $660,000 must be offered a 10% raise. These numbers are based off base salary from their most recent season, not bonuses or cap hit.
Using that, the qualifying offers for the four roster players are as follows:
- Derek Stepan: $3.85 million
- Carl Hagelin: $2.4 million
- J.T. Miller: $874,125
- Jesper Fast: $945,000
These numbers are based off contract figures from www.hockeyscap.com.
The Rangers are entering this offseason with four key RFAs, Carl Hagelin being one of them. Hagelin is coming off his two-year bridge deal, which paid him $2.4 million last year and came with a cap hit of $2.25 million. Hagelin’s qualifying offer is $2.4 million, meaning he won’t earn less than that. This would be Hagelin’s third contract, and the Rangers would be getting just one RFA year, and then buying out UFA years thereafter.
This past season, Hagelin put up 35 points (17-18-35) while playing on the third line at even strength. One of the interesting aspects of Hagelin’s scoring line is that he put up 34 of those 35 points at even strength, because he “stinks” on the powerplay. He also was one of the Rangers best penalty killers.
When the Rangers’ season ended almost two weeks ago, my plan was to sit down and write a “thoughts” post to give some closure to the season. It ended up taking a little more time than I expected to put the year in perspective, but I’m going to give it a go this morning. Here are my final thoughts on the 2014-2015 New York Rangers.
- I suppose I’ll kind of give this a go in semi-chronological order, so let’s start with the off-season. I agree with Kevin, that this past summer was not Glen Sather’s finest hour. To an extent he used the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” model. He had to cover the losses of key contributors in Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle and Benoit Pouliot, so bringing in depth was important when little cap space existed.
There has been a lot of talk about RFAs this year, as the Rangers have a bunch (Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast) heading into the offseason. But it’s also been a hot topic because teams like LA and Chicago have major cap problems with key RFAs –Tyler Toffoli and Brandon Saad, respectively– of their own. Below is the draft pick compensation for poaching an RFA.
|Average annual value||Compensation|
|Less than $1,205,377||Nothing|
|$3,652,659-to-$5,478,986||First and third-round picks|
|$5,478,986-to-$7,305,316||First, second and third-round picks|
|$7,305,316-to-$9,131,645||Two firsts, a second and third-round picks|
|$9,131,645 or greater||Four first-round picks|
I can see Hagelin potentially getting a deal that goes into that 1st/3rd round pick compensation territory, which would put the Rangers in a pretty pickle. The absolute worse case scenario for the Rangers would be Hagelin getting $3.6 million annually, meaning they would only get a 2nd round pick. Of course, electing to go to arbitration makes this point moot (Hags and Stepan are arbitration eligible).
Other than that, I can’t see a situation where the Rangers don’t match on Miller/Fast, since they likely won’t get north of $1.2 million a piece. Stepan may get $6 million, but I’m guessing that’s the budget for him anyway. Stepan/Hagelin are arbitration eligible as well, so that takes away some of the poaching appeal.
When the Rangers started the season, there were many questions about which kids would make a significant impact on the big club. Kevin Hayes made the club out of camp, but his transition to center in the NHL was going to be a long road and there were times when he sat as a healthy scratch. Jesper Fast was yo-yo’d a few times this season before finally sticking around December. J.T. Miller received the same treatment.
By the time the Rangers started rolling in December, Hayes, Miller, and Fast had become the three rookie staples in the lineup. Hayes had been impressing everyone –literally everyone, as I don’t think there’s one person who believes the Rangers rushed him– as he adapted to the NHL and the rigors of the center position. He got better each and every game, first focusing on defense and positioning.
Hayes put up a modest 6-11-17 in the first four months (46 games). But once February came, Hayes turned up the scoring, notching 11 goals, 17 assists, and 28 points in the final 35 games. With Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan holding down the top two center spots, Hayes turned even his fiercest doubters into his largest supporters.
With a full weekend to cope with the Rangers losing Game 7, the time has come to shift gears. As Chris mentioned yesterday, we are going to spend the next few weeks discussing the draft, free agency, the roster, and key decision the Rangers need to make this summer. We will also be talking about what went right for the Rangers, and what they lacked. Chris also started this discussion yesterday.
The salary cap for next season is expected to be at $71.5 million, up from $69 million this past season. That doesn’t give the Rangers a lot of wiggle room to improve the team. They already have $59.5 million committed to next year, and that doesn’t include guaranteed raises to RFAs Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller, and Jesper Fast. Once those guys are under contract, the Rangers have almost nothing left.
Some times pain lingers. But we’re back. Now that the hockey season is over (how many of you truly care who wins out of Tampa and Chicago?) it’s time to look at what went wrong for the Rangers, to discuss where the team goes from here and of course to discuss what went right. We’ll give praise where it’s deserved and there’s a lot of praise to dole out on the back of a historically good season. A hugely disappointing ending doesn’t make all the good disappear and we think we’re a rational bunch on this site. So stay the course.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss the draft, free agency, take a look at the roster and we’ll give you grades for the season, on every aspect of the team from Sather to Talbot. If you have any specific requests on what you want us to look at or discuss, let us know in the comments. We try and listen to you guys as much as we can (the rational ones anyway) so let us have it.
It starts today. I’ll have a look at what I think is THE most glaring omission from the roster, right now. Check back later today and of course, over the next few weeks for all your Rangers analysis. Gracias folks.
We’re (finally) just one day away from training camp! There will be a whole lot of real Ranger news coming up, but since we’ve exhausted pretty much every type of camp preview imaginable this summer – allow me just one more random post before the action kicks into high gear.
What would happen if you were to pit the 2014 New York Rangers against the best lineup of former Blueshirts still currently playing in the NHL?
Here’s my take on the best hypothetical roster of ex-Rangers that takes into account positions and logical scoring and checking lines:
Last Sunday, we looked at playoff teams from last year which should be playing late April hockey again in 2015. Sixteen teams make it, and though none of us have a crystal ball (and if you do, remember, sharing is caring), based on offseason moves and prospect development, we could all have a good sense of teams that will be good and teams that won’t. Speaking of teams that won’t, we all know that just being in the playoffs one year does not guarantee success in years to come.
Let’s take a look again at the playoff teams of 2014:
It’s a fairly safe bet to say that not each and every team on the above bracket will be there next year. Frankly, let’s hope not; it would make for a pretty boring year. Let’s take a look at some teams which may be facing locker room breakup day when the season ends next spring.
With optional skates beginning to start and the Traverse City Tournament and NHL Pre-season just around the corner, we are almost ready to get excited about hockey again. One of the most interesting story lines of the pre-season will be opportunities for prospects and depth veterans to step up and seize important minutes. A game of musical chairs, indeed.
Most of us were fairly underwhelmed by the clubs work in free agency. Solid contributors to last year’s finalists Anton Stralman and Beniot Pouliot bolted for greener (read: money) pastures, defensive stalwarts Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett are now employed elsewhere and Brad Richards’ buy-out saw him take a smaller money deal in the Windy City.