Good news and bad news: The Rangers have re-signed center Dominic Moore to a two-year deal at $1.5 million per year. Moore was a solid addition last season, and was 1/3 of one of the best fourth lines in the game. Moore can also chip in offensively, as he showed when Derick Brassard was hurt in the playoffs this year.
The Rangers have officially replaced both Anton Stralman and Raphael Diaz, signing UFA defensemen Dan Boyle and Mike Kostka. Boyle got two years and $4.5 million per year, with a no-movement clause (relatively pointless). Boyle’s #fancystats aren’t terrible, but he’s been exploited a few times for losing his foot speed. The cap hit isn’t terrible, but the second year might hurt them. At the very least, he will help the powerplay.
Kostka will take Diaz’s place as the #7 defenseman, taking a one-year deal at $650,000.
The Rangers have traded winger Derek Dorsett to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a third round pick (#85) in this year’s draft. With the cap rumored to be around $68 million, the Rangers needing to sign some key UFAs and RFAs, and the emergence of Dan Carcillo as a viable option for the fourth line (plus a few bottom-six kids that may be ready), Glen Sather felt the need to shed payroll a bit. Dorsett was a productive Ranger, but the $1.63 million cap hit for a fourth line player was expendable.
Dorsett played 51 games with the Rangers after his trade from Columbus, putting up a line of 4-4-8 and 128 PIMs.
Ryan Callahan has re-upped in Tampa Bay on a deal that is 6 years and $5.8 million per year (basically a Dustin Brown contract, shocking). As a part of the trade with Tampa Bay for Martin St. Louis, the Rangers will receive TB’s 2nd round pick in 2015, and the Rangers will send a 2015 7th rounder to Tampa Bay. To summarize the now completed trade:
- To New York: Martin St. Louis, 2015 2nd round pick
- To Tampa Bay: Ryan Callahan, 2014 1st round pick, 2015 1st round pick, 2015 7th round pick
Per Pierre LeBrun, the Rangers have officially bought out center Brad Richards. Richards originally signed a nine-year, $60 million contract leading into the 2011-2012 season. Richards played just three years under that contract, and had three productive seasons, putting together a line of 56-95-151 while missing just two regular season games.
Richards acted as the captain of the club during the most recent run to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, the cap recapture penalty risk was too great, and the Rangers had to make a business decision going forward. The Rangers will miss him, especially in the locker room, but this move was something they had to do.
Richards, who had a no-movement clause, bypassed unconditional waivers and went straight to the buyout. This was a similar move done by Chris Drury.
Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers have signed defenseman Petr Zamorsky out of the Czech Extraliga. The undrafted UFA put together a line of 7-11-18 with 80 PIMs in 44 games this season, and 16-20-36 with 144 PIMs over 118 games in three seasons. Per Corey Pronman, The 5’11, 180 lb defenseman, a right-handed shot, is a good skater who plays solid defense. Pronman says he could be a decent NHLer.
The NHL has reduced Dan Carcillo’s suspension from ten games to six games, following a hearing with Gary Bettman on Friday. Carcillo was originally suspended ten games for abuse of officials. Carcillo has already served three games of his suspension, and would be available for Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals.
When teams make deep runs into the playoffs, the one thing they usually have in common is success from trades made throughout the season. I’m not talking about moves made in the offseason, of which Glen Sather made a few (Dominic Moore, Benoit Pouliot), I’m referring to in-season moves made after identifying team needs.
The Rangers were no different from any other team. There were significant flaws in the team that were easily identifiable by most either before the season began (toughness/physicality), or something that became apparent as the season went by (right handed defenseman, primary scoring). If it’s something we were identifying here, you can bet your life savings that Slats and company identified it as well.
This is what a good GM does (and yes, Slats is a good GM in the cap era). Slats identified these holes and made three trades in 2014 that addressed each need.
The Rangers have signed 2013 6th round pick MacKenzie Skapski (per Skapski’s Twitter) and 2012 4th round pick Calle Andersson (per Adam Herman). Skapski plays for the Kootenay Ice of the WHL, and put together a 2.70 GAA and a .916 SV%. The Rangers are very thin on goaltending prospects, and Skapski has some solid potential, so he will be a welcomed addition to the prospect pool. Andersson, a Swedish defenseman, put up a line of 2-10-12 in 43 games in the HockeyAllsvenskan (one tier below the SHL). Andersson has a high ceiling, but is a bit of a project pick.
As expected, John Moore was suspended two games for his high hit on Dale Weise in Game Five. The ruling was that the hit was high, not that it was late. The elbowing call made during the game was obviously wrong (roughing would have been the better call), but the hit itself is almost a carbon copy of the Brandon Prust hit on Derek Stepan. The suspension was expected. Raphael Diaz will likely play in Moore’s spot.