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NHL to move 24/7 from HBO to EPIX

For fans of HBO’s 24/7, you were disappointed this weekend when news broke that HBO would no longer be carrying the show. For those who have HBO for that sole reason, you can cancel your subscription today. The show isn’t going away, and Scott Burnside is reporting that the NHL will produce it’s own version –without the soothing dulcet tones of Liev Schreiber– to air on EPIX.

Puck Daddy pointed out that the NHL was carrying the financial burden of producing the show, and that HBO was unwilling to do a second show for the other outdoor game (Kings/Sharks) this year.

For those of you trying to figure out what channel EPIX is, don’t you worry. I googled it for you, and have no fear, Cablevision doesn’t carry the network.

Center depth could be a concern for the Rangers

Is Miller ready for a big role?

While the baby Rangers are playing in Traverse City, the big club is preparing to defend their Eastern Conference crown. They do so after buying out Brad Richards, their second line center, and letting Brian Boyle, their fourth line center/wing, walk via free agency. There were no free agents signed to replace these departed players, unless you count re-signing Dominic Moore.

As it stands today, the Rangers are slated to have Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard as their top two centers. The third line center position is up for grabs, and the fourth line center position (probably Moore) will be determined by who wins the 3C job. It’s not exactly the best situation to be in, considering center depth has been a common ingredient in recent Stanley Cup winners.

Whether or not you like it, Stepan will be the 1C this year. He’s not going to be a Sidney Crosby, a Claude Giroux, or an Anze Kopitar, but he will put up close to 60 points while playing solid two-way hockey. An improved powerplay should theoretically increase his offensive output, but I get the feeling that will be limited because his decision making abilities are a bit slow. That said, he will likely get the majority of his PP time on the off-wing –likely with the top unit– because he’s one of the few right-handed shots. He’s not the best 1C in the world, but he will get the job done.

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Around the Farm: Tambellini nets OT winner at Traverse City

Adam Tambellini netted the overtime winner last night against the Baby Sabres in Traverse City, as the Baby Rangers got their first win of the tournament. The Rangers tied the game on a shorthanded goal by Sam Noreau (his second of the tournament) in the second period before winning it in overtime. Mackenzie Skapski was phenomenal in net, turning aside 36 shots.

The lines for last night’s game were:

Anthony Duclair-Kevin Hayes-Ryan Haggerty
Logan Nelson-Adam Tambellini-Chris McCarthy
Josh Nicholls-Bryan Moore-Michael Kantor
Paxton Leroux-Nickolas Latta-Keegan Iverson

Mat Bodie-Sam Noreau
Ryan Mantha-Dallas Valentine
Daniel Walcott-Troy Donnay

Stats after the jump.

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New Rules for the 2014-15 Season

Study up, boys!

Study up, boys!

With only 23 days til the open of hockey(!!!!), the officials with the National Hockey League have, as is often done, made provisions to the rulebook. This is done to keep up with the ever-changing sport, to give referees a reason to have pop quizzes, and to confuse (and sometimes upset) the common fan. But fear not, faithful BSB reader! I have done some research for you and I’ll zero in on what you need to know.

There were only ten changes made, some having to do with penalties, some having to do with ice space, and a couple about overtime. A spark notes version of the changes is as follows: Read more »

Taking a look at John Moore’s 2013/14 season

john moore

Incase you missed it the Rangers and defenseman John Moore finally reached an agreement on a one-year $850,500 contract on Wednesday. Moore, who is slotted in to the Rangers bottom defensive pairing once again, will be entering his fourth NHL season in 2014/15. At 23 years old (24 in November), the 2009 first round draft pick is running out of time to make me, amongst others, find confidence in his ability to blossom into the top four defenseman we were told he could be.

After noticing a lot of debate amongst Rangers fans I decided to take a closer look at Moore’s 5v5 metrics (his PP TOI was too small a sample for me to consider of any value).

The first thing that pops out when looking at Moore’s 5v5 numbers is his zone start percentage (ZS%) of 64%. Amongst 2013/14 Metropolitan Division defensemen this was the highest ZS% for anyone. Moore should have been able to thrive being placed in the offensive zone as often as he was, however his result was less than impressive. Moore held a corsi for percentage (CF%) of 51.7% with his relative CF% (relCF%) at -1.26%, an awful number when taking into account how he was handed the offensive zone on a silver platter. This is not out of the ordinary for Moore, who has failed to record a positive relCF% since breaking into the league with regular playing time in 2011/12 .

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Around the Farm: Baby Rangers fall to Stars at Traverse City

The Baby Rangers kicked off the Traverse City tournament by taking on the Baby Stars, falling 4-3 in overtime on a goal by Brett Ritchie. The Rangers were up 3-1 heading into the third period with a five minute powerplay, but could not keep the Stars from tying the game. Here’s the stat line for the kids:

Rangers Traverse City lines

The Rangers prospects kick off the Traverse City Tournament tonight, taking on the Baby Starts tonight at 7pm EST. The Rangers have the following lines for the game, with more lines expected to come before the game:

Richard Nejezchleb-Kevin Hayes-Ryan Haggerty
Anthony Duclair-Adam Tambellini-Josh Nicholls
Chris McCarthy-Bryan Moore-Keegan Iverson
Paxton Leroux-Nathan Burns-Michael Kantor

Mat Bodie-Ryan Mantha
Petr Zamorsky-Sam Noreau
Daniel Walcott-Troy Donnay

Brandon Halverson will get the start

As more information becomes available, we will update this post. Blueshirts United will have highlights from the games, but they won’t be televised. However, the Rangers-Sabres game on Saturday will be live-streamed on Sabres.com, per Steve Zipay.

Poll: what to do with Cam Talbot

Cam Talbot has been an interesting story since joining the Rangers in Marty Biron’s stead at the beginning of last season. An undrafted free agent who blew the lid off his ceiling and went on to have a mini-breakout season as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup. He put up tremendous numbers (12-6-1, 1.64 GAA, .941 sv%), and by virtue of his age, can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this coming season.

Now, this puts the club in something of a pickle. He has an incredibly small sample size of games to judge his true talent level. What complicates things further is that most goalies of NHL caliber talent can put up quality numbers in a small set of games. What makes a starter is the ability to hold up that level of play over a fairly grueling 55-65 game sample. We have no idea if Talbot is up to that task, and unless something goes catastrophically wrong, we’re unlikely to find out this season. Read more »

Around the Farm: Buchnevich with assist, 18 minutes of ice time

While Pavel Bucnhnevich may not dazzle you with point totals in the KHL (although he does have 1-2-3 in 4 GP so far), it should be noted that he is getting 15-18 minutes per game as a 19 year old in a league that has a seniority factor. Corey Pronman noted that very few players in the KHL have racked up that much ice time at such a young age.

Rangers sign Ryan Malone

As expected for some time now, the Rangers have signed Ryan Malone to a one-year, two-way deal expected to be around $700,000, per Larry Brooks. This is a very low-risk signing, since the contract is two-way and will not have any cap implications should Malone need to be sent to the AHL. It also serves as competition for guys like Jesper Fast, J.T. Miller, Oscar Lindberg, Ryan Bourque, and Kevin Hayes.

As we found out last week, Anthony Duclair’s contract does not count towards the 50 contract limit if he is returned to the QMJHL (although it won’t slide and they will burn a year of it), thus the Rangers had room to add Malone.