Much to the dismay of about half of Rangers fandom, the Keith Yandle era is over in New York. After dealing his rights to the Florida Panthers for a sixth and conditional fourth round pick on Monday, the Cats came to terms with Yandle on a seven-year/$44.45m contract yesterday. His deal includes a no movement clause for the first six (!) years of the deal, with a modified no-trade clause in year seven.

We all knew going into his big contract that Yandle would not come cheap. We also knew that his gross misuse over the past season would likely lead to his exit. The cap hit for the deal is a pretty representative $6.35m, but it was the term that really knocked me over. I certainly did not expect Yandle to get max term, but in a barren waste land of free agency and Alex Goligoski already off the board, I feel like the Panthers did what they had to do. Read More→

Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

Ironically, Keith Yandle’s contract with the Florida Panthers is one I would consider reasonable. Too long? Sure. That’s free agency for you. Too much? Maybe slightly, but it’s not an ugly contract for a club, unlike the Rangers that has cap space and a young core, in the ascendancy.

With that all said, if the Rangers are going to show financial restraint (aka not signing Yandle et al) during the next few weeks then that is absolutely fine, they just need to be consistent and stick with it. Don’t throw good money after bad.

The next week or two will tell us if the Rangers are learning from previous mistakes (and the previous regime) or whether they are absent a concept. Most fans, bloggers, media types have no idea how Jeff Gorton is intending on addressing the immediate future and that is causing angst amongst an already angst-ridden fanbase.

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Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Florida Panthers, who traded for Keith Yandle’s rights just this week, have signed their man to a seven-year deal worth $6.35 million annually. The deal has a no-move through the first six years, and a limited no-trade in the seventh year. To put things in perspective, Yandle makes $635k more than Marc Staal.

Seven years is a lot for a 29 year old defenseman, but Yandle isn’t showing signs of decline yet. The Panthers might have issues with the deal in a few years, but as long as Jaromir Jagr continues to defy the laws of science and aging while signing cheap one-year deals, they might be fine.

With the signing, the Rangers get Florida’s fourth round pick in the 2017 draft, in addition to the sixth rounder they received in this year’s draft.

Categories : Around the League
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The worst kept secret has been confirmed, as the NHL will expand to 31 teams in the 2017-2018 season. Las Vegas is the destination, as has been rumored/basically confirmed for the past few months. The team will play in the Pacific Division. The team paid a record $500 million in expansion fees to the 30 NHL owners, none of which needs to be shared with the players.

More importantly, the expansion draft rules have been finalized. The major points we know: The Rangers can protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie, or 8 skaters and 1 goalie. They can only lose one player to the draft as well. As rumored, any player with a no-move clause must be protected and counts towards the protection list. Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, and Henrik Lundqvist are the players with no-moves. First and second year pros (Brady Skjei, Pavel Buchnevich) are exempt, as are unsigned draft picks.

NHL expansion to Quebec City has been deferred as the city works things out.

Categories : Around the League
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Unless you live under a rock, then you’ve heard the rumors circulating about the Rangers, moves involving players that should get a first round pick. I am not predicting what trade is made, but I do want to try to talk about some of my favorite players who may be picked by the Rangers this Friday should they actually get a first rounder.

Picks 8-10 (Buffalo or Colorado may be willing to move their picks)

Defenseman Mikhail Sergachyov is the preferred target here. This player is without a doubt my favorite defenseman in this draft, the 6’3 left handed Russian defenseman is an incredible skater, truly effortless and extremely poised. His skating makes him effective on the defensive end and won’t make him someone easily beaten on the rush.

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Full Rangers schedule released

June 21, 2016, by · Comments (29)

The Rangers have released the full 2016-2017 season schedule:

The Rangers open at home against the Islanders, which is pretty cool and only the 25th time they have opened at home in their history. That’s 90 seasons, 25 times opening at home. Wow.

End of February through March looks like a rough run. They also play 30 games in 61 days in November and December. That should be fun.

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Kevin Shattenkirk is on the market, but he's one year away from free agency (Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Shattenkirk is on the market, but he’s one year away from free agency (Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

– The list of available puck-moving defensemen has quickly dwindled with the Ducks re-signing Sami Vatanen and Avalanche GM Joe Sakic insisting he will keep Tyson Barrie. The one possibility floating around that still makes a lot of sense is a match with Minnesota, which might be willing to part with Matt Dumba, Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon, or Jonas Brodin in exchange for an impact forward. There were rumors a few weeks back that the Wild coveted Derek Stepan, so there’s some smoke here.

– The one other big name that looks like he may be on the move is Kevin Shattenkirk. It’s common knowledge that Shattenkirk would love to be a Blueshirt, but with one year remaining on his current contract and a hefty raise inevitable, moving major assets to acquire him is not without risk. A Shattenkirk for Rick Nash swap still seems possible, but St. Louis has cap woes of its own that makes things tricky.

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Categories : Musings
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Episode 18 of the Blue Seat Blogs-cast

June 21, 2016, by · Comments (4)

This week on the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we discuss the recent Yandle deal, asset management, and forecast the draft with Josh. As always you can find us right here, on iTunes, and on Soundcloud. Thanks for listening!

Categories : Uncategorized
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Rangers trade rights to Keith Yandle to Florida

June 20, 2016, by · Comments (49)


The Rangers and Keith Yandle are officially parting ways, killing the hopes of many fans that this club will actually make moves to revamp the horrible blue line. Yandle’s negotiating rights were dealt to the Florida Panthers for a sixth round draft pick in this year’s draft and a conditional pick (4th in 2017if he re-signs with Florida, if he signs). A sixth round pick.

Yandle was acquired by the Rangers at the deadline last year in a deal that cost them Anthony Duclair and another first round pick. They also got Chris Summers in the deal, so, hooray.

Yandle was the only defenseman on this club who moved the puck consistently and efficiently. He was also the only one capable of actually exiting the zone properly. But yet he’s gone. The Rangers are left with McDonagh-Klein, Skjei-McIlrath, and Staal-Girardi on the blue line.

Jeff Gorton, you have a lot of work to do. But….a sixth round pick? Thanks.

Categories : Trades
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Stamkos vs. Stepan. Who wins?

Stamkos vs. Stepan. Who wins?

One of the more prominent rumors to come out of the weekend is that the Rangers are clearing salary in an attempt to go after Steven Stamkos. Since the source of the rumor hasn’t necessarily been right on much –Malkin to the Kings?– it’s something worth discussing, as the Rangers would need to create a spot at center for Stamkos. That means moving Derek Stepan.

When you hear the names, you think that these two aren’t even in the same ballpark. And if this were five years ago, you’d be right. That was when Stamkos put up three straight years of at least 45 goals (51, 45, 60) from 2009-2012. Since then, his goal totals have been 29, 25, 43, 36. Point totals 57, 40, 72, 64. Solid numbers, but not “blown away” numbers.

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