Jul
15

Future’s Looking Bright for Rangers First Rounders

July 15, 2017, by · Comments (39)

lias andersson

It’s mid-July, which in the hockey world means any news is good news. These past two days’ news, also happens to be actual, real, good news to boot: the Rangers signed both of their 2017 first round picks, Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil to 3-year entry level contracts.

This bodes well for a few reasons; at the very least it means that the two of them will be coming to North America eventually but I’d propose that there’s reason for further optimism here too. The Rangers’ “rebuild on the fly” may wind up bearing fruits earlier than expected.

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Categories : Prospects
Comments (39)
Jul
14

Rangers sign Filip Chytil to entry level contract

July 14, 2017, by · Comments (3)

filip chytil

The signing of the Rangers’ first round picks this year is complete. The Rangers inked 21st overall pick Filip Chytil to a three year entry level deal, likely similar in payment/bonuses to the deal signed by Lias Andersson the other day.

Chytil has a little bit of time before he hits the NHL, but this is a step in the right direction for a Rangers club that looks to get quicker and more skilled. Unlike Andersson, he doesn’t really have an outside chance of cracking the roster this year.

But hey, I’ve been wrong before.

Categories : Transactions
Comments (3)
Jul
14

The Pro’s and Con’s of Ondrej Pavelec

July 14, 2017, by · Comments (32)

Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

When the Rangers dealt Antti Raanta to Arizona in the Derek Stepan deal, a quick survey of the market revealed plenty of useful options to serve as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup.  There was a decent mix of higher upside projects and relatively safe veteran choices.  When it came out that Benoit Allaire had zeroed in on Ondrej Pavelec for the role, many were surprised, myself included.

The 29 year-old Czech native (30 when the season starts) was a 2nd round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers back in 2005.  He had shown tremendous promise in the notoriously offensive environment of the QMJHL before getting his first cup of coffee the year after he was drafted.

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Categories : Goaltending, Offseason
Comments (32)
Jul
13

Rangers ink Lias Andersson to entry level deal

July 13, 2017, by · Comments (31)

lias andersson

The “Lias Andersson may make the club out of camp” train just got a big push. The Rangers inked the 7th overall pick this year to a three year entry level deal. It’s expected that it will be around $925,000 salary with bonuses.

The Rangers have a pretty big hole at center that they have yet to fill. The trade market has some options, but the free agent market is completely bare. Andersson would certainly fill that hole, but if that’s the case, it forces Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes into the 1C and 2C roles, respectively.

All eyes are going to be on the kid. No pressure.

Categories : Transactions
Comments (31)
Jul
13

#TBT: Rangers vs. Penguins – October 25, 2008

July 13, 2017, by · Comments (21)

Remember me?

Folks, it’s July.  And not just July, but the MIDDLE of the July, which is the worst time of year for a hockey fan.  The fun part of free agency is over with, the #hockeyinsiders are on vacation, and the players are enjoying some free time before getting serious again ahead of the new season.  The clock ticks ever so slowly towards October 5th.

In order to pass the time, I thought it would be fun to take a weekly stroll down memory lane, at least until we have some more substantial and current Rangers-related issues to discuss.

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Categories : Musings
Comments (21)
Jul
12

Exploring the trade market for centers

July 12, 2017, by · Comments (69)

Over the last four seasons Tyler Bozak averaged .68 points per game. During that time, Derek Stepan averaged .73.

Tyler Bozak

The Leafs backed themselves into a corner with the signing of Patrick Marleau and now exceed the summer salary cap threshold, leading to speculation they may have to trade a veteran for some relief. But with both Joffrey Lupul and Nathan Horton on the roster in name only and headed straight for LTIR, Toronto isn’t in nearly as bad of shape as it might seem. Still, the Leafs have a glut of forwards so pending UFAs James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak continue to circulate through the rumor mill. With the players carrying nearly identical $4.2 million cap hits and not part of the Leafs’ future plans, there’s reason to believe Toronto might move one of them before the season.

New York would likely be interested in acquiring either player. A move for JVR would cement J.T. Miller’s move back to the middle, but give the Blueshirts impressive depth down the wings. Bozak, 31, would slot in as the second center behind Mika Zibanejad and be capable of matching Derek Stepan’s offensive production while also representing a huge upgrade at the faceoff dots. The Rangers would surely try to build a trade package for either player around Nick Holden, an expiring contract himself. But while Toronto might view Holden as a useful addition to a patchwork defense, Holden’s own $1.65 million cap hit reduces the allure somewhat.

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Jul
11

Getting the most out of Kevin Shattenkirk

July 11, 2017, by · Comments (51)

Depending on which sites you read, Kevin Shattenkirk is either amazing at defense or a defensive liability. Fancy stat folks obviously love possession stats and have countered the beat writers’ narrative that Shattenkirk is all O and no D. The eternal fight continues…YAWN.

What’s important though is not what the pundits say about his d-zone coverage, but whether or not he wears summer threads (preferably hopsack over cotton) that are body conscious.

Apologies, I forgot this is Blue Seat Blogs, not Gentlemen’s Quarterly. Got my blogging journalistic responsibilities mixed up.

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Categories : Hockey Tactics, Players
Comments (51)
Jul
10

How does David Desharnais compare to Oscar Lindberg?

July 10, 2017, by · Comments (38)

david desharnais

The Rangers have had a pretty decent run of it so far in free agency, with Kevin Shattenkirk joining the Blueshirts and Brendan Smith re-upping for another four years. Aside from rebuilding just the defensive corps though, Jeff Gorton has begun reconstructing the Rangers’ center depth, after losing Oscar Lindberg to Vegas and trading away Derek Stepan.

Signing David Desharnais is a positive step in the right direction, and although finding a replacement for Stepan will be trickier, having Desharnais around will give the Rangers some options in the bottom six. I thought it’ be worthwhile however, to examine just exactly how Desharnais will replace Lindberg – if their playing styles are the same, how they stack up against one another, and how they complement their linemates.

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Categories : Players
Comments (38)
Jul
09

Could St. Louis be a trade match for the Rangers?

July 9, 2017, by · Comments (42)

nick holden

One of the last holes the Rangers need to fill is a top-six center, and with the free agent market bare, a trade is the next best option. As the offseason progresses, it becomes easier to identify trade partners for the Rangers to address this issue. Jeff Gorton also needs to address the logjam on the blue line, possibly leveraging the monster offensive season from Nick Holden.

Looking through the rosters, the St. Louis Blues seem to have the opposite problem. With 15 forwards –14 if you don’t include Klim Kostin, their first rounder this year)– and just five defensemen signed, there’s a potential match with the Rangers.

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Categories : Offseason
Comments (42)

lindy ruff

It’s been a bit of a wild offseason for the Rangers, but one of the less talked about moves was a change behind the bench. Jeff Beukeboom fell on the sword for the poor defensive play, and was replaced by Lindy Ruff. Ruff has been a head coach in the NHL since 1997, mostly with the Sabres before a stint with the Stars.

Ruff is an interesting hire. When he was in Dallas, he ran very similar systems to Alain Vigneault. Specifically, his Stars teams were big on a 1-2-2 forecheck with a hybrid zone/man defensive zone coverage. Special teams play isn’t all that unique anymore, but it’s worth noting that his penalty killing style was also aggressive, like AV.

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Categories : Coaching
Comments (85)