While all the attention lately has been on Derek Stepan and his arbitration hearing, there are three other key RFAs that need to be signed to fill out the roster. Perhaps the most important aspect of signing Emerson Etem, J.T. Miller, and Jesper Fast –who will all be getting bridge deals– is that they are going to be relatively cheap bridge deals, and will help the Rangers stay under the cap.
All three forwards are coming off their entry level deals, and all none of them have much leverage. Miller and Fast didn’t crack the NHL with any regularity until this season when they both found key roles on the Rangers. Etem still hasn’t found a regular role and, despite his talents, has spent a lot of time on the fourth line. That doesn’t make for much bargaining power.
It’s pretty unfortunate, but here we are in the dog days of the hockey off season. Luckily for us though we have 34 prospects as of right now that have their rights owned by the Rangers to talk about. So today we will be looking at some of the guys on the lower end of the group and what may possibly arise from them. This is going to be a weekly post, so stay tuned for more rankings.
34 Michael Kantor– Kantor is a hustling bustling 23 year old American right winger in the Rangers system that has some intrigue around him. The former Sudbury Wolves captain signed with the Rangers in the summer of 2013 then made his pro debut the following season. While he impressed in the ECHL, getting 3 assists in 3 games, he has yet to record his first point in the AHL. Twenty-seven games in his first season with the Wolfpack with 113 PIMS and no points isn’t something to be super excited about. Last season wasn’t great either as he once again did well in a small showing in the ECHL but only played 1 game in the AHL recording no points. His injury and low point production history do not really bode well for him in terms of an NHL future, as a matter of fact I don’t really think he has one. However, everyone has a chance and you never know. If anything Kantor is most likely a 12th or 13th forward that hustles and forechecks every shift should he make the NHL, which is something I don’t believe is likely.
Derek Stepan’s arbitration date has been set for July 27. While it is unlikely that this goes to arbitration, the Rangers and Stepan now have exactly two weeks to get a deal done before that arbitration date. If a deal is not reached, then there will be a one or two year amount given by the arbitrator. The Rangers then have the option of walking away from the awarded amount, making Stepan a free agent. That’s extremely unlikely to happen.
My guess is that this will go to the final hours, and we will probably see a deal during the weekend of July 25/26.
Well folks, summer time is here. The Rangers have some business to attend to, but aside from the four RFAs, there won’t be much news coming in Rangerland. But that doesn’t mean the blog shuts down. We will continue giving you daily content all summer long. But I wanted to let you all know about some features on the site that you may have missed.
First, there have been requests for weekly mailbags, and I am more than happy to oblige. There is a section in the sidebar called Mailbag, and you should use that to send me any questions you have. I will get to questions once per week, most likely on Saturdays.
Next, check out our Hockey Systems page. If you haven’t read those posts, you should. They give you in-depth analysis on the major systems teams like to use, and goes into how Alain Vigneault has his guys playing. Also, be sure to check out the complete 2015 Draft Page, where we have Josh’s previews, and our full recaps from the draft.
One final thing: I know you don’t have to use our BSB Tickets link to buy tickets. But if you’re going to a third party for tickets, it would be greatly appreciated if you could support the blog as well. Not saying to go and spend your life savings on tickets, just saying that if you happen to be going to a third party for tickets, why not ours?
I’m going to be working on some back-end stuff this summer, and Josh is working on a pretty big salary cap project. Stay tuned for that. As always, email me using the Mailbag on the right if you have any questions.
Before the offseason began, many were penciling Dylan McIlrath and Oscar Lindberg into their October lineups. It makes sense, as the Rangers are in a cap crunch at the moment, and Derek Stepan’s contract could be more expensive than initially anticipated. The Rangers need to save cap space, and two kids on sub-$1 million contracts is a perfect place to make up that cap space. The most popular solutions involved trading Tanner Glass and Kevin Klein, two players who may be too expensive for the roles they play on the team.
But the Rangers appear to be hesitant to trade Klein, and we all know that Glass isn’t going anywhere. So that casts a shadow on the future for these two kids. Both are 23 years old, and both will turn 24 in the upcoming season. Both are going to be on their second contracts with the Rangers organization, and both will need to pass through waivers if they don’t make the club out of camp.
Since free agency has begun, there have been some blockbuster trades made around the league that have the potential to drastically change not only the league, but specifically the Metropolitan Division.
Shifts in teams are commonplace, and some of the trades were foreseen due mostly to cap space, but some of these will undoubtedly ensure the Rangers have some preparation to do during training camp. The trades of Phil Kessel, Brandon Saad, TJ Oshie, and, last night, Patrick Sharp are all NHL-News-Alert-on-your-phone worthy. The first three are now menacing the Metro and will be familiar foes against the Rangers come October.
Much has been made of the New York Rangers history of trading draft picks in recent years. BSB regular Spozo recommended that we go through, afterthe lockout in 2004, and see what those traded picks turned into. It was a pretty fantastic idea, so here we are today. It’s worth noting that this post will only look at picks traded for players, not picks used to trade up/down. Let’s begin.
The Rangers traded up with Atlanta to get Marc Staal in the first round (picks used on Alex Bourret and Ondrej Pavelec), and then traded down with Montreal (pick used to take Guillaume Latendresse)to recoup the pick. But the Rangers didn’t trade any picks for players in this one.
The Rangers have re-signed RFA winger Marek Hrivik to an undisclosed contract. Hrivik has played his North American pro career with the Hartford Wolfpack, putting up a line of 12-21-33 last season. The 23-year-old Slovakian winger will likely spend this season in Hartford again.
Today, Justin has been posting the three finalists to the BSB Offseason Plan Contest. You’ve been reading and commenting on the three plans, and now it is time to vote. Here are the three finalists:
Be sure to vote in the poll below, and on the sidebar. Voting will last for one week.
Happy Friday, BSB’ers! Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for…the unveiling of the Off-Season Plan Contest Finalists. I am going to run all three final submissions throughout the day, today. Once they have had a chance to be read, dissected and discussed, our tech-savvy, fearless leader will place a poll on the sidebar for you to vote for your favorite plan. I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who submitted a proposal. Some very good ones were left on the cutting room floor. If you missed the first two submissions today, they can be found here and here. Read More→