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Brooks: Marc Staal contract rumors

Per Larry Brooks, the initial negotiations for a Marc Staal contract have begun. Per Brooks, Staal is looking for around $6 million on a 6-7 year deal, while the Rangers are looking to give Staal a Dan Girardi-esque deal:

Staal, who will turn 28 in January, is believed to be seeking a six- or seven-year deal in the neighborhood of $6 million per — perhaps somewhat more. The Rangers are believed to be offering the same deal to which they signed Girardi, six years at $5.5 million per — perhaps somewhat less.

The wording of this is somewhat suspect, since Brooks says Staal’s demands could be somewhat more, and the Rangers offer could be somewhat less. The general consensus has  been that Staal will get the same deal Girardi received, so that’s not really a surprise. If Staal’s demands are indeed in the range that Brooks states, than this deal shouldn’t take too long to get done.

It’s worth noting that a few different outlets have said nothing is imminent with Staal.

Which lineup is better: The 2014 Rangers, or the active ex-Rangers?

Marian Gaborik heads up a deep group of ex-Ranger forwards

We’re (finally) just one day away from training camp! There will be a whole lot of real Ranger news coming up, but since we’ve exhausted pretty much every type of camp preview imaginable this summer – allow me just one more random post before the action kicks into high gear.

What would happen if you were to pit the 2014 New York Rangers against the best lineup of former Blueshirts still currently playing in the NHL?

Here’s my take on the best hypothetical roster of ex-Rangers that takes into account positions and logical scoring and checking lines:

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Wing depth a strength for the Rangers

Bourque

Bourque

Yesterday I posted on how center depth could be a concern for the Rangers heading into this season. It’s not to say that the Rangers are flawed, that’s just one hole that could pose a problem. On the flip side, wing depth appears to be a strength for the Rangers. Most of their wingers from last year are returning, with some shrewd signings and some kids on the cusp fill in the rest of the holes.

The top six wingers will likely be some combination of Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, Rick Nash, and Marty St. Louis. This –finally– bumps Carl Hagelin down to the third line, as he was miscast as a top-six winger in previous seasons. It’s expected that Lee Stempniak will quietly slide into Benoit Pouliot’s spot as the 3RW, meaning there isn’t much turnover from last year’s wingers.

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Around the Farm: Baby Rangers drop another in OT

The Rangers lost their second game in overtime last night, falling to the Hurricanes by a score of 3-2. The Rangers were able to tie the game late on a goal by the top line (Haggerty from Hayes and Duclair), but the Canes were able to win it on Trevor Carrick’s OT winner. The lines for tonight’s game were shaken up a bit, but that top line did remain in tact:

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

Mat Bodie-Sam Noreau
Ryan Mantha-Petr Zamorsky
Daniel Walcott-Dallas Valentine

Brandon Halverson in net.

Richard Nejezchleb was a scratch for the second straight game. Check after the jump for the stat line.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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: