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Rangers sign forward Nick Tarnasky

The Rangers have signed Nick Tarnasky, a 6’2 225-lb forward. Tarnasky has 245 NHL games under his belt, but hasn’t sniffed The Show since the 2009-2010 season. Since then, Tarnasky has bounced from the AHL to the ECHL to the KHL then back to the AHL. Tarnasky is going to be another depth forward at the AHL level.

Musings: What’s next? What is the ideal situation to trade Marc Staal?

Happy Almost-Three-Day-Weekend folks. A lot has gone on in Rangerland over the past few days, so let’s get to the musings.

Did you know that Staal has brothers? (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Their best and most complicated trade chip. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

  • The Rangers have $14.6 million in cap space to fill six forward spots and one defense spot. If you allocate about $12 million to Derick Brassard ($4 million), Mats Zuccarello ($4.5 million) , Chris Kreider ($2 million), and John Moore ($1.5 million), that leaves $2.6 million for three forward spots. That’s not much room to work with, even if you do use kids to fill the remaining roles.
  • The Rangers said that they want to add one more forward, but don’t know if they will sign someone or trade for someone. If they sign a forward, it’s going to have to be another experimental forward, like Benoit Pouliot last summer.
  • Mike Ribeiro is the name that will probably be thrown around a lot, as he was just bought out by Phoenix and could come cheap. I’d venture a guess that he would settle for a Brad Richards deal (one-year, $2 million). That’s as cheap as they come, but Ribiero hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire lately.
  • Aside from Ribeiro, the other UFAs are either too expensive or not intriguing: David Legwand, Derek Roy, Steve Ott, Saku Koivu, Michal Handzus. None of these guys fit (from a cap perspective or from a talent perspective).

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Rangers re-sign Jason Missiaen

Per Renaud Lavoie, the Rangers have re-signed RFA goaltender Jason Missiaen to a one-year, two-way deal worth $715,000 at the NHL level. Missiaen bounced between the ECHL and AHL last season, putting up a .919 SV% with the Greenville Road Warriors, but a pretty bad .864 SV% with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Missiaen will serve as organizational depth in the minors.

It’s time for the kids to step up

Probably the most ready (Photo: Blueshirts United)

Probably the most ready (Photo: Blueshirts United)

It doesn’t matter if you liked what happened on Tuesday or hated what happened on Tuesday. We are all Ranger fans, and we will all cheer for the team. What we can all agree on, based solely on numbers, is that some of the kids in Hartford are going to need to step up and take a roster spot. When I say numbers, I mean this:

In: Dan Boyle, Tanner Glass, Mike Kostka (AHL: Steve Kampfer, Matt Hunwick, Chris Mueller, Chris Bourque, Cedrick Desjardins)
Out: Anton Stralman, Derek Dorsett, Brad Richards, Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot, Raphael Diaz, Justin Falk

Seven NHL players left the Rangers on July 1, and only three came back. The defense was more or less a one-for-one swap, with Boyle replacing Stralman and Kostka replacing Diaz (Falk I consider to be a #8 defenseman at this point). So, barring any trades, the Rangers are pretty much done with the defense. It is also unlikely we see Dylan McIlrath or Conor Allen on Broadway this year. The roster numbers just don’t work.

As for the forwards, one forward came in and four left via free agency. If you assume Glass takes Boyle’s spot on Dominic Moore’s left, that leaves two RW spots open for competition (or a 3LW and 4RW, as Mats Zuccarello can play both sides), and a 2C/3C. There are really only three names that come to mind when it comes to kids on the cusp: J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, and Oscar Lindberg.

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Method behind the Ranger ‘madness’

Dom Moore was brought back on a sensible deal - careful planning? (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI)

Dom Moore was brought back on a sensible deal – careful planning? (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI)

A successful franchise is well built from the bottom to the top. In the cap era a club needs to develop their own, they need to have a solid pipeline and a competitive minor league affiliate. Prospects need to get into the habit of success and the Rangers’ minor league affiliate hasn’t helped in this regard the past two years as the Wolf Pack have failed to get to the post season for two straight seasons.

To many Ranger fans, the Rangers had a disastrous July 1st. They lost popular players in Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle. They added a whole bunch of ‘minor leaguers’, an aging defenseman (Dan Boyle) with a recent injury history as well as a fist swinging bottom line player to an excessive deal. This is all true. However, let’s look at two key issues here; the loss of core players - Boyle and Stralman – and the ‘minor league’ bunch.

Stralman and Boyle are replaceable

Everyone laments the loss of Stralman and Boyle. Rightly so. They have developed into solid NHL players and became core members of the Rangers. However do you remember where they came from? Stralman couldn’t stick with a team and couldn’t do better than a try-out with the Devils; Boyle was a Kings cast-off destined for the AHL, he was a project. There is no reason why the Rangers cannot develop this kind of player again.

With Dan Boyle signed, the next person inserted into the line-up will have sheltered minutes on the 3rd pairing. In a cap world you have to make sacrifices and Stralman is getting far too much money and term from Tampa. At the end of the day, Stralman doesn’t offer anything that is irreplaceable. He offers no reason to panic.

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Rangers sign Chris Bourque

In an unannounced move made late last night, the Rangers added some more depth in Hartford, signing Ryan Bourque’s brother Chris to a one-year, two-way contract worth $600k at the NHL level.  Bourque has 51 games of NHL experience, and his last role was with the Bruins (18 games). He played in the KHL and Swiss league last year.

Sifting through the wreckage of July 1

Don’t look at Tanner Glass’s metrics. Seriously, don’t.

In just a few short hours, the 2013-2014 New York Rangers were blown apart.

Usually it’s GM Glen Sather that flashes the power of the dollar as he plucks key contributors away from other top teams on July 1, but yesterday it was the Blueshirts that were victimized by the league’s annual spending spree. The unfortunate part of the carnage was that much of it could have been avoided.

That Sather wasn’t prepared to come near the five years, $20 million that Benoit Pouliot received from Edmonton is completely understandable. But that he wasn’t willing to match the five years, $22.5 million that Anton Stralman got from Tampa Bay is a little less so.

The real kicker came towards the end of the day, when the same Lightning that had already re-signed Ryan Callahan and poached Stralman then inked Brian Boyle to the perfectly reasonable contract of three years, $6 million. Read more »

Rangers sign Steve Kampfer, Chris Mueller to two-way deals (Update: Matt Hunwick too)

The Rangers signed defenseman Steve Kampfer and forward Chris Mueller to two-way deals (one year each). Both signings are depth deals, aimed to improve a woefully bad Hartford Wolf Pack team. Mueller played six games with the Stars this year, but put up 25-32-57 in the AHL. Kampfer hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2011-2012 season.

Update: The Rangers have also signed Matt Hunwick to a one-year, $600k deal. Hunwick played one game in the NHL last season after spending six seasons as a #7 defenseman in Colorado and Boston.

Update #2: The Rangers have also signed goalie Cedrick Desjardins. The 28-year-old goalie will serve as AHL depth.

Rangers re-sign Dominic Moore; Sign Tanner Glass

Good news and bad news: The Rangers have re-signed center Dominic Moore to a two-year deal at $1.5 million per year. Moore was a solid addition last season, and was 1/3 of one of the best fourth lines in the game. Moore can also chip in offensively, as he showed when Derick Brassard was hurt in the playoffs this year.

Unfortunately, the Rangers also signed possession anchor Tanner Glass to a three year deal at $1.45 million per year. Seriously, he’s horrible. But hey, he’s physical?

Rangers sign Dan Boyle, Mike Kostka

The Rangers have officially replaced both Anton Stralman and Raphael Diaz, signing UFA defensemen Dan Boyle and Mike Kostka. Boyle got two years and $4.5 million per year, with a no-movement clause (relatively pointless). Boyle’s #fancystats aren’t terrible, but he’s been exploited a few times for losing his foot speed. The cap hit isn’t terrible, but the second year might hurt them. At the very least, he will help the powerplay.

Kostka will take Diaz’s place as the #7 defenseman, taking a one-year deal at $650,000.