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Posts tagged: Best Ranger Tournament

Best post-lockout Ranger tournament: Henrik Lundqvist is your champion

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This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to most, but Henrik Lundqvist defeated Dan Girardi yesterday to win the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout tournament. This tournament was pitched to us by Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8), and we would like to thank him for the hard work putting this together. We certainly had a lot of fun posting these and reviewing the results.

Lundqvist beat out #16 Olli Jokinen,  #9 Martin Rucinsky, #4 Artem Anisimov, #3 Ryan McDonagh, #1 Ryan Callahan, and #2 Dan Girardi to win the tournament. While all the wins were dominating ones, Hank did have to go through the longest tenured defenseman (Girardi), the captain (Cally), the future/current stud defenseman (McDonagh), and a player with a cult-like following (Anisimov). It wasn’t an easy road.

You can click on the image above to get a full sized image of the bracket. Personally, I was surprised by Derek Stepan’s run to the Final Four, as well as Girardi’s win over Jaromir Jagr in the Regional Finals. The fact that Jed Ortmeyer and Sean Avery lost in the first round were also surprises. Did any results surprise you? Were there any Rangers you wished were on this list?

Best post-lockout Ranger; Championship Game: Henrik Lundqvist (1) vs. Dan Girardi (2)

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Today is the championship game in the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout tournament. Naturally, it is the two longest tenured Rangers who meet up in the Finals: Henrik Lundqvist, the tournament favorite, and Dan Girardi, the longest tenured defenseman on the club. We want to thank Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) for pitching this idea to us. It was a great success and we hope you had as much fun voting as we did posting and seeing the results.

Henrik Lundqvist (Acquired – 2000 draft, round 7)

Hank is Hank. He’s a five-time Vezina Finalist, he’s won the award once. He’s been the backbone of the team, and the best goalie in the world. Not really much else to say here.

Lundqvist beat the overall #2 seed, and the #1 seed in the John Tortorella bracket, Ryan Callahan in the Final Four.

Dan Girardi (acquired – 2006 undrafted free agent)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Final Four: Dan Girardi (2) vs. Derek Stepan (4)

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Henrik Lundqvist beat out Ryan Callahan in yesterday’s Final Four matchup in Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout tournament. Today, #2 Dan Girardi takes on #4 Derek Stepan in the other Final Four matchup, with the winner facing Hank for the tournament title. We want to thank Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) for pitching this idea to us. It was a great success and we hope you had as much fun voting as we did posting and seeing the results.

Dan Girardi (acquired – 2006 undrafted free agent)

Girardi is this team’s version of a Cinderella story. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of the OHL’s Guelph Storm (and Ryan Callahan’s teammate), Girardi was never a noted scorer, which is why he was never noticed. But the Rangers noticed him (presumably) while scouting Cally, and signed him to an AHL deal in the summer of 2005. They didn’t sign him to an NHL contract until 2006 after impressing in the ECHL and AHL. After his deal, he played another 45 games in the AHL before sticking with the big club permanently.

Over the next six seasons, Girardi missed a total of just four (!!) games. When you take into account the minutes (sometimes up to 30) he plays and the number of shots he blocks, that’s an impressive feat. Girardi isn’t a noted scorer (31-123-154 in his career), but he’s one of the best shutdown defensemen in the game today. Girardi has been the steady rock on defense, and players such as Fedor Tyutin, Marc Staal, and Ryan McDonagh have flourished while playing with him. Girardi was given the ‘A’ when Staal went down with his injuries, and it’s no mystery as to why.

To get to this point, Girardi beat #15 Dmitri Kalinin,  #7 Brad Richards, #6 Petr Prucha, and #1 Jaromir Jagr.

Derek Stepan (acquired – 2008 draft, 2nd round)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Final Four: Henrik Lundqvist (1) vs. Ryan Callahan (1)

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With training camp upon us, we enter the Final Four of the offseason tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. As we enter the final days, we want to thank Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) for pitching this idea to us. It was a great success and we hope you had as much fun voting as we did posting and seeing the results.  The first Final Four matchup pits the King against the Captain: Hank vs. Cally.

Henrik Lundqvist (Acquired – 2000 draft, round 7)

Hank is Hank. He’s a five-time Vezina Finalist, he’s won the award once. He’s been the backbone of the team, and the best goalie in the world. Not really much else to say here.

To get to this point, Hank beat #16 Olli Jokinen,  #9 Martin Rucinsky, #4 Artem Anisimov, and #3 Ryan McDonagh. Hank is also the tournament favorite, so he gets the higher #1 seed here.

Ryan Callahan (acquired – 2004 draft, 4th round)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Regional Finals: Brandon Dubinsky (2) vs. Derek Stepan (4)

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As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. The last Regional Finals matchup is today, with #2 Brandon Dubinsky taking on #4 Derek Stepan. Stepan was the first to eliminate a #1 seed, taking out Marc Staal in the previous round. The winner faces #2 Dan Girardi in the Final Four, who took out #1 Jaromir Jagr yesterday.

Brandon Dubinsky (acquired – 2004 draft, 2nd round)

The Rangers actually traded down in the second round twice, and still nabbed Dubinsky with the 60th pick (details here). Dubi got his first cuppa in 2006-2007, playing six games, and made the club out right the following season. What followed was five straight seasons of aggressive, blue collar hockey that meshed well with the coaches and the fans. Dubi was a workhorse for the Rangers, consistently playing 20 minutes of hard nosed hockey.

Dubi played 393 games with the Rangers, putting up a line of 81-132-213 with a pair of 20-goal seasons. Dubi was eventually sent to Columbus in the Rick Nash deal.

Derek Stepan (acquired – 2008 draft, 2nd round)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Regional Finals, Jaromir Jagr (1) vs. Dan Girardi (2)

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As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Today’s matchup is #1 Jaromir Jagr vs. #2 Dan Girardi in the Glen Sather Regional Finals. The winner will join #1 seeds Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Callahan in the Final Four.

Jaromir Jagr (acquired – 2004 trade with Washington)

The Rangers acquired Jagr in a trade with the Capitals that saw Anson Carter head over to Washington in exchange for Jagr and cash. The cash part being the Rangers paying just $4.94 million of Jagr’s $8 million salary, which was a huge boost in the salary cap era. As for Jagr himself, he set Ranger records for goals (54) and points (123) in a season in his first year on Broadway. He followed that up with a 96 point season  (30-66) and a 71 point season (25-46) before departing for the KHL. In each of those three seasons, Jagr played all 82 games, which is something he had never done in his entire career.

In Jagr’s 3 post-lockout seasons, he put together a line of 109-201-310 in 246 games, clearly the highest three-year offensive output in a long time for the Rangers, if not ever (I really think this is the greatest three year offensive span in Ranger history. Please correct me if I’m wrong). Henrik Lundqvist may have been the reason why the Rangers were successful post-lockout, especially in those first few seasons, but Jaromir Jagr made them matter. He gave the fans a reason to care again.

Dan Girardi (acquired – 2006 undrafted free agent)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Regional Finals: Ryan Callahan (1) vs. Marian Gaborik (3)

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As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. The Regional Finals started yesterday, with tournament favorite Henrik Lundqvist taking out #3 Ryan McDonagh to win the Tom Renney Bracket. Today, #1 Ryan Callahan is up against #3 Marian Gaborik, with the winner facing Lundqvist in the Final Four.

Ryan Callahan (acquired – 2004 draft, 4th round)

The Rangers actually acquired the draft pick used to select Cally from San Jose in exchange for the negotiating rights to Mark Messier. It’s funny how the Rangers traded the rights to their captain, and used that draft pick to draft a future captain. Cally saw his first NHL action in 2006-2007, playing 14 games with the Rangers. He played 52 games with the club the following season, which included an 11 game stint in Hartford. After that Cally stuck with the club and has been an all-round beast for the Rangers since. In his full Ranger career to date, Cally has put together a line of 121-108-229 in 405 games, and has slowly climbed from averaging 40 points per season to averaging close to 60 points over a full season. Cally has been the captain of the team since 2011, and was an alternate captain from 2009.

There’s not much else to say about Cally. We all know who he is and what he means to this team.

Marian Gaborik (acquired – 2009 unrestricted free agent)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Regional Finals: Henrik Lundqvist (1) vs. Ryan McDonagh (3)

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As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. The Regional Finals start today, with tournament favorite Henrik Lundqvist taking on #3 Ryan McDonagh.

Henrik Lundqvist (Acquired – 2000 draft, round 7)

Hank is Hank. He’s a five-time Vezina Finalist, he’s won the award once. He’s been the backbone of the team, and the best goalie in the world. Not really much else to say here.

Ryan McDonagh (acquired – 2009 trade with Canadiens)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Brandon Dubinsky (2) vs. Michael Nylander (3)

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As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Today’s matchup is #2 Brandon Dubinsky against #3 Michael Nylander. The winner will face #4 Derek Stepan in the Alain Vigneault bracket. Stepan was the first to take out a #1 seed, eliminating Marc Staal yesterday.

Brandon Dubinsky (acquired – 2004 draft, 2nd round)

The Rangers actually traded down in the second round twice, and still nabbed Dubinsky with the 60th pick (details here). Dubi got his first cuppa in 2006-2007, playing six games, and made the club out right the following season. What followed was five straight seasons of aggressive, blue collar hockey that meshed well with the coaches and the fans. Dubi was a workhorse for the Rangers, consistently playing 20 minutes of hard nosed hockey.

Dubi played 393 games with the Rangers, putting up a line of 81-132-213 with a pair of 20-goal seasons. Dubi was eventually sent to Columbus in the Rick Nash deal.

Michael Nylander (acquired – 2004 unrestricted free agent)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Marc Staal (1) vs. Derek Stepan (4)

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As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Today’s matchup is #1 Marc Staal against #4 Derek Stepan. The winner will face the #2 Brandon Dubinsky/#3 Michael Nylander winner in the Alain Vigneault bracket finals.

Marc Staal (acquired – 2005 draft, 1st round)

The Rangers traded up in the 2005 draft, surrendering their 1st round pick (#16 – Alex Bourret) and 2nd round pick (#41 – Ondrej Pavelec) to Atlanta for the #12 pick, which they used on Staal. Staal broke in with the Rangers during his first professional season, and by his second season had proved himself worthy of top-pairing minutes. Not a noted scorer, Staal has primarily been a shutdown defenseman, putting up 24-73-97 in 388 games. Staal played almost every game of the season for his first three years, before a concussion sidelined him for the majority of the 2011-2012 season. A freak eye injury sidelined him for half of the 2013 season as well.

When healthy, Staal is a top-two defenseman on a team that is competing for a Stanley Cup. When 75%, he’s still a top-four defenseman.

Derek Stepan (acquired – 2008 draft, 2nd round)

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