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Posts tagged: Best Ranger Tournament

Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Dan Girardi (2) vs. Petr Prucha (6)

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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 Dan Girardi vs. #6 Petr Prucha and his myriad of rabid fans. The winner will face #1 Jaromir Jagr in the finals of the Glen Sather Bracket.

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.

Petr Prucha (acquired – 2002 draft, 8th round)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Jaromir Jagr (1) vs. Brandon Prust (5)

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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. #5 Brandon Prust, with the winner taking on the #2 Dan Girardi/#6 Petr Prucha winner in the Glen Sather Bracket.

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.

Brandon Prust (acquired – 2010 trade with Calgary)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Martin Straka (2) 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. Today’s matchup is #2 Martin Straka vs #3 Marian Gaborik, with the winner taking on #1 Ryan Callahan in the John Tortorella bracket finals.

Martin Straka (acquired – 2005 unrestricted free agent)

Many laughed when the Rangers signed Straka after the lockout, thinking that this lowly addition couldn’t possibly help the Rangers at all. Instead, Straka clicked with Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander to the tune of 76 points (22-54-76) in his first season. Straka’s contributions helped the Rangers secure their first playoff spot in eight years. Straka played two additional seasons with the Rangers, finishing his NHL career in New York. Overall, he played 224 games with the club, putting together a line of 65-122-187, which is pretty solid.

Straka’s three years in New York were the last three of his NHL career. He returned home to the Czech Republic after the 2007-2008 season.

Marian Gaborik (acquired – 2009 unrestricted free agent)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Ryan Callahan (1) vs. Carl Hagelin (4)

Untitled copyAs 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. Yesterday, #3 Ryan McDonagh took out #2 Brendan Shanahan to earn a shot at #1 Henrik Lundqvist in the Tom Renney Bracket Finals. Today, #1 Ryan Callahan takes on #4 Carl Hagelin to earn the first spot in the John Tortorella Bracket Finals.

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.

Carl Hagelin (acquired – 2007 draft, 6th round)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Brendan Shanahan (2) 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. Today the third round continues with #2 Brendan Shanahan against #3 Ryan McDonagh. The winner will take on #1 Henrik Lundqvist in the Tom Renney Bracket Finals.

Brendan Shanahan (acquired – 2006 unrestricted free agent)

Shanahan might be ranked a little high, but that’s because he’s Brendan freaking Shanahan. Shanny only spent two years with the Rangers, but his signing was a big one for a team that was one errant Marek Malik pass away from taking the #1 seed to the brink of elimination in the Conference Semis. With Shanny on board, the Rangers finally had much needed scoring depth to take the pressure off the Straka-Nylander-Jagr connection. In Shanny’s two years, the Rangers made it to the second round of the playoffs each time, something Ranger fans had not seen since 1997.

In his two years, Shanny put together a line of 52-56-108 in 140 games, including 29-33-62 in 67 games his first season. Shanny may have been old when he was brought on, but he was still effective and a solid second line player. Shanny also scored his 600th career NHL goal during his first game as a Ranger.

Ryan McDonagh (acquired – 2009 trade with Canadiens)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 3, Henrik Lundqvist (1) vs. Artem Anisimov (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 the third round begins with #1 Henrik Lundqvist vs. #4 Artem Anisimov.

Just a note: I am on vacation. The tournament posts are still going up, but I had to schedule them in advance, so the winners of the previous matchups won’t be posted in the picture until I get back next week. I am still keeping track though.

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.

Artem Anisimov (acquired – 2006 draft, 2nd round)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 2, Brandon Dubinsky (2) vs. Brian Boyle (7)

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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 the second round continues with #2 Brandon Dubinsky vs. #7 Brian Boyle.

Just a note: I am on vacation. The tournament posts are still going up, but I had to schedule them in advance, so the winners of the previous matchups won’t be posted in the picture until I get back next week. I am still keeping track though.

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.

Brian Boyle (acquired – 2009 trade with LA)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 2, Michael Nylander (3) vs. Michael Del Zotto (6)

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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 the second round continues with #3 Michael Nylander vs. #6 Michael Del Zotto.

Just a note: I am on vacation. The tournament posts are still going up, but I had to schedule them in advance, so the winners of the previous matchups won’t be posted in the picture until I get back next week. I am still keeping track though.

Michael Nylander (acquired – 2004 unrestricted free agent)

When initially signed, Nylander was looked at with the same doubt as Marty Straka. How was Nylander supposed to help this Ranger team make the playoffs? Well, he answered that in a big way over his two seasons in New York, putting together 79 and 83 point seasons while clicking with Straka and Jaromir Jagr. The three of them (with Henrik Lundqvist) put the Rangers back on the map of relevance. Nylander’s two years with the Rangers saw him put together a line of 49-113-162 in 160 games.

The Rangers eventually let Nylander walk after the 2006-2007 season when Washington offered him a four-year deal. Nylander never clicked in Washington, and was out of the NHL just two years later. The Rangers decided to let him walk to sign both Scott Gomez and Chris Drury.

Michael Del Zotto (acquired – 2008 draft, 1st round)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 2, Derek Stepan (4) vs. Vinny Prospal (5)

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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 the second round continues with #4 Derek Stepan vs. #5 Vinny Prospal.

Just a note: I am on vacation. The tournament posts are still going up, but I had to schedule them in advance, so the winners of the previous matchups won’t be posted in the picture until I get back next week. I am still keeping track though.

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

Stepan emerged as the Rangers top center this past season, scoring at almost a point per game in the lockout shortened season. His 18-26-44 line led the team in scoring, which says a lot considering this was a roster with Rick Nash. He was the team leader in assists, points, and was second to Nash in goals. His NHL totals in three years are pretty solid at 56-84-140 in 212 games. For those keeping track, 212 games is three full seasons without missing a single game.

Stepan is currently unsigned (at the writing of this post on Saturday), but there will be a deal in place before the season starts.

Vinny Prospal (acquired – 2009 unrestricted free agent)

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Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 2, Marc Staal (1) vs. Chris Drury (8)

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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 the second round continues with #1 Marc Staal vs. #8 Chris Drury.

Just a note: I am on vacation. The tournament posts are still going up, but I had to schedule them in advance, so the winners of the previous matchups won’t be posted in the picture until I get back next week. I am still keeping track though.

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.

Chris Drury (acquired – 2007 unrestricted free agent)

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