Archive for Jeff Gorton

Jul
28

A few things on my mind

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newsday- “Yes, Jeff. You need four centers”

Welcome to the dog days, folks.  The time of year when hockey news is as dead as can be.  #HockeyInsiders are hanging out at their Ontario cabins and the closest thing to on-ice activities are various prospect camps.  This is all well and good if the Rangers weren’t two defensemen heavy and two centers light.

When Jeff Gorton started to re-make the defense this offseason, it was really inspired stuff.  He pulled the trigger on a Girardi buy-out, convinced Kevin Shattenkirk to take a sweetheart deal to come home and recognized how effective Brendan Smith was down the stretch in stabilizing a weak back end.  He had courted some Shattenkirk insurance in Alexei Bereglazov and Neal Poink.  The Rangers’ defensive depth this offseason looks an awful lot like their forward depth last offseason.

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Categories : Offseason
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Only 10 regulars remain from Gorton’s first season running the organization

Jeff Gorton was officially named general manager of the Rangers on July 1, 2015 and though his influence on player personnel decisions began long before then, that date marks a clear crossroads in organizational strategy.

Gorton spent last summer methodically revamping the forward corps and followed that up with a defensive overhaul this offseason. His fingerprints are now all over the roster, with a clear commitment to youth, speed and skill.

While there have been a slew of minor transactions along the way, I’ve focused on Gorton’s more significant moves to gain perspective on his tenure thus far.

June 27, 2015: Traded Carl Hagelin, a 2nd-round pick and a 6th to Anaheim for Emerson Etem and a 2nd (Ryan Gropp)
Though Gorton didn’t technically take office until a few days later, he was assuredly calling the shots here. And while the Blueshirts were in a cap bind and needed to shed salary, the return for Hagelin was a pittance. There’s still a chance that Gropp turns into a serviceable NHLer, but right now it’s hard to view this swap as anything but an unmitigated disaster.
Grade: D- Read More→

Categories : Offseason
Comments (92)
Mar
03

Some quick Friday afternoon thoughts

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I know, I know, Dave just gave his thoughts on the deadline yesterday, but Dave and I are not the same person.  Deal with it.  It’s been a couple days since the deadline has passed, and I have had the ability to process the Rangers moves (and non-moves) and as you can imagine, I have some thoughts…

1. Considering Alain Vigneault’s track record with defensive deployment, it’s understandable for fans to be skeptical about the actual impact of the Brendan Smith trade. With someone like Shattenkirk, it would be a no-brainer to put him on the first pair. With Smith, depending on your view of his skill level, he could play anywhere from 1RD to 3RD. It seems like the Wisconsin connection with Ryan McDonagh has him ticketed for the first pair, which is a good thing. I don’t believe that Smith is an actual 1RD by any stretch, but since the Rangers gave up some relatively significant assets to acquire him, I’d much rather he push guys down the line up, than lengthen it from the bottom.

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Categories : Musings
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Feb
22

The pressure is on Jeff Gorton

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Jeff Gorton has the unenviable task of fixing the defense this week

Jeff Gorton has done a masterful job remaking the Rangers’ forward corps and deserves full credit for that.

But as the trade deadline closes in without any apparent blueline solutions on the horizon that don’t cost an arm and a leg, it’s fair to ask – what was the plan on defense?

The decision to let Keith Yandle walk was puzzling, but with Yandle having a poor year and his not insignificant contract, we’ve largely given Gorton a pass on that.

And indeed, the acquisition of Nick Holden has worked out marvelously. Paying a mere fourth-round pick for arguably New York’s second-best D-man was a coup.

But here’s the key question: was that it?

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antti raanta henrik lundqvist

Continuing our midseason grades (defense here), next up is the front office and goaltending. Grading both is a little tricky, as the front office is just ramping up their efforts for the trade deadline, while the goaltending has been a bit inconsistent.

When grading the front office, I had to look at the offseason body of work in addition to the moves made in season. Considering the injuries, the front office has been a little busy lately. As for the goaltending, well I’m taking a different approach this year. Instead of looking at each player individually, I’ll be looking at both Hank and Raanta as a single entity.

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Categories : Goaltending
Comments (35)
Providing excellent value: Chris Kreider Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Successful teams need depth and the Rangers certainly have depth right now. What they also have is value for money and in a cap world when depth goes hand in hand with value for money you have yourself a winning record. Getting bang for your buck is something we’ve discussed ad nauseam on the Blog but it’s worth repeating.

Here’s a number that may surprise you. Only eight(!) teams have a smaller overall cap commitment than the Rangers this season – your deep pocketed Blueshirts check in with an overall $70,246,111 spend. When was the last time the Rangers were near the bottom of the league in overall spending? Leading the league in goals scored while having the 22nd overall cap hit is a great example of value for money in a hard cap league that forces General Managers to trade away talent to be financially compliant.

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Categories : Analysis
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The Rangers can succeed this season. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The Rangers may have flaws but they can succeed this season, . AP Photo/Julio Cortez

I keep reading articles from experts and insiders (oh how I hate the term insiders) that the Rangers need to tear it down and rebuild. How their reality is mediocrity not contention and that this organisation has little to be optimistic about. Pardon me for being a tad biased but the tear it down narrative is lazy journalism. Apparently the tear it down method is the correct path to restocking an organisation. I disagree. I also think the Rangers are nowhere near needing this radical approach.

If Jimmy Vesey had joined a Canadian franchise we’d be hearing Canadian insiders project a Calder worthy campaign. If Pavel Buchnevich was anywhere but New York I think we’d be hearing a little more of the Tarasenko and Kuznetzov comparisons too. It’s fashionable to think pessimistically about the Rangers – I guess this is what comes from being a deep pocketed, occasionally recklessly run franchise.

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Comments (40)
So where does Jeff Gorton rank amongst NHL GM's? Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

So where does Jeff Gorton rank amongst NHL GM’s? Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)

I was thinking the other day just how solid an offseason Jeff Gorton had been having (despite not being able to significantly improve the blueline) and it got me thinking about where Gorton ranked amongst his peers. Taking that one step further it got me thinking about General Manager’s around the league, who’s doing well and who’s not. All this made me spitball about a power ranking of the NHL General Managers.

Everyone loves a pecking order, no? There’s been some significant change throughout the NHL recently and some GM’s will be hard to judge given their shallow bodies of work but it doesn’t mean we can’t try. Split into three posts over the couple weeks (starting at 30 and working our way up), here’s a brief insight into how I think the NHL’s key decision makers stack up against each other and where I think Jeff Gorton fits as he enters his second season in charge of the Rangers.

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Categories : Around the League
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Aug
05

Some Late Summer Thoughts

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www.frozenfaceoff.net

www.frozenfaceoff.net

Happy Friday, BSB community! Can you believe it is August already? It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve had the time to write, as the summer is the busiest time of year for me at the office. I suppose I haven’t missed much, though, as most of the Rangers’ business was taken care of in early July. We are now only a few weeks away from the return of the World Cup and training camp/pre-season is just around the corner.

There are still a few features I plan to write before the season (Top 30 Goalies!), but for this morning, I wanted to share some thoughts now that I have had some time to digest the summer moves.

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Categories : Musings, Offseason
Comments (47)
The much-maligned defense does have reasons for hope

The much-maligned defense does have reasons for hope

Despite some shrewd acquisitions by GM Jeff Gorton this offseason, most fans and critics believe the Rangers have failed to make the necessary improvements required to propel them back into contention in 2016-2017.

That criticism is based largely on the sorry state of the defense where the Blueshirts appear poised to trot a unit that is no better than the group that was so porous a year ago. And despite improved depth up front and a radically improved penalty kill, that makes it hard to envision success, at least at the level that would meet lofty expectations for a club that had been knocking on the door of the Stanley Cup.

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Comments (57)