Archive for Jeff Gorton

Jun
28

On Prudence and Patience

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Kevin Hayes, zen master.

New York City is about to combat its first heat wave of 2018 as NHL free agency begins this weekend.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Rangers will be involved, though perhaps not in the traditional sense of doling out multi-year contracts to players in their late-twenties.

Reports are beginning to surface that Jeff Gorton is active in the trade market and that nearly every current roster player is available.  Larry Brooks has reported on scenarios ranging from a Hayes-or-Zibanejad choice, to today’s mini bombshell that Gorton is exploring the possibility of taking on a bad contract to help anyone but the Islanders sign John Tavares. There are also rumblings that Justin Faulk and the remaining two years on his contract could be available in a trade from the Hurricanes. Read More→

Categories : Musings, Offseason, Trades
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(JUSTIN TASCH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

In case you missed it, yesterday saw some significant happenings in Rangerland.  First, the Rangers placed Brendan Smith on waivers and called up Neal Pionk.  Soon after, Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather showed up at practice and issued a joint statement about the future of the franchise.  There was a tepid (re: non-existent) endorsement about AV’s future and much Twitter ink spilled about what it all means.  As you can imagine, I have some thoughts…

1. If you read the memo that the Rangers organization released, a couple of things jump out. First, it seems the organization is trying to gauge fan reaction to the notion of a rebuild.  There is enough qualifying language and vague platitudes in the memo to reverse course if the reaction to the release was pure outrage at abandoning a season where they aren’t completely out of it.  Read More→

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Desjardins, another underwhelming addition by Jeff Gorton

Bobby Farnham and Andrew Desjardins. Read those names back to yourself. Neither of the Rangers recent PTO signings generate excitement, do they?

It’s hard to be anything but underwhelmed at the Rangers attempts to address the center position toward the end of this offseason. Hoping a prospect (such as Andersson or Nieves) wins a spot is fine – after all the team needs to continue with its transition period. Inviting PTO’s to compete for spots and potentially earn a depth spot is also the right thing to do.

However, the Rangers choices are both confusing and disappointing given the calibre of depth free agent candidates that could have been had this offseason. Let’s consider just a handful of names below.

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Categories : Preseason
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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
Comments (43)
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
Comments (25)
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)