We’re (finally) just one day away from training camp! There will be a whole lot of real Ranger news coming up, but since we’ve exhausted pretty much every type of camp preview imaginable this summer – allow me just one more random post before the action kicks into high gear.
What would happen if you were to pit the 2014 New York Rangers against the best lineup of former Blueshirts still currently playing in the NHL?
Here’s my take on the best hypothetical roster of ex-Rangers that takes into account positions and logical scoring and checking lines:
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Howard Simmons/New York Daily News
– This is a rare trade where I think both sides have been pleasantly surprised with what they ended up with. Columbus fans seem giddy with what Marian Gaborik has done so far and almost in disbelief that the Rangers didn’t know what they had in him, along with Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky. On the flip side, few Rangers fans knew much of anything about any of Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore, but Brassard has already shown flashes that suggest he could single-handedly make up for a lot of Gaborik’s production, Dorsett sounds like he’ll be a perfect Blueshirt soldier whenever he takes the ice, and watching Moore skate has made it hard not to think of what Ryan McDonagh’s greatest quality does for him. It seems pretty clear that both teams came out of the deal better than they were before.
– Blue Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline raised eyebrows when he wrote that Dorsett might have been the toughest player for Columbus to part with. It sounds a little surprising given the obvious skills of Brassard and the potential of Moore, but neither of those players had established themselves as go-to players for the Blue Jackets yet. Dorsett was an alternate captain with a decorated history of standing up for teammates, playing his heart out and doing generally everything that coach John Tortorella loves. Will he be the next Brandon Prust in New York? The comparison certainly seems to make sense. Read more »
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Throughout the course of his career as a Ranger, I was always pretty supportive of Marian Gaborik. While I understand some fans appreciate powerforwards more so than pure snipers, I try not to weigh one skill set vs. the other. At the end of the day, teams need skill and will players to create offensive balance.
Indeed, Gaborik wasn’t one who created offense by lugging the puck through 3 zones, putting moves on 3-4 players and then finish by dekeing out the goalie. He was simply a snipeshow whose strengths were his shot release and his foot speed.
For me, the questions with Gaborik were never really about fitting our aggressive forechecking system or staying healthy, but rather about finding consistency and elevating his game.
After almost four seasons as a New York Ranger, the answers to those questions are still a bit of a mystery to me.
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Wednesday was a big day in Rangerland. As we all know by now, the Blueshirts acquired Ryane Clowe for three draft picks and traded oft-maligned sniper Marian Gaborik to the Blue Jackets for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, and John Moore (with misc. non-prospects and a late draft pick thrown in). Yesterday, Chris did a fantastic job adding some perspective in the musings. Suit broke it down on Twitter. I don’t think it’s fair they get to have all the fun with the new acquisitions, so I’m going to throw my two cents in. Think of it as a supplemental trade musings.
I’m going to do my best not to retread on already discussed ground…
- Obviously, having some time to digest the trade scenario for a day or two in addition to the beat down the Rangers threw Pittsburgh on the eve of the trade makes it look pretty good. I’ll be interested to see how the team looks tonight.
- It’s my feeling that this trade was all about flexibility. After the Nash trade and the departures of Brandon Prust, John Mitchell and Ruslan Fedetenko, the Rangers constructed a roster with a very defined top and bottom six. At the time, I thought this was a good thing. No more mid-level players masquerading as goal scorers and grinders on the power play. However, what ended up happening was a complete loss of versatility when purported top-six players underperformed. Ryane Clowe and Derek Brassard can play in multiple situations, sliding pretty seamlessly from top to bottom six duty depending on performance, situation, etc. Read more »
Ryan Clowe had THE perfect impact.
It’s hard to call the Rangers 6-1 demolition of the Penguins last night anything other than an incredible first impact from the new guys. Wherever you looked, players were making a difference and it’s intriguing the momentum and impetus incoming players give the current roster. On to the musings; dedicated to the trade deadline
You just know the TSN crew were nervous given the lack of activity (to put it politely) going into the final few hours.
Ryane Clowe: I liked Brandon Prust; he overachieved, always gave his all and was perhaps the ultimate team player. There’s a reason however that everyone acknowledged the Canadiens overpaid to get him. He has a ceiling. Then there’s Clowe. Yes he had a poor start to the year but he’s potentially so much more for the Rangers than Prust could ever be. It’s foolish to compare them. Prust was the perfect bottom six player. Clowe can be a legitimate scorer, fighter, physical presence and thinly veiled threat. Whether he does it consistently, only time will tell but if he plays to his old level in SJ the draft picks were well worth it.
The Rangers got a lot younger this week. Wasn’t sure that was entirely possible.
I’m not embarrassed I said – just yesterday – that the Rangers would be better off holding onto Gaborik until the summer. I didn’t think Sather could get an elite (still young) defensive prospect that the Rangers were desperate for, a young 50-70 point potential skill center and another gritty forward at the deadline. He outdid himself. Ridding cap space was the cherry on top. Gaborik will be missed, and may come back to score against the Rangers but the Rangers added a huge dollop of depth, potential and grit in their deals this past few days.
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Deadline day was a snoozefest until after 2:00, when all hell broke loose. The Rangers have agreed to send Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets along with D Steven Delisle and D Blake Parlett in exchange for C Derick Brassard, RW Derek Dorsett, D John Moore and a sixth-round pick. Gaborik has agreed to waive his no-trade clause to complete the deal.
Brassard, 25, has seven goals and 11 assists in 34 games this season including a goal and six assists on the power play.
Dorsett, 26, had three goals and six assists in 24 games and was -11. He is out for the rest of the year after breaking his clavicle in early March.
Moore, 22, has played in 17 games, recording one assist. He was -23 last year. Prospect guru Corey Pronman had this to say about Moore: “a high-end skating defenseman who doesn’t have a ton of upside, but can make plays in both ends. 2nd pairing type.” Moore was originally drafted 21st overall in 2009, two picks after Chris Kreider and two ahead of Tim Erixon.
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Gaborik may not get moved this week, or at all. His future up in the air
Regardless of how productive (or unproductive) Marian Gaborik is throughout the remainder of this season, the Rangers would be best advised to hold on to the Slovakian winger until the off season.
With a glut of young forwards up and around the big club this season, and with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins comfortably ahead of the Rangers for this year’s race to the Cup, the Rangers hopes of playoff success this season rest with Henrik Lundqvist and a lot of luck. In short, the Rangers aren’t likely a real threat to the dominant two of the East, right now. Therefore, this season – without giving up on it (something no Ranger should advocate) – has become in part a trial of sorts for the younger players. All of which brings us back to Marian Gaborik.
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We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how the Rangers, as currently constructed, are not a team that is rich with depth. It’s something that we’ve discussed on about a weekly basis at this point, but depth is only a part of the problem. The issue of depth is easy to address, but that won’t matter if the star players on the Rangers roster do not contribute in the way they are supposed to.
Last season the Rangers relied heavily on Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, and they delivered. They were the top two scoring leaders (76 points for Gaborik, 66 for Richards) on the team at even strength and on the powerplay, Gaborik led the team in goals (41), and Richards led the team in assists (41). Coming into this shortened season, these two were expected to at least contribute at that same level. Rick Nash was to come in and give them some breathing room and spread out the scoring a bit. Nash has lived up to his end of the bargain. Gaborik and Richards have not.
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We have a category for “Irresponsible Rumormongering,” but this post probably belongs under “Completely Irresponsible Rumormongering That Might Raise Eklund’s Eyebrows.” Sorry for that, but it’s that time of year…
Marian Gaborik to San Jose for Dan Boyle
Boyle for Gaborik is the rumor mentioned most frequently by those in the know and it also happens to be the deal that makes the most sense. The Rangers get the puck-moving defenseman they so desperately need and the Sharks add some punch to their 28th-ranked offense. The cap hits are a wash and each run through next season. I actually thought this trade was a lot more likely a couple weeks ago before San Jose converted Brent Burns – its other offensive-minded defenseman – into a forward and traded Douglas Murray to Pittsburgh. The Sharks could still definitely use Gaborik, but it’s a little hard to see how they’d replace Boyle. New York also may have interest in scoreless forward Ryane Clowe, but they’d need to send more than Gaborik to make that blockbuster happen. Read more »
Could Zuccarello’s arrival mean the end for Gaborik?
There’s a strong chance that after such an impressive performance against the Flyers (no matter how unimpressive the Flyers have been this year) that John Tortorella will stick with the line-up that pulled out the victory, and certainly the 5-2 win perhaps affords the coaching staff time with re-acquainting themselves with Mats Zuccarello. That said, when Zuccarello does eventually re-enter the line-up – and he will, why else bring him back? – his play will have a significant impact on the future of Marian Gaborik.
The Rangers have a young roster and enough moving parts that cap space isn’t a huge concern at the moment, even if it does need monitoring for next year. However, moving Gaborik or buying out Richards gives the Rangers much more maneuverability going forward. Therefore, a successful return by Zuccarello and/or an immediate impact by the also incoming Jesper Fast make Gaborik a luxury.
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