Archive for Michael Grabner

michael grabner

After last night’s loss to the Habs, the Rangers traded Michael Grabner across the river to the Devils for a top prospect Yegor Rykov and a second round pick. The fact that a trade happened wasn’t really a surprise, since Grabner was a healthy scratch for the game, a precaution to ensure he did not get hurt. As usual, I have some thoughts.

1. Let’s understand who Grabner is, before breaking down the return. Grabner is a solid player, a bottom-six winger who kills penalties. He’s a threat on the PK. He has tremendous speed, plays a two-way game, and puts himself in positions to score. That said, he doesn’t drive offense on his own. He’s a nice to have player, someone who helps a team that already has the primary scoring to make a run. He’s a nice to have player, who happened to revive his career in New York.

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Categories : Musings
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michael grabner

Photo: NHLI/Getty Images

Up next on the Rangers fire sale is Michael Grabner, who has just been traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Igor (or Yegor, according to Elite Prospects) Rykov and a 2nd round draft pick.

Rykov has done alright for himself over in the KHL for SKA St Petersburg and their VHL affiliate, putting up 14 points in 51 games for as a 20 year old defenseman in the KHL and 6 points in 7 games in the VHL.

While we’ll miss his speedy goal-scoring ways it’s safe to say this is a pretty big win for the Rangers, who picked Grabner up assuming he’d be a decent depth option only to find he was a great goal-scorer all along. Turning nothing into something is the name of the game, so it’s hard not to be pleased with this one. We’ll keep you posted as we say goodbye to more Rangers as we approach the deadline.

Categories : Transactions
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Jan
26

Tear it down

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(GENE J. PUSKAR/AP)

Even With last night’s win against the Sharks, the Rangers head into the All-Star break in a complete free fall.  We have all known for months that the process has sucked, and Henrik Lundqvist had been keeping the team afloat.  Well, now that Chris Kreider is hurt and a consistent rotation of random injuries keep hitting the roster, the team has had to bring up a carousel of AHL talent.  The goals are starting to dry up and Alain Vigneault’s “quality over quantity” system has stalled.

For the past several years, the deployment and systems philosophy had run contrary to our conventional understanding of hockey analytics, and the Rangers’ relative success had many analysts questioning whether the team existed between the lines of the current stats.  While it still might be a true statement, this years’ incarnation (which had apparent depth issues from the outset) has put any evanescent hopes of contention firmly out of reality. Read More→

Categories : Rants
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Jan
05

Poll: the Rangers’ deadline approach

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(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

As the Rangers approach the half-way mark the season, they find themselves in an interesting spot.  They currently sit in the first wild-card spot, three points from dropping out of the playoff picture entirely, yet only four points from home ice advantage in the first round.  They have a soon-to-be 36 year-old franchise goaltender with more three seasons remaining on his contract at $8.5m per year.  They have several attractive soon-to-be UFA forwards on the roster in the form of Rick Nash and Michael Grabner.  They also have a surprising amount of young talent at the NHL level for a team that has been in full stop “go for it” mode for over a decade.

The team plays a counter-punching style, focusing on creating high-danger scoring chances, and relying on quality over quantity in the shots department.  This has created a difficult analysis in determining whether they actually have a sustainable profile as a contender.  There have been ups and downs in performance so, far, creating a “will the real New York Rangers please stand up” scenario over the season’s first half.  There are deployment issues and a fan base looking at a coach with a razor thin margin.  There is no question there are depth issues, personnel issues and coaching issues when determining whether this team is capable of making a run.

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michael grabner

The Rangers sure did strike gold with Michael Grabner. Signed to an expansion friendly deal before last season, fans –and probably the front office– thought they were getting 10-15 goals with good penalty killing. Getting that and a body for expansion for $1.6 million was a solid deal.

But then Grabner started scoring. His shooting percentage astronomically high, but the goals were coming. He scored 27 last year, and many thought the Rangers were silly not to capitalize on his value. He likely could have fetched a first round pick at the trade deadline last year. But the Rangers held court.

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Categories : Players
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It’s something many of us know-it-all number crunchers said: Michael Grabner simply wouldn’t be able to score this year the way he did last year. It tied into laments about the state of the forward corps, the fact that the Rangers didn’t offload him to a real contender (or some wannabe) at the deadline for a million first round picks, and came with an air of certainty often attributed to smugness by those less inclined to numbers. Well, it’s safe to say us spreadsheet samurai were wrong, and Michael Grabner is at least so far putting on a repeat performance. So what’s going on there?

First of all let me just say this – I’m happy to be wrong, and I’d imagine I speak for pretty much all of us in that regard. Nonetheless, it is something of a curiosity, because last year he finished the season with an individual shooting percentage (at even strength too, so no shorthanded or empty net situations inflating the numbers here) of 16.28%. To put it a little bit more intuitively, he was getting a goal more than every ten shots, which, even by Alain Vigneault standards, is high.

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Categories : Players
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rick nash rangers sharks

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers are going to have a lot of decisions to make this trade deadline, which although I realize is a ways away, is still worth discussing given how some of their players on expiring contracts are playing. The two players in particular who I’m thinking of are of course Rick Nash and Michael Grabner, who have been excellent secondary scorers for the Blueshirts thus far this season. Both players have similar skillsets and similar output (at least at first glance) thus far, so I thought it would be interesting to delve a little bit deeper into what the Rangers might want to do with one or both of them.

Given this whole “rebuild on the fly business”, and given that the playoffs are anything but a given at this point, the Rangers should at least think about trading an expiring asset in return for something good come the end of winter.

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jt miller jesper fast nick holden oscar lindberg

The most exciting part of this offseason is clearly the expansion draft. We spent a good amount of space going over the rules of the draft and the shenanigans that will lead up to it, but not much space has been spent really analyzing which players Vegas may select. Everyone seems to have a different opinion of who the Rangers will lose, and all are credible.

Before we can dive into who the Rangers might lose, we first need to figure out who they are going to protect. For the sake of the post, we are going to assume one more RFA forward gets extended so the Rangers meet the exposure requirements. We are also going to assume –again, for the sake of the post– that the Rangers stand pat before the draft. I don’t think they are going to, but it’s too tough to predict any move they make. One last assumption: No UFAs are going to be signed before the draft. That’s a safe assumption.

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Categories : Offseason
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Mar
27

Regression, thy name is Michael Grabner

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michael grabner

Photo: NHLI/Getty Images

Michael Grabner has been a helluva find for the Rangers this year. His 27 goals and 39 points are about double what any rational mind expected when the Rangers inked him to a two-year deal worth $1.6 million. Expansion draft fodder. Solid bottom-six depth. Decent penalty killer. Those were the expectations.

But then Grabner started scoring, and scoring often. He started scoring so often that he became the leading goal scorer on the team, and has an outside shot at a 30-goal season. With that came something we all saw coming. Grabner was shooting over 20%. The regression was coming. And it was going to come fast.

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Categories : Players
Comments (29)

The buzz around the 31st NHL team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, has only grown over the last couple of weeks. This is a culmination of them officially paying their league fees and signing their first player, Reid Duke. As the expansion draft creeps nears, there have been a lot of discussions of teams trading draft picks or perhaps prospects to Vegas as payment for them to not take an exposed player.

It is a nice business move, especially if you have assets to use and a great team that you don’t want to break up. Some people/bloggers have suggested that maybe the New York Rangers would be one of the teams that pay off Vegas, but I personally believe that it would be a wasteful move by the Rangers.

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Categories : Offseason
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