Archive for Raphael Diaz
Raphael Diaz was recalled by the Rangers yesterday, much to the chagrin of many fans, as Dylan McIlrath seemed to finally be getting a legitimate chance with Dan Girardi out of the lineup. The hope was fair, as McIlrath really had done everything he could to warrant a longer look with the team. Alas, he was limited in his playing time in Game Two, and only saw ice time late because Kevin Klein was in the box.
This led to the speculation of the Diaz recall, and to be fair, Diaz is an NHL defenseman. He’s another one of those guys, like Matt Hunwick, that floats under the radar because he isn’t flashy or physical. He just moves the puck up the ice and starts the breakout. Couple that with his skating ability –which is significantly better than McIlrath’s– and you have a guy that is exactly what the Rangers need.
The Rangers will be recalling defenseman Raphael Diaz from the Hartford Wolf Pack in a relatively expected move. Diaz is to be recalled to replace the injured Dan Girardi and the supposedly ineffective Dylan McIlrath. McIlrath barely played in yesterday’s Game Two win, so this move was someone easy to predict. Whether or not you believe McIlrath should play, Diaz’s skill set is better served against the Penguins.
Diaz is expected to practice in full with the Rangers tomorrow and play in Game Three.
Per NBC Sports, Rangers defenseman Raphael Diaz has signed a five-year deal with EV Zug in Switzerland. Diaz’s deal will start next season, so he will finish out his one-year deal with the Rangers/Wolf Pack. Diaz was slated to be the call up when Kevin Klein went down, but Diaz himself was also hurt. He has spent the entire season in Hartford.
Earlier this month, Raphael Diaz was waived by the Rangers, as he was lost his 7D spot to Dylan McIlrath out of camp. Diaz, naturally, is not all that pleased with being in the AHL. His agent has requested (per Larry Brooks) that if he is not back with the club in a month, that he be granted a mutual release from his contract. It is likely he would go to EV Zug in Switzerland for the season.
The Rangers, again per Brooks, have said they will revisit the situation at the end of the month, but no promises are being made. I highly doubt that the Rangers want to cut ties with Diaz, who had a strong camp.My guess is that the Rangers are waiting to see how the Klein/McIlrath situation plays out. Injuries also happen. But if everyone is healthy, Diaz is the 8D now.
Both Raphael Diaz and Jayson Megna cleared waivers this afternoon, and will report to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Megna clearing was no surprise, but it is relatively surprising that Diaz cleared. There are a few teams that could use a cheap, capable defenseman –specifically Boston, who is without Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg– but I guess teams want to see what they have internally first.
Over the weekend, the New York Rangers cut the roster to 25 players. In doing so, a lot of questions were answered about the makeup of the opening day roster. Brady Skjei will spend some time in Hartford. Brian Gibbons, despite his solid preseason, will also open the season in Hartford. The only apparent guarantee is that Jayson Megna gets cut, which means there are very few question marks remaining.
Two of the above three will make the team, but if Alain Vigneault has his way, all three will make the team. McIlrath has been a pleasant surprise this preseason, as it was do or die for the former first round pick. He has certainly out-performed Klein, whose contract may become a hindrance rather than a luxury. But the Rangers can fit all three under the salary cap, assuming other roster moves are made first.
Much was made yesterday of Alain Vigneault’s decision to dress defenseman Kevin Klein back-to-back nights this week given the developing competition for the final spots on the blueline in training camp.
On the one hand, Klein only dressed Monday because Dan Boyle was a last minute scratch, so perhaps some are reading into it too much. However, there were many other players Vigneault could switched with Klein last night, but he still chose to play the 30-year-old veteran again.
Despite Klein’s struggles late last season, it was still widely assumed that the final spot on the bottom pairing was all his entering training camp, but there are a few other things to consider. Read More→
Update (5:20pm): To address the goaltending question, both Cam Talbot and Henrik Lundqvist were way above league average in adjusted goals saved above average (adjGSAA) which by definition compares goalies and, “as definitively as possible, regardless of circumstance, and in consideration of the tools we have and the variables we can actually account for, Goalie A is performing better than Goalie B.” Since these two goalies are above average, we can assume that they bail out their defense on high-danger shots on a regular basis.
Throughout this golden era of Rangers hockey, a period of time in which we have seen the most consistent success from the Rangers (still missing that one essential piece though), their vaunted defense has been the subject of much praise. That was until very recently, about the mid-point of two seasons ago, when the Rangers faced a critical decision with Dan Girardi. They re-signed their franchise defenseman, and then re-upped Marc Staal the following year. This locked up two core pieces for what could be the remainder of their careers.
Well, the New York Rangers stayed quiet for the most part, making primarily depth signings to fill out the roster. Let’s break down each move the Rangers made yesterday.
Front office moves
For those that missed it, Glen Sather stepped down as General Manager, but will remain as team president. Jeff Gorton is now the GM, and Jim Schoenfeld has been promoted to Senior VP, Assistant GM, and GM of the Hartford Wolf Pack. This was a move that came as a surprise, but had been speculated for a while. Gorton had been running most of the day to day by this point, so I think the move is more of a formality. That said, it was the biggest move the Rangers made yesterday, which is a good thing.
Worth noting here: Pre-lockout Slats was pretty brutal, and we’ve all recognized that. But post-lockout Slats built this team from a laughing stock into a perennial contender. In ten post-lockout seasons, the Rangers went to the playoffs in nine seasons. They went to a pair of Eastern Conference Finals, and one Stanley Cup Final. He wasn’t perfect by any means, and there are some significant questions, but the end-result was the best era of New York Rangers hockey we’ve ever seen.
Viktor Stalberg – one year, $1.1 million
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: