Thoughts and Musings

Another week absent of Rangers hockey and another Musings comes round. It’s been an odd week with news and sadness a plenty. Let’s get into it shall we?

We’ve already expressed our condolences here at Blueseatblogs but once more: Rest in peace Derek. Your goal versus the Caps may have been one of my favourite moments of the year such was its surprise and it contributed to a great game.

Christian Thomas has apparently signed his entry contract with the Rangers?  Once it’s confirmed by the beat writers I’ll believe it for sure, but assuming it is the case I think it’s yet more evidence that he has a legitimate shot to make the opening roster next season. Why? The Rangers didn’t need to sign him this summer, especially given the maximum 50 contracts issue. If he doesn’t make the Rangers he has to return to juniors.  The deal is a sign (of confidence) the Rangers believe in him.

Holiday, Holiday, Holiday; My girlfriend wants a Caribbean holiday this summer. Is it wrong that all I can think of is my trip to Stockholm in October?! I’m only brave enough to say that on here because I’m 99.99% sure she won’t see it! 🙂

Calgary Flames, Curtis Glencross’ new four year, $10.2m contract is relevant to the Rangers. He has similar numbers over a three year period to Ryan Callahan but obviously isn’t as core to his team as Callahan is to the Rangers. His deal may be the bottom end of the scale for Callahan’s deal.

There’s been some Chris Kreider twitter conversation once again. Will he, won’t he? I’m really not sure whether he signs or whether he should. An abundance of talent, if he does sign it’ll go against something the Rangers believe in. They’ve previously insisted a prospect has to dominate at his current level before moving to the next one, well Kreider hasn’t dominated in the NCAA, yet.

I really hope these relocation/ownership issues plaguing Phoenix and Atlanta don’t become the dominant stories of the off season. Chances of quick a resolution? Unlikely. Hopefully Atlanta move north however, Canada deserve another team.

The Buffalo Sabres new owner is looking to buy the Rochester Americans of the AHL. He seems to want full control of all levels of the organisation and seems to have the money to do it effectively. Buffalo fans should be excited; they appear to have a solid future.

Anxiety Attacks: I have my first of four exams today. ‘Business in Context’… Whatever that means. Wish me well. In fact, thanks to my location, by the time you all read this I’ll have finished the exam!

So the Flyers have signed another goaltender. Have you ever heard the phrase; ‘Throw mud at a wall and see what sticks?’….

Does anyone else think TSN (and Canada?) are getting ahead of themselves by asking readers ‘what should Winnipeg’s new team be called?’ I think that’s assuming a hell of a lot but I suppose that’s what excitement does for you. For the record stick with Jets!

Question Time:

  • Would you re-sign Bryan McCabe if he were willing to sign for around $1million?
  • Does Mats Zuccarello start next year in Connecticut?
  • What can we expect from Evgeny Grachev next season?
  • What is Brandon Prust’s offensive ceiling?
  • And finally, Does Mike Del Zotto start next season with New York or in the minors?

I’m not so sure, as some people appear to be, that we have seen the last of Wolski in a Rangers uniform. I think his future and Kreider’s future may affect each others, but I still think Wolski has something to offer. His future may also depend on Captain Clutch. Buy out you say?

Carl Hagelin makes his debut for the Rangers in Stockholm. I think he makes the trip and I’ll be there to see it!

That’s it for this week other than to dedicate this week’s musings to Derek Boogaard. We always write these particular posts with a little less seriousness and a little more light heartedness. Probably how the Boogie man would prefer.

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  • I would not take back McCabe. Glencross was way overpaid. I think cally will be a team guy about his new deal. Give him the c and
    Call it a day and he won’t want that extra 1 millIon a season a second liner doesnt deserve.

  • Here’s my answers. Please note they are hopes. Not reality…yet

    Would you re-sign Bryan McCabe if he were willing to sign for around $1million?
    Yes. A full season as a ranger will take pressure off mdz and allow him to find his game. Plus I like his willingness to shoot.
    Does Mats Zuccarello start next year in Connecticut?
    Maybe. If he bulks up this offseason and become a little more fleury no
    What can we expect from Evgeny Grachev next season?
    Cracks the roster on the 4th line. He took Sathers comments about being another Callahan seriously. Plays strong on the puck and oozes offense
    What is Brandon Prust’s offensive ceiling?
    You saw it this season. Will he get better. Only with more ice time.
    And finally, Does Mike Del Zotto start next season with New York or in the minors?
    Only if his commitment is in words only. He has a lot of work to do. He’s also really young. He did have a hernia. And I question how much it affected his game.

    • Either McCabe makes the team or MDZ, not both. Both serve the role as offensive D-man and play the L side. And neither is suited to be a 7th D-man.

      • Brian – why can’t you have two offensive D men? Lots of teams have two. San Jose, Vancouver and even Chicago have had several offensively inclined defensemen and look at their success. Pittsburgh had 2 and it helped them win the cup. I agree though, neither are suited as the 7th D-man. If you retain both you keep both.

          • You can’t have two offensive d-men when they both play the L side and both are deficient in the defensive aspect of their respective games. The kicker is that neither is ready to supplant the Rangers top 2 units so you may be forced to play them together which would be a surefire recipe for failure.

            Pittsburgh had Gonchar on the L and Letang on the R. Yeah, I would play those guys as well, Gonchar only a little past prime and Letang close to reaching it.

            It’s not that you can’t have two offensive D-men, quite frankly you could have 6, but they need to be good on the defensive side of the puck which MDZ and McCabe would be lacking.

  • I like what McCabe brought to the team last year but at this point of his career he’s simply too old, slow and one dimensional. He’s a Lefty PP specialist and not defensively sound enough to be a 7th Dman. He would essentially bump MDZ from the lineup which doesn’t fit the direction the Rangers are going. I wouldn’t re-sign Eminger for that matter either.

    With Staal, Girardi, McD, and Sauer having locked
    up the top 4 spots it will be up to MDZ, Gilroy, V-Tank, and possibly Kundratek to fight for the last 3. I’d much rather give V-Tank a shot and see whether he can skate with the big boys.

    And look around the league at the influx of so many young D-men over the past 2 years. There will likely be several decent veteran options available by either free agent or trade if a guy like V-Tank doesn’t pan out. I realize that his skating is questionable, but V-Tank wasn’t that far off from making the team last year.

  • id bring back mcabe for a mill, weve gambled on worse for much as a zucc fan i am i dont think he cracks the lineup again unless christensen is gone then well need him for the shootouts.i was a big on grachev but i think this kids going to turn out to be a bust, just not giving up on him yet.delzotto needs more time to mature i think hell be fine.and brandon prust who cares what his ceiling is just keep doing what hes doing.and im with you i think we see wolski again in a rangers uniform.

  • I think, if there’s any cap left to spend (after Richards, and if Drury is let go…) then I’d go after one of the Canucks defensemen -Bieksa or Ehrhoff. Doubt there’ll be that kind of money left over though.

    I don’t think Grachev – as a third round pick – can be a bust, especially after he was considered a draft steal that late, but time is starting to run out. He either needs make the team this summer or atleast have a great start to the year in the AHL and rack up the points.

    I also think Del Zotto will pan out long term. he has tons of skill. Last/this season was just a speed bump he hit. He’ll learn from it.

    • I agree about Del Zotto – his skill is undeniable. The trick I think is finding the right partner for him so he can work on rounding out his game so that if he makes a mistake someone can cover for him. And I wouldn’t put the pressure on him of playing the 1st PP unit. Put him on the 2nd. This is part of the reason why I think Richards is the perfect fit. That is if he does become available.

    • I’d love to have either one on this team. Prefer Ehrhoff though, less injury prone. Put him with MDZ as a third pair, and that’s a great defense.

      • Ehrhoff is an interesting case. He had similar issues to MDZ earlier in his career. My friend is a Sharks fan and said that Ehrhoff had an unbelievably inaccurate shot and was wildly inconsistent on the defensive side – but clearly has improved massively in both regards. Teaching, patience and trust go a long way.

        Brian – I think with some off season work and a thorough camp I’m hoping MDZ can step straight back onto the 1st unit.

        • Chris, I hope you’re right and MDZ plays the way he’s capable of. But if that’s the case then where would McCabe fit?

  • now this is my wish this is all based on the cap rising to 62,400,00 like projected.a buy out of drury and hoping we trade wolski or demote him to the minors.and the cap space would be 3,608,333 with drurys buy out.this is just my wish do with it what you think.left wing was a little fuzzy.add in who you think might change.

    Ruslan Fedotenko ($1.000m) / Brad Richards ($7.500m) / Marian Gaborik ($7.500m)
    Brandon Dubinsky ($3.100m) / Artem Anisimov ($1.800m) / Ryan Callahan ($3.300m)
    Sean Avery ($1.937m) / Derek Stepan ($0.875m) / Mats Zuccarello-Aasen ($1.750m)
    Carl Hagelin ($0.662m) / Brian Boyle ($1.000m) / Brandon Prust ($0.800m)

    Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Daniel Girardi ($3.325m)
    Ryan McDonagh ($1.300m) / Christian Ehrhoff ($4.000m)
    Bryan McCabe ($2.000m) / Mike Sauer ($1.500m)

    Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875m) / Martin Biron ($0.875m)

    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $62,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $55,075,000; BONUSES: $1,275,000
    CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $7,325,000

    • Think you’re close on the Dubi and Cally $$$ but no way does Boyle ‘only’ get 1m. He’ll be between 1 and 2, depending on yrs potentially closer to 2. And Ehrhoff will get more than a 500k raise. he may get nearer 5.5m so while I want him he may be unrealistic.

      • we would still have the space to do it, boyle at 1.5 and ehrhoff another mill leaves us at about 2 mill in space thats not bad. but do with it what you wish i like to see what changes people would see.

    • Need to include the Drury buyout ($3m) and the Wolski buyout ($400k). So add $3.4m to that total number, and you have $58.4m in payroll.

      Also, need to add bonuses to cap number this year, as it’s the last year of the CBA, cap bonuses are all included for this year, so it’s $59.6m in payroll. Still not bad though.

  • McCabe for $1m, sure. 1-year only.
    Zuke will start the year with the big club.
    I don’t expect much from Grachev. Mid-season injury replacement.
    Prust’s offensive ceiling is about what he gave last year, 25-30 points.
    MDZ starts with the big club.

  • Please, no McCabe – anyone notice how his way of playing defense in our zone was to stand in front of the net and point and tell the other D man to go to the corner to get the puck? Lazy, old and slow indeed.

    Erhoff’s a great player put he doesn’t have that physical edge this Ranger team is building it’s indentity around. Plus, if you think about UFAs getting overpaid, he will certainly fit the bill because of the West finals, potential Cup run under his belt this year. Also, Erhoff plays L side (same as Staal, MDZ, McD).

    For these reasons, I would prefer Wisniewski on the R side paired with Staal. Wisniewski hits, blocks shots, plays with an edge, can anchor the PP, has a wicked shot… etc. Furthermore, Wis just turned 27 and Erhoff will be 29 in a month.

    Staal Wisniewski
    MDZ Girardi
    McDonagh Sauer

    And yes, play Wisniewski on the first PP and MDZ on the second.

    Now that’s a great defense.

  • Why does everyone want Feds back? Does anyone realize our team is scoring challenged enough. We can’t resign him even for a year. We might not have the one million to give him anyhow after all our other signings are finished.

    • The same reason we signed matteau in 94. People asked why. And then he scored two or goals and is embedded in ranger history.
      I like v tank. That’s why. Lol.

      • Matteau is the last person you would have expected to score that goal. Not just that goal but the one in game 3 when we won in OT as well against the devils.

        • But replying to my own comment, how does Matteau justify signing Fedotenko? As far as i’m concerned some other checking line forward will score those unexpected goals.

  • Wow, how could anybody that watched the last 20 games want McCabe back, at any price. Keep buying those tickets, even if you don’t understand the game, Dolan appreciates it.

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