Musings: Depth signings, Doan, Nash, and patience

This is a historic musings, as it marks the first time that I have written the musings for two weeks in a row. Chris is still gallivanting around Europe, or wherever he is, so I get to continue writing the musings. Let’s get right into it:

There has been a lot of complaining about the Rangers signings this offseason, but let’s look into this a bit deeper:

  • The Rangers lost three bottom-six forwards (Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko, John Mitchell), so they signed three bottom six forwards (Arron Asham, Taylor Pyatt, Jeff Halpern). It’s a simple matter of replacing the replaceable bodies.
  • The same concept applies for Michael Haley, Sean Collins, Brendan Segal, and Logan Pyett. The Connecticut Whale is likely losing five forwards (Sean Avery, Andre Deveaux, Andreas Thuresson, Chris Chappell, Francois Bouchard) and four defensemen (Brendan Bell, Pavel Valentenko, Sam Klassen, Lee Baldwin). These guys need to be replaced.

There’s also a lot of complaining being done about how Glen Sather has not addressed the Rangers primary concern, which is a scoring winger. Ignoring the fact that centers are more important than wingers, these complaints make it seem like people are under the impression that Slats has no idea that the Rangers need more scoring. Let’s break this one down a bit:

  • Stating that Slats has no idea that the Rangers need scoring essentially states that Slats has no idea how to do his job. The current state of the Rangers would like to argue to the contrary. Plus, Slats would not have lasted in this league for 30 years if he didn’t know what he was doing.
  • Rick Nash is available, and it appears Bobby Ryan is so as well. But Slats doesn’t just make a trade at a whim, he will wait it out and make sure he gets a deal that suits him the best. Right now the asking price is too high. Period.
  • Just a side note on the point above: Nothing ever leaks from the Rangers side in these deals. It’s safe to hear that 90% of what you’ve heard is wrong, even if you trust the source. Remember, just because someone says something, doesn’t mean it’s accurate.
  • Shane Doan is available via free agency, but he’s working on his own time frame.
  • It’s only July, and three of the biggest names are still out there. While the market for these three continues to develop, the Rangers addressed other holes. Slats isn’t going to wait on a scorer, then address other needs. If one route is taking too long, he’s going to fill other holes while the primary option makes up his mind. That’s his job.

To sum everything up above, we preach patience. That and if you’re balking at the price of Nash, just wait til you see the price of Shea Weber.

Not much has been said about Michael Sauer, but can you imagine the boost the Rangers blue line would get if he returns next season? Instead of Stu Bickel being forced to play the bottom pair, he gets the seventh defenseman treatment, while the bottom pair would like consist of Del Zotto/Stralman. That’s quality defensive depth.

The Jeff Halpern signing is a great move. He’s everything you would expect from a fourth line center: He’s cheap, he wins face offs, and he kills penalties. What more could you possibly want from him?

Question time:

  • Are you getting impatient about the Rangers trying to fill the scoring void?
  • Does Brad Richards’ 9/$60 million deal look cheap after seeing Zach Parise’s and Ryan Suter’s 13/$98 million contracts?
  • Are you willing to pay the price (Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Tim Erixon, 1st) for Shea Weber?
  • Do you think the new bottom six forwards (Asham/Pyatt/Halpern) are better than the old bottom six forwards (Prust/Fedotenko/Mitchell)?
  • Does anyone actually miss Dominic Moore, Ryan Hollweg, Blair Betts, Jed Ortmeyer, or any of the other bottom six forwards that this club has let go?

27 thoughts on “Musings: Depth signings, Doan, Nash, and patience

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 8:04 am


    Depends on how Richards plays this season

    Shea Weber is staying in Nashville

    How will we know that until they are on the ice?

    I missed Dominic Moore every time he scored for Tampa Bay and my husband always commented when the Rangers lost a face off that Blair Betts would have won that.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

    There are two bottom 6 forwards that I miss, Betts (who can’t seem to stay healthy) but mostly Sjostrom. We haven’t found anyone since him who can give us that kind of speed on the bottom two lines.

    • Jul 12, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Man those two were fun to watch on the PK. I’d say even more so than Prust/Boyle… except all of Prust’s shorties 2 years ago. Where’s Freddy Sjo now?

    • Jul 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm


  • Jul 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

    – Are you getting impatient about the Rangers trying to fill the scoring void?

    Yes, seeing as the cheap, low risk/high reward players are starting to fall now (particularly Wolski and Mueller). The smartest move Sather could make would to leverage all the bullshit going on around Semin and sign him to a logical deal without losing (aka overpaying) in assets to get a player who isn’t worth his cap hit (Nash).

    – Does Brad Richards’ 9/$60 million deal look cheap after seeing Zach Parise’s and Ryan Suter’s 13/$98 million contracts?

    No, none of them will live up to that money statistically speaking.

    – Are you willing to pay the price (Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Tim Erixon, 1st) for Shea Weber?

    I’ll just say this, if I had to pick who to trade between Stepan and Kreider, it would be Stepan all the god damn way. Hagelin wasn’t babied with zone starts and poor competition and effectively equaled Stepan’s output. In the end, a trade shouldn’t happen where we lose any of those guys noted above (along with Dubinsky).

    – Do you think the new bottom six forwards (Asham/Pyatt/Halpern) are better than the old bottom six forwards (Prust/Fedotenko/Mitchell)?

    Throw GVT out the window because a bottom six player isn’t going to have a significant GVT anyways. Corsi Rel and Corsi Rel QoC is probably one of the two best taste tests for 4th liners because it shows how well they’re moving the puck forward when the player is on the ice, as ideally you don’t want your 4th line stuck in their own zone.

    2011-12 Asham/Pyatt/Halpern totals: Corsi Rel: -18.7, Corsi Rel QoC: 0.098

    2011-12 Feds/Prust/Mitchell totals: Corsi Rel: -6,8, Corsi Rel QoC: 0.516

    It’s a downgrade whichever way you want to cut it. Plus, just off doing the research for that, Asham/Pyatt/Halpern all played against significantly lower QoC last season than the now gone Rangers. Slats did a horrible job replacing the cheapest part of the team, and Torts is not going to like what he has to play with come October.

    • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Just in regards to the bottom six forwards question: The Rangers saved about $2.5 million by replacing those 3 guys.

      Is using that $2.5 million, and possibly not having the room to get a scorer, worth it?

      • Jul 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

        I don’t see it as worth it for two reasons. 1) Sather has yet to actually use that money for good and 2) That money could go towards a more effective bottom-six group.

        To elaborate on #1: Kreider could become a top six option if he continues his playoff form, meaning that NYR doesn’t have to go out and over-pay for a top six guy when in reality there were (and are via trade such as Hemsky) more shrewd options.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Everyone that wants Sather to jump will turn around a say he gave up too much because thats what would happen to get one of the big names. I prefer to stand pat then over pay and hurt them in the long run.

    Make the right move or no move. Look at the names currently floating around, did anyone think they would be available at this time last year, no. Teams or players become fustrated and look to move. If the right deal isnt there, dont make a deal to make a deal.

    I would not have minded the one year deal that Peter Mueller signed for 1.75 being added.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

    1. No, I like what Sather is doing, he is either waiting out the trade market for Howson to lower his demand to the point where he can extort him (Sather usually does well in trades) or he’ll go with the youth movement which I’m more than fine with.

    2. No, they are both about equal, as a NYR fan I don’t really worry about contract total because the Rangers are flush. So in terms of cap hit 7.5 mil vs 6.6 mil for 69 points vs 66 points is negligible.

    3. I like Weber but would wait a year till he’s on the market and look at what a UFA contract will cost you and go from there.

    4. Asham is downgrade from Prust, Pyatt a slight upgrade from Feds, and Halpern an upgrade to Mitchell. I thing it’s a slight upgrade especially cause Halpern a top face-off guy in the league so for a 4th line forward it’s what you want.

    5. I miss Betts but ditto to he cannot stay healthy.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:05 am

    “Are you willing to pay the price (Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Tim Erixon, 1st) for Shea Weber?”

    Not sure any deal for Weber can be w/o Marc Staal as the centerpiece. NSH will need a stud D man to build around.

    • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

      I know, I was just tossing names out there. It’s likely Staal, Kreider, 1st, top prospect.

    • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Is Staal who theyd want to take knowing that he could bolt in a few seasons for Carolina?

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Halpern-Not to get injured.
    Yes and No
    To early to tell
    Actually i do miss Betts, Sjostrom, Hollweg, Ortmeyer,

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

    1. No. There is plenty of time to make a move.
    2. Yes, it looks good by comparison.
    3. No. Why trade Kreider when you’re looking for a scoring wing to begin with?
    4. I think it’s a wash on the ice, but you lose something off the ice with Prust gone.
    5. I miss the HBO line.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

    As we hear little from the NYR side, we cannot be sure anything is happenning at all. Rumors mention 3 good players from us for one very good player from them. Only time will tell.
    As for the replacement bottom 6, I would rather give a spot or two to a top prospect and see how that pans out.
    I miss Dominick Moore as he always seems to have more speed and heart (while on the ice) than most of his opponents.
    As far as contracts are concerned, people all try to get as much as they can, in any line of work, so I do not worry about who makes what but more about can any team afford to play 6 or 7 players 50% of the CAP. Slats is doing well, but remember, Dubi at $1M was a steal scoring 25 but a bust scoring 10 at $4.5. Time changes everything.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

    – It’s a boring summer, but I’m very pleased with Sather’s patience.
    – Looks cheap, but this will be impossible to really judge until we see how Richards is playing at 35
    – Heck no.
    – I think it’s just about a wash. Happy with Halpern’s faceoff prowess though.
    – Actually I very miss Moore. I think he’s a very effective player.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I’m only impatient in that I’m a NYR fan and I want them to do something exciting because I think that’s fun, but in reality I know they’re waiting for the best deal and it doesn’t bother me. I’m just excited.

    I thought Brad’s contract was reasonable from the beginning.

    No. Shea Weber is a great hockey player, don’t get me wrong, but I’m against destroying the team for a player of that caliber. Shea was taken 49th overall, not even in the first round. He developed into the player he is now. Who’s to say if one of our prospects can develop like that? Yes, it’s a big chance to take, but I trust Gordie enough to let things play out with our kids. Keep in mind where he found Callahan and Lundqvist, and that Girardi wasn’t even drafted.

    Without any empirical evidence, I’d say Pyatt and Halpern are upgrades over Feds and Mitchell respectively, and that Asham is a downgrade from Prust.

    I actually miss Betts a lot. He was the perfect 4th line center, IMO.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    1. I’m not impatient at all, Sather is doing the right thing by waiting… we’ve seen enough bad trades in NY sports history to know better and frankly all the fans that are constantly clamoring for a new blockbuster name, as if if we don’t land shea weber for half our starting lineup we’re going to be at the bottom of the conference. It just annoys me. We’ll be fine next year based on further organizational development and minor tweaks.

    2. Richards’ contract always looked cheap to me in terms of the cap hit for the best player available on the market last off-season. Remember that he took less money to come here. He had a good season last year IMHO (remember all the game winning goals he scored) and he’ll have an even better one this coming season now that he’s fully accustomed to the players around him. The back three seasons of the deal are moot at this point… he may retire for all we know (and we don’t know what the next CBA will be like as of yet).

    3. Absolutely Not. Either we get him in free agency or we don’t get him.

    4. Well in some ways yes and in some ways know. I’ll say that I think the bottom six could have used a face lift.

    I love Prust, but Halpern will kill penalties and win faceoffs.

    Oh no did Asham cross-check a Flyer in the chin/neck??? We love the Flyers! How DARE HIM!!!! – I like Aaron Asham as you can tell and I bet people will like him a lot like they liked Avery when he was a Ranger. In fact, I see him almost as a replacement for the things Avery brought to the lineup… sandpaper, decent speed, breaking the other teams balls for 60 minutes etc..

    Pyatt’s also a good depth guy and is basically a 1 to 1 comparison with Fedotenko.

    I through the advanced metrics out at the moment because Boyle – Prust – Feds was a line that jelled whereas these guys haven’t played together as a unit.

    5. Dominic Moore has turned into a darn good 3rd line player. Hollweg resurfaced again this year in Phoenix but he’s nothing more than a 4-5 MPG guy anyway. Betts had tons of heart… even Torts (who wouldn’t play him) loved the guy. Ortmeyer was a guy who was ticketed to be a captain one day in this league and it’s a shame that injuries and illness derailed his career. In terms of output he was never going to be more than a bottom 6 guy anyway though.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Hey Cmnsnse, I know you’re reading this. Let me fill you in:

    1. You’re banned from commenting. This happened because you would never engage any of the people who questioned you. You stated the same thing in every post and ran away from confrontation or discussion.

    2. I see every comment you try to post. So to address your most recent comments: this is not our job. We blog here because we love to do it. We spend our own money that we earn from our actual real-life jobs to keep this blog running. We do not make money doing this. I operate this blog at a loss.

    3. MSG and the Rangers do not contact me about anything. What I write is my opinion, uninfluenced by MSG, the Rangers, or anyone connected to the organization.

    4. If you were capable of having an actual discussion, you would not have been banned. We promote intelligent converstaions. When there are disagreements, no one flames or starts name calling. That’s another reason why you were banned.

    5. Remember, I am fully capable of calling your ISP and having you banned from this site permanently. Just go read a different blog. I’m sick of reading your crap in the spam comments.

    • Jul 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      this is great

      • Jul 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm

        Atta boy Dave, get some!

        • Jul 12, 2012 at 11:33 pm

          droppin the proverbial hammer

    • Jul 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      It almost makes me kind of miss him. It took him that long to realize he was banned? So that means he didn’t look back to see Suit reply to him telling him he was banned. Shocking.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I miss Sean Avery

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    If Sauer comes back, does he really fill that role? I’m no concussionologist but if the injury is anything as bad as it sounds, hasn’t the poor guy been completely shut down no skating and no workouts for much of the last 7 months? I don’t care who you are you don’t fight an illness like that for most of a season and step back in at an elite level, that doesn’t sound like a reasonable expectation. Marc Staal looked like he was still shaking the rust out all the way until the playoffs.

  • Jul 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    No. Slats has untill next year’s deadline to get a scorer.
    Cheaper. But not cheap.
    Weber would not help the Rangers in any way. He’d only decimate the team to get him and the salary cap to sign him.
    The bottom six is pretty much the same.
    I kinda miss Colton Orr. Sure, he did nothing but fight but he wouldn’t have let Chris Neil run around like he did in the playoffs.

  • Jul 13, 2012 at 1:53 am

    1. No.
    2. Broadway Brad’s contract is well deserved, he had such an impact on this team last season and came up clutch for us.
    3. No, that’d only create more problems.
    4. I like the new guys we’re getting. I really didn’t think Prust would walk, but how could he not with that offer. Still I think people are over-valuing him, yes he meant a lot to this team, but he wasn’t the team. I also don’t like all the Prust/Asham comparisons, Asham is gonna bring something else to the table. Hapler and Pyatt are upgrades, although I love Feds and wish we could’ve kept him.
    5. Dominic Moore is great, I remember him playing real well for Montreal when they almost made the Cup Finals. I also think it’s unfortunate about Boogaard, I really wanted to see how NY worked out for him. The Ottawa series would’ve been very different.

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