AnalysisIrresponsible Rumormongering

Kreider’s play may affect Gaborik’s fate, trade targets

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This past Tuesday I briefly spoke about the rumors surrounding Marian Gaborik and his apparent position on the trading block. As I said in the post, Gaborik’s skill set fits any system. Should he not be traded, I’d be perfectly fine with it. However, if we could land someone who fits the key ingredients to the Rangers team template (e.g., balance, skating ability, effort), then I’d be willing to move him.

In case you missed that post during the Blue Seat Blogs blackout of 2013, I humbly suggest you read it. Do it now. I’ll wait.

Whether or not you believe the “sources” to these rumors is your own judgment call. Personally, I think Kreider’s recall could determine Gaborik’s fate, if of course there’s a team interested in Marian that isn’t on his NTC. Why pay a guy $7.5M to be a 30 goal scorer on some nights (and a ghost on other nights) when you can pay Kreider $1.3M to be our coveted power forward in training?

Over the next few weeks, if Chris impresses offensively and isn’t a defensive liability, the loss of Gaborik may be worth it from a roster perspective and a cap perspective. If you still don’t buy the rumors, for the sake of the exercise, let’s see what kind of trades involving Gaborik may actually work.

Ryane Clowe

Forget the b.s. Larry Brooks spews suggesting Torts employs some defensive system that stifles the club’s ability to produce offense. It’s garbage. As I’ve detailed many times, Torts wants the Rangers playing aggressive/below the dots hockey. He wants them hounding the puck in the OZ, not sitting back and trapping.

None of the “available” forwards fit the Rangers template better than Ryane Clowe. Clowe would be a good winger to have on a line with Miller at center and Kreider on the opposite wing. Clowe is listed at 6’2 225 lbs and plays a style similar to Callahan, with a little bit less scoring production. Obviously this isn’t a straight up one-for-one deal, but it could be an intriguing option. He has an expiring $3.6M contract without any no-trade clauses.

Jarome Iginla

He’s been rumored to be on the block since Bruce Garrioch learned how to type. He’d fit our template, but I don’t think he’ll ever play for anyone other than Calgary. It’s too bad because a talent like that should be promoted to a wider audience. Maybe he’ll be ready to move on this year, but who knows.

Dan Boyle

Boyle is the puck mover we’ve been missing on the blueline. Should the Rangers acquire him, the powerplay would likely improve immediately. He’s not the goal scorer he was in his prime, but he can still QB a powerplay and he distributes the puck better than most. Boyle is also familiar with Torts’ system and the two have a good relationship.

In 2008, Torts publicly criticized Tampa’s (at the time) dysfunctional ownership for trading Boyle to San Jose. Even though Boyle hasn’t played for Torts in years, San Jose’s system is very similar to the Rangers, with defensemen pinching aggressively and joining the rush to produce more offense. From a cap perspective, Boyle has one year left on his contract at a $6.6M dent, so there’s also some savings there.

Martin St. Louis

If the Lightning continue to sink, one would think Stevie Y could be open to moving Martin St. Louis. Although he has two inexpensive seasons left at $5.6M, Tampa’s time to win the Cup certainly isn’t now. They have too many holes. Gaborik likely doesn’t solve that problem alone, but perhaps Gaborik and Brian Boyle packaged together do.

Boyle would probably fit nicely on team like Tampa. They run a 1-3-1 neutral zone trap, a system that doesn’t require the level of skating the Rangers system requires. Plus one has to think at age 37 – yet still producing above a point per game pace – St. Louis could be looking for one last run at glory.

In the end, all of this likely depends on the play of Kreider. In order to stay with the big club, he has to elevate his game to at least the level J.T. Miller is playing at.  If he starts popping goals, moving Gaborik may not be the stretch we all thought it would be. I know I will be watching them carefully.

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  • This years trade deadline is at a bad time, with Glens health problems, as this may be the difference in the NYR making the playoffs or not….I’m not sure Gorton has any authority on trades, but after the (2) wins, and followed up by yet another REAL STINKER, I am convinced this ROSTER, even if they were to SNEAK in, will go out 4 straight….I have not changed my mind since early Feb, that the following need to go at the deadline…Richards, Gaborik, Boyle,in exchange for some scoring, just to change up the ENERGY & DYNAMICS of this team….!!!!!!

  • I think what rubs me the wrong way even moreso than a) the thought of Gabby being traded and b) the mere suggestion that Krieder can step in and fill his shoes “in the coming weeks”, is the notion that both players HAVE to be defensively responsible.

    Just further exemplifies one of the many fundamental flaws with a Tortorella-coached team. In seriousness, so WHAT if Gabby or CK don’t back check? Are either of them in the pros b/c they do it so well? Is Gabby being paid $7M a year to be the next Jan Erixon?! Of course not! These two players are 1st and foremost elite goal-scorers, albeit one “established” the other “up-and-coming.”

    Just pisses me off to know end how Torts expects all 20 players on this roster to be Selke candidates. C’mon! I mean, did Jagr or Gretz get berated for perennially hanging at the red line? Did Al Arbour admonish or ever bench Mike Bossy for not back-checking or not blocking shots?! Of course not! This is hockey! A team game! You have LINEMATES to do that!!

    Richie, for example, is a defensively responsible center, like Trots was, so you simply have him be the 3rd man high, occasionally moving to the slot when the play warrants it, but let Nash and Gabby do their thing deeper in the zone.

    Just so utterly mindboggling how a supposed “coach” stupidly gets away with repeatedly trying to produce 20 easily-defendable clones on the bench ad nauseum, instead of building on each player’s individual strenghts.

    And now, you watch. Yet another promising, young scorer in CK will be brought down too many unecessary notches all b/c he can’t play goal, for goodness sakes.

    Absurd! 🙁

  • I think a player like Clowe would be a great fit playing with Richards. Its been open market on Richards ever since he arrived in New York and having Clowe patrolling his flank would keep teams honest. Another team that desperately needs a left winger is Nashville. I would be asking for Ryan Ellis in return and a forward. In a perfect world Gabby would be the Gabby of old. I believe injuries have taken their toll on his game and while he is still a very skilled hockey player his best days are behind him. His play has dilly squat to do with Tortorallas “system”.

    • I think Clowe can be had on the cheap at the moment. It would be interesting to see if a change of scenery would help him. But that shoulder worries me.

  • Out of everyone on this list, I like St. Louis/Boyle the most. Boyle for obvious reasons, but St. Louis would push a RW (Cally?) to the third line (move Miller to C) and now that’s a third line that can score.

  • “It’s too bad because a talent like that should be promoted to a wider audience”

    I just barfed a little in my mouth.

  • If Clowe is healthy, and that is a big if, and at 6’2″, 225lbs, with some grit, that would be a smart move. Also moving JT Miller to the center, and moving B Boyle down to the 4th, gives him and Chris a chance to make music, it would be a win, win for us!!!

  • I could be game for a Gabby trade if the return is right.

    IF you trade Gabby and get good pieces and turn it around, then great….remember we traded Mike Gartner for Glenn Anderson, a Minor leaguer and a draft pick.

    Remember that year they won the Stanley Cup.

    Now if you trade Gabby and you get more of the same from the team…shame on you.

    • Damn STRAIGHT I remember the Garts / Anderson deal. And while yes, of course, we won the Cup, it sure as hell wasn’t b/c of an over-the-hill Anderson. He scored like what like 3 maybe 4 goals? In all 4 rounds?! As if Gartner couldn’t have match or have exceeded that? Oh please! Plus Mike had waaaay more speed than most of the league’s players at that time!

      That deal STILL pisses me off to this day b/c the whole “Gartner was a soft, regular-season-only player“ was a bunch of hogwash. Only a few years earlier, Mike scored plenty of playoff goals for us in just the 1st two rounds, including a hat-trick in one game. So don’t tell me he wouldn’t have buried many in the Spring of ’94.

      The fact is, it’s painfully obvious that a) Keenan had it in for Gartner for some unbeknownst reason, b) while Tik, MacT, Mess and Lowe were obviously worth it, Smith clearly got caught up in the whole Edmontonian euphoria when it came to acquiring seemingly every ex-Oiler Cup winner under the sun and c) Glenn Anderson’s Ranger Cup legacy will go down as his Mom apparently making the best salmon sandwiches ever.

      Gee, that’s just swell! 🙁

      • As someone who’s won many cups as the Rangers in NHL ’94 with Mike Gartner on the team, I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment.

  • If Kreiders play will effect Gaborik’s fate, then Gaby have nothing to worry about. At least not this year.

  • This article scares me. I don’t agree with Larry Brooks much, but he is 100% right when he says it’s Tort’s system that is the problem with offense here. Every season there is that one perfect player we need to make it all come together. Going back to the final days of Gomer and Dru, we needed a sniper. We got Gabby. Then we needed a playmaker and PP QB. Richie fit both of those molds. Then we needed a game breaker. We got Nash. Now we need Boyle to QB the PP. Let’s get him and he’ll stink in this system.

    Kreider is no replacement for Gaborik, if you want more offense, and neither is Clowe. Iggy and St. Louis can step into an offensive role if Gabby was moved but I can guarantee you that both will perform under their normal standards in this system. You won’t score many goals with 3 forwards behind the net in the O zone, which is why NYR are the lowest scoring team in the East. You can’t tell me that Florida has better offensive players than NY. It’s the coaching. It’s the system. Change that and we have a chance at the playoffs. Don’t change that and Columbus gets a nice 1st rd pick.

  • Your darn right its Torts system. Tell me one player that has grown more under Torts then he was Before he got here???

    Dubi went down AA did NOT improve. Cally has not become the next Messier under Torts.

    The same thing will happen to Kreider, Miller and anyone else that comes here or who is allready here.

    Hell even are D has either stayed the same or droped big time in off production. Girardi was becoming a hell of a point producer till Torts got here.

    This is not a joke or a knock on the players. Its a knock on the man that deploys them every night. There is a reason this team comes out flat everynight. THEY DONT want to play for this man anymore

    • Agreed, Ricky. There is a HUGE difference b/w defense FIRST and defense ONLY…if that.

      And we can clearly see which one doesn’t win games! 🙁

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