I’ve seen this concept done by other sports blogs, but never applied to the NHL. Also, when you work on this, it looks suspiciously like you are being incredibly productive sitting at your desk. Just sayin’.
While the offseason has some interesting highlights (the draft, free agency, etc.), generally we are all waiting around for hockey to start again. To help pass the time (and since everyone loves a good “arm-chair” GM session) BSB is having an off-season plan contest. The idea is to take the Rangers as they currently stand, within their existing limitations/circumstances, and articulate a plan to get them from point A (here) to point B (Stanley Cup contention).
So here’s the format. You guys and gals will construct an off-season proposal. You’ll have the existing cap space and assets of the organization to sign players, make trades, call up rookies, and re-sign our own guys. The BSB staff will read all submissions and decide on a Top 3. These will then be run as guest posts, and you, the community, will vote for the best off-season plan. The winner will get to write a guest post, and maybe a piece of Ranger memorabilia (we’re still working on that).
- All circumstances exist as they do as of Today, June 21st, 2013. Alain Vigneault is your head coach, and the decision to buy-out Brad Richards (or not) will be yours. At the moment, the Rangers have $50.9m committed to 17 roster spots. That gives you $13.4m to field a roster of 23 and stay under the $64.3 cap ($20.06m if you plan to buy-out Richards.)
- Current UFA’s include Ryane Clowe, Steve Eminger, Matt Gilroy and Roman Hamrlik. Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer are your RFA’s.
- Ryan Callahan and Henrik Lundqvist (you may count Dan Girardi, as well) are franchise players who will be entering the final year of their contracts, and you may choose to address their situations, or not. That’s up to you. Additionally, all minor leaguers, drafted prospects and current draft picks are available in potential trades.
- Don’t worry about the upcoming draft. Even though you may not submit your plan until after the draft is over, we are acting as if it hasn’t happened yet.
Ok, with all the semantics out of the way, let’s talk about the best way to go about this plan. Let’s try to be as realistic as possible with our proposed trades/signings. Remember, your trade proposal sucks. If you are proposing the parameters of a trade, before you accept it, think about if you were the opposing GM trading this player, what Ranger players would you need to get back before you let him go?
Also, with signings, take market forces into account. This is a thin free agent crop and a ton of teams are looking for upgrades. This most likely means you won’t be able to sign Tyler Bozak to a 2-year/$6m deal.
You can put as much or as little research into this as you want. Obviously, putting more research in will likely give you a better chance of winning, but the point is for it to be fun. There’s no minimum or maximum length for the post, but analysis is looked upon favorably. Resources such as Cap Geek, behindthenet.ca and HockeyDB are invaluable to this type of exercise.
It doesn’t matter whether you think the Rangers would actually make the moves you are proposing. You, as honorary GM, can make Vigneault implement whatever system you want, and should concentrate your moves on being consistent with your own philosophy.
Be sure to make this thing post-worthy. Check your spelling. If you want to add pictures or other visual media (charts, graphs, etc.), attach them in the email. A couple of typo’s are ok, but if we need to make significant edits before it can run, we’ll probably just pick someone else’s.
Make sure to include all five writers in your email (email addresses are right in the sidebar), and use the subject “BSB Off-season Plan Contest”. All submissions are due by July 4th at 9pm EST (sorry for the inconvenient date, but I don’t want this to bleed over into Free Agency proper). The best will live as BSB royalty, so have some fun with it. If you folks have any questions, feel free to email me or leave the question in the comments…