The 2013-2014 postseason was such an emotional ride, I needed to take a little step back after the Rangers were tragically eliminated in Los Angeles two weeks ago. Sure, I did a report card and may have twittered once or twice, but I needed a break to collect myself. Big props to the crew here for putting together fantastic content, from end of season grades to draft/free agent previews.
Once I felt alright to reengage the hockey world, I wanted to put the past season into some context. We all know the roller coaster narrative of a struggling team at the beginning, some transformative trades and an emotional ride to the Final. Unfortunately, those stories had already been told and I emerged from hibernation a little late. There is way too much going on now to reflect. Off to 2014-2015 we go! Here are some scattered thoughts of the various goings on surrounding the Rangers as we head into tonight’s Draft…
- I obviously agree whole-heartedly with the Richards buy-out for both business and performance reasons. However, the move does put a decent sized hole in the lineup during an offseason without a whole lot of options. Considering the timing of internal free agents, I doubt the Rangers can make a meaningful run at Paul Stastny, considering how overpaid he will be.
- I was never a big fan before, but after looking at some #fancystats and reading up on some Caps related materials, I am coming around to the notion that Mikhail Grabovsky is really the most appealing option on the market considering cost/term. His possession stats are solid and he would create very useful depth and versatility in the context of the existing centers on the roster.
- Dan Boyle. I hate that he makes me want to sign him. He’s obviously declining, looking for way to much money, and the 2004 Tampa retread thing is getting a little old. That said, he would be a nice short-term replacement for Anton Stralman and could give the powerplay a much needed boost. I wouldn’t give him his two year deal, though.
- I would love to know the organization’s internal evaluations of guys like Oscar Lindberg, Conor Allen, Danny Kristo and Kyle Beach. It would make mentally filling roster holes a lot easier if we had a sense of the team’s position on their potential readiness. I don’t get the sense that any of these guys are forcing the hand of the big club and could use some further development, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to make an impact.
- Even though he’s kind of a square peg in a round hole for this roster, am I the only one who wouldn’t mind seeing David Booth on a PTO or a low-base deal? He’s only 29 and was actually good once upon a time.
- As Dave mentioned the other day, the long march to the Final kinda threw a wrench into our normal off-season routine. I think we are going to skip the Off-Season Plan Contest this year (sorry, TommyT!) and maybe go with a deadline edition or something of that ilk. Besides, with a huge amount of cap space needed for our own guys and a very weak free agent class, how creative can anyone really get with this roster?
- Since the Rangers don’t have a pick in tonight’s first round, all attention turns to potential trades. The Draft has become a pretty fertile trading ground the past couple years, and I’m very interested to see what goes down. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will really involve the Blueshirts. Considering many of the “win-now” moves that Sather has made, I cant imagine he would be involved in giving up significant remaining cap space and assets for good, but very flawed players in Spezza, Thornton or Kesler.
- I will also be very interested to see what Gordie Clark and Co. can come up with the in the middle rounds this year. Anthony Duclair was a steal in the third, and getting some nice diamond in the rough picks could really help replenish what has become a thinner system, due to both trades and graduation.
Keep it locked here to BSB for ongoing off-season coverage, including Draft analysis, free agency and trades. It should be an exciting summer of trying to reload for another deep playoff run.