OffseasonRoster MovesSigningsState of the Rangers

Sifting through the wreckage of July 1

Don’t look at Tanner Glass’s metrics. Seriously, don’t.

In just a few short hours, the 2013-2014 New York Rangers were blown apart.

Usually it’s GM Glen Sather that flashes the power of the dollar as he plucks key contributors away from other top teams on July 1, but yesterday it was the Blueshirts that were victimized by the league’s annual spending spree. The unfortunate part of the carnage was that much of it could have been avoided.

That Sather wasn’t prepared to come near the five years, $20 million that Benoit Pouliot received from Edmonton is completely understandable. But that he wasn’t willing to match the five years, $22.5 million that Anton Stralman got from Tampa Bay is a little less so.

The real kicker came towards the end of the day, when the same Lightning that had already re-signed Ryan Callahan and poached Stralman then inked Brian Boyle to the perfectly reasonable contract of three years, $6 million.

In his place, the Rangers added fourth-line winger Tanner Glass for three years, $4.35 million. That’s an inexcusable figure for a guy that has measured out as one of the worst players in the game. It’s even more mind-boggling when you recall that Sather shipped Derek Dorsett to Vancouver in a penny-pinching move on Friday. To sum it all up, the Rangers saved less than $200k in switching from Dorsett to Glass and tacked two additional years onto that abomination of a deal.

Making matters worse, the Glass signing may have prevented the Blueshirts from keeping the forever-underrated Boyle. New York may have been able to fit the giant checking center under the cap even with Glass aboard, but it would have been an easier move to make if they’d skipped out on the 30-year-old Corsi nightmare in the first place.

Boyle made it clear he wanted to stay in the Big Apple, and whether you believe him or not, multiple reports indicated that the Blueshirt brass didn’t even bother keeping a dialogue going with Boyle in decent days. Yes, Boyle’s new wife is from Orlando, and yes, he wanted an expanded role, but how exactly will he get that with the Lightning, which is stocked down the middle with Steven Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula, Tyler Johnson and Jonathan Drouin. Tampa has plenty of better options on the wing, too, so it seems fairly clear that Boyle won’t be getting a major promotion down south. In the end, Sather made this inexplicable decision for Boyle.

New York did manage to retain Dominic Moore at a very fair deal and also added some spare parts in Matt Hunwick and Mike Kostka, but of course the big signing of the day was defenseman Dan Boyle.

That’s soon-to-be 38-year-old Dan Boyle, by the way. Sather’s obsession with the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Lightning (notice any irony there?) burned on when he dished out a two-year, $9 million pact complete with a no-movement clause. The cap number on the Boyle deal isn’t awful, but the extra year is a tougher sell.

Boyle will slide into Stralman’s righty spot on the second pairing with Marc Staal and is expected to be the power play quarterback the Rangers have been missing for years.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the Boyle of 2010-2011. He’s been on a steady decline and the Sharks made no effort to keep him around this offseason. And if you think Boyle’s value is primarily based on the power play, you might be disappointed to learn that 58 players finished with more power play assists than him last season. The power play that Boyle led in San Jose ranked 20th in the NHL a year ago, while the Blueshirts were 15th. And the Rangers’ own power play quarterback – the much-maligned Brad Richards – had 19 power play points (five goals, 14 assists) to Boyle’s 18 (six goals, 12 assists).

Though Boyle is certainly still serviceable, depending on yet another over-the-hill superstar seems like a fool’s errand, especially considering the funds allocated to Boyle could have gone to Mark Fayne or Tom Gilbert, much cheaper options that would have allowed the Rangers to also pursue a legitimate third-line center.

Instead, the team is left with just under $14.6 million with which to re-sign RFAs Chris Kreider, Derrick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and John Moore. Assistant GM Jeff Gorton didn’t rule out the possibility of adding another bottom-six forward either via free agency or trade, but it seems very likely that New York will instead be forced to rely on at least a couple of players from the unproven group of J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg (and perhaps Danny Kristo or Ryan Haggerty).

Though many fans frequently call for the team to give the kids a shot, few successful clubs in the league hand youngsters jobs without competition. You don’t have to look farther than Kreider for a reminder that even the most heralded prospects are ready when they’re ready. The Detroit model of not promoting prospects until they’re ready to fit in seamlessly is the gold standard, but New York had a lot of success following similar logic in recent years. Unfortunately, without much money to replenish the depth that was so key to their playoff run, New York probably won’t have a choice but to abandon that plan in the fall.

So the band of brothers that came within three games of the sport’s ultimate prize just over two weeks ago is now ancient history. Major contributors Stralman, Pouliot, Boyle, Dorsett and Richards have all moved on to greener pastures, and in the wake of the rubble is a team that appears much further away from the Cup, at least on paper.

Some of this was bound to happen. But even as a staunch Sather defender, it’s hard to justify July 1 as anything but a failure by the club’s long-time general manager.

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  • Brian Boyle did not want to be here anymore. He asked us for more money and years than he received in Tampa just like callahan. He even turned down a better offer from Toronto. None of us are privy to what really happens in these negotiations, but if people want to stay here they need to do more than just say it. Look at Dom Moore, he wanted to stay and took less money and a year short on the contract, but is still making more money than he ever has before.

        • Lots of players want more ice time and more PP time and so on and so forth.

          Doesn’t mean you write them off and don’t offer them a contract.

          You think Boyle would have been the first guy to re-sign despite hoping for an expanded role?

      • I don’t believe we actually made an offer. Sorry if I was unclear. I do believe there were conversations and based off Sathers reactions on draft day I would guess all our UFA ‘s were trying to take us to the cleaners based off the playoff performances. You are right I don’t believe we made an offer, but we’ve had contact with all of our guys agents. I do recall hearing a Toronto offer to Boyle for 5 years and more money. If that was true it’s fairly obvious that Tampa is where the wife wanted to be.

    • You’re partially right here. Boyle wanted a bigger role, and he was sick of being deployed in the DZ 70% of the time.

      However, the Rangers never made him an offer.

    • I argee,he didn’t want to be here anymore.It’s Boyle not McD. He’s REPLACEABLE.You don’t build a team thinking we must have Brian Boyle at all cost.I liked his game over rated by some under rated by others.Enjoy TB Brian and thanks for a great SC run.

    • july 1 is the most important day in the nhl where teams get better let’s put it this way the only signing i agree with is dominic moore he wanted to stay but stralls, and boyler bolted to tampa bay does this sound familiar. so now they join cally down there.ok so we got dan boyle who has played with marty on tampa now let’s sign who we have to which means kreids, brass, zucc, and moore and do staal on the way.

  • Agreed, a very disappointing outcome

    Losing Richards should have freed up enough space to resign Boyle and Stralman. Instead they signed a declining offensive defenseman who doesn’t produce offense and an overpaid 4th liner who may be the worst player in the league – all while saving 500k next year. Obviously that’s a downgrade

    Counting on an unproven AHL promotion is a dangerous method but that seems to be the plan in NY thing

    • You’re right, usually I’m pretty even-keeled, but I obviously think yesterday was a disaster. PP will have to be at least top 10 and probably higher to cancel the other losses out.

  • A few things:

    I’m really upset about Brian Boyle. He deserved an expanded role and I bet he’d have thrived between Hagelin and St. Louis.

    Non of the other non-signings bother me as much as signing Dan Boyle did, but this 1st day screams of “the cap will go way up next year in 15-16 and there are two gentleman in Chicago who want 12 mil a year” type-thinking.

    Pouliot is replaceable, and Stralman is much less so. I think it was the years, not the dollars that the Rangers wouldn’t budge on, which also leaves me to believe that they’ll want to sign Marc Staal long-term. Hell, a lot of these signings or non-signings could also be because they want to retain all 4 of these RFAs on long-term deals, which they should, including the 23-year old John Moore, who would break out.

    Sorry, this comment is a bit all over the place. To summarize: BOOOO YOU SHOULD HAVE SIGNED BRIAN BOYLE BOOO!


    • Boyle deserved a larger role? He would be in that “larger role” for 2 games and AV would be so frustrated that Brian would be back on the 4th line and Moore would be up centering Hagelin and MSL. Boyle can in no way handle that role that you are suggesting. He has ZERO offensive instincts and struggles just handling the puck.

  • While I don’t disagree the Glass signing is bad and letting B Boyle leave without an attempt is a disgrace, I think you’re being harsh on Stralman v D Boyle. I think it came down to length of contract not $$$. Can’t sign Stralman to 5 years then attempt to extend Staal too. Top 4 D would hold a large chuck of cap room for next 5 years and give them even less wiggle room in future.

    • If it was the 5 years that scared Slats, then so be it. I know they are looking to make room for Skjei and McIlrath eventually. Perhaps Allen soon as well.

      • I believe the Rangers will add a forward by trading McIlraith. The Rangers signed an incredible number of defensemen. They now have seventeen on their 50 man roster and Moore will make 18. Fifteen is reasonable. Why stock so many depth guys unless you are going to trade a prospect or two?

        The only other explanation is that Anderson and Zamorsky will remain in Europe and Donnay is ECHL bound.

        • If you figure 7 on each roster, that’s 14 already. A few to the ECHL, then you have enough to deal with injuries.

          Plus, Andersson will be in Europe this year.

  • What a joke – The 4th line could have all stayed – Trading Dorsett for salary cap reasons? Really?

    Brian Boyle – is not going to have any bigger role in Tampa than he would have had here – and we lost him to a very reasonable and realistic contract.

    Stahlman – four years at less than $5M would have given cap stability for the near future.

    Love Dan Boyle as player – ten years ago – Great guy – good on the power play – but he’s 38 years old and as noted the Ranger PP was better than SJ and Brad outscored him.

    Good thing I have Lightning tix – I may get to see another Stanley Cup run this coming season. Yzerman had a really good week.

    One question – who is going to save these owners from themselves? This spending is the classic definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    All that yesterday and the next five July 1st’s have done and will do is set us all up for the next owner lockout. Teams will all be losing money and the owners will need to take another revenue grab from the players…

      • Dave really, what else can he say without putting anyone down????? Dorsett played his heart out, but took too many stupid penalties!!

          • If you believe dorsett is a better player then tanner glass then you haven’t watched tanner play.

          • Ah yes, the “watch the game nerd” argument. Was wondering who would use this first. Let’s see, he’s slow, immobile, is constantly out of position, and doesn’t play the PK. But hey, he wins fights right?

      • Unfortunately, Sather wants a goon on the team – a Brashear,a Boogard, a Rupp, an Asham. It’s just a thing of his to keep a fighter on the team that can’t play hockey. He messed up this year (and the Rangers got to the Cup finals) because Dorsett was a lousy fighter who could actually skate fast. Glass is just another in the long line. Hopefully, AV will understand he is a 3 minute a game guy. Per minute, these are always the highest paid Rangers.

        • Definitely true this has been a long-time Sather obsession, but I thought AV had finally convinced him to move past it. Apparently not.

    • Marty SL is 38 years old too. I suppose he could hardly skate during the playoffs? This stuff about age is utter nonsense. Players keep themselves in much better shape these days and are playing longer.

  • The contracts that Boyle and Stralman signed are a non-starter for me. Boyle was already overpaid and Stralman is a journeyman coming off a career season. Letting them go was something that had to happen and I am struggling with the logic of thinking otherwise, let alone being angry about it. I am pretty confident that TB will regret those signings along the way.

    That being said, maybe the anger is more about what was done with the freed up money. I completely agree that the Dorsett to Glass switch in salary made ZERO sense. All I can think is that the team liked the compensation they got for Dorsett and really wanted to move on from him. AV was clearly behind this Glass signing, so I will withhold judgement until I see the guy in game action, despite the god awful metrics and terrible contract. Then I will be annoyed… lol.

    In terms of Dan Boyle, I read somewhere that he was injured a lot last year (concussion & hand injury), which might explain the regression. He definitely fits a need and is quite dynamic when on his game. I would definitely rather have Dan for 2 years than Anton for 5 (yikes!) at the same cap hit. I think that many of you guys will realize that at some point this year. Just a hunch.

    • I can’t get over the fact that everyone thinks the Dorsett was a cap move exclusively. We got a third rounder for the guy. That’s a steal. The management obviously wanted to go a different direction than with what Dorsett could offer.

        • I think that was the nicer way to say “this guy sucks and we’re more than happy to get a third round pick for him”…

          But replacing him with quite possibly the worst player in the league is inexcusable.

          IF Boyle would stay with the same deal he got in TB, then they should have kept him. If Sather explored trading Klein, Stralman and Boyle could have both been kept. D would look like McD Gir, Stl Strl, Moore Boyle, Hnwk 7th

          Money would be tight but playing with the numbers on CAPGeek there’s enough to keep Zuc 3.75 Krdr 1.8 and Bras 3.6 and fill Dorsets spot with a min sal guy

          • Moore/Boyle would be a tire fire defensively, but it’s better than what we have now. Personally, I would have signed Ehrhoff/Stralman and traded Staal to address C need.

  • It was time for Boyle to go frankly & I’m not all strung out about losing Stralman or Pouliot either. It is time for guys like Miller & Fast to make the big club. I don’t think you give these kids enough credit myself. They are ready & they will perform. And I predict that Pouliot & Stralman will not set the league on fire next year. Actually the guy I really regret losing is Brad Richards. Intangibles can be very important to a team & I bet he does very well in Chicago. Yesterday was not a disaster & the sky is not falling.

    • I’m upset about losing Richards too, but you have to acknowledge that it had to happen for cap purposes. If there was no cap Richards could have stayed on as sheltered forward/PP specialist.

      I think the Rangers lost some decent players yesterday but again, in a capped league you have to lose some of your vets every year. That is unavoidable. The good organizations become great by having a steady pipeline of cheap, young, productive players to replace the guys hitting their late 20s that are becoming a strain on the cap.

  • All this is Monday morning quarterbacking. Stralman was a very good player but who would you rather have he or Staal my vote Staal. Can’t tie that much money of the cap on defense. Kids need to start filling in and Boyle although older helps the defense and plays the point on the PP. As for Boyle the money doesn’t seem like a lot from Tampa but with Fla low tax he just about doubles what he earned from NY. Also if he was that valuable to NYR AV would have given him a bigger role which he did not receive. Don’t think he’s AV type player. Glass not happy with signing played for AV he probably wanted him. Give it time who thought Pouliot would have played that well see how finish product looks. Remember with these players they did not win the SC.

        • Would you prefer a non #fancystats argument?

          Stralman is very poised on the ice, and a very heady player. He makes the smart first pass, instead of trying for the homerun pass. He doesn’t panic when the forecheck gets to him. He does the little things.

          • Sounds like a hundred other players.But i would add not strong in front of his goalie or on the puck.No offence to speak of and misses the net to much with his shot.Solid 3rd pair on cup winner.Never what 22 for five.

  • And as for Glass, this kind of guy was needed vs LA, he hits a lot & he blocks shots & if AV wanted him, so be it. These decisions are made by the management team and so far they’ve done a pretty good job.

  • If you are going to toy with anything on the NHL level, it has to be the 4th line and the 3rd pair. Slats felt confident in his top 2 lines, even minus Richards. While unsure who slots between MSL and Hags, it may be a good spot to let JT find a home.
    We all knew Pouliot was a once and done. His career stats told us that. Playing in the playoffs gave Pouliot, Stralman and B.Boyle big bumps in exposure. Someone had to bite and they did.

    Whether D.Boyle is the answer or not, I ask who was going to QB the PP if we didn’t get him? Girardi who misses the net 50% of the time? Klein? Slats had little choice. I still believe Slats is not done. There are at least 3 very salvageable pieces still out there who he can get on the cheap. Lastly, if AV wanted Glass so much, lets give the coach who got us the the Cup final a piece that he feels is of value.

  • As far as Stralman is concerned, You don’t pay somebody $4.5 Mill for 5 years because of 1 good season, that’s recipe for disaster. One important aspect that nobody wants to mention is the NMC, Stralman got it in TB, I am convinced that was the deal breaker in NY.
    I seriously never got the Stralman love. He was a fancyStats darling I get it, but he did not provide offense, would throw a hip check one a blue moon, was a journey man for most of his career, got a good year and wants to cash in with NMC to boot, are you freaking kidding me? GTFO, good riddance.

  • I expected a ufa center signing. Plus other teams will still be jockeying around. small potential for a trade here and there.

    The three guys who left all faced consistency issues and are gambles for their contract amount.

    Time for some kids to Stepan up..

  • To begin with, I was against the D Boyle signing, and it may work out, but I have questions just the same!

    B Boyle wanted a bigger role, or so he said, and signs with Tampa, not sure he REALLY wanted to stay here after all.

    Anton Strohlman signing with Tampa, for five years was a good move for him, poor on Tampa’s part. You may disagree with me, but the guy is way over rated, and will be exposed with their defense.

    Tanner Glass isn’t B Boyle on the PK, but did a reasonable job for the Pens. The guy is tough, can score some, and is bright. Look, I’m a big fan of B Boyle, but this guy Tanner will grow on us, unlike the fans who couldn’t wait for Boyle to pack his bags. He also is a fighter, and if we don’t re-sign Carcillo, then we have no one to defend the likes of Nash, Kreider, Zucc, etc…..

    Over all, I think Slats did a reasonable job considering what he had to work with, and all the RFA that needed to be signed. Let’s see what the season brings us????????????

  • Thank you, Kevin. Glad somebody was paying attention yesterday instead of gushing over the 38 year old ghost of Dan Boyle.

    The team got much worse and left major holes unfilled without even providing more cap space. That’s a bad day any way you carve it up.

  • Not exactly sure what you were expecting. When you have only so much cap space and it is taken up by a few players, then there isn’t enough to go around for everyone else. This is why it is so important that hockey teams develop their own players. Stralman, Boyle and poliot are all replacable and it is time to give the young players a shot.

    • Keep Boyle.

      Let Pouliot walk. Deal Dorsett. Don’t sign Glass or D. Boyle.

      Fill the D replacement from within.

      Get a legitimate top-6 C.

      • This would have been my preference except I think you’re realistically looking at a third-line C and I would have still signed a cheaper D alternative. Otherwise, agreed.

  • I think the Rangers set themselves up for a huge salary dump the next couple of years. Next year Bobby Ryan and following year Steven Stamkos are going to be available. I have a feel they will make a push for them. That is the only thing that would make sense by our July 1st day. I have a feeling Staal will not make it through the year.
    I wonder the terms they come up with with Zucc, Kreider (should be long term) Brassaed and Moore. Rangers as a whole are not that healthy as a Team and organization. I am not sure Sather is done though. Maybe they are looking at the bigger picture to make a few moves during the season if we start off real slow and appear to be a bubble team.

  • If the key to winning the Stanley Cup starts with players like Stralman, Boyle and Pouliot, then this team is a lot worse off then we imagine. Lets stop over-valuing these three players. They were serviceable, no doubt—-but more than replaceable. Up until the playoffs, Boyle was nothing: no hit no score! The original “Stay Puft marshmallow man!” If Pouliot wants stability and a huge contract based on a good, not great season, fine. That’s all you need to know about him. Stralman was an excellent stay at home D man. Nothing more. No real physical presence, and a non-existent offensive game. Boyle can still play; and wants to be here! If he can help get that PP to resemble a professional PP, then he did his job. Every time someone leaves this organization, its always doom and gloom. Just because the writers have nice relationships with certain players, doesn’t make them untouchables. Everyone keeps crying for the kids to get a chance. Well now, maybe(limited as it may be), they might get that chance. The organization was not ripped apart yesterday. Three useful players left; nothing more! Players that can and will be replaced!

    • I am with you joe. Dan boyle does 2 things for the team not only does he replace stralman but he also assumes brad richards role on the pp. With boyle and mcdonogh on the point on the pp it will be a difference maker and something that the rangers haven’t had since zubov and leetch.

    • And with B.Boyle, Stralman and Pouliot, we didn’t win the cup, so sometimes change for the sake of change is necessary.

      If Slats was a genius getting MSL, Diaz and Klein, how did he turn into a fool on July 1? I know he created the Cap problems for himself, but didn’t we all want to sign Henrik? didn’t we applaud the Girardi signing. Sometimes you have to pay the piper.

    • I usually disagree with you Joe but the opposite couldn’t be more true with this statement. Let’s not get our panties in a bunch over who the 4 line winger is. Boyle wants a more promininent role in Tampa? Give it to him and see how exposed he becomes. Stralman had an excellent season and playoff, on a contract year. Poulliot didn’t have a “good” year, he had a “good 50 games”. He had chemistry with Zucc and Brass but a half a point per game player isn’t one you dish out a 5 year contract to after playing for six different teams since being drafted 4th overall. I do think Stralman will be missed and he signed a pretty reasonable contract compared to what he was reportedly looking for. But signing Boyle over him was not about making the defense better. It was about improving the PP.

      Ok I’m ready for the “apologist” and “rose colored glasses” comments so bring me on.

  • So many people are up in arms about the Tanner Glass signing. Personally I’m more concerned about who is replacing Richards and Poulliots minutes than who is the 4th line winger.

      • I think the outrage over Glass (and to a lesser extent D. Boyle) is precisely linked to the lack of response to the holes left by Richards and Pouliot.

        Glass is worthless and Boyle is a shell of the player he once was. Yet, these two command $5.95 million a year. That money could have been used to find some forwards to plug major holes in this lineup.

  • Nothing but chicken little BS. Welcome to a salary cap world. It’s not as easy as your keyboards think it is fitting all these players under the cap.

    Seem to recall ranting last year with the signing of Pouliot and D. Moore too and look how that turned out.

    I’m calling it a summer. Relax, put your stats away, clear your mind and we’ll see you at the end of October where some of your overreacting may actually be warranted…or not. Until then…

    • A little harsh Dave?

      My line of thinking: Staal is another year removed from learning to play the game with vision loss and the adjustment to playing with the visor. McDonagh will actually be better next season (scary thought right)? These two factors coupled with Boyle running the PP while not being a complete liability in the defensive zone should outweigh the fancy stat differences between Stralman and Boyle. (If not outweigh, call it a wash) Call me the forever optimist but when I look at the defense as a whole I don’t see a complete disaster

  • Major transactions
    + Dan Boyle – makes perfect sense for this team, and not bad in terms of $$$, B+
    + Dom Moore – great re-signing, he took less money to stay, A
    – Brian Boyle – he signed for $6.9mm not $6, for what it’s worth. We could certainly use him, and the money is not horrendous, but it might not have been about the money. B
    – Benoit Pouliot. No brainer. A
    – Derek Dorsett, +3rd round pick. Dorsett brought nothing Carcillo doesn’t. A
    – Anton Stralman. Good player, no room at this price/years. B+
    + Tanner Glass. WTF?!?!?! F-

    Overall: C+

    Glass signing brings grade for yesterday from solid B+ a full grade. There is just no reason for term/money or actual signing at all. It’s like Sather never learned from Asham/Rupp/Pyatt disasters.

  • My 1st response ever on the site. Normally just read but with the happenings of yesterday, figured I chime in. Fan since 76 and I’ve witnessed the most painful of goodbyes in Messier and Leetch. Listen, Boyle was a nice player. All heart, but stone hands and was useless when the team was trailing. Stralman: never would give this guy 5 years. Solid. But not 5 years. Pouliot: insane, Ranger-esque contract we’ve dished out for years. Dorsett: see Boyle and never scared a soul. Danny Boyle will help. Glass was a mistake at 1st look but he does hit people. A lot. Rest easy Rangers fans. We have a good core. The RFAs will sign. And we have 9 mos until the trade deadline to determine if we have the good again.

  • Y’all dealing with short-term memory loss?

    Strallman couldn’t get a job with the devils, was picked up on a no-lose / let’s take a look basis and turned into a decent (nothing great) dman.

    With the loss of Richards (good riddance)we needed a point for the power play. With Strallman gone we needed a right handed shot. Boyle signing answers both!

    Poulliot was another reclamation project, who came alive ONLY because of Brass and Zuc. He left for the money – no great loss.

    B Boyle was a penalty killing specialist – period. No hitting, no scoring and no speed. “IF” we can find defenders on the penalty kill, he wont be missed.

    The only real question mark is that we ARE a center or wing away from the decent over-achieving squad we had last year. My hope is that we package Fast or Lindberg, Kostka, Bourque and draft pick for either Kane, Byufluien or Sharp.

    BTW…Ott remains unsigned! Good on faceoffs. Character guy. ……would be nice addition.

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