Thoughts heading into the 2015 NHL Draft

I find the NHL Draft to be such an interesting concept. Not only do front offices have to be ready to deal with reacting to their punch list of player rankings and how to best utilize those picks, they also must engage in rapid-fire trade discussions and last minute pick movement. Fascinating. The Rangers are in an unusual position (for them, at least) at the Draft this season, having no high picks and several valuable assets. There are numerous ways the next two days can play out, so naturally, I have some thoughts.


  • Might as well start with Cam Talbot. Over the last few weeks, we have gotten a little better idea about where his market stands in the context of a potential bidding war between Buffalo, San Jose, Edmonton and potentially teams like Dallas or Florida. The claim is that Sather turned down two second round picks. I trust the big guy’s trading prowess, and that’s a solid return to turn your nose up at in a very deep draft.

  • I think another reason why Talbot should be a preferred trade target for a team that is still in its rebuild phase like Edmonton or Buffalo is that his monetary requirements probably wouldn’t be astronomical. Players already in free agency like Ramo or Niemi are looking to cash in. The controlling team has Talbot for $1.45 million, and since he was an undrafted free agent who never made a ton of money, he could potentially be persuaded to sign an extension at a reasonable cost rather than risk his stock declining on a mediocre team, under a starter’s workload.
  • I’ll be curious to see how a potential Robin Lehner trade opportunity affects Talbot’s market. For my money, Lehner is the most talented goaltender on the Ottawa roster. I would look into trading either Anderson or Hammond first.
  • I don’t understand Sather’s position that he wouldn’t want to trade Talbot to Buffalo, since they are “in state”. Unless he has his eye on a young asset that Tim Murray is reluctant to move, and is using this position as leverage, it makes no sense. Different division and no matter what Slats does, Buffalo is coming. They have about 40 first round draft picks over the next two years, so denying them Talbot is like trying to stop a train with a handgun. Not to mention, Columbus has about twelve ex-Rangers on their roster and they are in our division (can anyone tell I’m in a hyperbole mood, this morning?)
  • I keep going back and forth on Kevin Klein. On one hand, a single move with him and Talbot could instantly clear almost $4.5 million in cap space. I think that most teams in the market for Talbot would also be in the market for an affordable, reliable veteran defenseman who can help stabilize a (presumably) young core. I just wonder if the return couldn’t be maximized selling the apart.
  • Obviously, shedding Dan Girardi’s contract would be preferable, but we all know that is exceedingly unlikely to happen. Who knows, maybe Slats finds an old school GM who still values minute eating, shot blocking, stay-at-home defensemen to be a $5m+ commodity. I wouldn’t hold my breathe, though.
  • I would love to see the Rangers bring in another guy capable of playing in the top-six to replace Marty St. Louis. I feel confident guys like JT Miller or Kevin Hayes could step into that role pretty seamlessly, however, depth is king. Those guys playing flexible third line minutes were a luxury most teams did not have.
  • I think the maneuvers at the Draft and the first few days of free agency will tell us all we need to know about how the Rangers feel about the readiness of their defensive prospects.
  • I’ll be very displeased if Sather’s approach this off-season is anything other than reinforcements. I really like the composition of this group and would be very disappointed to see major personnel changes. Some additional depth and coverage in areas of weakness are terrific, but I hope the salary cap hamstrings the organization from more significant moves.
  • It’s obviously not happening, but I’m curious as to what sort of max offer our readership would extend for the rights to the #1 overall pick (McDavid). I think we will get some interesting answers.
  • If the price tag is $6 million per season for Stepan, do you trade him? Centers are tough to come by and that leverage works in Stepan’s favor. On the other hand, his production hasn’t necessarily warranted that type of outlay. I think Derick (see Becky, I spelled it right) Brassard’s contract is a good comparable for a guy whose best seasons are supposed to be in front of him.
  • Congrats to Carey Price on an absolutely absurd season. Historical.

I hope everyone enjoys the Draft tonight. Dave and some of the crew will be live-blogging all the goings-on during the next two days and we will have full analysis of all the Rangers’ moves right here at BSB.

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  • we should include mcilrath in any trade with Edmonton he would be mcdavids marty mcsorly a good opportunity for the kid a big young strong d man to protect mcdavid

      • mcilrath is never going to play for us av has no use for him whatsoever he cant skate if we can use him to sweeten the pot and get something back he wont be a wasted draft pick both skei and bodie have a better chance of making the team next year

  • Please remember that all we know are rumors. Probably few truths within all stories. I am guessing Slats has his eyes on one or two mid-first round players that he would like. Someone like a Lawson Crouse or a Colin White or a Brandon Carlo on defense. He may wait until pick 10 or so to see how the draft is taking shape, then, if the guy he wants is still on the board, make the deal. He may have to sweeten the pot if the trade-partner is standing pat. I am still guessing we get a pick between 16-25 out of tonight.

    I would not be shocked if we included Klein if it is a defensemen we want or Hags if it is a winger with speed we have interest in.

  • I’ll just be happy to see a very good return for Talbot, and we draft wisely. Please, no more Brendel, Lundmark, Jessiman, MDZ, Sanguentti, see what I’m getting at…

    I believe we are holding out for a #1 for a reason, there is a kid out there that tickle’s the teams fancy, and we will get him somehow………..

    As for Step, he really shouldn’t get more than Brass, but if we over pay him, it shouldn’t be by too much. If he pushes the point, well then he is traded, that is the reason I believe the Rangers are looking at a specific kid, maybe a center that can step in as a 3rd line guy, with Brass, and Hayes being your 1+2 guys…

    • Brendl/Lundmark were far from the only busts in 1999. That draft was horrendous.

      MDZ is fine, NYR fans ran him out of town because they thought he would be Leetch and wasn’t.

  • If Glen is still talking to FLA, don’t be surprised if he is asking about Jimmy Hayes. He’s stated in the past, at the deadline, that he tried to trade for him. If he can’t get a #1, he might look at Hayes as the next best thing—-like signing Kevin–a former #1. There would have to be more going back to Fla in that type of deal, I would think, for Cap purposes—Klein and a forward from Hartford etc.

  • I think Rangers have their eyes definitely on someone in the first round that they want and will hold out for that first rounder in the range they think he’ll go. Actually I’m content if Talbot doesn’t go tonight because he could go on July 1st or anytime thereafter. If Lehner goes first it makes those remaining four teams all the hungrier. Be very patient Slats.

    • I wouldn’t necessarily say that Talbot/Klein is equal to Lehner/Legwand. Why would Buffalo actively want a swiftly declining, soon to be 35 year old center? I have a feeling that Legwand was a strict salary dump for Ottawa while Buffalo was more than happy to take on additional salary.

      Ottawa has been known to be an exceptionally stingy team. It’s likely that they wanted Legwand off of their books and Buffalo was willing to take Legwand so they could get closer to the salary floor. Ottawa got the 21st pick and wiped over $5M in payroll from their books today. Buffalo could care less about Legwand’s one year contract as their owner has no problem spending money and Buffalo has an embarrassing amount of cap space thanks to having such a young roster.

      I’m sure Ottawa wouldn’t have made that deal unless Legwand was going the other way along with Lehner.

  • Maybe this year Glen can pass on signing a pugilist on Day One of Free Agency – since we still have Mr. Glass, last year’s obligatory pick.

  • Justin… what’s going on with Ottawa’s goalie situation?

    First, they chose to trade Bishop over Lehner because the viewed Lehner as their goalie of the future. 2 short seasons in TB, Bishop is kind of running away with the early accolades and making them look foolish. Even though Lehner has underwhelmed, I’m surprised to see the org move him.

    Do they see Hammond as the guy now? Anderson is solid, but he’s older and injury prone. Maybe they think he’s reliable enough to split start for a couple more years until Hammond takes over?

    Whatever their plan is, it has me scratching my head. What’s your take?

    • They don’t know how to manage their assets. Bishop for 2 2nds, Lehner for a 1st, now stuck with a career AHLer who got hot for 25 games and Craig Anderson.

        • Yup. All pretty wild. Must be a Canadian thing, not being able to asset manage goaltenders properly- see Vancouver.

          Haha, also Toronto giving Rask to Boston for Raycroft back in the day. I’m sure they just love how solid he’s become.

          Kudos to Montreal, though, going back to the Price/Halak days.

  • I’d trade Stepan and Oscar Lindberg and Cam Talbot for McDavid and another pcik, but I doubt that’s what it would take. Maybe Nash and Talbot, but I’d still want another asset coming along with McDavid.

  • Love the rumors flying around here in Boston. Lucic for Yandle.

    Irresponsible rumormongering at its finest.

    More plausible rumor:
    Dougie Hamiliton to Arizona for the 3rd pick. Dougie is very available, too bad he’s going to cost $6M+.

    • That Lucic for Yandle thing was something Joe Haggerty made up for clicks. It’s not happening.

      Hamilton for the #3 could happen though.

      • It’s been intersting, I’ll say that. Another rumor floated out there was Lucic for Kreider and Talbot, which is assine, but fun to listen to nonetheless.

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