Around the League

Around the league and Rangers prospect news


Its Thursday so time for another dose of around the league, with some Rangers thoughts scattered in for good measure. While we have some hockey back on tap (rejoice!) the dog days are clearly here.

In news that will surprise absolutely no one, the NHL ‘invited’ both Las Vegas and Quebec to participate in the second round of the expansion application process. Of course, given the non refundable bonds put up to begin the process this is really just a formality and both groups were always going to enter this round.

Skapski sighting: The Hockey News check out Rangers goaltending prospect McKenzie Skapski’s new mask. It’s pretty cool.

In discussing the NHL’s ‘Stadium Series’, commissioner Gary Bettman went on record on Wednesday stating that outdoor games are ‘far from being overdone’. I hate to agree with Monsieur Gary, but I do. Having travelled from the UK to go to the Rangers Devils matchup at Yankee Stadium, the games are a unique experience and are a great inclusion on the long NHL schedules. What do you think?

Not a bargain: The Canucks felt inclined to give newly acquired Brandon Sutter 4.375m per year for half a decade. Sutter is a solid defensive center with some skill but with a career high 40 points (back in 2010 no less) his agent has done him proud. Deals such as this one make the Derick Brassard deal look better all the time. 55-60 points per year and a proven playoff performer for 5m? Sign me up.

Bargain: On the flip side, Ottawa won their arbitration case against winger Mike Hoffman hands down. Even if his body of work is indeed light, Hoffman came out of nowhere to have a 27 goal season last year, including being 7th overall in the entire league in even strength scoring. Without Hoffman, the Sens don’t make the playoffs. Hoffman was looking for 3.4m. His situation will be worth monitoring this the season.

For those of you that care about such things: the NHL announced it has formed a digital rights partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Read about it here.

Jonathan Bernier got paid by the Leafs. Inking a two year deal for 8.3m, this came after a naughty lowball arbitration valuation submitted by the Leafs. If Bernier develops and the Leafs finally play some ‘D’ (they should be improved next year) this could turn into a solid deal for the Toronto club.

Prospect Update: We know you love some prospect news. World junior evaluation camps have been progressing over the past week or so. It’s some real hockey in the dog days of the summer and Rangers’ prospects have been making some noise.

Brandon Halverson had a solid game against Finland on Wednesday, stopping 32 of 36 shots and making several key saves on the penalty kill as the US team edged Finland 5-4. Halverson had previously played well against Sweden earlier in the week.

Rangers 2015 draft pick Aleksi Saarela grabbed a primary assist on Finland’s first goal against the US. Saarela looks like a really nice, intelligent hockey player with good skating ability. He’ll be enjoyable to follow this coming season.

I keep reading the Rangers are in win-now mode and the future is bleak – beyond the short term. Yes, they’re in win-now mode but why is the future bleak? Ten players on the current roster are 27 or under. That doesn’t include the likes of Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash, Keith Yandle and Marc Staal, all of whom are still absolutely front line NHL players. This topic is worth a post/rant in its own right but the key message here is that the roster is full of quality young players already established in the NHL. Prospect development is obviously important but people too often lose sight of the state and upside of the current NHL product.

Question time:

  • How many games will Henrik Lundqvist start this season?
  • Over/under time: Ryan McDonagh – over or under 40 points?
  • Who will finish the season with more points: Zuccarello or Kreider?
  • What are your expectations for Emerson Etem?
  • How many games will Oscar Lindberg play for the Rangers this season?


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  • The Rangers have the talent to contend for quite some time. Unfortunately, the problem with a weak prospect pool is that you run out of cheap good players. If you have to pay everyone what they are worth, you can’t keep all of your players – see Hagelin, Carl.


    – 67
    – Over –
    – Zuccarello
    – AHL or gone
    – why not try 67 again

  • How many games will Henrik Lundqvist start this season?
    62 starts. 37 wins

    Over/under time: Ryan McDonagh – over or under 40 points?
    Easily over. He would have been over last year if he was healthy.

    Who will finish the season with more points: Zuccarello or Kreider?
    Zuke nets 50+ points. Kreider nets 25-30 goals with 20 assists.

    What are your expectations for Emerson Etem?
    If Etem puts in 25 points while playing good on the defensive side of the puck I’ll be happy.

    How many games will Oscar Lindberg play for the Rangers this season?
    Lindberg plays 60. He makes the team, has a shaky start, which is not unexpected in a rookie. He will be in and out of the lineup for the first 20 games then become a mainstay around December.

  • How many games will Henrik Lundqvist start this season? 64
    Over/under time: Ryan McDonagh – over or under 40 points? Under
    Who will finish the season with more points: Zuccarello or Kreider? Kreider by a lot
    What are your expectations for Emerson Etem? He will be watching from the stands by the all-star break
    How many games will Oscar Lindberg play for the Rangers this season? Hopefully 40+

  • Wow I hope the reports aren’t true about Patrick Kane. He’s arguably the face of hockey in America

  • ◾How many games will Henrik Lundqvist start this season?
    ◾Over/under time: Ryan McDonagh – over or under 40 points?
    ◾Who will finish the season with more points: Zuccarello or Kreider?
    Hmmm, tough. Zuc will end up with 15/40, Kreider with 27/23
    ◾What are your expectations for Emerson Etem?
    Will eclipse 30 pts
    ◾How many games will Oscar Lindberg play for the Rangers this season?
    Just a tick over 50

    • Hank plays 62
      McDonagh over 40 pts.
      Kreider in a contract year
      Etem in and out of the lineup
      Lindberg spends the entire season with the big club

  • Chris how about you have a large post just about predictions with like 20 questions. Then after this season you repost it with everyone’s comments. Everyone on the internet thinks they are smarter than everyone else so let’s see who really is. I think it would be pretty fun.

      • lets get the entire staff involved. I’d love to see each bloggers predictions as well as the commenters

    • +1

      If my predictions turn out to be absolutely atrocious, I would become a Devils or Islanders fan, and never visit the site again so that I wouldn’t have to face the music. And Hatrick Swayze would be no more.

  • The future is still OK for a few years yet!!!!!!!!!62 games, winning 38 games.

    Hank starts some 62 games, wins some 38 games.

    Mac will be over 40, scores 46 points.

    Zucc scores more, will break the 55 number, maybe higher ?????????

    Etam will play solid hockey, will impress many, will score some 15 goals, and 21 assists.

    Oscar plays 69 games, pitches in some 13-15 goals, with 20-26 assists.

    • Wow, high aspirations for Etem and Lindberg. I think my expectations are a bit more conservative than yours.

      Maybe something like
      Etem – 8 G, 10, A
      Lindberg – 6 G, 9 A

  • Very bullish on the future actually! Geared to win now for sure, but like our chances over the next few seasons.

    Hank? 65 games

    McDonagh? Over 40 pts. He’s in the Norris conversation this season.

    Kreider or Zuc? I’m going with Kreider. He’s going to have a monster year. Zuc will start slow, but round into from come playoff time.

    Those first three I’d place some money on those if I were a gambling man. The next two, much tougher calls.

    Etem? I think he comes close to matching Hags’ output from last season with 32 pts.

    Lindberg? They’re will be some time spent in the press box, but not too much That’s AVs way with rookies. Figure 65 games.

  • As of now, we seem to be ok as far as how our future looks, but the pieces seem to change so frequently that it’s hard to say. It changed at the trade deadline last year surrendering Duclair and a first rounder, It could change again drastically if for some reason the Rangers are 12pts. out of a playoff spot come this trading deadline. If there’s one thing I’ve learned being a Rangers fan it’s expectations are just that……. expectations. Would anyone be shocked in four or five years if Lundqvist was playing for Detroit and Halversson was starting for us? Maybe a bit surprised but certainly not shocked. I think hockey teams reevaluate after every season. If a team was a goaltender away from seriously contending and offered us a ridiculous package for Lundqvist, and we were dealing with some injuries and wound up in the basement, would we turn down the opportunity to possibly solidify the future of this franchise for one player in his mid 30’s? I think it would be irresponsible to not entertain the idea of strengthening this team for the future. Remember what the Herschel Walker trade did for Dallas?

  • Lundy plays 66 games
    Mac gets 40+
    Kreider will get 60+ pts.
    Etem-22goals,17 assists
    Lindy plays 72 games

    BTW, so refreshing to hear Gord Miller talk about how consistent the International refs are. Like he said they call everything at any time not like NHL refs who do it by whim. The quality of refereeing in the NHL is so bad it makes me insane. International refs used to be a joke now they are better than NHL refs by a country mile.

  • Many people here are projecting Etem to have a very impressive year (20+ goals, 30-40 pts)

    I find this hard to swallow as Etem has only scored 15 G, 16 A, 31 pts. so far his whole career spread over three seasons. Last year he scored just 5 G, 5 A over 45 games averaging over 12 minutes a game. That roughly 18 pts over 82 games.

    Dom Moore was able to score 10 G, 17 A, 27 pts. last year alone so I am not convinced deployment is this sole issue with Etem.

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