Rising Rangers still missing spark plugs

Carl Hagelin is one of several spark plugs the Rangers have lost recently
Carl Hagelin is one of several instant catalysts the Rangers have lost

The Rangers’ defensive lapses and disappointing individual performances have been discussed again and again, but one surprising issue this season has been the frequency with which the team hits the ice with very little energy. We saw so few of those pure stinker games in recent years under first John Tortorella and then Alain Vigneault, but this impossible-to-measure quality has been missing this season with unacceptable regularity.

Part of the problem has been the exodus of key individuals that served as the main spark plugs for the Blueshirts. Former captain Ryan Callahan could always be counted on to give the team a lift by sacrificing his body, Carl Hagelin had the unique ability to fly on ice and wreak havoc in the opponent’s zone, and Martin St. Louis channeled his veteran status and personal experiences into juice for the club. The Rangers survived the departure of Callahan just fine, but losing the latter two last summer may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

New York has been playing much better of late – in large part due to the energy infusion and forechecking tenacity of the new first-line wingers, J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast. But if the Blueshirts are to rise back to contender status, they need much more of that.

It doesn’t have to be in the form of grit – speed and skill could serve the same purpose – but some new added dynamic to the lineup that helps engage teammates is a necessity.

Giving more icetime to hungrier young players like Dylan McIlrath or even Brady Skjei would be one obvious solution, but it doesn’t seem to be on the table for Vigneault.

And though he did play his best game as a Ranger on Monday, signing Danny Paille wasn’t enough to do the trick, nor was recalling Jayson Megna. These minor additions just haven’t been enough to move the needle on the team’s tachometer – a bigger kick in the rear is required.

Short of bringing Sean Avery out of retirement for a third stint on Broadway, it’s hard to see another solution besides making a splash via trade.

So whether it’s moving Dan Girardi or Marc Staal, or going down a darker path of dealing Keith Yandle or yet more prospects, a shakeup of some sort seems inevitable.

"Rising Rangers still missing spark plugs", 5 out of 5 based on 11 ratings.

91 thoughts on “Rising Rangers still missing spark plugs

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

    This is why AV keeps Tanner Glass around.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:29 am

      I think you may be right that’s his hope, but not seeing much evidence that Glass is providing the juice he’s looking for

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      This is why Glass keep AV around.

    • Feb 11, 2016 at 7:01 am

      seriously? I’m hoping this was a sarcastic comment.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:28 am

    This is why AV keeps Tanner Glass around

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Tanner can help the muscle part but you need somebody like a brad Marchant from Boston a guy that can get under the skin and put the puck in the net.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:24 am


    • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Brad Marchand can actually play the game. Tanner Glass stinks.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Great job Kevin.

    Spark! It’s weird because this team had it at the start, even though the stats weren’t great, wins were on Henrik’s back, but there was spark…

    I still say the locker room has issues, I think if your making so much less then others that makes tons and produce squat, eventually it makes for issues.

    lets hope something can spark this team, I am sure if JT starts to produce less he will be deemed our problem too.

    Fingers need to be pointed much harder at the problem!

    Remember how much wade redden and rozenthal were booed at the garden

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 8:10 am

      I honestly believe that there is something to your point about the locker room. A guy does everything that is asked of him, only to ride the bench, while a guy plays like garbage, and is rewarded with more playing time.

      This falls right on AV’s lap, he has to be accountable for his decisions for such a lack of leadership. Yeah, he can smile all he wants at the press conference’s, but his act is wearing real thin!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        Yep, he has to be held accountable for everything. SCF in ’14. Best record in hockey in ’15. 9-4-1 in past 14. Third best record in the East. Yup, sure sounds like a guy who isn’t doing his job. 🙂

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Unfortunately, we really don’t have very many options today, because of the short slightness of the management. They took the easy route, handing out long term deals for both Dan, and Marc, with very large cap hit, and NTC’s, stupid, real stupid. They then sign an over the hill d-man to run the PP, another farce. So what was the next move, trade the future our the team to get another short term PP expert?????????

    What real chips do we have to deal with? On defense if it’s Klein, Mc Ilrath, we still have to two boat anchors back there if we do!! Trade some of the kids, Hayes, Miller, Kreider, Lindberg, Fast? Of the list who do we deal? Hayes, what can he really bring back, the others? Then we would look to replace them because we would have too many holes!!!!!!!

    Do we repeat the same mistake again, trade draft picks, only to have to trade others to move up in the draft???? Do you see a pattern developing here?

    I would try to move one, or both of the boat anchors, wait for the retread to retire at the end of this season, and play Skjei, and Graves next season. I would try to move Yandle for as much as I can get for him. It would cost a small fortune to resign him, and he would want long term deal, please see Dan, and Marc for long term deal.

    I have a nasty feeling that the old GM painted us into the corner, and has tied Jeff’s hands big time. Please, whatever you do Gorton, don’t trade away the future again, we’ve seen that play over the years too many times, and got squat in results!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      The Rangers, if healthy and if the right deal is out there, can most definitely make another deep playoff run. Unless they absolutely unravel these next three 2 weeks or so, the can and should be all in. But I agree, all in can’t mean reckless trades. There is a balance.

      I’m not good at speculating on trades, but I expect Gorton to be very active.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:01 am

    So basically, what your saying is, they traded away the heart and soul of the team. No arguments there. Long term contracts were given out to the wrong players; they undervalued the players that were dealt and then tried to portray them as greedy and selfish to defend the trades. Okay, fine——but one thing—This is news? I remember somebody on this site saying the same thing, many times in fact, on this very site, only to be handed dissertations on life in the cap era of the NHL. All excuses to justify the moves—-the effect on the locker room and the team be damned! Now the question is,how do you fix it? I don’t know if you can. You might have to try, once again, to grow those types of players from within. Or go the other route and trade away young assets for the quick fix that never works. In the end though, you reap what you sow.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Excellent post Joe.

      I think you answered your own question by stating “you might have to try, once again, to grow those types of players from within.”

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm

        Or, acquire them via trade. There are many ways to accomplish one’s objectives.

        As for Joe’s points, its true to an extent, but he’s forgetting that no organization is going to punt on their defense just to protect a third line PK specialist, no matter how beloved and useful he was. Yes, we miss him, but we miss MSL just as much if not more. It’s life in the NHL.

        Saying going long term with Staal and/or Girardi was a mistake is valid. But there’s no doubt they would have reinvested those funds to then acuiqre other defensemen, who would have cost as much if not more. There were no other options in the system that were NHL ready, and McIlrath’s injury made him a complete unknown.

        As I said before, the decision on how to spend up front was choosing between Zuc, Stepan and Hags. Given those choices, sadly, Hags had to go.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:06 am

    This club is in transition. It has a murky identity, and there is a level of complacency that has creeped into the team that Tortorella had previously whipped out of the Rangers organization.

    As a result of these factors, a restructuring of a good portion of our top end personnel is needed to re-establish this team’s path toward a Stanley Cup.

    Call me crazy.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      I won’t call you crazy AD. Too much respect for you. But, I think you are overstating it. And, I think you are giving WAY too much credit to Torts.

      Renney in his three full seasons averaged 97 points. Won two playoff series in three years.

      Torts in his four full seasons averaged 96 points (I projected out the lockout shortened season to a full 82 games). Won 3 playoff series in five post seasons, but was the only coach to miss the playoffs outright in a decade, and other than one year, was the coach of a team that was nothing more than a borderline playoff team.

      AV in his first two seasons, plus the pace he is on now which projects out to 101 points, averages 103 points. In two post seasons, he has won 5 playoff series.

      Obviously, AV is far more successful thus far than Torts, but even Renney you could make the case was more successful. It’s a myth to say that Torts improved the Rangers, at least not record wise.

      Yes, he turned the screws in players and upped the intensity, but that hardly means he made the team more or less complacent.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 8:06 pm

        Total nonsense. Torts had his problems but the team came of age under his tutelage. He established the concept of TEAM and he protected his players. He hated the press & who could blame him for that. The banality of the Qs asked sometimes makes me laugh. Firing Torts when they did was the right thing but he was a better coach than you give him credit for. And infinitely more entertaining than Perry Como? Even Brooksie admits he misses Torts and didn’t hate him at all. And neither did the majority of players as you suggest.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm

          What part of what I just wrote could you possibly say is total nonsense? I’m talking stats. The stats don’t lie. In any measurable sense, AV has been significantly better than Torts, and all I’m saying is, you can make the case that Renney did just as well, and maybe a bit better. Just giving some needed perspective.

          Subjectively, you may be right that Torts was a better coach than Renney, but my point is there are no stats to back that up.

          Now, as for entertainment value, as a member of the press, I’d take a Torts or Keenan any day over Renney or Torts. Far, far more interesting…for the brief time they will be around. But as a GM or owner, I’ll take a reliable steady hand like AV that wins but won’t likely embarrass the organization or quickly lose the room with unnecessary nonsense the way Torts and Keenan have famously done on multiple occasions.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Henk the whiner
    Nash the wuss
    Step the soft
    Staalled the slow
    Girardi the slower
    These are your highest paid players and leaders on the team. This is why Zucc and Brass are such an integral part of the team, they have passion. Those above are either all about themselves (henk) or have very little external passion.
    And all 5 are playing well below their wage grade. The worse thing for a team is to have your ‘leaders’ underperform. Really, really bad for morale.
    Competence is the issue, not emotion.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:28 am

      When your “stars” under-perform, it pulls at the fabric of the organization. We are a leaderless team – on the ice and probably in the lockerroom. A few good wins and strong performances by the big money guys would go a long way to support the rest of the team.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:08 am

      I think you are on to something here SN. I believe this is where the problem lies. Along with incompetent or stubborn coaching by AV and staff. I agree with the assessment on all of the above players and this is probably where the problem in the locker room starts. Kudos to Zucc, Brass, Fast, Kline, Miller. And honorable mention to DMac.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:21 am

        While I am not the most ardent Elaine booster, the big money guys have to pull their weight. You can’t fault them for taking the money and a hard cap era forces some hard choices around current AND future performance. Slatapus going for the gold really screwed this team with the Yandle and Marty deals along with NMCs handed out at market salary rates.
        These are likable players, but more like good neighbors than exciting hockey players.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:31 am

      We have two defensemen getting 20 minutes a night who can’t defend or move the puck up ice. And they play on different pairs, so we’re essentially playing one dman for 35-40 minutes per game. We could deal with one liability getting 3rd pair minutes, but not two liabilities getting top four minutes.

      Stepan is coming off a core injury, and is playing better hockey now. He’s still only 25.

      Hank has given up 2 or fewer goals in 10 of 14 games in 2016 (after playing like hot garbage in December).

      I’m not sure what Nash’s story is. We’ll see if he actually starts scoring when he comes back. We could sure use him on the PK if nothing else.

      Fix the back end, fix the team. And a real 4th line with actual hockey players would help, too.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      You are right! It is time to make Zucc the captain!

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

    You know it’s hopeless when not even the transcendent locker room presence that is Tanner Glass can fix the Rangers inconsistent effort level.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I would like to see Dubinsky back. His spark is the kind missing in my opinion.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:35 am

      If he didn’t have a higher cap hit than Brassard, I would kill to have a 4th line of Dubi-Moore-Fast. They would be a pain in the ass to play against.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:10 pm

        Dubi’s considerably better than a 4th liner.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:34 am


      Would love for that to happen, then it would save me $250 on a new jersey lol.
      Heres the thing though with Dubi….He just scored his 12th goal last night. If he scored only 12 goals for us this year, y’all would pound the table to trade him by now lol….SMH.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Holy smokes guys!

    I understand we can play better Hockey. No doubt about that, but……

    53 30 18 and 7-3 in our last ten and this is w/o our superstar for the last half dozen games or so along with our superstar goalie not even playing his best Hockey yet.

    I’m concerned no doubt, but it aint gloom n doom to me like many of you feel here.

    I foresee good things happening our way soon.

    Yes, perhaps some complacency, but I don’t believe for the reasons many of you are manifesting about the leadership no’r the Coach, but more so because it’s a team that has been one of the most successful over the past 5 years. Basically, you made it to the Semi Finals 4 out of the last 5 years with a cup (game 7) appearance. So perhaps the complacency has to do with a club thats been there, done that, and is at a mindset like, “Is it playoff time yet?”, “can we get the REAL show already?”

    I could be wrong about this, because I’m NOT in the locker room, no’r in the minds of the players, but this is my hunch.

    Also for Walt,

    Walt, maybe it’s not that things are bad in the locker room, but maybe things are TOO good in the locker room. Maybe things are too cheery. Perhaps a lil more snarl and edginess is needed in the locker room???

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      I see the positives of our current lineup. I am happy to see that we do not need our best defense-man and our best offense-man and still win. Maybe Nash and McDonough maybe the problem, not because they are bad but because was relied on too much.
      Think about this, Nash will not help in the playoffs and that is fact. I don’t know where McDonough’s head is. Sometimes he looks great and sometimes he looks like shit. Its not good to have a glass jaw. There is still hope he can put it together in the playoffs.
      Mentally Nash is lost and it appears McDonough is facing similar problems. I think that’s why we need a good 4th line that we do not have yet, not because we don’t have the players but because of the 3rd mental problem which is the coach.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 1:12 pm

        “Nash will not help in the playoffs and that is fact.”


      • Feb 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm

        “Maybe Nash and McDonough maybe the problem, not because they are bad but because was relied on too much.”

        You’re onto something here!

        I was thinking the same thing towards the end of the Devil game, but like you, in a good way.

        To me, this is actually a good thing, because, if the fort is still up when they get back, all it’s gonna do is make the club even stronger, as they have learned to adjust and play better w/o them.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      I’ve been saying it all year. This team only cares about building momentum as they get closer to the playoffs.

      The Rangers know there is nothing to play for in this particular regular season, they’ve had a playoff spot sewn up since the 20 game mark of this season, thanks to AV pushing this team like crazy during training camp and through the first quarter of the season. All it took was this recent run of a few decent games, and all of a sudden the Rangers are pulling away from all the pretenders (NJ, Pitt, Philly) in the Metro.

      I know a lot of Rangers fans, after decades of trauma, have a default setting of panic, but you have to trust this team. Like Rob said, this team has been to 3 of the last 4 Conference Championships, they know what they are doing. Trust in them. Let Washington run roughshod during the regular season, I’m certain they are getting knocked out by a crap team, like Boston, in the first round. That Caps team is the opposite of the Rangers, back them against the wall, they fold, and lose.

      I’m curious to see tonight’s game. The Rangers really hate the Pens, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a 6-2 blowout.

      The idea is to play your best hockey in the playoffs. I think this team has enough left in it’s tank for another legitimate shot at the cup. In about two months we’ll get to see that begin to play out against the hated Isles.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm


        I know you have been saying it all year my man, and I totally agree with you!

        Like you said, alot here has definitely been traumatized to the point where my head is on a swivel like Linda Blair. The emotionial vibes that I’m gathering from the typed words on some if these posts are intriguing. Contradiction city at it’s finest…. The VERY same people that DON’T want any “old” guys are the VERY same people that wanna ship out our kids!

        Guys chill out! It’s not as bad as some of you think. You can’t win a cup in February.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 1:13 pm

          Of course, I can’t blame anyone for feeling that way about the Rangers. Just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I don’t get it.

          The important thing is that we are all happy and smiling in June watching the Blueshirts parade through the Canyon of Heroes!

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        If that is so then MTL thought it had a playoff berth sewn up too. You can’t just go from Best to Suck for so long and expect a playoff berth.

        Also, rangers had to know they were getting lucky earlier in the year. If they really thought that lucky points were a reason to play even worse, there is a bigger problem.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 3:19 pm

          Montreal has been record-breaking poor since the first quarter. What is happening there is the mother of worst case scenarios. They won 15 of their first 21 games and then 12 of their latest 34 games.

          Put it this way, when Montreal misses the playoffs they will have set the new standard in the NHL for in-season futility and failure.

          To compare the 15-16 Rangers to the 15-16 Habs is simply wrong. As poor as the Rangers have seemed to be since their great start, they have played roughly .500 hockey. The Habs have been playing at about a .350 clip since their tailspin began.

          Again, it’s all about perspective. Rangers fans have been jumping off of cliffs over a team with an average record.

          • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm

            Ranger fans, go figure Chris.

          • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:26 pm

            also, not “simply wrong”. I’m comparing their starts. both teams started hot. obviously there has been some divergence since then, but despite the fast starts, neither had anything sewn up. I think we all saw enough holes in the rangers’ game to suspect that there was a drop off coming, and this team was not going to just waltz into the playoffs, contrary to the october-november results.

            good enough to marginally outpace the rest of the mediocre division behind us? yes.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I would love some snarl, rather than the ice sweethearts we play. If they need someone like Mess, kick ass, so be it, get him, and see if these softies will play the game the way it should be played, with heart, and emotion!!!!!!!!!!

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        That NHL is dead Walt.

        Look at the recent Cup Winners. All have been skilled teams that don’t mess around after the whistle. The only oddball in that group is Boston which won thanks to an otherwordly performance from Tim Thomas combined with Luongo spitting the bit. And for the record, the Canucks played just as chippy and dirty as Boston did that series.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 2:30 pm

          I wish all the AV haters on here would be able to watch every stich of that series and tell me with a straight face that all of AV’s teams play w female genitalia.

          Vancouver was just as dirty!

          • Feb 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm

            Didn’t Aaron Rome basically end Nathan Horton’s career that series and get suspended for it?

            I know Horton played on and off after that hit to the head but he was never the same player after that, right?

            • Feb 10, 2016 at 6:26 pm

              Yes. I believe that was the play where he was on all fours and Rome came in and checked him into ahis shoulders into the boards with his legs. If you can picture that, it’s pretty gruesome.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Right on Rob…nailed it as usual.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm

        Thanks buddy!

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Forgot to say…..Great article Kevin! Thank you.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I wonder if team leadership is the issue. McDonagh has seemed to me to wilt under the spotlight of Captain (I fully understand that that comment could be off base). MSL seemed like the captain while he was here, but I just don’t see McD as THE team leader. Though, when looking at the team, no obvious captain jumps out.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:54 am

      I think McD has wilted under the crushing weight of playing with Girardi for 20+ minutes every night. The fact that he was awarded the C is a coincidence.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:24 am


    • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:16 am

      I think it’s the past shoulder problems that mentally has limited his effectiveness. Hopefully the concussion erased that mental block.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm

        You do realize that Truck was playing great Hockey prior to the injury right? He was considered one of the hottest defenseman in the league recently…

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:23 am


      To me, Hank is the Captain.

      To me, Hank has been the Captain for a loooong time now.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Would love for that to happen, then it would save me $250 on a new jersey lol.

    Heres the thing though with Dubi….He just scored his 12th goal last night. If he scored only 12 goals for us this year, y’all would pound the table to trade him by now lol….SMH.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Good article. One thing not mentioned is the injured players. It is natural to expect a little less from injured players, but when you start expecting less from some of your players, the value system is corrupted. Saying that a less than 100% Klein is better than a 100% McIlrath sends the message that 100% just isn’t that important.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:48 am

    had we traded stepan instead of Dubinsky we might have been able to beat the kings that year……we lacked size and aggressiveness at center……
    Maybe we can trade stepan and his 9 goals for dubi now? I would throw in Girardi also……

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:52 am

    The problem is you can’t pay spark plugs the money the guys mentioned are paid.

    As a Ranger they were paid correctly and management made the correct call on them and we are still complaining about what they did.

    If Hagelin was on this team with 5 goals for 4.5 million and we let girardi go, we would be flipping out at hagelin instead of girardi.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Exactly. You need guys like Hagelin, but at the right cap number. $4.5M just isn’t in line with his production.

      Problem is, there are several players like that currently on the roster.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 11:58 am

    We definitely need a shakeup and I’ve said what I’m about to say about 30 times but here goes again… Andrew Ladd would be perfect for us! He fits the bill precisely.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      What’s the cost? Half the teams in the league can make that claim.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Then be prepared to give up a Hayes or a Kreider or a Buchnevich.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Hagelin never demanded $4mil from the Rangers. He hadn’t even begun contract talks with the team when he was traded. After the trade, he stated that he expected to get a short term deal with the team for less money, and then a longer term contract with a bump later. That’s what he stated. Now, you can believe him or not, that’s your right. When you look at the other guys who took less to stay, its not that far fetched to believe him. He got $4 mil from Anaheim. They had the cap room and they valued him at that level. Don’t paint Hagelin as greedy just because some team wants to throw money at you. Is he a $4mil player? Obviously not!. But he was worth a lot more to the Ranger, as a player—not as a contract—than Mgmt believed. He was never replaced with anything tangible —for a team that supposedly is in win now mode. I only wish the fans were a little louder in their outcry for the underwhelming play of our supposed stud forward, namely Rick Nash, than they would be if a player like Hagelin was under performing here. But thats ok, right? Nash does so many other things for the team—–Right!

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Joe, were you in the room with Sather, Gorton, and Hagelin’s agent? That’s some great access you have.

      Just because both sides told the media there wasn’t an offer, doesn’t mean there weren’t preliminary talks. If Hags got $4M per year from the Ducks, that’s likely what his agent wanted all along.

      Why would the Ducks just ‘throw’ $4M at Hagelin? Are they in business to simply throw money and cap space away at a whim? Hags isn’t greedy, he wanted to get paid though.

      It’s clear the Rangers decided (correctly) that Fast brings the same exact things to the lineup that Hags used to. The Rangers opted to go with a younger and cheaper replacement and at the same time they got a few assets in exchange for Hags.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        Were you? Put down the poms for a minute and try to be just a little impartial.I’m only going by what the man said after the trade. Believe it or not—obviously you’d rather believe the spin from Sather and his friends in the media. And if you really believe that Fasth offers the same things that Hagelin offered ,you are delusional. Look at the current state of the penalty kill and make that argument. Yeah Hagelin is having a tough year—couldn’t be because he was abruptly traded from the team he thought he would be a member of for a while, could it? And then traded again? No—he just became a lousy overpaid player overnight—after putting in some very credible years for NY. As for the assets they got—they already had to dump his replacement for another project—and a prospect who may or may not ever play for the team. All this while leaving a hole in the lineup that has yet to be addressed. Great job by a team that claims that “losing is not an option.” Even so, this is all water under the bridge. Better to concentrate on the eventual trade coming that will sacrifice Yandle and some more youth, for another vain attempt at a Cup. And then we can dump Kreider over the summer for more cap relief. The circle never ends.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm

          Etem wasn’t Hagelin’s replacement.

          The PK stinks because Staal and Girardi aged about ten years this past offseason. Those two are simply too slow and tentative on the PK and they end up late on all of their rotations and slides which leaves multiple forwards open down low.

          Fast and Hagelin are roughly the same player. I’m not sure what special, esoteric quality you felt Hags brought to the team, but I saw a reliable defensive player with speed that threw his small body around without fear. That is Jesper Fast, to a ‘T’, except Fast has a cap hit that’s about $3M less.

          There are lots of recent moves you can kill the Rangers front office over, moving Hags along is not one of those. In fact, the Rangers should be lauded for not falling in love with one of their own in that instance and overpaying for an average player who’s best attribute is that he was a fan favorite.

          Joe, you seem angry about the existence of the salary cap and the fact that it causes your team to make tough decisions on marginal, yet popular players. You just have to accept that and move on. It isn’t going to change. This is the new NHL, fan favorites are ALWAYS going to be sacrificed for cap space.

          • Feb 10, 2016 at 4:34 pm

            “No one is as blind, as he who will not see.” As for Etem, he was lauded on this very site as a bigger version of Hagelin, with the same speed and fore checking ability, so lets not rewrite history. How did that work out for you? When Kreider is sacrificed this summer and goes on to a nice career, you can rest easy knowing that they saved a few bucks to throw at some more 2nd and 3rd line talent.. While they waste another Season not winning anything. LGR!!

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Another guy we miss big-time is Brian Boyle – and according to the “scuttlebutt” he was not even offered a contract let alone negotiated with.

      I am not an agent and I was not in the room but from what I can remember it seemed as though the prevailing thought was this was an accurate depiction of what occurred. I recall something along the lines of the Rangers saying they expected Boyle would want big bucks.

      I am not a Glass-hater but given the choice between signing Brian Boyle at $2M vs. Tanner Glass at $1.5M on July 1, 2014 I gotta say Glen missed the boat on this one.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        I thought the prevailing thought was that Boyle wanted some sort of guarantees from coaching staff of playing 3rd line minutes and that was what the rangers were not willing to do? Not saying it’s true but that’s what I remember people were talking about at the time.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 3:16 pm


          Bang! That’s EXACTLY what happened w Big Boyle. He specifically said he left because Yzerman and the weird creep guaranteed him more play on the second line, hence the reasoning for us to not even offer him a contract. Period.

          I do agree w Swarty though, because he’d definitely be helpful now, but with that said, we’ve got some guys on the club that can win draws. Now if only Viktor gets going a bit, he can be a huuuuge asset for us going forward. Im expecting some big things from him in the near future, especially in the playoffs.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 5:18 pm

          correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t his wife from Florida as well, and she wanted to get closer to family????????

          • Feb 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm

            I think that was part of it too Walt. I don’t believe we (Management) necessarily wanted Big Boyle to depart, but it was more so his decision.

          • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:11 pm

            you’re right Walt.

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Essentially Hagelin was replaced by Stalberg ($1.1M) and, at that, the Rangers barely got under the cap. It’s immaterial whether Hagelin wanted $3M or $4M — the Rangers couldn’t even afford to give him $2 million. Yes, the Rangers could have kept Hagelin by cutting salary elsewhere (Klein + ?), but it wasn’t about individual greed — just a team that felt it couldn’t afford to tie up too much salary in a third line player.

      And again this offseason, the Rangers again may get rid of a player or two who deserve a contract the Rangers just can’t afford.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        And that’s my point. They undervalue players that actually serve a specific purpose on a team, to accommodate other guys who are overrated and perceived as indispensible. If that 3rd line player serves an important role on that team, some sort of accommodation should have been made. At the very least, get back something that will help now, for a win-now roster. Not some cap relief and a maybe prospect. And to not successfully address that hole created in the lineup by the departure of that “third line” player is again bad mgmt. One again, especially, for a team that is supposedly in “win-now” mode.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 6:09 pm

          But when the Rangers are fully healthy the third line can be any of the four players, Hayes, Lindberg, Stalberg, or Fast.

          In what world did the Rangers leave their third line short?

          Also, all four of those players combined have a cap hit equal to what Hagelin signed for in Anaheim.

          • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:01 pm

            We just have a major disagreement on the talent of a Lindberg, Stalberg or Fasth. Hagelin was a finished developed product. Fasth and Lindberg are learning on the job–and may never develop into the reliable, consistent forechecker and penalty killer Hagelin was. As for Stalberg, you can’t be serious, can you? It always comes back to money for people dismissing the trading of Hagelin as just another deal. And if they would have addressed the hole that was created by that trade, I would dismiss it too. But the guys you mentioned are not equal to what Hagelin brought to the table, at this time , IMO. And once again, for the umpteenth time, for a team that is in win-now mode—not addressing that hole with any real, credible replacement–just dismisses the notion that “losing is not an option,” as just some headline fodder. And by the way, you mentioned earlier that the PK is suffering due to Dmen that are incapable. Maybe. But when asked what role Paille would play on the team, AV mentioned that the PK was struggling and it needed something. So obviously he knows something is missing, other than the lousy play of the dmen who were there in the past, when the PK was a force.

            • Feb 10, 2016 at 7:51 pm

              There’s no doubt we miss Hags, more than I thought and probably management thought. I agree.

              But there’s also no doubt there was nothing that could be done under the circumstances to keep Hags. Every team loses key players they don’t want to lose because of the cap.

              • Feb 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm

                It still wouldn’t have worked financially. You need volume of players to fill out your roster, and some maneuverability in case of injury. I don’t believe the math would have worked.

        • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:02 pm


          Funny thing is the guy that we got for him is leading the league in overtime goals lol lol!

          I had no idea until last night!

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Agree that Hags would have taken less, I really believed that but Rangers reacted as if he would not take less than 4 mil. Who knows? But if he would have taken 3 mil, it WAS a mistake to let him go.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 9:00 pm

        Without a doubt Paul!!!

        It was just one of those situations.

        I don’t think there’s a Ranger fan alive, or anyone in the organization that wanted to see him go, along with even himself!

        I love cough cough lovED the guy, but it was just one of those situations…..unfortunately..

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    antoine Rousell would be cool

    • Feb 10, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Roussel is intriguing. A poor mans Avery. Think he just signed a brand new contract though. Was a UFA w Dallas last year. Very gritty player, strong on the walls and chippy.

      • Feb 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm

        Not sure why Roussel signed for so little. His linemate Cody Eakin is 3 years younger and signed an extension this season for twice as much money.

  • Feb 10, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Hagelin wore #62

    He is the picture for this blog post

    There were 62 comments

    I decided to post to celebrate

    Now there are 63

  • Feb 11, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Actually after all is said and done, I would love the Rangers to move G or Staal and get rid of “sparkplug” Glass and call it a day.

    Maybe add a 2nd level scorer in Parenteau or Hudler or Vrbata if the trade cost is cheap. Send G back home to Toronto for Parenteau. Then everyone movees down a line once Nash comes back, having a very nice bottom 6 in Lindberg-Hayes-Miller and Stalberg-Moore-Fast. 4th line problem solved.

    • Feb 11, 2016 at 7:43 am

      we can dream, and those lines wouldn’t look too bad either!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Feb 12, 2016 at 6:18 am

        sometimes dreams are all we have left Walt, lol

Comments are closed.