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Thoughts following the Eric Staal trade

#StaalsAreBrothers
#StaalsAreBrothers

The long rumored Eric Staal to New York trade has been finalized. The Rangers acquired the C/W from Carolina yesterday afternoon –at 50% retained salary– in exchange for prospect Aleksi Saarela and a pair of second round picks in 2016 and 2017. A lot of people had a lot of opinions about the trade, and now that we’ve had some time to digest the move, let’s break this down.

1. Make no doubt about it, this team is better now than they were Saturday night. Eric Staal, despite his goal scoring numbers this year, is still a solid hockey player. He drives possession to absurd amounts (56.7% this year) despite playing on very bad teams. He only has ten goals this year, but he’s shooting a paltry 6.3%, almost half his career average. The optimist in my believes that there is a chance Staal goes on a tear with better teammates and a turnaround in luck.

2. I doubt Staal unseats Derek Stepan or Derick Brassard from the top two center spots. I think he winds up taking Jesper Fast’s spot in the top-six and on the powerplay, pushing Fast to the fourth line to replace Marek Hrivik. It’s the move that makes the most logical sense without requiring a major overhaul of the lines. It’s possible Staal could play the 3C spot –moving Hayes to wing– but I think that is a waste of his even strength potential. He needs top-six minutes.

3. As for the cost, it was significantly less than we initially feared. I remember talking about this a few weeks ago on the podcast that with Rick Nash’s injury, the Rangers may blow up the farm and get Staal. We then spent the next two weeks explaining why it couldn’t happen, only to have it happen, so what do we know? Anyway, the cost was a top-ten prospect in Saarela and two second round picks. That really isn’t terrible. The Rangers didn’t give up another first round pick, nor did they give up Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei, Ryan Graves, or Igor Shesterkin. Those are my top four prospects at the moment for the Rangers, and they held on to all of them.

4. Another thing: The Rangers didn’t have to give up a roster player to land Staal, another coup for them. The rumor, or fear, was that Oscar Lindberg would need to go in order to land Staal. But as Patrick Kearns pointed out on the podcast, Staal controlled his destination and it hurt his value. All in all, this was a solid move made to better a team that had some significant holes .

5. I know I really wanted Kris Versteeg, since traded to LA. Getting Staal –clearly the better player– for the marginal difference in price makes it a win. In the end, the no-move clause really limited Carolina’s options, and it worked out for the Rangers.

6. But as we said on the podcast, this can’t be the only move the Rangers make. The fourth line, as currently constructed, isn’t that good and the penalty kill is a train wreck. I expect them to make one more move to address both. Michael Grabner is a possibility, maybe the preferred option since he’s the most comparable to Carl Hagelin, at least in terms of speed. They think the defense is just fine the way it is, so another forward is where they might add. I highly doubt they address anything on the blue line though.

7. All this said, I don’t think the Rangers addressed the root of their problems with this move, or any future move coming today. Their issue is their blue line, whether they want to agree with it or not. They can get players to mask these issues, but the crux of the issue is the blue line. Until that is addressed, this team will need a lot of help come playoff time.

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    1. I think Hayes may be traded today. He cannot play the wing effectively, or the 4th line center role. Otherwise, Staal will play LW across from Mats?

  1. Well communicated Dave.

    The cost of 3 trades:

    – 3 1st round picks
    – Anthony DuClair
    – 1 2nd round pick (we’ll net out 1 given to CAR for 1 received from Tampa)
    – Saarella

    Add the real possibility both Yandle and Eric Staal leave the team this summer.

    The reward:

    – President’s Trophy

    Please do not respond with other accomplishments the past two seasons. Players want just 1 thing: the Stanley Cup.

    All of those picks + prospects given up were the equivalent of Hank, Staal, Girardi, Stepan, Dubinsky and Anisimov. These players were drafted and developed from within and have been integral to what the team is today. We did not “trade” ourselves into this position.

    I get it — this is all a “future” cost that nobody can quantify today.

    That doesn’t make it right.

    That makes it a prime reason why we have 1 Cup in 75 years.

    1. Also, while it is commendable for the organization to try and win the up, if personnel moves are made on a false premise the team is one rental player away from the Cup then, no, it is not a sound management strategy.

    2. Well stated and represented.

      One thing to consider…. the alternative option of not trading away futures to make the team better today very well may have resulted in 0 Cups in 75 years.

        1. How so?

          “The 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers team took nearly nine years to build, from the first piece of the puzzle — Mike Richter in June 1985 — to the final pieces — Glenn Anderson, Craig MacTavish, Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan at the NHL trade deadline in March 1994.”

          Those deadline moves cost: Tony Amonte, Matt Oates, Mike Gartner, Todd Marchant. Amonte and Gartner specifically went on to have illustrious careers. Before we see how this year plays out, I think we can draw more than a few parallels between both roster constructions….

          My point is, there’s two sides to every coin and every pro comes with a con. At this juncture, it’s time to get excited for some spring time hockey.

          1. How so?

            Your alternate option of “0” Cups in 75 years assumes that is only other option when league history suggests 4-6 more Cups is more probable.

            Springtime hockey is fun. Winning the Stanley Cup is funner!

            1. Very simply, AD, if those deadline trades aren’t made in 94 perhaps they don’t win the Cup. Then you’re left with 0.

              You’re not acknowledging that the very same thing you are bashing (trading away futures for contributing assets to win now) is part of the exact formula which yielded us our “1 Cup in 75 years.”

              There is a likely probability that we have 0 Cups in 75 years if we didn’t do then what you’re saying we shouldn’t do now.

              I’m not defending it, I am not bashing it. I am pointing our that you are inconsistent in your analysis.

              1. If “0” Cups in 75 years was the ONLY other outcome, you would be accurate.

                But it isn’t the only other outcome.

                League history suggests a strategy other than “win now” would have yielded a handful more Stanley Cups.

              2. You keep saying that. It simply isn’t true.

                4-6 more cups is more probable than nothing. Because it isn’t probable. 1 cup isn’t even probable in any given year. It’s improbable.

                Cups won:
                Canadiens 24
                Maple Leafs 13
                Red Wings 11
                Bruins 6
                Hawks 6
                Oilers 5
                Isles 4
                Rangers 4
                Devils 3
                Penguins 3
                Everyone else 2, 1 or 0

                Going back 100 years, not 75.

                Feel free to let us know how many of those cups were won without trading away a draft pick. Should be a fun exercise…..

              3. Oh, I see you. years #1 through 25 count more than the past 25 years, most of which have been under the current Sather regime?

                As you now, I never advocated not trading a draft pick.

                I certainly advocate against 3 1st round picks; DuClair, Saarella and a 2nd round pick, for the President’s Trophy and a team left with a weak succession profile in place.

                If we exit the 2nd round of playoffs, will you be of the same view?

              4. Yes, I would be of the same view.

                You can blow it up at any point in time and trade roster players for futures.

                You cannot just snap your fingers and build a contender.

              5. you would?

                what’s the purpose of giving up 2 2nd round picks + Saarella, if the end result is exiting the 2nd round of the playoffs?

      1. nothing personal, but 1 in 76 years is a piss poor record!!!!!!!!!!!

        The Hawks have three in the last 7 years, almost as many as we have in our entire history, that is shameful………..

        1. The Hawks also were god awful until they got these two kids… Toews and Kane… maybe you’ve heard of them. The likes of which the rangers have and will never see b/c they will never stand for sucking bad enough to be an EDM or PIT or CHI before they got their superstar/franchise players.

          1. So, as an NHL hockey player the past 22 years, you would rather have been a NY Ranger than an Avalanche player?

            I’d be on the AVs and have my name on 2 Stanley Cups.

            I also personally enjoy watching young players and prospects develop from within and then win it all, together. To me, that’s a big part of being a fan.

            I don’t need morphine hits with splash trades on deadline day. The hangover is not worth the temporary high.

            1. And if we win this year you could say that you enjoyed between 1 and 10 years of drafting and/or developing the likes of M Staal, Girardi, Lundqvist, Stepan, McDonagh, Kreider, Miller, Fast. Lindberg, Hayes…..win it all, together. None of whom ever wore any NHL jersey other than that of NYR.

              What am I missing?

          2. And they will win once every 76 years because they won’t stand for being that bad. I could go for a few loosing seasons, with several cups at the end of the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hell we went thru that several years ago, and sill got squat for it doing the same thing we are today…………..

            1. As a fan it’s an easy choice to make. As an owner things become a bit more complicated.

              And honestly, I don’t really miss the years when our most effective forward was Mike York.

    3. Sorry, you are wrong. If all hockey is about is the Stanley Cup, then it is just dumb. Everybody loses but one city, yuck. It is about excitement. The 2014 and 2015 Rangers were successful teams – they gave their fans a thrill.

      Here’s the truth about the current Rangers. Lundqvist is a fine goalie, but he has never played well enough in the SC playoffs to deserve the Conn Smythe Trophy. He is capable of that. what Ranger management has done these past few years is put a team on the ice which, if Hank reaches that level, will actually win the Cup and give him that prize.

      And, why moan about the lean years to come, since they never do.

    4. AD-

      Your points are well thought out. I don’t agree with you at all, but I am always open to being enlightened. So a few questions for you to help enlighten me….

      1) you seem to be advocating a unique approach here, wouldn’t you at least acknowledge that? This is a team that has made two deep runs into the SC Playoffs in back to back seasons. This year, the team has been a bit uneven for sure (although I must point out, they were more uneven two years ago when they eventually went to the SCF), but despite that, they have the second best record in the Eastern Conference, third best record in the league. They are arguably the hottest team in hockey right now (other than the Ducks). They’ve had an incredible month despite playing without Nash, and for the most part without McDonagh.

      So, right now, it’s undeniable that the Rangers are as good if not better record wise than any team in the league other than the Caps. And that’s before the trade made yesterday and without arguably their two best players not named Hank? And if the Caps are so unbeatable, why didn’t every team in the East go into sell mode? Why must the Rangers sell when teams WORSE than them are buying?

      Here’s my question….you seem like a smart guy who’s followed sports for awhile. Has their EVER been in a team in this position, in the modern era of the NHL and indeed all of sports, that has chosen to sell as opposed to buy, and effectively bail on the season? If so, please enlighten us. Because you seem to be talking about studying business plans and I got to tell you, I can’t find one example of anyone doing this.

      Actually, there was one that comes to mind. The 1997 Chicago White Sox who made their infamous White Flag Trade while just 3 1/2 games back in the AL Central race. I was living in Chicago at the time. The team was skewered in the press. Attendance and TV ratings collapsed, and the team unraveled. They got five so called “can’t miss young players”. Three of them turned out to be busts and two of them (Bobby Howry and Keith Foulke) became quality relievers who were then dealt in short order. It took Sox eight years to recover from that disaster. All in an attempt to get younger–which failed.

      So, any successful examples of your “business plan” you’d like to share with us?

      2) Your analysis of what they gave up these last few seasons, to me at least, is deeply flawed. Each deal must be looked at individually.

      The MSL deal was successful because you got what would have been an onerous contract (Callahan) off the books for two cracks at the Cup. Year one–a thrilling trip to the SCF where they were beaten by a better team. Year two, best record in the league and likely denied a return trip to the Finals only because of too many debilitating injuries. To me, well worth the ride. You think Garden management, with all the millions they made on those seven rounds of playoffs in two seasons (as many as they had in total in the previous five seasons under Torts, btw) consider that trade a failure?

      The Yandle deal? Admittedly, losing Duclair was hard to swallow. Still is. But again, the Rangers had the best record in the league. If you are going to take a risk, that was the moment to do it. We will never know what would have happened if the team had been healthy. That’s not bad planning or bad strategy as much as it was simply bad breaks (literally).

      This deal for Staal? We give up a guy in Saarela who is a small, fast, playmaker…maybe a Zuc/Hags type, that projects at best to being a second line player. Or maybe just a borderline NHLer. It’s unknown. But he’s probably not going to be a difference maker like Duclair.

      As for the draft picks, you act like these translate into automatic gold for a team. It depends where you draft. Late first round picks, and the second rounders we just gave up, usually pan out to be 50/50 NHL caliber players, and those who do make it are usually just component pieces. Translation–very replaceable.

      The failure of this organization to draft stars when they had favorable drafting position (1998-2005, and then again in 2010), is what has held the team back. If we do fail to win the Cup, that will be why, not because of what we’ve done since then. Since we did a good job of finding those later picks that became solid component pieces, we developed the team we see today….good but not great. Star power from the goalie (who we miraculously found in the 7th round of all things), but clearly the drafting in and of itself was not enough to win a Cup. So the only option was to double down on trades to get what was missed out on during the draft. Where I agree with you, when we do eventually rebuild or reload, we MUST do a better job with favorable drafting position.

      3) You seem to be forgetting that MSG is a publicly traded company. The GM has a lot of power, but willfully doing damage to the company’s financial ledger is something that isn’t going to be tolerated without a very good rationale. Deep playoff runs are worth millions in ticket sales, concessions, and advertising dollars. I would love to see you try and explain this business plan of yours to Glen Sather (who, if you were Gorton, hired you, who you consulted with on the past deals, and who is still your boss), and then have him explain to Dolan why the Rangers won’t be in the playoffs very much over the next few seasons. No chance that could be sold to management. And if you could, you do realize that you might as well put together your resume, because it’s highly improbable you’d be around to reap the benefits of the rebuild. The cruel reality of sports rebuilds.

      Eventually, of course, rebuilds are inevitable. But you don’t do it now.

      4) Back to the draft picks and prospects, I don’t understand why you so desperately want to keep them at all costs. Do you know how many draft picks and prospects fail? The vast majority. You keep referencing other recent champions. Every one of them built their championship team not only with draft picks, but also by trading draft picks and prospects, and of course, free agents. It’s never just one way, which you seem to be suggesting.

      5) yes, we’ve given up a lot in recent years. A reset is coming. When? I’d say when the cap situation and record forces that to be reality. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them make some moves to retool this summer. So my point is, some of you lose your minds when draft picks are traded. Why? They can easily be recouped when the pendulum swings towards rebuild and selling off assets. Heck, we saw an example of that this summer with Hags. Gropp looks like a fine young prospect. There will be more deals like that in the near future. No doubt.

      6) rebuilding the NY Rangers is as tough a task as there is in sports. Why? It’s NY. But even more than that, given MSG’s corporate structure, given the state of the Knicks, given the fact that the Islanders now play in NYC and both they and the Devils share the market, there is a real fear that, if you are Dolan, your team could become irrelevant. Rebuilding is inevitable, but it is imperative to ride out this wave and maximize every opportunity while it’s there.

      7) I disagree with your premise that players, given the choice, would go to Colorado to win two Cups. That makes no sense. No one can look into the future and say for certain which destination gives them the best chance to win. You need a great team for sure, but you also need to have everything break right, and you need to be healthy. The Rangers strategy is no better or worse than anyone else’s. And, to say 1 Cup in 75 years is ridiculous. This management team has nothing to do with the history. You can only judge based on current management in the current system. Post lockout, especially in recent seasons, we’ve been right there. That’s really all you can ask…that the team contends and then hopefully, things break your way.

      8) Your assertion that these trades are like crack….I agree with that! We are fans…therefore fanatics. Feed us the “crack”! That’s the business. Make deals…create hope, put it altogether…and maybe you will have a great run in front of you. If you don’t, heck, they may very well get bounced first round. But it still makes this Staal deal worth taking. If it fails, it’s a new year, you regroup. We can easily recoup what was lost.

      I don’t look at the team’s from the 70s as failures. They were great teams that just got beat. That sports. But you have no chance to win it all unless you are in it. Your strategy doesn’t guarantee success anymore than the current approach.

  2. After some thinking about this move, I’m happy that we didn’t give away the shop, nor did they give up Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei, Ryan Graves, or Igor Shesterkin. They stuck to their guns, and kept these kids……….

    E Staal will give us options, we can play him at center, or wing for now. If, and when Nash returns, this is how I can see things. Kreider goes to the 3rd line, E Staal stay in the top 6, Fast goes to the 4th line, we then have the option of Stralberg, or Quickie on the 4th, where we have major issues, and Glass sits.

    To the advocates of trading away #1 picks rather cavalierly, how many teams traded their #1 picks???????? None that I’m aware of!!!!!!! Maybe the GM’s are getting it, draft young kids, develop them, keep a good supply in the pipeline of talented players, that are cost controlled. That my friends is the new way of doing business in NHL, under a cap system!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. What I don’t see mentioned enough within the media, blogs and amongst fans, is a recognition that one of our organization’s top strengths is drafting.

      We have an enviable record of drafting players in the 2nd-7th rounds who turn out to be difference makers, and we consistently play away from this strength by trading away those picks.

      Every company has to have a winning strategy. I’ve literally studied hundreds of organizations, if not > one thousand; and I’ve interviewed thousands of executive management personnel and I have yet to come across one organization that accomplishes its goals by playing against its strengths. It’s just poor leadership from the top.

      We can be a Cup winning organization. But we have to play into our strengths.

      3 1st round picks, DuClair, 1 2nd round pick, Saarella, and possibility of losing Yandle and E Staal this summer, all for the President’s Trophy.

      Folks, it ain’t working and as Dave stated, we have bigger fish to fry with our blue line.

    2. The exception is 2013 where we drafted three first rounders in the THIRD round. That was an exceptional draft for not havinf a first or second rounder.

  3. Eric Staal gives the Rangers Two legit all stars when Nash is healthy. The depth on this team went from good to great with this trade. It sucks we’ve given up so many picks and promising prospects but when you look at our lineup, there is no weakness IF the defense(#5, #18) can get it together and play the way they used to for Torts.

    Staal Stepan Nash
    Miller Brassard Zuccarello
    Kreider Hayes
    LindbergMoore

  4. As it has been noted many times, the NYR are a win now team. You do what you can to put yourself over the top, and hopefully not at the expense of the whole future.

    So far, we have kept Kreider, Hayes, Oskar and Fast. 4 young forwards. Kept McIlrath and Skjei. 2 young defenseman. We still have at least 3 young players on the horizon in Buch, Tambellini and Megna.

    If you look at the current roster, Maybe the 4th line will change drastically next year, with Stalberg, Moore, Glass leaving. We are still in very good shape for a 2016-2017 run, which is all you can ask for right now.

  5. The more I reflect on this trade, the more I dislike it for the following reasons:

    1. Having watched Eric play on several occasion I am totally unimpressed with his lethargic, uninspired performance.
    2. He is a rental as the Rangers do not have enough cap space to resign him in the off-season, even if they did, I prefer that they sign Keith Yandle
    3. If the Rangers wanted scoring depth they were many other better options out there where they didn’t have to mortgage their future
    4. The Rangers have a big talented 3rd. line pivot with Kevin Hayes. He is a natural centerman and I rather see him play there then on the wing

    1. They didn’t mortgage the future. Staal is a scoring center, which other than Brassard, we do not have. Hayes and Kreider show glimpses of greatness, but not at the sustained rate that Staal has done over the past few years.

      Our Nash-less offense needs a boost, and the current cast has not shown the ability to provide that boost.

      1. Staal was a scoring center. Currently, Kevin Hayes is a more productive centerman then Eric. Not only has the Ranger organization paid a huge price in opportunity cost of future talent (potentially 3 young roster players), they are living in the past.

  6. Great piece Dave. Lots of great points here. I don’t think anyone can argue the Rangers are better today then they were before the trade. But as Dave pointed out, acquiring Eric Staal is not all the Rangers needed to fix what’s broken. Namely the D. Right now out of our starting 6 we have 3 legit top D-men. McD, Klein and Yandle. I love Girardi but years of blocking shots have taken their toll. Marc Staal, is playing like crap and has all year, and please don’t get me started on the ancient Boyle who could NEVER play D and did NOTHING to improve our PP which was the only reason we brought this waste of a roster spot and cap space to the team. Saarela is by everything I’ve read a “B+” prospect, but I don’t have a problem giving him up in the trade. I do have a problem giving up two second rounders. Our current GM has a well earned reputation of extremely good talent evaluator, hence excells in drafts. As I said yesterday after the trade, I do not think we have enough to get out of the East. If you look at this year, the Rangers have gone as Hank has gone. The Rangers are a flawed team as presently constructed, with most of the flaws playing defence. So the way I look at this, is that we threw away two second rounders, made even worse because of all the first rounders we do not have for MAYBE a little longer run in the playoffs. I would have kept our young players, tried to trade Yandle for as much as possible and recouped as much as possible that we gave away to get him and do as well as we could have this year. I do not think Eric Staal will make a huge difference in this years playoff run. But then what the hell do I know, before the season started I thought the Blue Jackets would be a force……..

  7. You keep saying they haven’t addressed the big problems on D – that’s because they CAN’T.

    Girardi and Staal are going nowhere, at least until (maybe) the offseason.

    1. Look at all the terrible contracts that have already been moved this year. It’s not that they CAN’T, it’s that they legitimately don’t see how bad Girardi and Staal are. They actually think those guys are elite players, which is a sad state of affairs.

      1. Bad is a very relative term. Edmonton has a horrid defense. They just traded their worst starting defensemen to the Penguins. The truth is that Girardi and Staal are not bad defensemen; they are simply not as good as players with their salaries should be. HOWEVER, while you might imagine that you can upgrade a $2M defenseman who is making $6M, that requires going out and getting a true $3M defenseman and those don’t grow on trees and do carry big cap hits.

        Truthfully, the only real possibility on defense is to go out and get a low cost seventh Dman in case one of the top six is hurt. Gorton got it right yesterday. Get players so the Rangers can avoid using guys like Hrivik and Glass.

  8. https://www.sny.tv/rangers/news/what-mark-messier-said-about-the-rangers-and-the-playoffs/165720968

    As per usual, Mark Messier has analyzed the situation completely on point. What he’s saying is that the Rangers are unable to score in the playoffs at key times. They are unable to impose their will on other teams which leads to low scoring 2-1 games & series that end up going too long. There is a lack of leadership, unlike the 94 team which could wear down their opponents. It reminds me of what Adam Graves said that the 94 Rangers would come out and impose their will on the opposition & no matter what the score both the Rangers & the opposition knew who the better team was & the better team was going to win one way or another.

      1. Absolutely did & even though I’ll be roasted on this one, I’m firm in my conviction here. Leadership starts at the top.

    1. I do recall the ’94 team needing 7 games and overtime to emerge from the ECF. Then another 7 games to emerge from the SCF.

      Slightly contradictory, no?

      1. No, because they eliminated the Isles in 4 straight & then the Caps in 5, so they were well rested for the tougher later rounds.

        1. Paul, I have a lot of respect for your opinion on many things but your ability to play “journalist” and decipher quotes is somewhat lacking to say the least. Not to mention your inaccurate comparisons between the ’94 squad and this one.

          Here’s the quote….

          “The Rangers have been knocking at the door and have a lot of good experience, they know what it takes to win and they are trying to bolster their lineup and try to get over the top.”

          My comment….how do you interpret that as “lack of leadership”? Mess is saying they know what it takes to win. How does he say that if there’s a lack of leadership from the coach, as you seem to be implying? Quite the leap it seems you are making based on nothing other than a dislike of AV that you can’t quantify or justify. That’s your right as a fan, but Mess is saying the team knows what it takes. So I suspect he disagrees with you.

          On getting past Washington, “they have played far too many games in order to try to win the Stanley Cup. They have put themselves in a tough situation having to go to Game 7s. Every game that you play in the playoffs takes a big toll and if you can win a series in 4-5 games, it’s a huge advantage. Any rest that you can get is advantageous. I think scoring has been a bit of a problem for them in the playoffs. You can play great defense but sometimes you need to be able to take the pressure off the goaltending and defense and be able to score some goals. That gets into special teams and they have struggled on the PP and usually that is what comes down to scoring in the playoffs. That one advantage that you get you have to make good on. If I had to nitpick the Rangers at any point over the last few years it’s been their inability to score big goals at key times. It’s not the goaltending and they have played well as a team but you need to find a way to score important goals.”

          My comment…..funny, I was going to post this quote myself to counter your position and others that our defense is the main problem, and not a lack of offensive firepower. I’ve said all along, we are the no-margin-for-error Rangers. We’ve been that way under two coaches now come playoff time. It was far worse under your guy Torts, who seemed to eschew the very notion of having an offensive game plan. In fairness to Torts though, he did the best he could with a good, but not great roster. AV, with essentially the same roster, brought a more wide open attack approach that has helped our offensive output a great deal. But it is still a roster that is good, deep, but lacking in offensive star power. The coach has done an amazing job with a flawed team.

          Mess is 100% correct. Come playoff time, when goals are tougher to come by, we just don’t have enough high end offensive talent that can finish on scoring chances. I’ve been saying this for years now. Yes, the defense has had some issues this year, but the bigger issue is we have too many guys who think pass first. We need scorers. I’m hoping that adding Staal, getting Nash back, maybe, just maybe Kreider gets it going, maybe this time it will be different.

          As for comparing this team to the ’94 team, yeah, sure. Would I like to have future HOFers like Messier and Leetch, or a team of guys with lengthy Stanley Cup resumes like that team had? Would I like indomitable players like Graves? Of course! You’re more of a fan of Keenan than I am, that’s for sure, but let’s be serious here, there is NO comparison between that team and this team talent wise. You can’t build a roster that way anymore in a hard cap league. And, with so much competitive balance, there aren’t weak first and second round opponents to beat up on anymore. It’s a totally different league. To compare eras is silly.

          AV is an outstanding coach. He doesn’t act like a mad man and alienate players like Torts and Keenan did. He’s had more post season success in two seasons than just about any other coach in Rangers history. He’s on the verge of having a second consecutive 100+ point season for the first time since the ’72-’73 team. He has made this team FAR, FAR better than they were under the previous coach, and he’s doing it with a good but not great roster that, as Mess said, can’t score big goals in key moments. Thats the roster they have. How is that on the coach?

  9. Today
    The NYR are clearly a better team with Eric S than without and that is a good thing for the rest of the season and hopefully a long postseason (can we all stop saying one last kick at the can now please?)

    Need
    The D-men problem was/is not going to get solved at the deadline. I don’t think it makes too much sense to management to head into a cup run and deal veteran defensemen. AV has said Eric is going to play Center (at least today) and there are implications to that up and down the lineup. Tonight’s lines will be interesting.

    Impact
    You would think Eric would be pumped to come to NYR and hopefully that is proven out by his play. You would think that it would also affect Marc’s play in a positive manner – Geez lets’ hope so. Hopefully there will be less pressure on Nash when he gets back and if his game elevates as a result of the trade then that will be huge.

    Summer Shakeup
    Something has to happen with the D-Men. Yandle is UFA and the M. STALL/Girardi situation needs to be dealt with. There are also two young lefty’s who are close to making the big club. E. Stall is also UFA and Kreider, Hayes, Miller, & DMC are all RFA. That is a lot of moving pieces but it also creates opportunities.

    Draft
    In either 2016 or 2017 we are not going to have a 1st or a 2nd so hopefully you guys are right about our drafting strength.

  10. Somewhat of a tangent, but relative to this thread’s topic, do the metrics show that our D is trending up over the recent past?

  11. Incidentally, the focus this year is not on the Cup, but on reuniting brothers. Eric and Marc get to play together. Meanwhile, Ryan gets to join his brother Chris in Hershey. The Brown-Bourque trade was actually about the future. Ryan would no doubt have left as a UFA this summer, while Brown is signed for another year and an RFA after that. OTOH, the Caps might use Ryan this year and can likely resign him if they so choose (Chris is already signed).

    Sadly though, Brown looked a much brighter prospect a few years back.

  12. Can’t argue with opinions…let’s just say Rangers management recognizes the state of the farm and the current roster…they went all-in on St. Louis and went to the finals….only a Cup would have vindicated that deal and close is not a Cup.
    The Nash trade is in the same win now culture and who knows if he will play again this season….the Staal deal is just the latest attempt to win now and does not cause any harm in the ‘room’…Staal is a quality guy and may find a second life; help his brother to upgrade his performance and give more life to the up and down pp…it would seem that they don’t have enough, but they are being overlooked as they continue to shut down most of the so-called top teams….if Hank falters we all know it means no shot….if the right playoff match-ups get them to the Conference finals than they have as good a shot as any team…only one team comes out of the West and Chicago seems to be everyone’s favorite…Washington is loaded, but loaded teams often falter…I like the Rangers going for it now, period…no Cup means bad deal again

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