Rangers depth and team’s handling of Oscar Lindberg destroying trade value

oscar lindberg

Hopefully the Rangers won’t have considered shopping JT Miller, Kevin Hayes or any of the ‘core’ kids to help address the team’s obvious flaws but one player who has constantly been touted as a trade chip has been Oscar Lindberg. Thanks to the way the Rangers have utilised Lindberg it’s hard to see any kind package involving Lindberg bringing back any meaningful return.

Yes, Alain Vigneault has openly preached patience with Lindberg (and rightly so) as he came back from a significant injury but the fact Vigneault has prioritised Matt Puempel and Josh Jooris is bad roster management. Neither player likely offer the Rangers more upside than Lindberg whether that is as a trade piece or part of the current roster set up. The fact that Vigneault sees Jesper Fast as a top six winger but keeps Lindberg in street clothes is also baffling even though Fast and Lindberg’s respective destinies should not be directly linked. Fast indeed, has certainly deserved to stay in the line-up despite being misused.

No sane Ranger fan would suggest Lindberg is the next coming of Gretzky or even a 20 goal scorer at the NHL level. However, he showed enough last season to suggest he could maybe be a middle six option or, at worst, a solid fourth line center with some offensive upside. It cannot reasonably be argued that he’s been given a chance to re-establish himself since coming back from his injury.

Had Lindberg done enough last season to build up some credit with his coach (pre-injury) and be given a run in the line-up? I feel like he should have. Indeed, I thought the signing of Jooris should merely have been as insurance for Lindberg’s recovery and I haven’t seen enough from Jooris to think he’s a significant upgrade on a healthy Lindberg.

With Lindberg in and (mostly) out of the line-up and without getting any traction this season whatsoever, he has no value outside of the organisation. Besides the fact he has a minimal cap hit and offers a no-risk option for any acquiring franchise, Lindberg hasn’t done anything of note to entice a team into a trade. The thing is, he hasn’t had the chance to re-prove himself. Playing two of the last five games isn’t enough, particularly with minimal ice time.

The Rangers will be reluctant to move any of their core younger players and so they should be. However the team’s depth does negatively effect some players who fall victim to the increased competition and the team’s use of Lindberg is another example, following Dylan McIlrath, of the team mishandling a solid young player who at worst should have been a solid trade chip at the deadline. As it stands now, Lindberg’s Rangers career is stuck in reverse and that’s not good for anyone.

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  • A. I think they rushed his return. B. Hes shown very little this yr. So yeah keep playing guys doing nothing. Makes sense.

  • I guess the way Florida has put Dylan in the lineup every game for 15-20 minutes really proves NYR handled him wrong…oh wait……it didn’t. Please stop with the mishandled him, he wasn’t good enough to play and still isn’t with a new team.

    • Two different coachs in that organization have handled him the same way as AV.

      Right now he is not good enough to crack an NHL lineup.

      What is this love affair with this fringe NHLer?

    • For the record? The Panthers’ D corps is light years better than ours’, so you’re comparing apples and oranges.

      Again, playing someone like McIlrath or Clendening is a condemnation on the D corps we do have, not how great Dylan and Adam are.

      Why doesn’t this sink in?

    • He plays with some fiest which is devoid in the line up. I think the jury is still out on how much time he deserves. He probably is an upgrade of Puempel. Maybe an upgrade over Jooris.

      • Oskar needs to play with someone on his line other than Puempel and Pirri. I wouldn’t mind 2 straight games of Oskar centering Jensen and Hrvik to see how they all play together.

  • this team simply has no grit they sent Dylan to Florida so you have no one to protect our assets Lindberg should be playing give him the benefit of the doubt

    • NYR fans aren’t hip to overall hockey, well at least thats my conspiracy whilie I lived in NY. There are more spectator’s in that state following the game and no I’m not trying to take shots at you personally but that line tired line of “no one to protect our assests” is why this sport doesn’t appeal much in the states. If I was new I would asked the simple question of why isn’t this team thinking pack like mentality? I already can tell you’re the type who either thinks anchors like Dylan or Glass would be worth it to keep our “assets” of gold safe.

      Truth is our leadership is weak while mainly looking at the assistant’s such as Stepan, Staal and Girardi. I think Cally stirred up more drama than Mcd when the team needed to be amped up but that’s a different story. Besides the fact that the other three don’t produce up to their contract they’re also as soft as a bunch of high school girls hockey team. Its why Nash had to get added into the group and stripped Stepan’s home ice honor and with little words it told me that one is respected more than the other’s in the locker-room. The core players that were here for that 2012 run should have set the example to the younger crowd but it seems they aren’t all that well liked. Brassard and Zucc did it to some extent but we don’t need a liability playing 8 minutes a game just to prove a example. A Dan Carcillo type would be cool but our leadership group is nothing like CBJ, Pitts, Philly, Boston and Ottawa teams.

  • “However the team’s depth does negatively effect some players who fall victim to the increased competition and the team’s use of Lindberg is another example, following Dylan McIlrath, of the team mishandling a solid young player who at worst should have been a solid trade chip at the deadline.”

    This is complete and utter nonsense. McIlrath has played ONE GAME for Florida. All of the people who posted here saying that McIlrath was exhibit one for AV’s mismanagement of youth have been exposed as not knowing much about the game. Or perhaps Exhibit ONE means how many games per month TWO different NHL franchises have determined how often he should play.

    • One game is not giving someone a chance. After you unqualified comment we should not give you another chance. You should delete yourself!

      • Dylan played 39 NHL games for the Rangers over 4 years plus an additional 150 AHL games. I think the Rangers know what McIlrath is.

        The rest of the league could have picked up Dylan for nothing when he was waived in November. I think the rest of the league also knows what McIlrath is.

        He was given a chance and didn’t show enough. Just move on. Brady Skjei and Ryan Graves are far better defensemen anyway.

        • He is a multi-purpose Defenseman. A lot of people liked him and saw his abilities as beneficial.
          Bring up Graves, I dare that Coach and GM.

        • Well said. Dylan was given his chances and he didn’t live up to the coaches expectations. The proof is in that No one pick him up off waivers.

  • McD is the best player on the team but not a leader. I can’t think off the top of my head who would be a leader on this team other than Zuc. That is the problem this team has had since St. Louis retired.

  • Jooris is quite a good defensive center, which is why AV likes deploying him on the 4th line. That being said, I think that Lindbergh, if healthy, could develop into about as good as a center defensively while adding a bit more of an upside offensively.

    However, I wouldn’t be so quick to say he has been mishandled; he just came back from rather serious surgery and might still be getting his stamina and legs back. With Mika injured, maybe he will get in some games.

    I’d like them to start playing both Oscar and Clendening more, but I am not sure that we’ll see it happen soon.

  • The injury set Oscar back, no question and maybe he was rushed back too soon.

    Lindberg “should” be a very competent 2 way center that can chip in goals and is suited for the 4th line and maybe even the 3rd line.

    The guy played against adults in the SEL for a few years and his offensive game exploded before he came here (he was voted MVP in the playoffs the last year he played in the SEL).

    I think his confidence is shot. At this point I would say he will be a throw in for a trade package. I would ask the Yutes as they drafted him in a possible deal for Stone.

    • If he plays like he did last night, Oscar is a keeper. The problem is we haven’t seen that guy for a long long time.

      Maybe you’re right and his rehab wasn’t 100% successful. Last night was definitely a positive sign though. He played a sound game, made good decisions with the puck, and didn’t commit any lazy stick fouls which had been his penchant every time he played this season.

      The biggest negative with Oscar is that he’s already 25. And I remember being excited about the fact that he was the SEL playoff MVP in 2013. But that is now a long long time ago. Maybe he’s just not good enough to be an impact player in the NHL? I could see him heading back to Sweden this summer and being a big player in the SEL.

      • Hey Chris, there is no question when the Rangers are healthy that Oscar has been surpassed in the lineup. Which is a shame.

        And you are correct, his window of opportunity is quickly closing similar to Hrivik. That’s why I think a trade to maybe the Yutes for Stone could help both Oscar and the Yutes. I hear the Yutes want a goalie, so maybe one of the Rangers’ young goalies (NOT one of their studs) and Oscar for Stone is possible. That would be good for Oscar and give him a real chance to play regularly.

        Of course with all the Ranger injuries, it’s all hands on deck right now.

        • Is it a shame or is it an indication of how freaking deep the Rangers are up front when everyone is healthy?

          • they are deep no question, probably one of the deepest Ranger forward groups that I can remember. the 94 team was really deep, I mean guys like Gilbert and Nemchinov on the 4th line. When healthy, this team is really deep.

            That being said, if Oscar was the 4th line C I thought he would be then Jooris is not signed.

  • The point Dave made is valid – the usage of players – whether it is Lindbergh, Clendening, Jooris, or DMC is puzzling to say the least.

    The move to call up Hrivik while Jooris is scratched is just poor personnel and cap management even if it is only for one game. If Jooris is not worthy of playing put him on waivers and send him to Hartford. Puempel already moved ahead of him it seems.

    The D remains suspect but yet we have a guy who has fresh legs and seems to hold his own (when he does play) sitting. The least they could do would be to go to an often mentioned rotation.

    I’ve preached patience for this year but judging by Hank’s body language I am afraid his patience is running out. And when that happens his game goes south quickly.

    There is a line between the GM’s role and the coaches roll and none of us know how much input Gort’s has on the lineup, but as good of a GM as he is, I can’t see him sitting around much longer while the value of his trade chips fall.

  • Gave this the thumbs up it generally deserved.

    However, ” but one player who has constantly been touted as a trade chip has been Oscar Lindberg” prompts me to ask WHO is doing this touting?

    Because it should be obvious our best play is
    trade Stepan/+ for something significant, preferably at D, pref RD

    roll w/Zib, Hayes, Miller, Jooris and even Nieves while Lindy/Zib heal

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