Irresponsible Rumormongering

Does it make sense to trade Antti Raanta in the offseason?

Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire

Antti Raanta has been having a stellar season. Forced into more playing time than expected, he has shined brightly and helped stabilize what could have been a disaster in net for the Blueshirts. It’s reminiscent of when Cam Talbot was forced into more playing time when Ryan McDonagh tried to decapitate Henrik Lundqvist.

Talbot was traded that offseason to the Edmonton Oilers for three draft picks that the Rangers desperately needed. Almost immediately after the trade, the Rangers landed Raanta in a deal with Chicago for Ryan Haggerty. Haggerty is already 24 and has not seen a single NHL game. Suffice it to say, Benoit Allaire picked his man wisely.

This brings up an interesting discussion, and a valid point brought up by Josh on Twitter:

The Dallas Stars, as Josh points out, are in desperate need of a goalie. Neither Antti Niemi nor Kari Lehtonen are getting the job done, and it has reached a tipping point in Dallas. It’s clear goaltending is holding the team back.

The reason a potential deal with Dallas works is because they won’t want or need to protect either of their current goaltenders in the expansion draft. In acquiring Raanta, they solidify their goaltending position without taking any expansion draft risk. For the Rangers, they could get a solid return for an asset they might lose for nothing.

The wild card here is going to be Allaire and who he has his sights on for his next project. And make no mistake, it’s Allaire who has been the steady force for the Rangers. He finds the guys he knows have the tools and can be taught. Perhaps a name like Jonathan Bernier piques his interest? He certainly won’t cost the $4 million he’s getting now.

The NHL is all about asset management. The Rangers have an expiring asset on their hands who is at his peak value. It will be either this year or next when they will be parting ways with him. It makes sense to maximize his value and get return while they still can.

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  • This summer is the time to trade Raanta. Just like Talbot was, he’s 1 year from UFA on a very cheap deal.

    Unless we can lure Shestyorkin over from Russia this summer, a veteran backup such as Bernier or Budaj (if cheap) is the way to go.

    • You don’t want Shestyorkin in NY yet. Why start the clock on his service time now? If things break right with Shestyorkin, the Rangers could have a starting goalie making peanuts until his late 20s. That’s a massive bonus in a salary capped league.

      Let him develop in Russia, his new Russian contract expires summer 2019, that would be the perfect time to bring him over. He can sign a one year ELC, and save the Rangers a ton of money. Hank never set foot in the AHL, no reason to think a 24 year old Shestyorkin couldn’t come to N. America and slot in as a backup splitting the 2019-20 season with a 38 year old Hank. If Shestyorkin proves he’s ready for a bigger role in 2020-21, 39 year old Hank, in the final year of his current contract, can bow out of the NHL gracefully.

      • Shestyorkin’s got a 27-4-6 record, 8 shutouts, .937 sv %, and 1.64 GAA in the second best league in the world, I’d say the kid probably won’t have to play in the AHL at all.

        • The AHL is the 2nd best league in the world. The KHL is SKA(who would be the worst team in the NHL) CSKA, Magnitogorsk and a bunch of ECHL level ham n eggers who would kill to get an AHL contract.

          Canada has the deepest talent pool with USA a close second.

          • The KHL is better than the AHL because it is a top-level league like the NHL.

            The Russians have medled in 14 of the last 16 World Junior Championships, whereas Canada has failed to medal in 3 of the last 5 years.

            In the past 20 years in the WJC, Russia has earned 15 medals to Canada’s 14. The US and Finland are tied for 3rd with 7 medals. Canada (6) and the US (4) have more gold medals than Russia (3) during that time. Canada and Russia have both earned 6 silver medals (Sweden is 3rd with 4).

          • And how many of those world juniors are playing in the NHL or AHL vs the KHL?

            Final four teams in the Gagarin Cup are SKA, CSKA, Kazan & Magnitogorsk. Leading scorers for each of these teams in the regular season? Kovalchuk(could still play at a top level in the NHL), Petrov(scored 1 goal in the A), Azevedo(never got above the A) & Mozyakin(washed out of the Q)

            These are the best players on the best teams.

  • They should look to move him, but try to work a bigger deal, like add in a D man we want to move but can’t and take something back they want to move, but would be cheaper to buyout than some of our assets. Thinking add Girardi on our end and take back Antti Niemi and something else like draft picks and a prospect? And buy out Niemi, which is much less painful for the cap hit. Not sure Dallas would do this, but certainly worth exploring. Maybe some salary retention also.
    Would make room and cap space for Shattenkirk and help us keep Brendan Smith if we think that’s the route we want to go.

    • Hey, Andy!

      How much are you willing to pay for Shattenkirk? And what exactly do we need him for? (At the money he will command, and the term?)

      • It’s going to be a big contract and a lot of term.(probably $6mill for at least 6 or 7 years) But what do you have now with Girardi? Less term after this season but a big number. There’s not a lot of puck moving Right hand D men available. Whether I want him or not the Rangers will make a run at him as a UFA. Glad they did not give up the farm to get him as rental. If we don’t bring him in they will look elsewhere. We need to change up our D one way or another.

        • Starting this summer, Girardi can be traded, without his consent to half the league. I’m sure the Rangers will ask him for his list of 15 teams he doesn’t want to go to as soon as they are allowed to.

  • I like the idea of moving him, but I am not of the belief that we need the Cap space or more draft picks. I would rather use him in a package for a defenseman if possible. If we will lose him (or think we will), then a package to Dallas might work, but let’s get a NHL ready defenseman if possible.

    • Sal,

      I agree with trading him rather than losing him for nothing next summer. The idea of packaging him for a defense man is good but their might not be a team looking to add a goalie and give up a defense man in the process, especially a right handed one like we need. However, if sent to the highest bidder, you could use the return as pieces as part of the trade for that defense man.

    • Adam Larsson just netted Taylor Hall. Raanta is not bringing back a D, unless you want to take on another Clendening type of journeyman/project.

      Antti Raanta, at best, nets a mid round draft pick or two this summer.

      Goalies are pretty much worthless on the trade market. Except for the very best goalies, there’s usually too much volatility in their year to year performance. Additionally, there are always enough free agent goalies out there to where giving up assets for a goalie is usually not worth it.

  • In a perfect world it be ideal to trade Henleak instead of Raanta so if that opportunity should be available…trade Leaky…as for this post….if you get a deal that blows your socks off for Raanta….then yes make the deal… I reiterate that Leaky before Raanta

      • Go look at the stats for Cam Talbot and compare it to Leaky, coincidentally (NOT) Oilers will be making the playoffs
        Talbot is far better fundamentally than Leaky

          • From Fall 2013, when Talbot first came up, compare Talbot to Lundqvist. Talbot has 17 shutouts to Hank’s 16, despite starting only 170 games to Hank’s 221. A save percentage of .923 compared to .919. And hardly a better defense on average in front of him.

            And if you want to dismiss 170 games as a small sample size, you may as well dismiss Hank’s stats as well.

            Twenty years from now, it seems fairly certain that if we rank all of the goaltenders, a particular three will occur in the order

            1. Dryden
            2. Lundqvist
            3. Talbot

            However, in 2017, the same argument that insists that Hank outranks Talbot suggests we should try to replace Hank with Dryden. After all, he had a better career.

          • LOL Ray you are F-ing hysterical. That rant just proved my point, not yours….LOL

    • I am going to try to offend everyone here. Henrik Lundqvist has done wonders for the New York Rangers. He is true NY sports hero and should be treated with respect. He deserves to be free from name-calling – as incidentally does Dan Girardi.

      However, it is time to accept the fact that the Rangers currently have a slightly below average starting goaltender. Under the current circumstances, the Rangers should be thinking about whether they want Raanta as a starter or not. Things are not as they were two years ago.

      • How about a grossly below average right defenseman, who wears #5, and we have to accept him as a savior because of his history? Sorry, I can’t buy into this at all………..

        • No one buys that, Walt. And no one makes that claim. Seriously. No one claims Girardi is a “savior.”

          The various iterations from the pro-Girardi camp are that A) he’s earned the right to be free of constant derision, and B) he’s not as terrible as many make him out to be.

          That’s a far cry from suggesting he’s a savior at this point in his career.

          • Sorry, this is a what have you done for me lately biz. Girardi is better than he was last season, but he’s still third pair.

            Maybe if the coach managed the minutes and had not let him return so quickly he wouldn’t have missed as many games as he currently has and would’ve been more effective in the games he’s played. Please note this is the 2nd year running that AV has royally screwed this up with Girardi.

          • AV treats the guy as if he was indeed a savior. Dan had some great years, but with all the wear, and tear placed on him, he is a shadow of the player he was. Playing him while seriously hurt, last season with his knee cap, also took it’s toll on the man, but Marv insists Dan play top minutes, which is ridiculous. When will the light go on over this coaches head and realise that Dan is washed up???????

          • Exactly. That’s all I keep saying is with all the great D Girardi has given us over the years he deserves to not be called all those stupid names Walt calls him and that goes for Stepan n Staal too. What kind of true loyal fan talks that way about his team? Besides that it’s so played out too.

          • Again Tom you take it too personal, but so be it. I’m a damn fan for a hell of a long time, and have seen some wonderful players, come and go. If I point out some shortcomings on the part of a damn near cripple like Dan, everyone knows that to be the case, but because you don’t like it, I shouldn’t say so???

            Staal is also a shell of the player he was before his brother gave him a concussion, is slow, and not physical, what am I saying that’s not true???

            Stepan loses board battles, always dumps the puck in, rather than carry said puck. He is slow afoot, weak in body strength, and has a weak shot. Are these not true points that I bring up???????

            You take exception to what I say, don’t read my posts, that will make you happy, but the truth remains the same. Prove what I say is wrong, other than these guys shouldn’t be called names!!

          • There’s nothing to prove. It has nothing to,do,with whether or not they’re playing good or bad. I just don’t agree with the bashing of them every chance you get. To me there’s a difference between saying “that guy just doesn’t have it no more. Or he needs to go”. Instead of the pylon twins and Marv and all that other nonsense. I don’t expect you to stop cause you seem to enjoy it but it’s just my opinion and as I’ve seen many others opinion as well.

          • opinions are like aniuses, some speak out of theirs………keep talking my man, I get a kick out of your reaction!!!!!

          • by the way, you still haven’t said that my post was wrong, and what I wrote isn’t accurate..

    • There seems to be a distinct two-camp division on hot-button topics in general among our fan base right now. Not everyone falls neatly into these camps of course, but it seems a lot of folks do…

      Camp A: Dan Girardi is an effective defenseman. Cam Talbot and Antti Ranta are superior to Henrik Lundqvist at this stage. Grit/jam and spark wins games in the NHL. Alain Vigneault makes few coaching mistakes, and should not be criticized for the team’s playoff failures. Advanced metrics have little value or place in the evaluation of hockey.

      Camp B: Dan Girardi is not an effective defenseman. Henrik Lundqvist is still superior to each of his last two backups. Speed and skill wins games in the NHL. Alain Vigneault makes coaching mistakes somewhat frequently, and deserves to be criticized for the team’s playoff failures. Advanced metrics have tangible value and should be used to evaluate hockey further.

      What we have here folks is seemingly a simple case of old school vs. new school. Me, I’m in camp B – that’s no secret to those who have seen me on here. As is such, I’m not gonna spend a ton of time on a post referring to Henrik Lundqvist as “Leaky”, because LOL. Some of the things I might talk about have a fair deal to do with advanced metrics, such as the quantity and types of shots the backups have faced vs. Hank. (I’ll give you a super brief summary, though: there’s an observable pattern in the numbers.)

      I would once again though – as others have done previously and I have too – like to point out for everyone’s consideration something that doesn’t have to do with advanced stats: both Talbot and Raanta seemingly benefited from net-side positioning of the defense most nights out when they have played for the Rangers. Fronting seems to be less effective when Lundqvist plays. The defense literally looks better – 100% eye test, and sometimes very noticeably better – most nights the backups have been in during the time frame in question.

      I won’t blame AV because frankly it seems as though that might be Hank’s call or perhaps even Benoit’s given the pattern, but I will also note that I don’t know for sure who makes that call. What I can say is, based on results, perhaps AV needs to make that call regardless and have them try net-side in front of Hank even if he doesn’t like it. The point is, when you have two different defensive approaches being deployed and one clearly looks like it works better for this set of defensemen than the other, how much of this debate truly has to do with the defense and not the goalies? I obviously can’t say for sure what percentage that is, but I think it is food for thought.

      • A sensible well written post with no name calling – what a treat! I can’t stand the nonsensical, disrespectful, and oftentimes unintentionally hilarious posts regarding Hank and his “leaky” play. I love Antti and Cam and wish them both huge success. But they are not now and never will be in Hank’s class. Hank has absolutely had an uncharacteristic year of inconsistent play not up to his career norms. Some of that is on the team and some on him. He certainly turned his game around in February and looked like his usual brilliant self for the most part. Hopefully he comes back rested and strong ready to lead them into the playoffs!

  • I think this may be an interesting summer if a few things happen. If the NYR don’t go deep into the playoffs, maybe Gorton can use that as an excuse to clean house of the big contracts and old names. Maybe he does buy-out a contract and move to a real youth movement, even more than he has this year. Maybe he stock-piles picks for 2018.

    On the contrary, if we go to the finals, what does he do then? He can’t toss Girardi & Staal to the curb then. Raanta may be the savior in goal and therefore would need protection and a side deal with McPhee would be necessary. We may actually have to play out the season and the playoffs before any of these trade scenarios can be realized.

  • Correct me if I’m mistaken, but don’t we have to make a goalie available for the draft??? If so, and Antti is traded, who will that player be????? Just a thought…

    • This is a good question. The rules (per state:

      “Protected Lists
      * Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

      a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender

      b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

      * All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

      * All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

      Player Exposure Requirements
      * All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:

      iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

      From this, I read that a new goalie cannot be offered, and a signed goalie with movement protections cannot be offered. But there also must be a goalie offered. No other exemption is given.

      How bizarre. Is this a loophole, or would the Rangers be forced to find a goalie to offer?

    • I’m sure there’s some scrub not in the league this year that would qualify. Jonas Hiller?

    • great point Walt. that’s why I suggested a bigger package where we take Niemi back and give them Girardi. Not trying to insult Girardi and I don’t want Niemi, but he’s a less painful buy out from a cap hit perspective. Leave Niemi unprotected as your goalie…when he is not taken, buy him out and sign a new back up …cap space is an asset in a world where the cap stays flat. It’s far from perfect, but in order to improve the D next year we need to do two things. 1. Move the right parts out and 2. replace them with the right parts. And there is no easy solution and this is far from perfect. Not sure Dallas would do this, but they don’t need 3 Finnish goalies and Girardi’s pay drops vs his cap hit. And Raanta has a favorable contract.

      • I am guessing Gorton knows all about this scenario and will pursue this among others. Every team will be jockeying before the expansion draft, including Las Vegas. A lot can happen during the playoffs. Hopefully we play until June.

  • It is far from a foregone conclusion that Raanta will be taken. The reality is that goalies have very little trade value. IIRC, Las Vegas must take three tenders and that is exactly what they will do. They will look through the entire list and decide which goalies they want. A lot of goalies will be available and it is hardly certain Raanta will be in the top three. Of course, they will also look at the other players available from those teams and maybe replace 2 and 3 by 4 and 5 to get someone else they want. But the bottom line is that, given a choice between Raanta and Lindberg or Fast say, even if they think Raanta is better, they may grab a forward if they already have the tenders they want.

  • Let ,Hank go ,then you guys have extra money to sign the other Yandle and still ha e money to sign the rest …. Get a cheap back up to Raanta and then bring the Ruskee over the following year

  • There are far smarter folks out here than me on the expansion draft consequences, so I’m not sure I totally get what, if any, consequences there are if we were to trade Raanta before the draft.

    But taking that out of the mix for the moment, here’s what we know for sure.

    1) Hank has an NMC. He is NOT going anywhere. The idea of it is beyond absurd. It will NOT happen. He will never agree to leave and I doubt seriously the Rangers would even want to move him.

    2) Just like with Talbot, better to sell high on Raanta. I’d trade him in a heartbeat for future assets. If he can net a number one pick, great. Or maybe for some other asset we can use now.

    3) Of all the people that can be exposed in the draft, the one guy I most want to be selected would indeed be Raanta. He’s been very good, but he is a backup goalie. Much rather lose him than Grabner, Fast or Lindberg. Just like when Talbot left, we will not miss Raanta in the slightest because….

    4) …..Benny Allaire is the Goalie Whisperer! First Biron, then Talbot, then Raanta. All thrived under his tutelage. I have no doubt the Rangers will find the quality backup they are looking for and Benny will turn him into something special. That’s what he does!

    5) I cant speak at all for our prospects and have no idea if any of them are ready. If they are, and let’s say a Hellberg, Skapski or Halverson can be a backup type goalie, sure, that could work. My hunch is that the Rangers will opt for someone with an NHL resume as a backup and not a kid.

    6). The elephant in the room of course is Shesterkin. Obviously, he’s had another phenomenal year in the KHL. Doesn’t his KHL contract run through next season? Based on no knowledge at all (I will defer to Reena and others who follow this more closely than I do), my hunch would be that he plays in the KHL one more year. Then, 2018-19, he comes over and serves his apprenticeship under the Benny and the King. After that? Well as Weeks found out back in 2005, youth will eventually be served. When the kid is ready, and if he shows he’s ready to take the throne, well then, there will be a new King! (Will we call him the Czar?)

  • The one thing that we have to worry about is that Hank has never been as old as he is right now. He has been injured more often and out of sorts more often lately. While he looked like the Hank we know in February, in March he is injured again.

    I don’t want to worry too much, but, aging is a fact of life. Antti is a terrific backup. I bet he’ll get a chance to start for Las Vegas if they take him. While I am sure Allaire will help a new backup immensely, I will miss Raanta’s play and attitude.

    Older by They Might Be Giants:

    You’re older than you’ve ever been.
    And now you’re even older.
    And now you’re even older.
    And now you’re even older.

    You’re older than you’ve ever been.
    And now you’re even older.
    And now you’re older still.

    Time! Is marching on.
    And time, is still marching on.
    This day will soon be at an end and now it’s even sooner.
    And now it’s even sooner.
    And now it’s even sooner.
    This day will soon be at an end and now it’s even sooner.
    And now it’s even sooner.
    And now it’s sooner still.

    You’re older than you’ve ever been.
    And now you’re even older.
    And now you’re even older.
    And now you’re even older.

    You’re older than you’ve ever been.
    And now you’re even older.
    And now you’re older still.

  • Yes, we should trade him.


    If we are smart and GMJG lays the law down to AV and trades more expensive excess depth Stepan, Nash, Zuc, then by happy coincidence we have 3 spots to protect Grabner, Lindberg, Fast, thus denying them from the clutches of LV in the exp draft

    We can use Pumpiel, Pirri, and Glass to provide 2 min + 1 contingency for 2F requirements for 40/70nder 40/70ule, and Klein for the D required exposure .

    We need to consolidate our more senior vets both to get ahead of cap, and to attempt to improve, pref by getting a difference maker if available.

    Raanta is suitable for either.

    add in package deal for MacKinnon
    smaller deal to say Dallas

    if the latter, Stars will not deal Honka
    the smart play is
    Raanta + Gropp
    Gurianov + throw in pick/prospect

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