Mailbag: Replacing AV; Expansion; Lindberg

oscar lindberg

Three questions for the mailbag this week. One was received during the playoffs, but I decided to hold off on answering that one until after the playoffs.

Anthony asks: If it was my call, I’d be letting AV go if they don’t get past Ottawa. Supposing it does happen, who would be the most sensible/realistic replacement? Do they go with Ruff or Paul MacLean? Or does Arniel get a shot? Anyone in the AHL worth taking a chance on?

Sorry for not answering this when you sent it, Anthony. But it made more sense to cover it after the playoffs. Suit covered a part of this yesterday, so you should definitely read that post. I would personally let AV go. He’s a good coach, but that’s not always what a team needs. A team needs the right coach, as Suit aptly pointed out. I don’t believe AV is the right coach. But I’ve been wrong before.

As for who to replace him with, I honestly don’t know. Paul MacLean did so much with so little in Ottawa, and plays a puck possession style. I’m wary of Daryl Sutter because his play was reliant on size and physicality, something the Rangers do not have. Dan Bylsma is interesting. I want no part of Jack Capuano. I wonder if Joel Quenneville gets let go in Chicago? If so, then he’s my man.

I don’t think Scott Arniel, mastermind of the powerplay that never moves, gets a shot. He’s destined to go elsewhere and win a Cup without the Rangers. I don’t know enough about AHL coaches to make an educated guess there. But regardless, I don’t think AV goes anywhere.

Sal asks: Once the hurt of the NYR failure wears off, lets take a look at what the Vegas team could look like. Think about who each team could expose and lets build a fantasy LV team. Lets have some fun with it.

Capfriendly has this feature. I’m certainly going to dive into this as we get closer to the expansion draft. Maybe I’ll do it a few times as more trades happen. That’s the one thing we can’t predict now, as GMs are going to be making trades to ensure they can protect the guys they want to protect. Have fun with it. Feel free to post in the comments.

Anthony asks: Is Oscar Lindeberg exempt from the expansion draft? I’ve seen some articles/sites indicating he is, but others where he is not. He has two full NHL seasons, plus he did appear in one game in the 14-15 season. On top of that he has two full AHL seasons. What defines first/second year players?

Lindberg is not exempt from the expansion draft. Unsure where you’ve read otherwise, but they are wrong. The definition of a first/second year player is not on NHL service, but on years signed to a pro contract. Lindberg is in his fifth professional year, having just completed the second year of his second contract. His first was a three year ELC.

First/second year players are defined by their entry-level deal as of June 30. So Brady Skjei, who just finished his second year, is exempt because his third year technically doesn’t start until July 1. Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich just finished their first years, so they are exempt as well.

It’s worth noting that this applies to AHL players as well. Mackenzie Skapski will be exposed in the draft. But don’t worry, he’s the only AHL guy of note who will be exposed. Everyone else is protected. Also, the Rangers can only lose one player to expansion. So Vegas won’t go raiding farm systems.

Thanks for the questions this week. As always, use the tool on the right labeled “Mailbag” to submit questions. No topic is off limits. Except politics. Politics is off limits.

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  • Woke up this morning really PISSED OFF !!!! I should be getting ready to enjoy watching the rangers in the conference final against the penguins!!!!

    Dont anyone tell me AV is anything but a terrible coach and MUST be fired!!
    His lunatic decisions cost us THREE playoff games!
    We should have beat the habs in 5 and we should have beat the senators in 5 and then been resting watching the pens and caps wear each other down!

    Whats this 6, 7 times his team has lost to an underdog????
    We probably would have lost to the pens, but I would have taken my chances with their best d man [letang] out , crosby coming off a concussion and maybe our team finally plays like it did in oct/nov ….Maybe kreider starts lighting it up, and nash breaks out…….WE will never know….

    Thanks a lot AV for an early summer!!!!!!

    • AV is a moron. There’s no excuse for the moves he made. I think Maclean should get a call. If we go into next season with this same idiot behind the bench, I have no hope for a successful run in the playoffs.

      • the differential in between what Boucher has done with OTT’s roster (& what maclean did) is in itself enough to say ‘no’ (although this one is slightly better).

  • Fotiu made some interesting coaching suggestions yesterday.
    Outside the box, outside mainstream suggestions.
    I for one do not feel it’s essential to replace AV with a HC with any of the names bantered about. There are good minor league coaches and there’s Fotiu’s on spot suggestions………………………. But I’m sorry to say that discussing potential replacements for AV should be right along side some of the trades us fans wish would happen. Sadly, I think if AV was going to be fired it would have happened already.

    I’d like to see AV gone with Arneil right alongside of him.

    I feel Dolan is happy. He got the revenue from six home games in two playoff series, so his bottom line looks good.

    • Nothing against Fotiu, but people have been pining for Messier and/or Graves behind the bench since they each retired. Nothing particularly novel about that idea, and while I can’t deny deep down inside of me I’m a little curious/nostalgic about this proposal, I think it’d ultimately be a mistake.

      The Rangers fan-base needs to move on from ’94. Messier and Graves were warriors, and will always be cemented in Rangers lore. Trying to resurrect that magic by putting them behind the bench not only risks tarnishing their reputations if they fall on their faces, but also strikes me as a cheap, commercialized exploitation of that glorious run to the Cup that would likely be derided around the League and fuel new levels of mockery from our rivals across the river.

      • Brother Chris:
        My thrust was by turns simple spitballing and a building out of our culture: hiring from within.

        At the same time, I wholeheartedly concur with your sense of nostalgia. Our collective need to move on.

        Nonetheless, if I’m any one of our Millennials–JT, Jimmy Vesey, et al–on the bench, and no less than Messier and Adam Graves gets in my ear, or shoots me a look, you know what Chris, I’m motivated. I’m inspired.

        Clearly this is the stuff of projection, assumption, not acquired wisdom, but the Gallic/Quebecois statuary who presently holds the position just doesn’t do that for me.

        • I just think it’s too high risk of a move. There’s no indication it would be successful, and way too much at stake.

          Think of the implications if it failed. Henrik’s closing window, Messier/Graves’ legendary reputations, the organization’s image of clinging futilely to the 1994 Cup run, etc.

          • Too high a risk? No risk, no reward, remember. When you worry about risk, success is ephemeral. Messier is not worried about his reputation. Only you are. You can’t ruin the rep of a legend.

        • My issue with such a hiring is that neither has ever held a coaching position. Before I turn over an NHL team to either one of them, I want to see them in action — even if it’s just for one year in the AHL or in Junior.

          • Exactly. No sane GM is going to turn the reigns over to Mark Messier at this juncture. That’s all about recapturing old glory. Nothing more.

  • Does anyone know what the recapture penalty for both staal and girardi is? With how both their contracts are. It’s in Staals best interest to stay on another year and pick up a another 5 mil. Girardi was front loaded. A contract to retire to.

    If not he has a modified Ntc year coming up. 10 teams he wants to get traded to. Would be a year we could move him. Maybe during the draft.

    • The recapture penalties, essentially, work like this. This isn’t 100% spot on, just an approximation (the full set of rules is convoluted).

      To calculate the cost of a buyout, teams are on the hook for the length in years left in the contract times two. It is interesting to note that some of the old contracts (like WWEber’s on MTL) would be catastrophic to buy out thanks to the difference between first & last year’s salary, along with the length (13 years I think).

      there’s one season, per the numbers, where MTL would be on the hook for a (!!!!!!!!!) 26.3 something million dollar recapture penalty……Yikes.

      Here, I copy/pasted this from CapFriendly.

      “As explained above, the buyout is spread out over a period of twice the remaining length of the contract. The team still takes a caphit, and the caphit by year is calculated as follows:

      1. Multiply the remaining salary (excluding signing bonuses) by the buyout amount (as determined by age) to obtain the total buyout cost

      2. Spread the total buyout cost evenly over twice the remaining contract years

      3. Determine the savings by subtracting the annual buyout cost from step 2 by the players salary (excluding signing bonuses)

      4. Determine the remaining caphit by subtracting the savings from step 3 by the players Annual Average Salary (AAV) (including signing bonuses

      The above calculation is performed for each year of the buyout, meaning the buyout caphit is not necessarily the same for each year. It is also possible that the buyout caphit can be negative, meaning the team receives a credit.”

      In other words, buying out G/Staal, sadly, makes no sense. We’d be on the hook for 6/8 years respectively of (relatively significant) cap hits. While they would be gone, there’s a much better way to do this.

      What makes more sense is to trade them (while holding back a negotiable amount of salary) to a team by, say, strapping them to a pick or two/prospect. Maybe we can convince someone of the ‘Value’ of Staal’s name? At 2.85, he’s not a bad option for some teams (half of his cap held back). Think of it like that

        • None actually (unless they signed the contract after the age of 35 (along with a few other random caveats, I think)).

          Same goes with the LTIR option (which has been, quite honestly, blatantly abused by the flyers/kings with the Pronger/Richards nonsense).

          Placing them on it (assuming we could pull it off) at the beginning of each season would wipe the hit out before the first game started. Might be an option for Girardi, given the amount of abuse he has taken & that he might be comfortable ‘retiring’

          • The 35+ rule simply applies to whether or not the team is on the hook for full salary and bonuses.

            Players who signed contract before turning 35 who retire early still impact the team’s cap after retirement based on cumulative Net Cap Benefits during the contract spread over remaining years of contract. See my comment below for the break-downs on Girardi and Staal.

    • Girardi’s NTC actually will specify 15 teams he cannot be traded to after July 1st. So that does allow for a trade to be had after that to any one of the remaining teams, or to anyone in the League prior to July. So there’s certainly a window there.

      As for buyouts, neither was really front loaded all that heavily. Staal has 4 years remaining with a cap hit of $5.7 mil, while Girardi has 3 years remaining with a cap hit of $5.5 mil. Because both Staal and Girardi have salaries lower than their respective cap hits (AAV) these remaining year, their cap buyout hit is going to be a little larger than it would otherwise be. For Staal, the buyout hit is going to be $2.1 mil, $2.1 mil, $3.1 mil, and $3.9 mil for the next four years, followed by $1.4 mil in each of the following four years, while Girardi’s will be $2.6 mil, $3.6 mil, and $3.6 mil for the next three years, followed by $1.1 mil for the following three years. So, we’re looking at cap hits of $15.8 mil for Staal over eight years, or $13.1 mil for Girardi over six years. In that sense, I’d prefer to see Staal bought out, as we’d get a slightly friendlier cap hit, though we’d still be stuck with that $3.9 mil on the books in that fourth year, whereas Girardi’s would drop to $1.1 mil at that point. Probably a toss up here in terms of what gives the Rangers organization more flexibility. Do we free up that extra $2.5 mil over the next three years (buying out Staal) or avoid that fourth year buyout hit of $3.9 mil (buying out Girardi). Probably comes down to what you think you can get out of the player that’s not bought out more so than who’s slightly more cost effective to buy out.

      As for cap recapture penalties in the event of early retirement, however, here’s where it gets interesting. Because neither of the contracts really ever had salaries significantly higher than AAV, the Net Cap Benefits haven’t really reached problematic levels. Worst case is Girardi’s $3.5 mil after this season, and Staal’s $2.2 mil after next season. But, that payment is split over remaining contract years, so if Girardi retires right now, the Rangers incur a cap hit of $1.2 mil for three consecutive years, while if Staal retires after next season, the Rangers incur a cap hit of $1.1 mil for the following two seasons. Neither of these are really all that problematic.

      Retirement is clearly more advantageous to the Rangers than a buyout, but I doubt either Staal or Girardi is interested in retiring.

      • Lets show them tapes of how they played the past two or three years!!

        That should make them retire!

        The contracts Sather gave to girardi, stall , stepan , lunquist, holik, redden, gomez., drury, richards…etc etc….put him up there with esposito and milbury for worst gm’s ever!!’

        Its amazing he kept making the same mistakes over and over and over and over……….

      • The best solution is something like this…

        TO – world’s dumbest team

        Staal (50% retained, cap hit of 2.85 now)
        3rd round pick

        TO – NYR

        2nd round pick

        obviously the final trade wouldn’t look like that, but you get the idea… we’d (only) have 2.85 of dead cap for 3 more years after this one.

    • Mickyy

      Let’s see some of the worst contracts within the last say 10 years.

      Gomez-although we got Mac Truck, highway robbery

      All paid thru the dose, and didn’t produce anything. Then the pylon Twins, Stepan, and on, and on!!! I can see this mistake being made again July 1st, Shattenkurk signs for huge money, and we’re stuck with a huge bill, and empty dreams. Please don’t go after another flash in the pan!!!!

  • Sure, the Blueshirts should fire AV. Likewise, the Hawks should fire Quenville, the Sharks should fire deBoer, les Habs should fire Julien and the Caps should fire Trotz.

    AV just signed an extension, and he’s the most successful coach we’ve had since we won the Cup. The team has outperformed preseason expectations virtually every year. But, yeah, sure…fire him.

    This dumb, tiresome debate, along with the constant arguments over who the 12th F/6th D should be, has pushed me over the edge. Thanks to all who have put in a great effort, but this site is no longer for me. Good luck with the blog, guys/gals, but I’m out.

    • finally someone who makes sense on this site….thank you Bayman….im gone too…i can’t bare going all summer reading this ..sure Av maybe had made some mistakes…but the bottomline is..the players didn’t perform up to their abilities….the same players who are on for the penalty were on during those last min goals …and Mac was on for 2 of the goals….so we should sit Mac?..bad deployment by Av?…give me a break

      • Keep making the same (easy to fix) mistakes…. brilliant idea there.

        Unless you disagree, and think 5 / 18 / 15 have been continually excellent for years now?

        BTW, using that logic, next time a team scores a power play goal, we can always say, “WTF MAN, NASH & MCD WERE OUT THERE!” … while, of course, paying no attention to the other two skaters.

    • AV’s deployment of players which led DIRECTLY to last minute goals [plural] could conclude anything else but IT WAS ENTIRELY AV”S FAULT Bayman…..
      Just think of how we lost……

      The players GAVE AV a lead in those 3 losses with only minutes left in one game a TWO goal lead! AV puts out the worst, slowest defenders…..WHY????????? …only AV could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory….3 F@#$%&ING times in 12 games!!!!!

      We would be preparing for the pens now instead of talking about the expansion draft! BOTH series should have ended in 5 !!!!!

      THREE F%^$&ing times he did the same F*&^%ing thing!! MORONIC!

      • Rich,

        Who was on the ice (all 5 skaters) for each of those blown leads and OT losses. Hint: it was a hell of a lot more than Staal and Holden.

        Ryan McDonagh was on for at least two late regulation goals to blow a lead, and at least one OT loss. Maybe more.

        • “Rich,

          Who was on the ice (all 5 skaters) for each of those blown leads and OT losses. Hint: it was a hell of a lot more than Staal and Holden. ”

          A 6 on 3 is a pretty dangerous thing, you know…..

          • Here’s all the blown ties, blown leads, and OT losses.

            Game 2 vs Montreal: Staal, Holden, Hayes, Miller, and Grabner on the ice for Plekanec’s tying goal.

            Game 2 vs Montreal (OT): Skjei, Smith, Zibanejad, Vesey, and Nash on the ice for the Radulov game winner.

            Game 1 vs Ottawa: McDonagh, Girardi, Stepan, Buchnevich, and Vesey on the ice for Karlsson’s late tie breaker.

            Game 2 vs Ottawa: McDonagh, Girardi, Zibanejad, Kreider, and Zuccarello on for the 5-4 goal with 3:20 remaining.

            Game 2 vs Ottawa: McDonagh, Girardi, Hayes, Fast, and Grabner on the ice for the 5-5 goal with 1:03 remaining.

            Game 2 vs Ottawa (OT): Staal, Holden, Stepan, Fast, and Grabner on for the Pageau game winner.

            Game 5 vs Ottawa: Staal, Smith, Stepan, Zuccarello, and Glass on the ice for Brassard’s late game tying goal with 1:27 remaining.

            Game 5 vs Ottawa (OT): McDonagh, Girardi, Lindberg, Glass, and Miller on the ice for Turris’ game winner.

            I’ll leave conclusions to you.

          • The above encompasses 8 different goals that critically changed the course of the Rangers postseason.

            Girardi, on for 4 goals.
            McDonagh, on for 4 goals.
            Staal, on for 3 goals.
            Stepan, on for 3 goals.
            Grabner, on for 3 goals.
            Holden, on for 2 goals.
            Smith, on for 2 goals.
            Hayes, on for 2 goals.
            Zibanejad, on for 2 goals.
            Miller, on for 2 goals.
            Vesey, on for 2 goals.
            Zuccarello, on for 2 goals.
            Fast, on for 2 goals.
            Glass, on for 2 goals.
            Skjei, on for 1 goal.
            Lindberg, on for 1 goal.
            Buchnevich, on for 1 goal.
            Nash, on for 1 goal.
            Kreider, on for 1 goal.

          • This is 19 skaters. 6 defensemen and 13 forwards. Every single guy on the team, excluding Klein, who played on game, was the ice and contributed to this team’s inability to protect leads or close out games. No one is immune. Some contributed more than other to these losses, but there is literally no one on the bench who you can point to and say, “If only they were on the ice, they would’ve gotten the job done.”

          • Thank you for breaking this down. All I hear is that half the roster shouldn’t be on the ice when they either have a lead or are tied. Half the roster can’t be trusted. Clearly the coach is the MAIN CULPRIT here.

            Was he perfect? No. But if I had to put a % on the reasons we lost, put 20% on AVs late game deployments and 80% on the inability of the players to execute/show up for a full 60 minutes.

          • Girardi, on for 4 goals.
            McDonagh, on for 4 goal

            Noble effort by McD there, I’d say

            Staal, on for 3 goals.
            Stepan, on for 3 goals.

            Well, see above for my take on Staal here.

            By the way, I (personally) don’t count the OTL deployments the same as the end-of-game tie-ups; completely different situations IMO.

            I’ve said this before. The real problem is the TurtleTime mentality erupts any time this team seems to collectively feel like ‘they can close this one out’. They play like the have the game in the bag, instead of playing aggressively like they were prior to get said lead.

            That, and how ceding a de-facto PP with <4 minutes to go (sometimes more) in every game they've ever held a lead in is the prime symptom of the aforementioned?

            It's something that needs to be addressed, and any coach worth their paycheck would instantly see this.

            Why can't you people separate the fact that not everyone in the world who is a 'smart hockey mind' possessing 'a great system to run' IS ALSO A GREAT COACH? There's more to it than just X's & O's!!!!

        • girardi and stepan and glass to name few more……

          girardi and stepan and glass and stall and holden are probably five of the slowest, worst defenders in the league, certainly on the rangers……their butts should have been glued down to the bench the last 2 or three minutes!

          Considering stall and girardi were on the ice for 13 of 15 goals against in games 1-5 why were they still in the lineup? INSANITY!

    • Bayman,

      Of the coaches you cared to mention, Queenville has won three cups, Julien one cup. de Boer and Trotz are in the grouping with AV. You know the group who hasn’t won any.

      I actually think he’s a great regular season coach, who hasn’t quite understood the playoffs are a different animal.

      I’d like to see a change.

      • AV “outcoached” Julien this year, and the Rangers beat a Habs team with a better record than they had. Coach Q was AV when he was with StL, and the last two years, he’s been bounced in the first round with a roster that is far superior to what AV has had here.

        Keenan won a Cup and never came close again. Crawford won a Cup and was basically banished to Europe.

        Winning a Cup(s) doesnt mean you will again. Never winning in the past doesnt prove you never will.

  • Who knows what Gorton is thinking about AV, or even Slats for that matter. Of all the people mentioned the only one that interests me is Bylsma because he’s a taskmaster & likes his teams to play with snarl. To Anthony’s question abt AHL coaches, if looking for new coach, the Rangers would do well to consider Todd Nelson of Grand Rapids. He coached Oklahoma City to success & was an ass’t coach with the Chicago Wolves when they won the Calder Cup. He’s balanced, knowledgeable and gets the max from his players. He’s definitely a future NHL coach. Making Messier the coach is not about recapturing the glory of the past or a publicity stunt. It’s about putting a competent leader in charge who is intelligent & knows how to form a group into a cohesive unselfish team.

  • I just can’t believe how many people are blaming AV for the loss. I think the blame gets shared by the guys who couldn’t get the job done. A few clears of the puck and it’s a different story We knew when the season started we had a bad defense. I’m not saying AV is a saint but we gave up late goals even when we had the guys you wanted out there on the ice. I also know Ottawa got some nice bounces and Hank was much better against Montreal. I have no doubt that we weren’t winning the next series anyway but losing to Ottawa was a total disappointment. And I have no doubt that there’s no coach out there that can win a cup this year with our present roster. The grass is always greener on the other side for sure. I know we’ll still have the same guys crying about the coach no matter what but I’m looking forward to seeing what move management makes with the roster going forward. I would love to see us with players that have the refuse to lose mentality

    • ” just can’t believe how many people are blaming AV for the loss. I think the blame gets shared by the guys who couldn’t get the job done ”

      No, the time to blame those guys (Girardi, Staal, Glass) was years ago. They didn’t deploy themselves in an end-of-game scenario. AV (despite all & repeated evidence to the contrary) kept throwing them out there.

      Also, I’ll pretend his “I lost the players on the bench” comment never happened after game 5.

      • Angry Weiner Dog,

        Very well said Angry Weiner Dog,
        I cannot believe anyone who follows this team and WATCHED the games and AV’s deployment of players which led DIRECTLY to last minute goals [plural] could conclude anything else but IT WAS ENTIRELY AV”S FAULT !!!!!!!!

        The players GAVE AV a lead in those 3 losses with only minutes left and he puts out worst, slowest defenders …only AV could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory….3 F@#$%&ING times in 12 games!!!!!

        We would be preparing for the pens now instead of talking about the expansion draft! BOTH series should have ended in 5 !!!!!

        THREE F%^$&ing times he did the same F*&^%ing thing!! MORONIC!

    • You can’t believe it because you’re one of those guys who likes to blame the workers instead of the boss. It’s the coach’s job to get those guys TO GET THE JOB DONE. Another company man!

      • If I thought it was all the bosses fault I would blame him. My point is I don’t blame him and not the players. And like some of the others stated I too have had enough of this site. Too many comedians and the same cry babies complaining about the coaches. And when you try to stick up for your coach or players you get stupid remarks and baby comments. PS. Paul and Walt sound like two miserable old men that think they know it all and have thick heads. So since I won’t be able to see your reply I will sign off with this. Eat shit both of you and Dave stick your blogs up your ass. Let’s go Rangers

    • Errr? Listen, Glass was good (for his very limited standards)….

      But, keep this in mind. Prior to these playoffs, the man had 2 goals / 4 points in 68 playoff games total. His four points (while well earned) literally doubled his career totals. Mind you, 70+ playoff games is not a small sample size.

      Did I mention he had a 115 PDO at a certain point (basically, an off-the-charts number if you aren’t familiar with the stat)?

      We can do better. Get PLAYABLE toughness, not borderline-playable toughness.

      Only way I’d see Glass back is if we make a flurry of trades & are left with multiple holes in the lineup. Even then…. Ugh….

      • I dunno, we’ve got AV for the next 3 years, anything possible.

        PDO aside I take nothing away from Glass’s performance in the playoffs this year. More often than not I was pleasantly surprised with his play, winning battles on the boards and in the corners, and even the occasional foot race to a loose puck.

  • The recurring AV must be fired stuff is at this point comical. “He lost us three games in the playoffs!” Get real. The players did not play well enough to win. They did not show desperation to win even in the 6th game until it was too late. This is on the players. AV’s miscues would not have mattered if the Rangers’ best players had played better. They simply got out played by the Senators. It may have not been AV’s best coaching, but the players on the ice were far more responsible for losing than AV’s deployment.

    AV got an extension only a few months ago. That tells me he is going to be the coach for the foreseeable future. You might as well get over it and focus on what the team will look like after the off season and the draft. That is a far more interesting and realistic focus. The fire AV thing amounts to nothing more than whining at this point.

    • Again THEY PLAYED WELL ENOUGH TO GIVE AV A LEAD IN 3 games with a minute or so left!!!!
      Playing your worst defenders cant be justified!!!!!!!
      Unless of course you are trying to lose……

    • Will they fire him? Probably not.

      The players (many of them, anyways) did not show up.

      But, you know what, THEY STILL keep making the same mistakes over and over again!

      Every time this team (this goes back YEARS, mind you) has a lead, and every time they get comfortable with it…… they. sit. back. and. TURTLE!!!!!

      And when they turtle, they lose. They’ve blown 5 playoff games in OTL’s since 2014 that they held A TWOOOOO goal lead in. Nevermind the one’s; it sickens me to count them.

      Teams like ANA come storming back to tie games up.

      We’re the bums that sh!t happens to at a wildly disproportionate rate.

      By the way, do you actually think any of 5 / 18 / 22 / 15 should be out there when the game is on the line? I’m just curious.

      • Paul, only to the extent that he gets them ready to play. If they fail to execute or don’t give all they’ve got then it becomes a matter of analysis. Why didn’t they? The knee-jerk ‘they lost fire AV’ is the nonsense here.

        • So, using that logic, if the rangers (at the behest of AV) signed me to a contract, threw me out there in ‘crunch time’ during the playoffs, and then, the predictable happened (spoiler alert: I can’t skate. At all.) …….

          … Nevermind the fact that, during the regular season, my badness at hockey was blatant for the whole world to see…..

          … Then, it would be (pretty much all of) my fault. All of you could scream & throw things at your respective viewing devices, cursing my name, and all would be well in Rangerland because the brilliant coach we have did his best.

  • What I would do in the offseason. Look for takers for girardi and Stepan. Get whatever I can for them.

    Draft picks and prospects.

  • As much as I dont want to surrender draft picks…..considering we are able to sign top college free agents consistently it seems, I am ok with trading draft picks in order to get rid of the pylon twins and stepan!!!

    I would even package Nash and his age and money in order to dump the aforementioned and protect lindberg, fast and grabner!

    Cant believe there is any gm dumb enough to trade for the above unless you give them something extra , in way of picks or nash…..Maybe stepan has some value?

    • Rich

      You and I are usually on the same page, but not on this issue. Look we got lucky with Hayes, and Vesey, but what other undrafted players were we able to get that really worked, Gilroy? No, I’m for keeping my picks, that’s how a team is built!!!

      • Walt,
        I would rather not surrender draft picks either , but , I dont want to lose lindberg, fast or grabner or smith because we cant get rid of stall, stepan and girardi……and this team goes nowhere with those 3 playing…

        Agree with what Mikeyyy said below……

        The question is how do we get rid of girardi and stall?

  • Just looked at cap friendly.

    Gotta dump Nash , Girardi and Stepan now.

    Nash has one more year and a mntc 12 teams.
    Stepan gets a ntc next year.
    Girardi has a mntc next year.

    Total cap savings.

    19.8 million.

    That can definitely sign some help clear out roster spots on center wing and d for the younger faster hungrier players to fill in. Plus you would get some assets back. Picks and prospects of some sort.

    • MIKEYYYY, all aboard on your post, get rid of the FAT CAT contracts of those fore mentioned players, add Hayes, Staal & Holden to that list. Go after hungry players who have grit and skill, 1st sign D-man Smith, then go after the likes of Josh Manson, Matthew Tkachuk, Max Domi, Evander Kane. I like that Miles Woods kid too who plays for the Devils .

  • Relating to this post and The Suit’s–

    First, we need to deal with reality here. Unless there is some huge issue that hasn’t been reported, the chances that AV gets canned now are slim and none. And “slim” probably ain’t happening. As I said months ago, I wa shocked when Gorton gave him the mega-raise and extension. Personally, even as an AV supporter, I would NOT have made that move at that time. The fact that they did, combined with the fact that they traded away Brassard for Mika and failed to make an “all-in MEGA move” at the deadline, clearly says this season was ALL about the future. Was there disappointment over losing to Ottawa in the manner that they did? Of course. But speculating about the next coach when the current coach has virtually no chance whatsoever to be canned seems nuts to me.

    But you want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts!

    MacLean, Bylsma, Capuano, Therrien, Ruff, Sutter are the names that have been floated here.

    MacLean–He did a nice job in Ottawa–for ONE season when he nearly upset Tort’s 2012 Rangers. Beyond that, pretty mediocre. Clearly he would be a downgrade.

    However, the Teddy Roosevelt Museum in NYC would be THRILLED if he were brought in! 🙂

    Bylsma–Yes, he won a Cup. He came in mid-season to replace Therrien, the team got hot, and the rest is history. After that? Massive playoff flame outs. Yes, it’s true his Pens teams had injury issues, but in the end of the day, his teams were mostly playoff underachievers. Unless he’s planning on bringing Crosby and Malkin with him, hard to call that an upgrade.

    Capuano–Oh….my….God! NO!!!! I cant believe that was even suggested. He had a generational talent in Taveras to work with along with a solid core and never made a playoff run. Terrible suggestion.

    Therrien–Basically an AV clone. Accomplishes nothing.

    Ruff–He was my choice when Torts was canned four years ago. But in Dallas, with some great talent (other than his train wreck goalies), it hasn’t been pretty. AV has been far more succesful and I would argue he has done so with less talent. Big time NO!

    Sutter–Two Cups is impressive. No doubt. I have a good friend who covers the Kings and he told me that Sutter really wore out his welcome pretty fast after those Cups. Very negative room. Failed to recognize how the game was changing and that his style was quickly becoming antiquated. Also, and perhaps most importantly, he always believed that Sutter was somwhat of a “reluctant coach” who decided to take the job as a personal favor to Lombardi. Hise sense is that Sutter will be very content to go back to his farm in Alberta and just relax and enjoy life. Probably not a viable candidate for any job.

    Lastly, let’s look at the “fantasy” choices–

    Coach Q– I also have good friends who know the inner working and thinking in Chicago. Clearly, upper management is not happy with two straight first round exits, especially with the talent they have. The firing of asst coach Mike Kitchen was a reaction to that. The general belief is that Q will be back for at least another year, but is there tension behind the scenes now between Q and Bowman? No one really knows. Certainly bears watching.

    If Q was fired, to me, that is the one legit reason I’d seriously entertain a change. But wow, that would be some massive cost to eat–AV’s remainder mega-contract and then the even LARGER sum one would have to pay for Q on top of that. Not happening folks.

    And even with it did, last I checked, Q wouldn’t be bringing Kane, Toews, Panarin and Keith, last I checked anyway.

    Messier—Ah yes, our obsession with the past. Folks in the know in the Rangers organization have said that at the time of Torts’ firing, Sather was the one interested in this possibility but it was Gorton who urged him to not do it, and instead go with AV. Gorton and Messier worked together. I have no facts to back this up, but I suspect that PART of the reason Messier opted to leave the organization was because Gorton kind of moved ahead of him on the depth chart within the organization.

    Messier was the greatest leader I have ever seen in any sport. The job he did in 1994, with a dysfunctional head coach who thrived on chaos at the helm, a coach who mentally checked out in the midst of the playoff run, keeping that team focused despite all that was one of the most extraordinary feats I’ve ever seen.

    But we need to be honest here about Mess. He was a great leader in Edmonton and in ’94 in NY because he had INCREDIBLE HOF talent around him. The Rangers had good to great teams in ’92, ’93, ’95, ’96 and ’97 and the team was a huge disappointment. His contract demands were an enormous distraction following ’94 and ’97. As great a leader as he was, there was a selfish tone to both of those situations that have been largely forgotten about.

    In Vancouver, I heard he was considered more of a negative influence than a positive, and when he returned to NY, his leadership didn’t even result in a single playoff berth.

    Paulronty has said over an over how important a great coach is. And I agree. yet he advocates hiring a guy who obviously does NOT have a true passion for coaching, since he’s never done it on any level. Basically, he’s saying, hire a total novice. Even though history shows very, very few superstar players EVER make succesful head coaches/managers.

    It’s a nice fantasy. But unless Mess is truly serious and is willing to be a AHL coach or a assistant NHL coach, no GM (other than a team looking for a publicity stunt) would ever make such a call.

    • Out of that list, I would take Bylsma.

      Being a great player doesn’t mean that makes them a great coach, especially when there’s zero experience in the coaching arena.

  • “And even with it did, last I checked, Q wouldn’t be bringing Kane, Toews, Panarin and Keith, last I checked anyway.”

    Hey, as long as Q (or most of those guys you mentioned, for that matter) knew where certain player’s asses belonged at the end of games…..

    I’m sick of beating the dead horse here Eddie.

    “Messier was the greatest leader I have ever seen in any sport. The job he did in 1994, with a dysfunctional head coach who thrived on chaos at the helm, a coach who mentally checked out in the midst of the playoff run, keeping that team focused despite all that was one of the most extraordinary feats I’ve ever seen. ”

    The ability to keep the boat floating despite the gaping hole in the side caused by a drunk skipper? Sounds familiar……

    Listen, he doesn’t have to be ‘Hockey General in Chief’. All we need is someone to maximize the talent we have. In our case, if Messier was brought in to replace Arneilol (not a huge fan of his), and if he correctly pointed out that a traffic cone mounted to a roomba might have outdone our defense…… that’s an improvement in my book. Not sure if he’d be interested in doing that, but if he were, we’d be nuts not to bring back number 11.

    Look at what OTT is doing; Yeah, some of that is the trap they run but, at the same time, who here had them winning game 1 of that? They’re a team that is greater than the sum of its parts…. unlike ours.

    • Which is what we were, under AV, before the foundation frayed. A team that overachieved. That’s not AV’s fault that the foundation has freaked.

      (BTW, so much for the bogus argument that Ottawa is awful…and no, it’s not ALL because of the coach!)

      And oh, btw, that Karlsson guy has just a little bit to do with it. A generational talent in his prime the likes of which we have not seen here in a quarter century.

      • I wouldn’t say they overachieved at all, especially considering the team that beat them. Not to say that AV’s team of the past few years wasn’t better than the 2012 one; I’m just not sure how much of that is him & how much of it was the team/GM naturally accruing talent (& scoring late round steals/other draft coups) on its own

        I have a difficult time accrediting anything to a guy who genuinely believes the deployments he made during these playoffs were anything close to optimal.

        To your second point, I say this. No, Ottawa is proving that the most talented team does not always win (although these playoffs certainly have showed Karlsson is more than just an all-star). Which is something I think is actually a good thing, despite the badness of the bads

        (I’m still totally disgusted by what happened; I feel like they (flat-out) did not try their hardest).

        …. On the other hand, sending one forechecker in half-halfheartedly should not absolve them of the fact that they’re basically running the trap.

        • So to your first paragraph, are you saying that it’s the players and management that gets the credit when they win, and it’s the coach when they lose?

          Sorry, I find that narrative to be bogus.

          Kennedy said it best–“Victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan”

          • No… I’m saying that he’s the coach, not the GM. To assume he’s the one signing & drafting is, frankly, absurd (unless it’s Tanner Glass; THAT ONE was all him).

            He can’t even tell who doesn’t belong out there at the end of a playoff game.

            Now he’s the guy picking names at the draft (while getting guys like Hayes et al to sign here)? What does Gorton do then? (& the scouts, assistant GM’s, etc for that matter)?

            Sure, maybe he provides input on the aforementioned (a lot of coaches do)…..

            you’re killing me with the strawmans, Eddie.

          • I don’t understand your reply. When have I said AV was the GM? You are saying the team wins in spite of him but when they lose its on him. The GM acquires the players. AV coaches them. The team is flawed and has been for a few years now. Good but not great talent thats frayed at the edges. That’s not on AV.

          • …. Well, yes, winning in spite of someone implies that, when they lose, they failed to surmount the aforementioned obstacles needlessly hurled their way via the coach’s brilliant decision making (those deployments etc).

            I never said they were great.

            I said that a dead moose could tell you Alien Bingo is a lousy couch for continuing to put guys like 5 / 18 /15 / 22 out there in situations they continually fail at.

            Bad coaches don’t put their best guys out there when it matters.

            [insert beaten-to-death TurtleTime mention here for another example of bad coaching]

            And no, it’s not on AV ‘every time they lose’. I never said that.

            But there were a few games these playoffs alone that, if I were the GM, I’d want to speak to him about….

          • I would have that conversation with him too. Coaches can have bad series. Doesn’t mean he should be fired.

  • Joe Michellti on WFAN thr other day….

    Joe said that the four remaining teams all have a group of defense that are mobile, handle the puck well, get it out quickly and “when you talk about what happens with this team, I don’t think there is any question that Jeff Gorton and his staff would try to rearrange their defense to get more mobility back there. It’s not an easy thing to do but I would think it’s one are the Rangers would like to shore up and get better on the back end.” (My comment…exactly. We were exposed. Our defense was once very good 2012-2015 under Torts and AV…no longer as good. No generational talents to offset. Thus the results.

    “They had a good year and a disappointing finish. I go back to last year, they got younger in the offseason. Vesey showed in the playoffs that he will be a player. I don’t know what happened to JT Miller and Kevin Hayes, whether it was a confidence thing…” My comment….the real culprits as to why we failed.

    “Kreider is an enigma. He is a well liked guy, a human specimen physically with how he can skate and shoot, the power that he has in his game and if you can harness what he did in the third period of that game, that is where people scratch their heads and you go ‘how come what we saw in the third period, which was a dominating performance by Chris Kreider that forced the coach to double shift him because of the way he was playing.’ Then you say what happened in periods 1 or 2, what happened in Game 3, whatever it was. He’s a 25-26 year old kid that had a better season this year than in past seasons and because of his raw talent, you wonder why it’s not a big step to the next level as opposed to baby steps that continue to see him improve. That is where the frustration lies in. 28 goals in the regular season almost seems easy for Kreider and next season he probably goes over 30. It’s a combo of, if he is going to have games where he isn’t a factor, who else is there that you can lean on until the next time he becomes a factor. There is some frustration level there but there is no question he would be a coveted player that most teams would want in their organization.” My comment–and again…look no further than the “Anti-Triplets”. They play well, we win and have a shot to go deep. When they are “Stink, Stank, Stunk”, you can bring back the ghost of Toe Blake and wont matter.

    • Bro, you can say that about any team, yet, coaches get fired for lack of performance. Not always their fault because you can’t fire the whole team, but that’s the life of a coach.

      The funny thing is that in Games 2 and 5, as bad as they played at times, they should have won those games anyway and won the series.

      • It doesn’t matter how smart (or not) AV is, how good (or bad) his system is. You know how I feel about that…. Just because a coach ‘has a great system’ and is a ‘smart hockey mind’ doesn’t mean that they are a good coach! There is more to sports than just O’s & X’s….. just go ask poor Trottier!

        That, and, blatantly flubbing the deployments, whether or not he admits it, is something most coaches at the NHL level would be instantly canned over (and deservedly so).

        The truth about AV is this – he belongs as an assistant coach or in a front office somewhere. He’s not a skipper; at least, not a good one. Until he learns from the (insanely-easy-to-fix) mistakes he keeps making, I don’t see him winning anything unless the team manages to do it in spite of him (and the goofy, highly questionable lineup/deployment decisions).

        • The winningest coach, both in terms of regular season record and playoff series won in modern Rangers history. With a roster that will have no HOFers in their prime other than the goalie. Not exactly assistant coach material if you ask me.

          There is no need for him in the front office. What you are suggesting is simply unrealistic.

          • I don’t care if he wins 77 games in a single regular season one year.

            This argument isn’t about feasibility. It’s about the fact that he’s not a good coach.

            . If he keeps making dumbass decisions that even children can see are bad (judging by the quality of some of the random commenters on this site)….

            …. and if he can’t get the players to stop sitting back & turtling every time they get a two goal lead…..

            ….. then he has no place as a head coach!!!

            At least not here, where he cannot be saved from himself. Maybe he’d do better somewhere with a more foolproof lineup?

          • But yet the record says he is. And the contract Gorton gave him suggests that the Rangers believe he’s one of the very best in the business.

            As Parcells would say, you are what your record says you are. One series, even if his moves were questionable (which i think has been dramatically overbloen) doesn’t change that.

            What the record also shows is that Miller and Hayes are pitiful post-season performers, and Kreider was a non-factor this post-season until the 3rd period of the final game. Again, the record doesnt lie.

          • it’s not one series. Look at 2014; we held the lead far longer overall than LA did in that series. Hell, 2015 as well! Same dumb deployments, same dumbass TurtleTime shelling that gets them killed.

            Same guys out there in the 6 on 5 that comes after the de-facto ~4 minute pre-goalie pull powerplay we seem to allow almost every night where there’s a close game!!!!!!

            Hell it was even on TSN! You know, about the nutty amount of blown TWO goal leads we lost in OT under AV’s 3 year tenure; 5, by the way…. doesn’t count the one’s.

            They’re zeroes in a half shell, it’s ridiculous.

            Same story every time!!!!

            You’re right, the record doesn’t lie.

          • 2014 and 2015? Seriously?

            2014 vs the Kings the ice was tilted every single game. It was a shooting gallery. Only reason we were even in it was because of Hank. Had NOTHING to do with deployment and everything to do with their significant edge in talent.

            2015? We got beat by TB because we had no Zuc and our defense was wiped out. But everyone conveniently forgets that.

            Speaking of forgetting and selectively editing the coach’s record, how about the fact that AV is the only coach in history to rally his team back from a 3-1 deficit in back to back seasons–against the likes of Pit and Washington?

            Sorry, but clueless, incompetent coaches dont do that.

            Now, if only our so-called “faux stars” would show up, then maybe we’d still be playing. The coach is not the primary reason why we are not. Our overrated players bear the lion’s share of the responsibility. .

          • No, in 2014, vs LA, they would come out flying, get a lead, and then try to hold on to it by sitting back. That was a winnable series, despite the fact that LA held the advantage in many metrics. That is misleading anyways; I’m pretty sure they’ve been tops in possession despite missing the playoffs a couple of times recently. As I’ve said before, they can hog the puck all day; doesn’t mean crap if you can’t score with it.

            2015… no zuc hurt, and McD not being ready for that game (why they didn’t give him the shot before game 7 earlier….. better yet, why was he even playing?). But, again, they still pulled the same crap in that series! Giving up a 3 on 5 SHG with a 2-0 lead (because you had 5 forwards out there)? ABSURD!

            Also, I’ll pretend that he doesn’t belong in jail for criminally misusing Yandle, not to mention the fact that we had a SOLID PAIRING when a certain 10th overall pick was next to him…………

            See, you’ve never addressed why the guy should get a pass on A) not stopping or trying to stop TurtleTime, and B) WHY does he continually SUCK at end game deployments/defensive evaluations?

            And that’s total BS; he didn’t rally them back from crap. Marty’s mother dying (and inspiring the WHOLE TEAM to, temporarily, leave everything out there) is what ‘saved’ 2014, as sad as it is to say.

            The Washington thing….. well, again, given that team’s proclivity for a good choking (did you see game 7? Looked more skittish out there than my dog)… not sure why you’d invoke that.

            My point is this. You’re saying, logically, that because the rangers have done well (and slightly improved, in total, over what he started with), that it’s all (or mostly, forgive me if I strawman too now) thanks to him. I do not agree with that; I have said why already (he’s not the GM etc).

            To me, that’s like saying that we shouldn’t sell ice cream on super-hot days because there’s a disproportionate amount of violent crime committed when lots of ice cream is selling. We wouldn’t want to unnecessarily provoke violent criminal behavior, right!?

            In other words, correlation is not causation.

          • TOTALLY disagree on the Kings series. They were a year removed from wining the Cup. They had Doughty, Kopitar and Gaborik (I’m still pissed at Torts for chasing him out of town). We had no players as good as those three. The ice was tilted the whole series. If it wasn’t for Hank, we are blown out in four. NOT on the coach.

            In 2015, it is you that is sidestepping the core issue here. Zuc, their emotional leader, is in a hospital bed fighting for his life. Somehow AV keeps them focused and they make it to Game 7 of the ECF against a team with emerging talent that was WAY better than us at that point…especially with our defense wrecked because of injury. In some ways that was AV’s finest coaching job under the circumstances. Most teams dont get to within 20 minutes of a return trip to the SCF.

            The MSL Mom narrative is fair, but overblown by the AV haters. Let’s not forget what REALLY happened. The Rangers were saddled with a brutal schedule where they had to play 5 games in 7 nights between two series. The Pens were rested. Once the series settled in, the Rangers regained their footing and pulled off an incredible comeback against a much better team. A remarkable job by the players and the coach.

            I have never ever said ALL this is because of AV.

            Yandle may be a valid point. Except maybe AV was on to something since defensively, the guy wasn’t that good. As for McIlrath, please stop. That has already been addressed over and over. Every team has weighed in and passed on the guy–TWICE! He’s a minor leaguer. And even Florida, under two coaches, didnt see the value in the pairings. Another example of being deceived by small sample sizes and “a little knowledge being dangerous in the wrong hands”.

            Hockey is not baseball or football where every move can easily be dissected and analyzed. I look at the big picture and likely so does management. With the contract, they’ve weighed in pretty clearly. This coach had OVERACHIEVED expectations with a good but not great team that has NO elite 1C and no elite defensive pairings these last four years–not the reverse.

          • Sorry, no, the LA series was winnable. You still haven’t addressed the fact that they led for (until game 4) for almost ALL of the series, slanted in a way that was only comparable to this one vs OTT.

            They got leads, they turtled…. they lost.

            TB, again…. not agreeing. At all. Another winnable series where questionable decisions (that 3 on 5 SHG) and continued bad deployments (Staal & G didn’t get bad overnight) contributed to the loss.

            To be fair, of all the things they’ve lost, this one is (relatively) less on AV & more on….. Oh yeah, that’s right, we needed another D-pairing…. where might we have found such a thing at that time of year…. (go look up Yandle & McIl’s numbers together as a pairing. More than the sum of their parts.)

            Here’s my problem. It’s a logic problem. You have a coach who (by his & your own admission) doesn’t go into the locker room. He doesn’t tell the players what they’re doing wrong (at least not during a game). He doesn’t make adjustments, he keeps trotting out the same guys who keep failing in the same situations….. if a player or two have a GREAT game, he won’t notice them & play them accordingly (76 / 42).

            He doesn’t get them to play the right way (sorry, the TurtleTime crap is on him at this point). The only time he does anything that someone could even confuse for an adjustment is when he tosses out TG for a game or five, or moves Jesper up to the second line!!!!!!!!

            And, your best counter-argument to why he’s a good coach is…. we could do worse by firing him????!?

            How can you attribute success to a guy who doesn’t actually do anything different during a game regardless of whether or not it’s a pre or post season one…. ?

            Just makes no sense….

      • Of course coaches get fired for lack of performance–IF the feeling is that expectations were not met. So I say again, logic here. Connect the dots….

        1) the Rangers trade arguably their best center for a project player in a move that screamed “future”. Add to that weaving Skjei, Vesey, Buch in and still have plenty of cap space unlike previous years.

        2) Most every pundit had the Rangers as a borderline playoff team at best.

        3) Coach is rewarded with a massive extension and raise.

        4) Rangers refrain from making any typical “all-in moves” at the deadline.

        5) Rangers beat win a round in the playoffs against a team with a better record and lose to one that was slightly worse.

        6) All in all, another 100+ point season, this time in a rebuilding year and this time a playoff series win.

        By any measurable standard, this is NOT a reason for a coach to be fired.

        Now, if this were the Caps and Barry Trotz. Three straight exceptional regular seasons, the last two with a stacked team. Out again in the second round. If that had been AV and the Rangers, I’d be right with you…coach has to go. The Rangers situation does not in any way suggest the head coach should go.

        And again, replaced by who? That’s always the question. Firing someone is the easy part. But the odds are, given what’s out there, the Rangers either go sideways or backwards.

        This is not the time. Maybe next year.

        • I don’t think the coach gets fired but even you have to admit that he has to do a much better job in the playoffs. I don’t care about his regular season record. Ovi’s regular season record is stellar too but considered a playoff failure, which is what counts.

          I would look at Bylsma. I have always liked him.

          And who is trading Stepan for picks or whatever? If he goes I think it would be for that true top pair righty they desperately need? Do you do that deal?

          • Of course the 2017 post-season was not AV’s best moment as coach. But I’m a big picture guy. He’s won more payoff series in the past four seasons than any team other than Hawks and Ducks. Care to look at the rosters of those teams and the other perennial contenders the last few years and tell me who would most coaches choose to go to battle with to compete for a Cup? The Rangers would be a bottom of the barrel choice among the so-called elite teams. So while there is always room for improvement, I reject the narrative that AV is not a good playoff coach. As Ranger coach, he’s been pretty succesful with a good but not great roster.

            Stepan, I agree. If he can fetch a high end defenseman, I’m willing to Make that trade. But I do worry about how we replace him. I don’t think it will be as easy as some out here think.

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