Preparing for the Rangers to lose a forward

oscar lindberg

The Rangers announced their protection list for the expansion draft yesterday, and there were no surprises. Any rational mind knew the Rangers would protect Nash, Stepan, Zuccarello, Kreider, Miller, Hayes, and Zibanejad up front. With the Dan Girardi buyout final, protecting McDonagh, Staal (NMC), and Holden were the obvious choices by the front office on the blue line.

While I disagree with protecting Holden, it was evident that the Rangers were going to protect him. The coaching staff loves him, and a defenseman that puts up 11 goals and 34 points is tough to find. But with the protected players noted, it’s almost a certainty that the Rangers lose a forward from the NHL roster. In fact, it’s a foregone conclusion.

The above players are the ones that the Rangers will expose in expansion. If I’m Vegas, I’m looking at this list and the first thing that jumps at me is that there are no good defensemen available from the Rangers. Kevin Klein is retiring. Brendan Smith is a UFA, and not worth the selection. After that, there’s no one.

There are major rumblings that the Rangers are going to strike a deal with Vegas to hold on to Antti Raanta. I disagree with that move, mostly because Benoit Allaire can turn any goalie into a decent backup in the short term, but I can understand the logic. Henrik Lundqvist isn’t getting any younger, and having a solid backup that can play 25-30 games is a necessity. Or, on the flip side, the Rangers can land significant value for him at the draft. The cost of one draft pick to keep Raanta to ensure they can flip him for a pair of picks is tempting.

So with this, the Rangers will lose a forward. The key ones exposed are Michael Grabner, Oscar Lindberg, and Jesper Fast. Grabner is going to be 30 years old when the season starts, and not a young piece that can/will be with Vegas for the long term. I personally don’t think Grabner is the “obvious” choice that most make him out to be. In fact, I don’t even think he is a realistic option for Vegas. This is a team that is going to need youth. Grabner is doesn’t fit that definition.

That leaves Fast and Lindberg. Both are comparable players, with the only real difference being position. Lindberg is a center, Fast is a winger. Both can play bottom-six roles effectively, and can fake it as a second line player for a short amount of time. Both are smart, smooth skating, two-way players that do the little things right to help win games. If you only looked at scouting reports, and not position, they’d be the same player.

But the major difference is just that. Centers are tougher to come by in this league, and significantly more valuable than a winger. Factor in Fast’s injury, and that may sway Vegas into taking Lindberg. While losing Lindberg will stink, it’s probably the one forward they can stomach to lose. They have legitimate options in Hartford, with Boo Nieves impressing. Plus an effective fourth line center can be had for cheap on the open market.

When the Rangers bought out Girardi before the expansion draft, it was well reasoned to believe they would be losing a forward in the expansion draft, simply by logical chain of events. That chain of events has led to the strong possibility that Lindberg is the player selected by Vegas. But either way, the Rangers are going to plan to lose a forward. Such is life in expansion-era hockey.

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116 thoughts on “Preparing for the Rangers to lose a forward

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Lindberg is the better choice. You know what you get with fast a 3rd/4th line defensive specialist. Lindberg on the other hand has a lot of offensive potential still. I see him as a 3rd line center, possibly a 2nd line. Obviously the rest of the hockey world has noticed the potential he has while AV refused to use him on any special teams or play him more than 9 min a game (even when in the playoffs when healthy and according to many analyst one of the best ranger forwards during that time, advance stats support it too).

    Team Sweden even trusted him on the top line with backstrom and were giving him 20 min a game in the WC. I see him getting 2nd/3rd line time with Vegas and ending the season with 40+ points. Honestly I would have found a way to protect him and used hayes as a trade chip (if stepan wasn’t traded) to free a protected slot. Hayes obviously has a higher potential but the big difference between them is Lindberg has heart and always gives his best, while with hayes there are times it seems like he doesn’t even care. To bad AV never gave him a real opportunity this season, even when healthy in the playoffs (cause people obviously are going to say it was because he wasn’t healthy in the regular season).

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Lindberg is going to be 26 years old next season. He’s not going to progress much more than what you see now.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

        I agree, people on here think he’ll be ready to handle 3c for some reason. All I can say is that Hayes has been a top 3c in the last 3 years, I highly doubt Oscar would touch his numbers, he’s better suited for a 4c role.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:20 am

          Hey Mint, what playoff series were you watching?? Hayes was invisible ( like he was is the playoff series the year before) . I would take Lindberg over Hayes 7 days a week and 2x on Sunday. Lindberg played with fire, hitting everything, setting up his line mates ,scoring the occasional goal. Hayes shy’s away from contact every chance he gets, is slow as a snail and for a big body, plays like he prefers to be an Ice Capades performer. I would take a 30 yr Lindberg over a current day Hayes in a heart beat!!

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:51 am

            Nothing like judging three years of a player off a 12 game sample.

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

            Bobby B,
            I find it hard to believe the fans here who like hayes or stepan actually WATCH them play!
            Lindberg is exactly what you want in a hockey player speed, quickness, aggression and talent!
            I was and still am hoping hayes can develop into a joe thornton like player for us, but lets face it both he and stepan couldnt be any softer…..I think when stamkos flattened him, he has become softer.
            I think Messier and his dislike for nemchinov…….these two make him look like dave schultz!

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 11:58 am

              “I find it hard to believe the fans here who like hayes or stepan actually WATCH them play!”


              Not for anything, but, when Stepan was on the ice last year, the Rangers scored 60% of the goals.

              Hayes also has had an absurd number of primary assists (the ones that actually indicate skill & correlate properly). He’s also 6’5”.

              In other words, just because players ‘aren’t your type’ or ‘don’t play a certain way’ doesn’t mean that they & their contracts are utterly worthless.

              I posted something in the prior thread (that only just went through) about Stepan & his contract. Like it or not, agree with it or not, in today’s NHL, unrestricted free agents on the open market command about $1 million per 8-10 points. Stepan is not overpaid, nor could you ‘easily replace’ him …. (unless there’s another UFA center around his age that does what he does & is willing to come for only 6.5 per?)

              Furthermore, as much as I like Lindberg, the idea that he’s a ‘sure thing’ to slot in ANY higher than the 4th lime would be a tremendous stretch.
              3C, maybe, I think he’d excel there. But he’s not the next 1 (or 2) C; that’s ridiculous & a hot take that’s as steamy as they get.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:14 pm

                Stepan is easily replaced and for the better. Who are the other Rangers on the ice for a great number of goals? What if anything did they have to do with the goal being scored? What was the percentage of Ozone face off starts that lead to goals? PP goals and even strength goals break down? Stepan sucks and stop looking at paper and watch a game or two.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm

                Not once did you address the fact that while Stepan was on the ice (throughout the entire season), the Rangers outscored the opposition 3 to 2 (that’s 60%).

                You’ll probably cringe when you see who his linemates were.

                Do you not realize that your ‘counterpoints’ (O-zone faceoffs, PP goals, etc) are all implicitly included in a ‘total goals for’ type statistic?

                Again, I’ve said I’d like to see him traded…

                … but I have infinitely more respect for E3’s ardent defense of his beloved frenchman at this point than anything the entire collective of the ‘exphose stephan’ brigade has said.

                At least he’s given counter-arguments better than ‘no ur wrong he sux’, which is almost entirely irrelevant to the point I’ve been trying to make… which is … [for the record]

                NO SH!T, SHERLOCK!
                But he ain’t ‘worthless’
                Please stop the idiocy.
                Thank you

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm


                In stepan i see a guy who never goes into the corners to get a puck, never carries it across the blue line ……and passes it, sometimes to the other team as soon as an opponent is approaching!

                I see a guy who stands in front of the net and waits for kreider or zucc to beat two guys to the puck and pass it to him out front!

                I see a guy who failed to cover his man in the montreal series and twice in the slot in the ottowa series costing us 3 goals!

                He is so afraid of contact since his last concussion he runs from it like it is the grim reaper approaching.

                50 points because of his PP, his linemates and #1 minutes played , NOT because he is any good!

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:12 pm

                Rich, that may be so…..

                but you are confusing ‘reasons why we should trade him for what a low-end 1C goes for’ with ‘HE SUX G2G RITE NOW’.

                I don’t care why he gets 50 points, that’s completely irrelevant to the argument I’m making.

                I care that you guys are suggesting we let excellent trade chips walk for nothing….

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm

                Rich I’m not saying I disagree with a lot of your argument.

                I just disagree with the notion that we’d be better off exposing his contract or waiving him.

                That is utterly insane. He has more value, trade wise, than Fast, Grabner, and Lindberg added together! Hell, those three (& a first round pick) would be a lousy return for him!

                If you don’t believe me, look at what every other comparable (or inferior) center has returned via a trade over the past few years. Hanzal, Staal, etc…..

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm

              How can we possibly read what you say with any interest at all, like it might have a ray of truth or knowledge to it. You, my friend, advocated exposing Stepan to the expansion draft. That just proves you have no idea of what you are speaking of regarding the Rangers. I have lost respect for your opinion.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:19 pm

                Thank you, finally, someone with common sense!

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm

                Another voice of reason!


              • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm

                Finally, someone else who realizes low-end first line centers don’t grow on trees!

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm


                It’s funny, when someone doesn’t agree with you, then you lose respect for them???

                Wow, I’m in the camp of moving him, so are others, why should they lose respect because you don’t agree. This is the reason I counter back when personally attacked the way I do. You don’t agree with the poster, so be it, without the personal attack bull shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm

                Walt, while you have a good point about people letting things get too personal (something I do too often as well), even you have to admit that people saying things which are indefensible & make zero sense tends to bring the worst out in everyone.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm

                Walt, my friend, you need to take some time and do more critical reading! I have no problem moving Stepan, as I have said many times, in many posts. My respect for Rich S. was not lost because he did not agree with me, it was because he proposed leaving Stepan unprotected for the expansion draft. Even you, of “Daisy”, know that he can bring assets. To leave him unprotected, as Rich S. said, that is why I have lost respect for the man’s opinion. It borders on pathological. I hardly ever agree with your opinions, but I respect you because of the veracity and quasi believability with how you impart your opinions to us. So please read harder before criticizing me, buddy.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 6:35 pm

        Dave, I’m shocked at what you’re saying. Progress? Oscar never got the chance. Even in the playoffs he scored 3 goals in less than 9 minutes per game and was close to being the Rangers’ leading goal scorer in the playoffs.

        If given the chance, he gets close 40-50 pts and plays both ends of the ice in 3rd line mismatches in his favor.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:28 am

      They will take the best available player from the Rangers and move him for draft picks. The player that is worth the most is Grabner and therefore he will be selected. He will be traded to a Cup team, probably the Penguins (Rangers fans have the worst luck).

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:56 am

        Certainly a possibility.

    • Jun 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      For those who don’t think advanced metrics in hockey are voodoo magic that can’t be trusted, and do click the link (and it loads, because it can be shoddy sometimes)…note that Hayes grades out better in every HERO chart category at the top than Lindberg except a tie for shot generation per 60. Note that while Hayes is roundly dogged by many for not playing defense…he has a superior shot suppression metric. Note that this is with Hayes facing predominantly better competition.

      I think this part of this sentence sums up my gripe with some of the Hayes complaints: “…it seems like he doesn’t even care…” Indeed, it may SEEM that way. He looks dopey. He’s not very expressive. Chill dude, not fiery very often. He doesn’t get into many physical altercations. He has a long and fluid skating stride that does not make it look like he is exerting a lot of effort compared to a short choppy stride. He may not necessarily enjoy contact, I concur – but I don’t recall any instance of him literally ducking/dodging a hit, or dumping the puck in a dangerous area to avoid a hit, etc.

      While it may seem to some that he is slacking out there, the numbers, simply put, argue with that stance. I think his ceiling is much higher than Lindberg’s, but even without that opinion/assumption, he’s already outperformed Lindberg against mostly better competition…and likely will continue to do so.

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 8:02 am

    if you are going to lose someone it shouldn’t bite in the end I see us losing Grabner and getting someone in free agency to replace him

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:18 am

      I would love to replace him with Roussel from Dallas if they want a pick.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:19 pm

        This is a good idea… not sure what it would take, though. I doubt something cheap like a 2nd & 3rd gets it done

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Protecting Holden suggests the Rangers are less than confident they can sign Smirh. Otherwise, you don’t expose Lindberg or Fast.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Well, you have to have seven defensemen in the NHL. Right now, by protecting Holden, the Rangers have four.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

      That’s not how expansion works. They had to protect 3 D, and could only protect 7 F. No matter what, Fast/Lindberg were getting exposed.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        This should be a sticky note at the top of each post until the draft is over 🙂

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Boo isn’t a center, and his ceiling is Lindberg’s floor.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Lindberg is 26 years old. His current play is close to or at his ceiling.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:44 am

        I have to disagree a bit Dave. His hip surgery kept him out a while and when he was finally back in game shape half the season was gone. The upcoming season will establish what his ceiling truly is in my opinion. Nice player and I wish him luck if he is selected. Would like him to remain a blue shirt.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

        Which is still better than Boo could ever be. Nieves is a 4th line winger at best. Size, speed but hands of play-dough

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      He’s a center as is JT

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        In the USA hockey system the winger is the playmaker, Boo would be a center.

        In the world where the center is the playmaker, boo is a wing.

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Many have Lindberg slotted as a “defensive 4th line center. I feel he could be a very capable 3rd line center.
    I hope Gorton has a deal in place so that McPhee passes on Oscar.

    I can’t imagine how many phones McPhee must have working to cover the amount of incoming calls he’s receiving and will receive over the next 3 days…………………

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

      That’s an accurate assessment of Lindberg. Good 4th line center, capable 3rd line center.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:52 am

        You aren’t thinking like a scout or gm. Based on the opportunities he gets under AV that is an accurate statement but if given more opportunities his potential increases. Let’s be honest no one is going to be considered more than that based off how little ice time he gets because they can’t display anything. Also he was the best faceoff player for the rangers but AV never utilized him as a “defensive specialist” (look at the pk and benching him at the end of ever game).

        An great example would be Jonathan Marchessault on Florida, he was supposedly a 4th liner and was only going to be that and that is how Tampa and the most of the league viewed him, he went to Florida got an opportunity and put up 51 points playing 2/3 line with pp time. Also the same age as lindberg. That is why the pro scouts are professionals and we aren’t, they are able to see things like that. Mind you there was probably luck involved but my point is you have to imagine the player on other situations and I believe you aren’t doing that. It isn’t hard to imagine him doing 40+ on a 3rd line with some pp time.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:59 am

          If you pair Lindberg with real scoring linemates, he can have 46 points, and he has a better shot than Stepan

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:29 am

            Nope. He isn’t on Hayes level but you can try and preach it all you want. He would be in the middle pack of the 3c’s of the league, bet he touches Hayes sophomore numbers in a offensive role at best.

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

              What are you talking about? 6 foot 5 centers with off the charts primary assist ratios grow on trees man. We could scoop another off the waiver wire EZ NP next year.

              The problem is, people are conflating their dislike for a specific player with the false notion that such disagreement must make for irrefutable fact.

              I’ve said this a hundred times now – I’d like to see them trade (them both, actually)….. but to ‘give them away’ as people on here have been suggesting…. that’s incredibly dumb. Which is a nice way of saying it.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm

                And your love of Hayes and Stepan isn’t even a tiny bit over exaggerating their value?

                Nooooo, it’s never you, its always the other guy. Not me ma, wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm

                No… you’re just being absurd if you think a guy who has put up 50 something points per year on a regular basis, while being paid fairly for what he provides, is worth less than [whatever fast, lindberg, or grabner would bring here]

                That’s not an opinion so much as it’s a plainly obvious fact that shall be proven when he (Stepan) is finally traded.

                Also, I don’t ‘like’ Hayes either (I’ve said before he’s a gigantic Ham), but the previous statement applies to him as well.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

                If stepan and hayes are sooooo good why did the two worst playoff teams beat us and almost beat us?
                If they are so good why cant we compete with pitts, cbj and washington?
                Again i would trade stepan and get as much as I could, and I hope its a top 4 defenseman , but I wouldnt hold my breath…….
                Hayes? Not ready to give up on him yet, because he was hurt secong half , but want to see a messier like coach light a fire under him!

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm

                “If stepan and hayes are sooooo good why did the two worst playoff teams beat us and almost beat us?
                If they are so good why cant we compete with pitts, cbj and washington?”


                So now you’re blaming the team no-showing vs OTT (and our lack of elite talent) on Stepan?

                Do you mean to imply that the sole reason we did not win this year (or years prior) was because of Stepan’s non-elite performance (despite not being considered/paid like an elite player)?

                …. well, ok, I guess you can blame Stepan for not being Gretzky. If you want…….

                Whatever floats your boat

                However, I do agree with you on Hayes. Total Ham, but if he can continue his progression, he may yet become one hell of a Ham (which might make keeping him worth it). He absolutely needs a guy like Messier to get on his case.

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 12:03 pm

            I like Lindberg, but that is ridiculous. Who the hell cares about his shot anyways (especially if he’s scoring less than Daisy!)?

            Besides, wasn’t Grabner supposed to now be ‘a real scorer’? You make it sound like he was playing with Tanner Gla- oh wait.

            in all seriousness, while Lindberg could make for a 3C, the idea that he’s coming for Stepan’s job is ridiculous.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:53 am

          Not really. Lindberg would max out as a 35-40pt guy based on his stats from Sweden & the A.

          Marchessault couldn’t crack the top 6 on Tampa, but Florida took a flier and got a career year out of him. He shot %15.63, which really isn’t repeatable as he was a %10.5 shooter in the A and %8.6 the year prior. That isn’t pro scouting, that’s lightning in a bottle.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm

          “An great example would be Jonathan Marchessault on Florida, he was supposedly a 4th liner and was only going to be that and that is how Tampa and the most of the league viewed him, he went to Florida got an opportunity and put up 51 points playing 2/3 line with pp time. Also the same age as lindberg”

          He also shot at ~16% this year, compared to his career average of just 10.5%.

          In other words, as someone else put it, that’s some lightning in a bottle.

          We already have a jar of that, thank you very much.

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:12 pm

            If this was a forum where these things mattered, some would think you a plagiarist.

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm

              Hey, come on now, what do you want from me? A citation? lol….

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm

              Hey, come on now, would you have liked a citation?


              In all seriousness, it would be a mistake to part with anything to get from from FLA (via VGK). I don’t see him repeating that performance. Nor do I see Grabner putting up 27 goals again.

              20, maybe.

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

              Hey, come on now, would you have liked a citation?


              In all seriousness, it would be a mistake to part with anything to get him from FLA (via VGK). I don’t see him repeating that performance. Nor do I see Grabner putting up 27 goals again.

              20, maybe.

        • Jun 20, 2017 at 10:58 am

          And he was Ranger property at one time

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        I agree with that

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Right from the beginning I said I liked Oscar, and will miss him if he is chosen from the list available. As for a replacement, well there should be plenty UFA after the draft that we can pursue, but will any of them be equivalent to Oscar? Some are going to get upset but here it comes, I’d rather lose Fast!!!!!!!

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:00 am

      My choice would be Grabner.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

        I wouldn’t mind that choice as well………….

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:40 am

        I’m fine with Grabner/Lindberg. I’d be a tad upset if we lose Fast.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

          Fast> Grabner> Lindberg

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 11:06 am

            In terms of expansion, that’s how I see it.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

      I believe If given the opportunity ,including the ice time and power play time that Stepan gets , Lindberg will at least match his performance [ point total] and be a more valuable player for us.
      If stepan gets us a top 4 rhd I would be thrilled and surprised….if he is on our roster next year, we aint going nowhere!
      Given our history …..letting strallman walk away, trading stempkiak, trading for yandle then letting him walk, signing stall and girardi to big money, nmc contracts….. etc etc I have zero faith in mngt!

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 11:01 am

        I believe that Lindberg would produce the same amount of points if he were as good as Stepan.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 11:24 am

          You gotta start watching the games!
          stepan…..3 game winners in 97 playoff games!
          …..13 even strength goals in 97 playoff games!
          …… career minus 8 in 97 playoff games!
          …..most minutes played of any forward in 97 playoff games!

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 11:42 am

            Forgive me for not agreeing with a person who has stated that Dylan Mcilrath was his favorite hockey player.

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm

              You should respond to what I said before changing the discussion……
              …..3 game winners in 97 playoff games!
              …..13 even strength goals in 97 playoff games!
              …… career minus 8 in 97 playoff games!
              …..most minutes played of any forward in 97 playoff games!
              Yup, we will win a cup with him!!!! NEVER!!!
              McIlrath ….Is ONE of my favorite players, but I never said he was an all star , did I?

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:01 pm

                “…..3 game winners in 97 playoff games!
                …..13 even strength goals in 97 playoff games!
                …… career minus 8 in 97 playoff games!
                …..most minutes played of any forward in 97 playoff games!”


                +/- is meaningless. Dan G still has a positive there. Nuff said.

                To reiterate a prior post…. those numbers A R E N O T out of line with most hockey players & their production in the playoffs versus the regular season.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm

                “…..3 game winners in 97 playoff games!
                …..13 even strength goals in 97 playoff games!
                …… career minus 8 in 97 playoff games!
                …..most minutes played of any forward in 97 playoff games!”


                +/- is meaningless. Dan G still has a positive there. Nuff said.

                To reiterate a prior post…. those numbers ARE NOT out of line with most hockey players & their production in the playoffs versus the regular season.

              • Jun 19, 2017 at 4:11 pm

                Ok I will respond. Stepan is not a pure goal scorer. That’s a fact. But he still puts up points. I guess you don’t consider assists to really matter. And only even strength goals matter.

                He sucks because Pp time “inflates” his point totals? He sucks so much because a lot of his points come on the power play? You are so completely out of touch if the worst thing about a player is that they put up alot of their points on the PP.

                But I guess it makes complete sense that Lindberg would produce similarly given the same role. He’s 26 and it has taken until 26 to become a full time NHLer. All he needs is an extra 4 shifts on the PP and he will miraculously become a 60 point player. That makes complete sense

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm

            Um, most players see their production drop off in the playoffs. Actually, Stepan’s % (around 75% relative to regular season) is not even out of line relative to other guys, like Crosby (~85%). Look it up yourself.

            Getzlaf is the exception, not the rule

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 11:46 am

        Rich Rich Rich,
        Stepan is a top 30 center in the league my friend. I like Lindberg, alot, but to think that he can be anything more than a capable 3rd line center is just silly.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:01 pm

          ITS ok DC
          I said the same things when we let strallman walk away…….and when we traded dubinsky instead of stepan…….and when we traded stempniak …….
          I am positive Stepan will NEVER be a difference maker!
          closer to Bottom 30!
          Lindberg , when given stepan minutes and power play time will out perform him!
          Take away his inflated stats due to PP time and #1 line minutes and he drops significantly, watch him and his soft play…..and he drops even more!

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

          Keep thinking that because that’s why one CUP is on the selve in the last almost 80 plus years.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm


        Daisy has never made any player around him better, and playing with the best wings we have, and the PP, he should have so many more points, and that’s not the case.

        Daisy will get us a return, that is more important do because of team needs. As for Oscar, well he led the Pack when he was in the AHL, so he has the scoring potential, given a shot. I like the kid, will miss him if he is selected, and will wish him well. When Stepan goes, I’ll help him pack his luggage!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm

          That year in Hartford, he was outscored by the immortal Chris Bourque. The year before that, J.T. Miller was 3 goals behind him in 35 less games. Nicklas Jensen had 32 in the A. To be top 6 in the NHL you have to tear it up in the A, like scoring 1ppg.

          He’ll make a fine 3C, but that’s it.

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm


            I’ve never said that he is 2nd line material, but he can do the job on the 3rd line. My point was that he can score, given a chance to play in a different role…..Can he replace Daisy, I wouldn’t bet on it???????????

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Please take Fast! Please take Tanner Fast!

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      tell me more about this Tanner Fast. I like the cut of his jib.

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 10:09 am

    I have a feeling the backdoor deal with Vegas has to be better than the backdoor deal with Minny if the NYR wants to get a defenseman from the Minny roster. I can see Vegas picking a player off of the Minny roster, then making some kind of deal/trade with the Rangers to acquire a pick/player and send a player to the Rangers from Minny. McPhee needs to build a team for today and tomorrow. He can do that and grab some first rounders.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      yeah but, why would we do that? Who on that roster is worth trading for?

      Per the post Dave made a few days ago….. why would we trade for any of those bums when we could just save the assets & resign Smith for nothing?

      Did you see a different set of charts than I did?

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        I do believe we need Smith AND another righty D-man, Unless you still think Holden is the solution. And a PPQB. But I forgot, you seem to know just about all here.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

          I never, ever said anything about 22 other than the fact he’s awful.

          Have you even read anything I’ve ever said until today?

          But so are those clowns from MIN. What would you give up for players that are statistically on par or worse than options we already have? Did you not read what Dave said about that (you know, the funny little chart stuff?)

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:43 pm

          I never, ever said anything about 22 other than the fact he’s awful. PPQB? Lolwut?

          Have you read anything I’ve ever said (until today)?

          Speaking of bad, that’s what those clowns from MIN are. What would you give up for players that are statistically on par or worse than options we already have? Did you not read what Dave said about that (you know, the funny little chart stuff?

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:51 pm

            Yes, I do, but we keep referring to the chart, but we still have a gaping hole down the right side, that needs to be filled, and Matt Dumba would be a nice addition to that spot, even though I doubt he helps the PP.

            Many keep referring to the stats, but the stats do not account for “heart and determination”. These two traits were sorely lacking from the team last year and there are no Corsi stats that reflect team “willingness to go into the corners”. If you watched the Finals, both teams were not afraid to go into the dirty areas. We have only 3 or 4 players who go there. Fill the teams with “Stepan’s & Haye’s & others who have superior Corsi numbers and you will still have a 2nd round ouster with people blaming AV. Get a few guys who are tireless workers (yes, like a Fast and an Oskar) and add them to talent guys (like Nash and Zucc, not Stepan and Hayes) and you can win. We need the right combo of talent and heart. Gorton needs to find that mix, and as of yet, he hasn’t even made a move.

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:59 pm

              See, this is what I don’t understand.

              I’ve never ever said Stepan is part of any solution, other than one that involves trading him…. preferably for a top RHD, even if we have to add significant parts to acquire one (like Trouba).

              I just don’t believe in taking valuable trade chips & lighting them on fire ‘just cause’.

              Nor do I understand how anyone, despite having legitimate reasons for not liking what he brings as a player, could fail to see the value he would command in a trade.

              It’s all about being objective when assessing this stuff.

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Your conclusions may be right, but i think Las Vegas needs to pay a little attention to the short term. This isn’t exactly a city where hockey is a lock and maybe a little attention to getting the fans excited is in order. If not, I suspect, the team is not long for this world. Fast or Lindberg may still be the right choice, but Grabner’s speed makes him an exciting player — and that should be at least somewhat enticing.

    I question “the Rangers have legitimate options in Hartford”. Hartford was an awful team — and they really had no forwards. Nieves is talented, yes, but he hardly played with concussion issues and his future is hardly certain. But even if you count him, one player is not options. After that, Jensen, Hrivik really? In fact, I’m guessing the Rangers let Hrivik go. I suspect that if you rank teams by AHL forward depth, the Rangers are 30th.

    Now one can get forward depth via free agency, so there really is no great problem, but the solution is not Hartford.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      “Now one can get forward depth via free agency, so there really is no great problem, but the solution is not Hartford”


      I agree, I don’t know how anyone looks at Hartford’s roster last year and thinks, ‘mmmm that’s what we need, more terrible players who sucked in the AHL!’

      I wouldn’t have Boo penciled in as Lindberg’s apprentice at this point, much less as a shoo-in for 4C.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Excellent point about the entertainment value Grabner brings.

      And you couldn’t be more painfully correct about the disaster called the Wolfpack.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Wonder why that is? Oh, trading all those first round picks five years in a row. Plus second and third and I can go on and on.

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm

        Yet, guys will defend that til hell freezes over!!!!!!!!!!! Your other post about one cup in almost 80 years says it all……………….

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm

        Lol, no one ‘wonders’ why they’re terrible. At least, no one not living under a rock.

        But, on the flip side, no one there has excelled (at all, whatsoever). Maybe Ronning did OK in his limited appearance last season. But that’s about it.

        As such, how could you then thus reasonably expect anybody from that team to compete for a spot this year on the Rangers? Especially when you consider the offensive capabilities of our lesser lines relative to how Hartford’s bottom six performed. Who is Nieves (etc) pushing out of the lineup?.

        If you think that they will fill in for Lindberg (while he becomes some kind of Stepan clone minus the Daisy factor?), I’ve got news for you – go play some powerball. At least that way, if your numbers hit, you’ll actually get something for it

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm

          I guess it’s hard to be humble.

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:28 pm

            …. when you have people (who are dead serious) suggesting we expose a young 1C under contract for nothing (rather than just trade him), it gets increasingly difficult to be polite.

          • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm

            …. when you have people (who are dead serious) suggesting we expose a young 1C under contract for nothing (rather than just trade him) over two fourth liners & a (very) nice third line winger, well…

            I’ll say this – it gets increasingly difficult to be polite with each & every wall of logically devoid text that is manufactured on here.

            It’s not personal… I just don’t understand how some of you people can be so… obtuse…

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm

              You skipped polite a long time ago.

              You don’t actually have to be here.

              If you don’t understand my personal preference of cap flexibility over the known product we have, I can’t help you.

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 3:28 pm

              “obtuse”…I know in my heart that is not the word you really wanted to use

            • Jun 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

              Not sure people really want to expose him for nothing, they want to use him to get defensive help. His slow, methodical style frustrates people, especially after you watch real 1C’s play in the Cup Finals. They skate hard, they go into the corners, they throw their body, they trash talk, they get into scrums – they are into the game 110%. They make something happen out of nothing.

              And to all you who say he is top 30, okay maybe, but there is a chasm between top 10 and the next 20 centers in the league so if you don’t have a top 10 center, you might as well have 2 second line centers – and pay them that way.

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Assuming VGK selects someone other than Raanta, I wonder if the Red Wings matchup in a trade. They left Mrazek unprotected and probably need a younger more affordable goaltender to pair with Jimmy Howard.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      For that matter, Arizona is now in the market for a goalie as well. Maybe Raanta’s name has been mentioned alongside Stepan in talks with the ‘Yotes.

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    It would be super if, just once, people read a post and connected it with multiple other posts that have been written on the topic, and then combined all that information into a formative discussion.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      What do you expect when people still wonder why Holden was protected instead of Grab/Fast/Lindberg?

      • Jun 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        Harsh … but very true.

        Not everyone needs to be an expert and know the CBA inside and out to be part of the discussion, but at least familiarize yourself with the expansion draft basics if you want to join the discussion and contribute something meaningful.

        Dave and Co. do great work with this blog, the last thing we want to do is turn this discussion space into something that resembles a Facebook conversation or *shudder* … the YouTube comments section.

        • Jun 19, 2017 at 6:53 pm

          Wow! Excellent food for thought…and right on!

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Mayb, Im crazy but I dont see a big loss from any of the available players. Sure they have talent and belong in the league, but were not talking about any game breakers here.

    To the fact of people complaining about Stepan lets remember no team, not even a team ran by Mike Milbury would give us the same return on Lindberg/Fast/Grabner that someone is going to give us for Stepan. I believe his days are numbered (by July 1) but to say the others have more value is crazy.

    If Im Vegas and looking at the Rangers exposed roster, Im taking the player that will give me the best vaule in a trade. That is unless Gorton sweetened the deal and dealt me something to specifically take someone, which I do not think there is any person on this roster who is worth doing that. I personally believe that is Raanta has the most value.

    With Grabner, Id be afraid of getting the player that every ranger fan expected they were getting when he signed (not the player they got), kills penaltys and hopefully scores 10 goals. If he isnt instantly traded and does not perform to this past seasons standards his deadline value wont be high.

    Fast/Lindberg are third liners at best, which is what is mostly available to Vegas besides some other interesting names left unprotected like Bobby Ryan. They are both 26 by the end of the calendar year so please stop with the young talent and if given more ice time/better line mates they would put up Stepan numbers. They wouldnt, if they could, they would have been given the roles and taken away when they messed up. Dont believe me ask JT Miller/Kevin Hayes who both are younger and got more icetime then them cause they earned it. Ask Mika if being the youngest center affected his ice time.

    I could be wrong but unless Grabner/Fast/Lindberg has a better offer from another team then Vegas would get from Raanta, then I expect him to be the one selected.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      You are actually the exact opposite of crazy. This is the kind of banter I believe ChrisA wanted. nice job!

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Right now this team as it stands lacks grit and toughness. Loosing Lindberg ( one of the more physical Swedish players in the league) only makes it worse, as well as not signing Smith ( they better sign him) . I really like Josh Manson, Gorton should go full bore after this kid, son of Dave ( CHARLIE) Manson, its in his genes!!!

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Angry you didn’t answer one of my questions. Are there other Rangers that had similar stats? Where does Stepan rank on the Rangers and when on the ice for goals did he do anything to lead to the goal. Being on the ice ain’t shit if you aren’t doing anything to lead to the goal. My points are he gets plenty of ice time in flavorable situations to pile up points. He doesn’t do anything that Hayes,JT or Oscar can’t do given the same deployment. Never said he was worthless just that he sucks and easily replaceable. Let’s see what he brings back in a trade and how his career continues elsewhere. Watch a game or two or play a game or two.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      “Are there other Rangers that had similar stats? Where does Stepan rank on the Rangers and when on the ice for goals did he do anything to lead to the goal. Being on the ice ain’t shit if you aren’t doing anything to lead to the goal. My points are he gets plenty of ice time in flavorable situations to pile up points”


      Where does he rank? In terms of what? Our most valuable player? Center? Hard to say, as that’s not specific enough.

      As far as our centers go, he doesn’t put up the primary assists or points per 60 that Hayes does, but per the HERO charts, he is our strongest defensive center.

      The only center we have that is better than Stepan, per the charts, is actually Hayes.

      The prior link is a comparison between Stepan & Hayes. Zib was inferior to both of them. You can play around with the charts & compare others, if you like.

      BTW, you’ll see how comical the notion that Lindberg is replacing any of those three next year is.

      Lastly, these charts have become popular because of their strong predictive power; like the saying goes, numbers don’t lie.

      Also, in case you’re wondering who on this team really lights these charts up, then look no further than McDonagh, Adam Clendenning (there’s a reason some of us cringed when we saw he wouldn’t be qualified), and even Buchnevich.

      By the way, the charts account for ice time, but not QoC (at least I think, anyways). So, in other words, he’s (stepan) putting up those numbers versus the strongest competition other teams throw his way.

      ” Never said he was worthless just that he sucks and easily replaceable. Let’s see what he brings back in a trade and how his career continues elsewhere.”


      Suggesting we expose him to VGK is pretty much the same as saying ‘he sucks’. Forgive me if you haven’t said that; it’s getting hard to keep up with who is a part of the ‘exspoze stefan’ brigade…..

      And, as I’ve just implied, if you think he’s replaceable, then so too are Zib, Lindy, and even Hayes. Miller as well, for that matter.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Well, I had a nice long reply but I included a link so it might take awhile to go through, maybe until tomorrow.

      Basically, google HERO charts & have at it.

      They are highly respected by many people for their predictive power; at the very least, if you don’t agree with/trust my judgement, then understand that the people who run this website find value in them.

      You’ll realize how dumb what you’re saying is. Hopefully, anyways.

  • Jun 19, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    If I were LV, I would take Oscar and not look back. Put him at 3rd line C and watch him outplay all the other team’s 3rd line Cs.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Hayes is the best 3c so I can’t see him out doing what he has done in that role. Sorry but Oscar has some trees to climb before we start treating him as a legit top 9 name.

      • Jun 20, 2017 at 6:30 am

        I didn’t say that Oscar was better than Hayes, I said that Oscar would be a 3C on LV and probably get 40-50 pts in that role. I think he has that type of skillset and potential. He won’t get that opportunity with the Rangers.

    • Jun 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Hopefully they grab Raanta or someone else not from Sweden.

      Or Austria… I really think we’ll miss Grabs (if he goes) more than most people realize, despite his meteoric shooting %.

      • Jun 20, 2017 at 6:33 am

        The only thing about taking Raanta is that might screw up some of the Rangers trade opportunities, using Raanta as a throw in. If Raanta had that much value then he would have been traded already.

        The guy’s played 92 games in the NHL over 5-6 seasons? Hardly a proven #1 goalie. Plus LV should be picking Fleury, Grubauer, and maybe Pickard. Taking Raanta just to trade him for a pick is a wasted expansion pick when they can pick a 3C fixture for them like Lindberg.

  • Jun 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I find it a bit crazy that a team that is trying to build on speed would lose Haglin and Fast for practically nothing.

  • Jun 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    If the Rangers can keep 7-3-1 or 10 players and a goalie… why would the hold onto Holden and not protect (Smith, Grabner, or Fast instead)?

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