Report: Oscar Lindberg headed to Vegas

Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

Per Larry Brooks, center Oscar Lindberg is headed to Vegas via the expansion draft. This was relatively expected, especially after the news broke that Antti Raanta would remain a Ranger. I’ve been thinking it would be Lindberg since about March, writing about it as recently as this week.

Losing Lindberg certainly stinks, but it’s definitely not the worst thing that could have happened. Lindberg is 26 years old, so he’s not exactly a kid/prospect. He likely peaks as a decent 3C that can fake it as a 2C in short bursts. He is 100% not the top-six center that folks made him out to be. And he is 400% not better than Derek Stepan.

Guys like Lindberg, believe it or not, are easily replaced via free agency or within the system. Personally, I’m happy it wasn’t Jesper Fast, who is more versatile. But in the end, the Rangers will lose a good 4C that wins face offs and kills penalties.

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  • Does this guarantee that Stepan stays a Ranger? I can’t imagine them moving him after already losing a center from this past season.

    • Have to assume a Stepan stays at this point, right? Very little available at C in free agency and can’t see Stepan bringing back a top-pair D and a center as well.

    • Doubt it. I don’t think the plan was to make Oscar the 3C next year.

      Whatever the plan to replace Stepan was, shift Miller from W to C or acquire a C to play in the middle 6, can still happen.

      Lindberg can easily be replaced by giving Bigfoot a call. I’m sure Brian Boyle wouldn’t mind coming back to NY to play 10-14 minutes a night on the 4th line and be the top PK’er on the team.

    • Again, Stepan will only be moved if it is for a top pair D man or center upgrade.

      The selection of Oscar probably doesn’t change that.

  • I hate this news, I really liked this kid from the beginning!!!! Good luck Oscar, you wore the Ranger blue with pride…………..

  • Still don’t get the love for Fast. Small, effective forechecker w/ speed that has no hands and is lost in his own end.

    • Reen

      You had to know that with the hip surgery Fast wouldn’t be drafted. I would have preferred that to be the case, but such is life!!!!!!

      • He is an AV favorite. The whole timing of the surgery was a protective measure so he wouldn’t get drafted. Oskar was NOT and AV fave. I am sure there were discussions between Gorton & McPhee and in the end Gorton did not care who they took, because he knew they were not going to take Fast.

        Would have like to keep Oskar as he had some spunk. We only like bland, vanilla players so lets get a few more 40 point guys who disappear down the stretch.

        • Well stated Sal. I was hoping they kept Oscar as well. As he recovered from his hip surgery he was actually a bit physical. Probably a bit too physical for AV.

    • Fast is replaceable in the system, Lindberg not so much unless they re-sign Hrivik or Jensen and make them centers.

      Lindberg as a 3C would get 80% of Stepan production at 1/6 the cost. That is an efficient use of resources.

    • I don’t dislike Fast necessarily…but I do feel he should be stapled to the fourth line. I want to batter AV with my shoe every time there is a top six void and instead of picking a more offensively proficient 3rd line player, he beelines to Fast. Dude does not belong in the top 6 except in “break the glass” emergency type scenarios. I think Lindberg would have done better if AV had given him those chances, as he is a significantly better offensive player than Fast IMO.

      In general, I’m with you Reen – I think Oscar is the better player of the two, not as easy to replace (even if fourth line centers aren’t the hardest thing to pick up in the world…fourth line wingers are even easier to come by), and that is exactly why – unless someone wanted to overpay for Raanta – I would take him if I was McPhee, too. Just was hoping that wouldn’t happen.

      I didn’t/don’t at all get the impression Lindberg was widely considered a top six C by Rangers fans, to note. 3C, sure. Offensively he is definitely 3C caliber, perhaps leaves a little to be desired defensively up there. I didn’t see too many folks grading him higher than that, though.

      • He in that same category that Boyle was in, he can play 3C on a team that is weaker down the middle but ideally you want him at 4C

    • Because Fast drives the possession on that line and he’s great defensively. If he scored a little more then he would be invaluable.

      • And if my Aunt had balls she’d be my Uncle.

        1st line, 4th line; Fast gets you 7-8 goals. A nice guy, but fungible. Just like Hags.

        • The point is that you want depth, correct? That means having the ability to roll 4 lines. Fast is a 4th liner, always will be and should be, regardless of how the coach tries to force him into the top 9. But that does not make him unimportant.

  • At the end of the day, Lindberg is a 4th line center on this team, avgs maybe 10 mins a game.
    I hate to see him go but he’s not better than mika, step or hayes so he was never getting off the 4th line anyway.

  • What happens to the players who dont make the LV team? 23 on roster leaves 7 at least without spots. Could the rangers get him back?

    • I’m glad Grabner is staying. Even if he can’t reproduce his 27 goals, he’s still a very valuable weapon. And could be used in a package trade to bring in a d-man.

    • To me, the obvious choice was always Lindberg.

      Grabner is older and can score 26 goals one year and 6 the next.

      Raanta’s played a total of 92 games in his NHL career and there are other more established goalies available.

      Fast is a nice player but Lindberg is better offensively.

      • Everyone hypes Grabner. Through the first 41 games, he scored 19 goals shooting 22%. His final 35 games, he scored 8 and shot 10%.

        That’s most likely why Vegas didn’t take him. But if that had been a few other Rangers, we’d hear how horrible they are ad worthless.

        I think he’ll net around 12 goals next year shooting his career 12% again

    • I’d have rather they took Grabner. When he doesn’t ride a high shooting %, and returns to around 12-15 goals I don’t want to hear the inevitable complaining about our “MVP”.

      • True, and a good point. However, he ‘only’ shot 16% this year (compared to an 11-12% career AVG), so, it’s not unreasonable that he scores close to 20 next year.

        Besides, if nothing else, he backs the defense off. Not many players are capable of doing that as well as he can (at least not for the same price).

      • To me Lindberg was the pick but by the same token Grabner’s game is good for the Rangers too.

        The whole team’s shooting % was off the charts in Oct and Nov, which is why I didn’t get too excited about it, knowing that the regression to closer to the mean was coming. And it did.

  • Lindberg, the only center who showed fire and passion during this years playoff run. We have Stephan and Hayes still on our team, who were non existent in the playoffs especially in the Ottawa series. Gorton has to have some more moves down the pike???

  • Lindberg came on the second half of the year because it took time because of the double hip surgery. He was definately one of the better players in the playoffs. He has improved and excelled every level he has played in his career. Oscar was the least one I desired would go. Time will tell how good and improved he may become in a bigger role on his new team (could leave a somewhat bitter taste for Ranger fans in the future). I believe he has a real upside but such is life. Glad we still have Raanta.

  • I though losing Oscar was a forgone conclusion. He is just coming into his own after the hip surgeries. He will be a nice player for the new club. I wish him luck.

      • He may have that potential but would you be surprised if he scored 20 points?

        Obviously i would rather this guy as our 4th line center than not but we were going to lose someone regardless. Vegas did their homework and selected what they thought was the best of the 4 options. It is what it is but I don’t think the guy is will be missed that much. There are plenty of other teams that will miss what they lost a lot more (including the plenty of picks thrown around tonight).

        • Hey it’s the right move for LV, no bitterness towards them whatsoever. My regret is that we didn’t get to see Oscar’s potential, the injury didn’t help of course.

          I think Oscar can be a 20/20 guy for 40 pts, definitely. We’ll see.

  • Bummed to see one of our guys go, but Oscar was the guy I was okay with losing. We need Raanta for a trade, Fast for the utility play, and Grabner because maybe he has another 20 goals in him.

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