Around the League

Graced by Vadim Shipachyov

vadim shipachyov

In the midst of the panic with the Rangers having a poor first two games of the season, one of the things that have been consistently talked about is Coach Alain Vigneault essentially benching 18 year old rookie Filip Chytil throughout the first two games of the season. Chytil has struggled, but when he is your defacto 2C, you can’t be playing him five minutes a night. Perhaps it takes a bit to get used to the tougher competition.

One thing thing the Rangers must do is add a talented center as soon as possible if the Rangers intend on sending Chytil back to Zlin (Czech league), otherwise the offense is in trouble. Adding a top-six center is incredibly difficult, and the Rangers don’t really have the chips to land a guy that fits that mold. It’s going to be easier said than done. So the club is going to have to get creative.

One option that has been discussed is Andreas Athansiou, but that came with its own hurdles. Detroit would need to waive multiple players to keep him if the Rangers were to offer sheet him at around $2 million, but this isn’t NHL18. Teams don’t offer sheet anymore. So let’s consider that a no-go.

What else is there? Is Paul Carey going to become super rookie at age 29 and lead the Rangers to the cup? Of course not. But the Rangers may have just been blessed by a horrible mistake of the 31st NHL GM.

George McPhee shocked many NHL fans and pundits by sending Vadim Shipachyov, one of the most sought-after free agents last year and great playmaker from the KHL, to the AHL. Originally it was seen as a paper move as the Golden Knights seem to have thought there would be a bigger trade market for their scrubs. Now a week into the regular season, rumblings from KHL reporters state that Shipachyov may be interested in leaving North America and going back to SKA.

How often do you have such an easy out card if you are the Rangers? There is a top 6 caliber playmaker who dominated the second best league in the world looking to leave a franchise he willingly signed with. Vegas is a team that seems to be stuck here as the relationship between them and the player is potentially ruined. If Chytil returns to Zlin, the Rangers would be left with $2.5 million in cap. Couple that with the long-anticipated Nick Holden trade (assuming the trade market opens up) and you have $4.165 million.

There’s also the possibility that Vegas, who currently has Shipachyov earning $3.475 million in the minors, would be willing to retain some salary. It’s unlikely, but there’s still a non-zero chance, and it’s a safe assumption that if the relationship is ruined, they’d like to get an asset for him. That said, there is some risk here. In the off chance that Shipachyov doesn’t succeed here –and I genuinely believe that he will be a perfect fit– then he can be sent to the AHL, where he would likely look to bolt to the KHL. That would wipe the cap hit off the books.

As perfect as a fit this can be for the Rangers time can be running out if he is a target. The Penguins are also looking for a 3C and they somehow always have things go their way. Montreal is panicking over their offense this season (by the way you guys and gals have to listen to Habs radio stations after a loss, so funny) and with over $8 million in cap space, Shipachyov’s salary can easily be swallowed up and they were rumored to be interested in him too.

So what does Shipachyov provide the Rangers? He gives a serious offensive threat coming off 76 points in 50 KHL games last season. He was so good that he broke my NHLe charts above. It is unlikely that he is a 100 point NHL player but that just shows the point production that he had in the KHL last year was special.

He is a fastm shifty playmaker that is great at threading the needle through traffic, with most of his incredible plays in the KHL coming from drawing two men to him and opening up a streaking winger. Giving Rick Nash that kind of playmaking ability on his line can resurrect some serious finishing ability and allow the Rangers to roll those top 3 lines really well.

He is not overly physical, and has difficulty winning boards battles, which can be exploited. However that doesn’t mean he is defensively inept. He has an active stick and uses his skating just as efficiently on the defensive side of the puck. But it’s clear he’d be brought in for his offensive prowess.

The addition of Shipachyov would give us these potential lines:


I think that is a forward group that would be very successful with the new puck moving ability of the defense. There is also a small possibility, that bringing Shipachyov can lead to the Rangers adding their next top 6 RW too. It is believed that Nikita Gusev, one of the best KHL wingers, was traded to Vegas because he would join them to play with former line mate Shipachyov. If that is another part of this trade when Gusev becomes a UFA I can’t see how this trade won’t be a massive win for the Rangers.

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  • Hard to be a young up and comer in the av system. Benching a player 5 minutes in while trying to develop him is ridiculous.

    Now the Ruff move is starting to make sense. Ruff has always been able to develop young players. Av has not, they play the same style

    Thus if av is unable or unwilling to teach and develop young players instead of going the Vancouver route(didn’t work by the way). Then we have ruff who can step right in.

    Av should be watching for his job. Hard to get a good interview wearing those sorry ties he has.

    • The source of your information is McPhee which was confirmed by Shipachyov’s agent via Darren Dreger of TSN. He also is not with Chicago as he is recovering from an undisclosed ailment. I’m not 100% certain we know what the truth is.

      • Nope. I did hear his wife/GF only speaks Russian and would rather go back to the KHL, where she can communicate better. Brighton Beach might be a good alternative.

        • Sorry. The first sentence should have been a question rather than a statement.

          My point was that I think it is a situation where Shipachyov may want out while McPhee and Shipachyov’s agent is trying to hold the deal together for mutual benefit.

  • It is obvious that Chytil is simply not ready. It seems beyond obvious, but preseason competition is not regular season competition. Point two, I keep asking for the name of a young Ranger that AV didn’t develop who thrived elsewhere.

    Why won’t anyone answer this question?

    Honestly, it’s like talking to children sometimes.

      • Well said, Dave. So sick of this “they’re not Crosby or Doughty or Stamkos or Malkin” argument in regards to NYR’s talent level. The Rangers may not have had Matthews-level talents on ice but they’re deep with pretty good players, and have been for the past seven seasons. A coach’s first job is to get the most out of his roster, AV’s interest is in seeing how his system can mold his roster. Time for this wannabe slickster Vigneault to hit the damned bricks.

        Anybody else believe that playing top 6 minutes for all of last year would’ve made Buchnevich better this year? I sure do.

        • He was on his way to the usage you describe until he was injured and off ice for over two months of the season.

          • Oh, the learning process stops because of a kid’s injury? Thanks, that does sound like Vigneault.

          • It might have to be delayed when there is a playoff run to make, yes. When Buch came back from his injury, his play was not as good. That is a long time to be sidelined. But here is my point: I don’t think we were going to win a cup last year and I don’t think we are any worse off at this moment because Buchnevich’s development continues and he is playing well.

          • You simply don’t understand the narrative. The fact that Glass appeared to play better than Buchnevich in the playoffs and the fact that the Rangers fared better are totally irrelevant. You are simply being too visual and result-oriented. True believers don’t have such problems.

      • To which, he’s received less Avg TOI per game than elite high level talents such as Jared Boll, Tanner Glass, Ryan Reaves and Matt Martin.

        I can trot out my 9yo daughter out there for 4 minutes and rightfully conclude she’s not ready to play NHL hockey. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        • Those players you mention have different roles, yes? And they are grown men, yes? And they are not on our team, yes! Are you suggesting that Chytil would play on the Leafs instead of Matt Martin? Again, yours is not a logical response and it is not sensible to expect me or anyone to answer every non logical emotional point.

          • Actually John B’s response is quite logical–he’s demonstrating to you that a purported 2nd-line center is receiving less average ice time than several 4th line facepunchers. This fact demonstrates that Vigneault is not giving Chytil a fair shot to succeed. To suggest that this very reasonable and rational answer indicates a misrepresentation of the facts at hand is laughable.

          • Exactly.

            I’m not saying that Chytil is ready, or that he is not ready for NHL action.

            The point of the matter is, you can’t give someone who relies on talent and skill 4-5 minutes of ice time and they properly conclude anything.

          • You don’t see practice time but the coaches do. You don’t have to consider the long term development of a player but the coaches and management do. Just putting a guy out there is not always the best thing to do. I believe, in Chytil’s case, the best thing for him would be more time playing meaningful minutes in the development league and not being compared to the Matt Martins of the world.

          • Not sensible?

            So pray tell, how do you properly evaluate any player when they are receiving LESS time to display talent, skill, or whether they are adjusting than a person who’s sole purpose in life is to punch another person in the face?

            Again, I can trot out my 9yo daughter for 4 minutes of ice time and properly conclude that she’s not ready. I can push out Lester Patricks coffin for 4 minutes and conclude rightfully that its not working. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

            But as Dave alluded, you must be that great a talent scout that you can properly evaluate someone based on 4-5 minutes of ice time.

          • I repeat: are you suggesting that the Leafs would play Chytil over Matt Martin? In any case we don’t have any of those players.

            How exactly does the reply pertain to the New York Rangers?

            To return to the Rangers and Chytil, should they have continued to skate Nasher and Zuc with a guy who was anchoring them? What I saw was as soon as they put Miller between those guys, the team immediately did better. That was the game against the Leafs. Go back and watch it.

          • The issue that you’re evading is that a player tapped to be on a team’s 2nd line can’t function at all if he’s receiving 6 minutes a game ice time. If he’s overmatched that badly, the player shouldn’t have been put into that role. Plain and simple.

          • He looked great playing against preseason competition. It quickly became evident that he was out of his depth. You course correct and move on.

      • On the other side of that coin, there is still the question that no one answers. All the (recent years) that I have read this and other blogs and it was Yandle, then McJesus, then Clendo….who have I forgotten. All key pieces of a contrary to fact castle in the sky that this blog and others were constantly building.

        So, Dave: can you name the young Ranger that AV failed to develop that thrived elsewhere?

        • You are missing the point.

          Chytil forced his way onto the roster with his preseason play. He forced them to take a longer look. To get 12 minutes into the regular season is poor asset management of a talented first round pick.

          • Dave, It’s a week of Chytil not playing. That missing week is not going to stunt Chytil’s development.

            No player was lost for nothing, so I wouldn’t call this poor asset management either.

            This is the staff realizing just how out of his depth Chytil was once real hockey started and they made a swift change.

          • I’m pulling my hair out on this narrative, too, Chris.

            We gambled nothing by allowing Chytil to make the team out of camp. No player was sacrificed so he could get a chance, and there is no downside to him spending an extra week or two in NY before going back to Europe or heading to Hartford.

            If anything, Gorton dropped the ball by not providing any relief at center such that there was even room on the roster for Chytil to play a couple nights.

          • I agree with Dave to the extent that, if you were going to keep him, I would have liked to have seen him play more. That’s reasonable. To say it’s poor “asset management” to me at least is WAY overblown.

    • No one will answer an easily google able item. You might want to take a look there are quite a few. But you also need to remember that we haven’t had a high round draft pick in a while.

      I can start the list for you.


      • Ha, you are including Torts time? Your list is silly

        Trades of Talbot and Duclair (who brought the sainted Yandle)?

      • Del Zotto….proved to be something more than a slightly better than marginal NHL player. We got Klein for him and has two of our best seasons ever. Verdict—correct call.

        Dubinsky— Uh, no. AV was not part of the organization when Dubinsky was dealt as part of the Nash deal.

        Callahan— that had little if anything to do with AV. That was a move all about managing the cap one and in the future. Sather’s call 100%. And, he was hardly a kid when he was dealt. he was 29 yo. So, no.

        Talbot— Again, ridiculous. He was the back up goalie to a future HOFer. The Rangers decided to move him as part of managing the cap. Again, wrong.

        Anisimov— Same as Dubinsky. Had nothing to do with AV.

        Korpikoski— Are you serious? He left the Rangers 7 years ago!

        Duclair— That was not about not playing a young player. In fact, if anything, it proves the exact opposite! Duclair played 18 games, and got roughly 12 minutes per game. AV gushed about the kid “I love the Duc”. But he was 19 yo, the Rangers were coming off a trip to the SCF, and the organization felt, rightly so, that he would be better off developing his game more in Juniors. Then he was traded by Sather in an attempt to land that final piece. That’s has NOTHING to do with AV.

        Hagelin— What? Hags deal came up. It was a cap decision. AV loved Hags and played him a lot. No one wanted Hags gone. The cap made it so.

        Dawes— See my comment about Korpikoski. Left the organization like 8 years ago!

        Mikeey, I hope you don’t do research for a living. Totally inaccurate.

    • Yep…..time to cue up Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence” on that one Mythdoc. They can’t even name one because there hasn’t been any. But the false narrative continues anyway, despite Zuc, Kreider, Skjei, Hayes, Miller, Buch all playing at a young age and doing well. But why let facts get in the way of a good story.

      I do understand Dave’s point about Chytil. If he was here, it seems to me he should have played more. But to me, why he was here to begin with is the bigger question. Barely 18 year old players making a difference on the NHL level over a full season are few and far between. He will be way better served playing in Hartford or overseas.

      • Why? Well, for starters, the Rangers did not have twelve forwards they wanted to keep and so there was a spot for Chityl. Second, although it had seemed unlikely that he was ready, the evidence from the preseason was all positive. So they decided to roll the dice. AV didn’t like what he saw in Game 1 and benched him. Rewind for Game 2, same result. Turns out what had appeared impossible going into the preseason was indeed impossible after all.

        It was probably better for Chityl to be over-matched for five minutes a game than for ten. Also, if you play guys who aren’t cutting it, you send the wrong message to the whole team.

  • Maybe Vegas would take Jesper in exchange for Shipachyov. Fast can be easily replaced by a number of Wolfpack players and his contract would offset Ships.

    • I don’t think Fast is so easily replaced. Don’t get me wrong – like many others, I want to throw a shoe at my TV when Fast is slotted into the top six unnecessarily because AV loves him some “Quickie”. He’s just not a top six skill set. However, similar to losing Lindberg, it’s not always easy to find a player who is good at manning the fourth line and executing in the defensive disciplines, while still being able to score/help score from time to time. If you roll a pure defensive utility/face-punching/grit and sandpaper type fourth line, then Fast doesn’t play as crucial a role and is more easily replaced. However, with Hartford lacking in depth at the moment, nobody comes to mind to me who just strolls right in and does that well on a line that AV intends to be dual-purpose and not defensive specialists only.

    • You couldn’t be more wrong about Fast. There’s a reason why every forward lobbies AV to have Fast on their line. He’s a max effort “glue guy”. Flies under the radar but is quietly very effective. He’s defensively responsible and important on the PK.

      As for the guys in Hartford, it’s highly questionable whether any of our forwards are even close to NHL material.

      • A little harsh. Puempel at least is close to NHL material. Good chance that Nieves is as well, though that is debatable.

        Alas, that anyone actually is NHL material is not so likely.

        • Actually, upon further review, you are probably right. I think my point, although not expressed as well as I should have, was to say that if they went out and saw the need to sign Cracknell, that to me is a strong sign that they don’t think much of the guys in Hartford at the moment.

          Anyway, the idea that Fast could be easily replaced by a number of Hartford players is just silly.

  • Wow, what a pipe dream Post, Josh. And I thought you weren’t playing a video game?

    You lost me on the willingness of VGK to take back salary on a non existent deal.

    Anyway, Cheytl was always going to be a long shot. No big deal if he goes back. It’s the 4th game of the season tonight. Long way to go.

  • The argument about Chytil is about how much ice time he recieved. Not that he actually played well.

    What does that tell you?

  • So what are you willing to trade for him? Vegas doesn’t need D (ha) and we don’t have forwards to give away. Are you willing to give up a future 1st rounder or Andersson, as I don’t see him costing any less?

    • Hey Jeff,

      I have read Vegas needs scoring.

      I would NOT give up either a first or Andersson.

      I don’t think anyone here truly know how desperate or not McPhee is. The smart thing would be for Vegas to get something for him rather than lose him for nothing.

      I doubt we’d be the only suitor.

      • If Vegas needs scoring, Shipachyov is the best player not playing in the NHL right now, and they already have him.

        I mean, I’d love to have him, as it’s pretty clear that Rangers are one top 9 guy short. But unfortunately, it’s not realistic.

  • Point of fact: “when he is your defacto 2C, you can’t be playing him five minutes a night.” is literally true — as in it is impossible to do this (as opposed to unwise).

    If you play a guy five minutes a night, he is a de facto (in actual fact!) fourth liner.

    Chityl’s actual role was a second liner on the official line chart and a de facto fourth liner. Sorry to be picky about the meaning of words.

  • They will not reach the promised land until they have a legit top line goal scorer who can do so under pressure in the playoffs.

  • How would this work, Josh?

    You never really fleshed out the possible deal. You discussed the cap room to make it happen, but what do we have to offer? I’d argue we have just about nothing that Vegas would accept in return.

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