Mailbag: Hockey 101, Ryan McDonagh, Coaching Changes

lindy ruff

Three good questions for the mailbag. Don’t forget to submit your questions using the widget on the right.

Felix asks: It’s an open secret that the Rangers would trade McDonagh for the right package, wouldn’t it behoove interested teams as well as the Rangers to consummate a deal ASAP so as to mitigate the risk of injury prior to the trade deadline? In fact, wouldn’t this be true for all the Ranger players who are probably on the block (Nash, Grabner, etc…)?

There’s always risk and reward when it comes to the trade deadline. It would behoove the Rangers to make these trades as soon as possible, since there is a risk of injury. However in doing so, Jeff Gorton risks not getting full potential for an asset. Take Ryan McDonagh, for example. It’s already been publicized that he’s been playing through nagging injuries, however any shot blocked has the potential to seriously injure him. But there could also be a bidding war, as he’s seen as the best defenseman available not named Erik Karlsson. If the front office moves him too quickly, they may not give the bidding war enough time to mature, thus maximizing their return. Maybe Steve Yzerman panics and adds Mikhail Sergachev, or Toronto adds Mitch Marner. It’s high risk, high reward.

Andrew asks: Are you going to be updating your Hockey 101 page? I’ve read through it all, but there’s a lot that hasn’t been updated in a while.

This is a tricky one. There are really two answers here, one pertaining to the Rangers, and the other pertaining to hockey systems as a whole.

Addressing the Rangers first, we update those when there is a coaching change. There may be an update to that coming this summer.

As for the overall systems, that’s a much more detailed answer. The reason why that hasn’t been updated in a while is two-fold. First is that most of these systems are standard systems. Every coach in the league runs some variation of these systems. We get some rarities, like Alain Vigneault, that run complicated hybrids, but for the most part coaches are unoriginal and rarely stray from the status quo.

That brings me to the second piece: Hockey is notorious for being an old-boys club. Rarely do they bring someone in from the outside to coach or run a team. That leads to stagnated innovation. Sure, teams have had to adjust for the transition game, but that and the 1-3-1 are the only new systems to truly stick around.

TLDR version: When there is a coaching change, or a new coach brings in a new system we’ve never seen, expect more detailed systems posts to come out.

James asks: Do you think the Rangers will actually fire AV? When?

I honestly don’t know at this point. I do not expect the team to fire him this season. I wouldn’t be shocked if they do it after the season ends, like they did with John Tortorella. However I would be shocked if they did it before May.

However that doesn’t mean the assistants are safe. Benoit Allaire is the only coach that is safe right now. Scott Arniel will be the fall guy for not generating enough shots offensively. Quality over quantity is fine, but not to this extent. Ditto Lindy Ruff for the defense, which is a complete train wreck.

That said, the buck stops with AV. These are his systems. Arniel and Ruff are just his messengers. Ruff ran the same system in Dallas, got fired, and now Ken Hitchcock has the Stars actually doing a good job defensively. But he was hired because he knows the system, and the Blueshirts are now on year three of not being able to execute.

As for who replaces them – I have no idea.

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  • Asking price for Nash: A first, a top prospect, and a lesser prospect/NHL player.

    I think the Rangers will get the first 2.

  • What should the return be for the named players?

    The best we can get, and let’s hope JG does his job right!

    As to the replacement coaches, at this stage of the game any change will be fine with me, the “Process” has be an absolute disaster.

    How long have we been watching a PP that left us feeling why accept calls against the team we’re playing against, it won’t help?

    We’ve had three different defensive coaches, SSDD, maybe the system is questionable, dahhhhhh! What was once a strong suit for us, the PK has become a mess, what went wrong?

    Bottom line, we are due for a major overhaul, we can’t afford to follow this current path, with the same coaching staff, and expect different results. Just my thoughts on the subject……..

  • I have read that JG is asking too much for Nash. Huh? Who, other than Slats (see; St Louis for Callahan AND two picks while Marty would accept a trade ONLY to the Rangers), starts with a low asking price.
    Kudos to JG for asking for a lot for Nash, he should do the same for Grabs, McD and Zucc.

    How JG handles the returns for everyone he moves (except DD & Holden) will define him as a GM going forward.

    Speaking of Holden, JG should call Patrick Roy with the Avs. After all he did say Holden was his best D-man. Wait, that’s right Roy resigned from the Avs front office. No surprise with player evaluations like that.

    This will be a heck of a ride……………………….

    • Jerry

      I had enjoyed my breakfast until you brought up the MSL trade, now I’m ill…LOL, how true your words ring!

          • The Rangers made a Cup Final after the MSL trade. Though they gave up too much for him, if they’d won the Cup in 2014 nobody would be complaining. As it is, it’s the closest NYR came to a Cup since 1994, so it can’t be considered a failure. It’s a push at worst.

            I’d put the Mike Ridley & Kelly Miller for Bobby Carpenter trade waaaaayyyyy ahead of the MSL trade on the horrible meter. Washington got over 20 seasons combined from those 2 players, while Carpenter didn’t play 30 games with NYR before being traded. Also, Mattias Norstrom & Ian Laperriere for Kurri/McSorley/Churla was another unbelievably bad trade for NYR and also a much worse trade than the MSL trade. Norstrom played 11 seasons for LA, eventually becoming their captain and #1 defenseman. The Rangers got maybe 175 games combined from those 3 players.

            The Leetch trade, the Eric Staal trade, the Yandle trade were also all worse than the MSL trade. All had negligible immediate positives for NYR, while making the future worse for the team.

          • That’s the point,,,,,they didn’t win the cup and could’ve made it to the SCF with Cally instead of him as well

          • No, the point was that you said the MSL trade was the worst Ranger trade since Middleton for Hodge. It wasn’t, not even close. As usual your fondness for unjustified hyperbole based on personal animus has shown itself.

          • MC

            MSL wanted to be traded only to the Rangers, so why did they give up 2 #1’s for him, absolutely stupid move. Then he was a tire fire the following season, and retired a shell of the player that he was!!!!

          • Any trade that gets a team to play in the Cup Finals is a worthwhile trade. It was an overpay, but it’s not even in the ballpark of the 5 worst trades the Rangers made since trading Middleton to Boston.

          • Agreed that the Eric Staal trade was one of the worst in recent years. It just smacked of the Glen Slater-era “Panic at the Deadline” type of move, in which we overpay for aging rental talent.

            Recall that the Cally trade also had some contract implications. Cally was in a contract year as well, and was going to be due a salary upgrade due to his history and pedigree (Captain) on the team that probably would have been higher than his net player value (middle-six winger). They locked up Girardi long-term earlier that same season and look how that ended up.

            I think a 1st AND a 2nd round pick was a bit much. Maybe a 1st and a 4th-6th would have been better.

            And then Yandle trade would have been better if coach AV had put him in a position to succeed. Yandle can’t Yandle if he’s on 3rd D-pair and 2nd PP unit.

          • Regarding Yandle: I agree Vigneault used him poorly. But you have to judge a player on what they do, not what they might’ve done. This trade too was a massive overpayment from the Rangers.

    • This organization has thought and talked up Nash way beyond his worth for a long long time. This asking price reflects how out of touch the Ranger front office is on the wrong types of players.

  • Time will tell Richter not every team gives away 1st and 2nd round picks as easy as the Rangers. If AV is supposily so sought after as a coach, the Rangers may receive a compensation pick once they balloon him.

    • Not sure why anyone would give you a thumbs down for this post Bloomer.
      I couldn’t agree more not every GM is as generous as Slats with their high draft picks.

      Time for JG to earn his salary.

  • There is a Tkachuk in this years draft. Brady, brother of Matt and son of Keith. Kid can skate, hard shot, scores, hard checker, and has a mean streak. Team first attitude. Takes right after his father. Projected in the top ten. Unless we trade up for one of the top two picks Dahlen or the consensus #2 Svechnikov (please excuse the spelling) he should be our guy.

    This draft is REAL deep to the mid first round, real good into the second round and good even into the third round.

    • “There is a Tkachuk in this years draft. Brady, brother of Matt and son of Keith”

      Whats his Indian Name… “Of-Tkachuk-Cometh”

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