Thoughts following the Ryan McDonagh/JT Miller blockbuster

rangers canucks
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Yesterday was slow in Rangers town for the majority of the deadline. With most of their moves made already, it was just a matter of whether or not Ryan McDonagh would be moved. And the final NHL trade of the deadline was the biggest of the deadline. The Rangers sent captain Ryan McDonagh and winger JT Miller to Tampa for Vladislav Namestnikov, prospects Brett Howden and Libor Hajek, a 2018 1st rounder, and a 2019 conditional 2nd rounder. As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. First addressing the big piece: Not getting one of Brayden Point or Mikhail Sergachev. Once Miller’s name was confirmed in the McDonagh trade, we all thought the return would include one of them, and it is natural to feel disappointed at first when it was confirmed neither were in the trade. It does make sense, though. The Bolts were looking to add to their Cup-potential roster while subtracting minimal pieces. Including one of Point or Sergachev would have been counter productive. It’s safe to assume Jeff Gorton asked for one of them, but it didn’t work out. Regardless, there is still a lot more to unpack in this deal.

2. “But Dave,” you ask, “if Tampa didn’t want to subtract from the roster, then why give up Namestnikov?” The answer is something only Steve Yzerman knows, but my guess is they were ok with it because Miller was coming back the other way. Miller needed a change of scenery, with Alain Vigneault messing with him so much. Miller and Namestnikov are essentially a wash. Miller drives a little more offense, but Namestnikov is better defensively. Both are RFAs this summer. Both play multiple forward positions. Namestnikov is a little cheaper. I say they are “a wash” because of those reasons, but I happen to like the addition of Namestnikov. I’m intrigued to see how he does in New York.

3. Howden, the Bolts’ first rounder last season, has a line of 22-36-58 in just 38 games this season with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, and is the team captain. It’s easy to get sucked in by the stat line, but remember the WHL is a high scoring league. Howden won gold in this year’s WJC, finishing second on Team Canada with a line of 3-4-7 in the tournament. The center is strong, a two-way player, and a good skater with good vision. He isn’t going to be a pure goal scorer, but he’s good at getting to dirty areas. He likely slots in as a middle-six center if everything pans out.

4. Hajek, the Bolt’s second rounder last season (Gorton got both of their top picks from the 2016 draft), was apparently the sticking point for Gorton. The defenseman is another WHL product (Saskatoon Blades), but was also the 37th pick in the draft. So he’s a borderline first rounder as well. He was part of the surprising Czech team at this year’s WJC, and was easily the top defenseman on the team, getting 30+ minutes in ice time in a few games. He’s another solid puck mover, adept at making the first pass and transitioning to offense. He has solid speed, acceleration, and gap control, which make him a solid defender as well. There’s a reason why he was the sticking point for the Blueshirts in this deal.

5. Not lost here is the Rangers got a 2018 1st rounder, which will probably be in the final four in the first round. They also got at least a 2nd rounder next year, but it becomes a 1st if the Bolts win the Cup this season or next. That’s a 31 pick jump if they do, so being a Bolts fan would be a good idea. If that winds up being the case, the Blueshirts will have gotten what amounts to three first round picks and a high second rounder in this trade, plus a middle-six roster forward. Even if they don’t win the Cup, it’s still a solid haul.

6. My initial reaction was a little bit of disappointment when I saw the return. I wanted to give myself the time to write this post before judging it in full. After doing the research, I think this is a solid trade. We talked ourselves into thinking Point or Sergachev would be in the deal, but when you take a step back, it wasn’t realistic. With that in mind, the Rangers got a solid haul in this deal.

7. Miller was a solid player, not the kind that grows on trees. However he’s also not the kind you build a team around. He’s a solid complimentary player. I’m bummed he was traded, but I don’t see him as someone who the team was ready to commit to moving forward. It showed in his ice time.

8. I am really going to miss McDonagh and Rick Nash. The rebuild was –is…more is coming by the draft– needed, and I’m happy the Blueshirts saw the need to rebuild. However I’m really going to miss them both. Two of my favorites for the past six or so years.

Show More
  • Lame return. Miller has better numbers than Tatar who fetched a 1 a 2 and a 3 all by his lonesome. Mac is clearly worth a roster player.

    The whole thing was handled dumb. If people know you have to sell, you get fleeced.

    I know when I want to sell my house, I am calling Dolan, I mean Gorton, and asking for a billion dollars.

    • We should have a good amount of cap space to address any needs (hmm defenseman?) the new coach may have. I’m hoping that this young Czech defenseman we got from TB is another sign that Gorton is willing to give the job to that Czech WJC team coach. The Rangers were obviously watching that team closely.
      I’m rooting for Nash to win one. Love McDonagh but just can’t bring myself to root for TB.

    • Tatar trade is apples and oranges with this one.

      Tatar is signed for more term. Thus gets more assets back

    • One lives up to one’s nickname, but a prancing pony is not known for its skating ability. Yet, he feels compelled to neigh his wisdom; alas, the hay turns to droppings. He would have handled the matter so differently – I am amazed he’s not in charge of the team, or maybe the entire league.

    • “Solid return” is faint praise, LOL. It does seem like Gorton is now dependent on the acquired draft picks to find the next franchise player, since he didn’t seem to get it out of Tampa’s (or Boston’s) prospect pool. He did what he thought he had to do. Well know in three years. In the meantime, his facial expressions are worth every moment!

      For those worried that AV will be back, don’t be.

      For those hopeful for a tougher, grittier style, don’t be.

      For those excited that the team will be competitive next year, don’t be.

      This team will have so many young players, the idea will be to bring in a father figure who will motivate and inspire, BUT, with the possession oriented, Euro-type style that Gorton sees as the future of hockey.

      I like his concept, because I enjoy a speed and skill game. Did he and can he get the players needed? Remains to be seen.

    • 100% agree Pony…
      Both your points in the first sentence are logical and correct!!!!!
      Many of the fans here would have defended giving up nash, miller, jt and grabner for a 10 round draft choice and said rangers did well!!!!!
      20 + years of ineptitude and futility and stupidity continues !!!!!!!!!

  • I, for one, am not going to judge the Rangers RETOOL, not REBUILD, until I see the opening night roster for the 2018-19 season.

    I think the Rangers are setting up to make big splashes this draft and offseason, by accumulating assets. No way next year is a throwaway year. I would bet a lot of money on that.

    If they were, then Zuc and yes Henrik would be gone as well. Henrik could have easily gone to the Pens (yes, they asked) and Henrik did not want to go. Zuc would have been traded for anything that they could get for him, just to get a 30 year old off the team.

    Nah, they’re not conceding any year but this one, to get a high draft pick, and only because this group had their chance and couldn’t get it done.

    Time to move on, though Nash, from what I hear, is a virtual lock to come back. Going to Boston so his family did not have to move had to play a part in him being traded there.

      • Murray hurt and they did inquire about Hank, confirmed.

        Was there a deal to be had? Probably not, from the standpoint of assets coming here, the King agreeing to it, and the cap working for the Pens, but yes, they did ask. Would have been tough for it to work.

        So, the King himself is agreeing to stay here regardless of the direction of the team. He’s a Ranger lifer (sorry Hank Haters, lol). But I’m (and I’m sure you are too) happy.

        • Seeing Henrik in a Pens Jersey hoisting the Cup would have been the ultimate bitter pill. That being said, I really want him to get said Cup and if he wants to go next year to get a shot at it, I would cheer him on no matter which sweater he’s wearing. And before anyone yells at me for not being a true Rangers fan, I don’t see them in the postseason for a couple more years…

          • I’d take him winning a cup in any uniform just to stick it to all the Hank haters. They deserve to squirm with discomfort.

          • You should be fine. I got destroyed for saying the same thing yesterday. Wishing Hank well does not make us Hank hater or not being a true Rangers fan.

          • I get thumbs down even when I say something neutral just for the same reason…Rangers are not going to win the cup for a few years and after yesterday you can add a year to that.

            This better be a REBUILD not a RETOOL. Build a cup team the right way, So hank must embrace the Tank and waive.

            I am tired of being mediocre, I want to see contenders after years of being pretenders

            Wayyyyy toooooooo many holes to think we will over night become Cup favorites…Think fellas….think

          • Trust me….I know….and I could care less about thumbs down or up….

            I am true to myself…..I will change my mind based on data and results

            Data and results are in on Leaky, Dave

      • Lindquist, Lundquist, and Lundqvist do not have a “list of teams.” He has a full no move, no trade, “I’m not going anywhere unless I damn well want to” contract. They can ask if he wants to move but they can’t ask for a list of teams unless he says “get me out of here!”

    • Tanks For the Memories (2/26)

      Current draft order (based on points %):
      10th:Car. – .516
      9th: Det – .500
      8th: Chi. – .492
      7th: NYR – .476
      6th: Edm – .468
      5th: Mont. – .452
      4th: Van – .444
      3d: Ott. – .426
      2d: Buff – .389
      1st: Az – .371

      Record since 1/26 (based on points %):
      1st: Det. – .571
      2d: Az – .542
      3d: Ott.- .464
      4th: Car. – .4615
      5th: Buff. – .4285
      6th: Van – .423
      6h: Edm – .423
      8th: Mont. – .375
      9th: Chi – .321
      10th: NYR – .192

      Projected draft order (based on point % since 1/26)
      10th: Det. – .448
      9th: Car. – .446
      8th: Chi – .415
      7th: Edm. – .405
      6th: NYR – .388
      5th: Mont. – ,387
      4th: Van. – .384
      3d: Ott. – .376
      2d: Buff. – .348
      1st: Az. – .346

      • Wait till the season ends and see where we sit . Right now best would be at 6 or 7 going into the lottery. You have to be in it to win it .
        Would like them to call Howden ,Chytil Andersson Hejek all up for the last 9 games of the season to see what we have , with out burning a year off the contracts .Chytil only has 7 games he can play this season . Miller was one of my favs but Spooner and or Namastikov will equal or surpass his totals . He was never going to be the player he is capable of with AV as his Coach . Please JT don’t turn into Rick Middleton , but good luck to you .

        • Not sure, it would be nice to see them but likely if Hartford is streaking or close to the playoffs by the end of the season they’ll stay there.

          Hartford in the playoffs would be more important to their development than throwaway games in the NHL.

          • They’ll play midweek MSG games or road games in the division.

            About 9, 10 games tops.

    • Richter, I respect your posts and your insights, but think you got this one very wrong. My thoughts above. They will not resign Nash. Why bring hm back to a youth movement? Nash has two other options if he wants to stay in the area. His best is NJ.

      Next year will be the break in year for a new coach and a ton of players. If we make the first round playoffs it would be considered a huge success. Not impossible, but not the point of what Gorton is planning.

      • Youth movements are great but the organization is thin on clearly-ready-enough wingers, and I really don’t believe they are okay tanking for a full season to the point they’d be calling up a bunch of kids who can barely hang in the AHL yet. Couple that with the fact that Nash is known to have extremely high character and could help teach prospects “the right way”, it makes total sense to me they would look to bring him back, personally. Just not for nearly $8M a year, of course.

      • You may be right my friend. BUT, I have a little bit of an advantage with friends who get info on what’s going on.

        They were pretty much dead on with what eventually happened with the trade deadline.

        Players in play: Nash, Kovy, Trouba, OEL. And may be others.

        This is not a rebuild, it’s a retool, to get faster and more skilled.

        They do also want a top 3 pick.

    • They really think keeping Zuccarello is a good idea? He’s a declining asset. They should try and get something for him. Maybe trade him at the draft?

      Wouldn’t resigning Nash and Grabner be counter productive? They were on this team and it was bad. Maybe Grabner as a bottom six option is okay. However I think its time to get new players.

      • All retools/rebuilds feature veteran leaders. Zucc seems to be about as much of a glue guy as there is. Nash has a stellar reputation in the locker room as well. Grabs seems to get along with everyone. With the latter two, they were not any of the reasons that the team was bad. They weren’t traded because they were bad. They were traded because the team knew they would not be extending them during the season, and they were going to free agency regardless. With Zucc, he probably wouldn’t command much and they apparently have decided that both his personal and his performance worth, right now, is higher than what (if anything) they were offered via trade for him. They might trade him at the draft, sure…but as was widely speculated, if there was one guy they could trade but might hold off for the more off-ice reasons unless the return was just irresistible, that might be Zucc.

      • They did try to trade him but I guess the return was not commensurate with the player, so they kept him.

        I’m hearing that the locker room was toxic and that management was determined to tear it down to build it back up again.

        Mission accomplished.

  • So … many … feelings.

    I am completely fine with this rebuild/retool, whatever you wanna call it. It was time to truly shake things up with the core of this team. We’ve been so close but haven’t gotten the job done. And we need to really revamp the farm system, which I think JG did a great job of doing over the last week. It does feel like there are a few parallels with what the Yankees did last year. No one expected them to contend in 2017 but their young guys stepped up, hoping for the same with our rangers in 2019. I find it tough to root for Tampa and Boston, I really loved Mac and Nash though.

    But this feels like I’m breaking up with my significant other after years and years of being together. You have a lot of great memories together, in many ways you’re a perfect fit for each other but long term, it just wasn’t gonna work out. And it’s difficult/sad to finally accept that …. lol.

    Since 2012 (our first ECF with this group), this has been some of the most fun times to be a rangers fan. We’ve had a lot of great memories with this core, sad to see it come to an end without a cup.

  • You can’t avoid having feelings about the players that were traded. We have watched them for years and cheered so many times for their play on the ice.


    Time to build, Time for New Favorites to emerge in our hearts!

    I picked up March 30th seats. It’s Highly likely I will chat “TAMPA RANGERS!”


    Jobs and I gave up alcohol for Lent, but it’s probable I will toss seeing the bolts that night!

    Cheers! LGR LGR LGR

      • Hey Jobu….Jabar… me thinks Yoda mentioning not getting too attached to a player in das stinky new NHL

        Must root for team

        If you saw Don Maloney wear an Islanders Jersey then you know anything can happen.

  • Thanks for the perspective. I have mixed feelings about this trade. For one we did not need to do it. Could have waited until the draft and opened up to more teams. I get the 2 play offs runs, but neither guy is an UFA, so they had time. It’s concerning to me that between getting rid of Miller or AV they picked Miller. But if they fire AV this spring ok. I sure hope this does not signal AV is back next year. The prospects seem fine and lots of assets in terms of assets. But would we have been better off to demand Shepechev or Point or Foote plus a first or second? I think yes. That was not on the table, I get it, but at that point you walk away. Which leads to my next concern. There were rumblings this was blessed by Dolan. Did he just want them gone? And how involved is he going to get? As for the draft picks. We did well at the draft last year. But we’re not great at drafting. We need a real full fledged super star. That’s always been our problem. Think how good our old D friends will look being led by Hedman. So all the assets are fine. The lack of high end anything considering what we moved out is concerning. Also, these drafts picks might as well be 2nd and conditional 3rd because you will be getting a pick 28-31 and 58-62 in 2019. That’s just the reality of trading with teams at the top. Finally not sure how I feel about Namestkov. Have not followed him but from what I have read he has played a lot with Kucherov and Stamkos. Which would pad the numbers. Wonder how many points JT will put up if he plays with them? Anyway, it’s water under the bridge. The rebuild continues

    • Namestnikov started the year with Stammer and Kucherov, during the span where Stamkos put up something like 35 points in 18 games. That line got broken up around Christmas or so, and with that his production took a dip. That said, he did stay a fixture on their first power play unit. His skill set seems duplicative with Spooner. Not super physical, but can certainly move a puck. His month by month points totals Oct- Feb are 13, 10, 10, 6, 5.

      No one should expect him to produce here like he did in Tampa as we don’t have anyone near a Kucherov setting the league on fire. In a vacuum, I like Miller more as he certainly has more raw tools to do more on his own. Miller might very likely increase his offense tremendously down there depending on linemates/ usage.

      • Agree 100% on Namestnikov. He’s a solid player who will fit in well. As far as Miller, I say good riddance—Miller’s point totals in the regular season are nice, but he’s been awful in the playoffs for NYR, with only 1 career goal in 40 games played. Miller’s shot totals in the playoffs are beyond pathetic as well—they drop significantly compared to his career averages. He’s obviously a hardhead, as he’s been disliked by both his Ranger coaches.

        Jon Cooper doesn’t like stupid players either, and he takes no crap from attitudinal, entitled types like JT Miller. So I think its no slam dunk for Miller to fit in down there in Tampa. They have an entrenched leadership group that goes about its business seriously; I’d say there’s an excellent chance that Miller blows this opportunity. Let’s see how much the fans and his teammates like Miller’s clueless defense and his penchant for overpassing.

        • Namestnikov has 4 points in 29 play off games. JT has 16 points in 40…for whatever that is worth.

          • Namestnikov has 11 games to improve on that total. He also wasn’t used in scoring roles with Tampa in the playoffs like Miller was with NYR. And this year is the first time Vlad broke 40 points—Miller’s disappearances in the playoffs came in years where he was a 20+ goal scorer. He disappeared harder in the playoffs than every single one of his Ranger teammates. Luckily for JT, Nash’s struggles always overshadowed Miller.

            Lastly, the fact that Namestnikov hasn’t torn up the NHL playoffs doesn’t cancel out the fact that Miller’s playoff production is abysmal. Add in the fact that Namestnikov is actually defensively responsible and I’ll take my chances with this trade.

          • WOW……..4 points in 30 playoff games playing with Tampa and its potent offense!!!??????
            Thanks Andy!!!!!
            Along with the better production in the regular season, more speed, more size, more physicality, younger……..
            The debate is now OVER……..rangers officially got HOSED by Yzerman!!!!!!!!!!

        • Miller played 26 games as a 19 year old rookie in 2012-13. Hard to say the coach didn’t like him with that short of a sample size.

          • Actually Torts was on record calling Miller “very cocky” as a rookie. Implied a major attitude adjustment was needed for Miller.

    • He won’t be back. Even his defenders – of which I have been one — acknowledge that his style works better with a veteran team.

    • A bit of a repeat from yesterday. I’m a Lightning season ticket holder so I can tell you this from watching him the last 4 yrs.

      Since Vlad started to excel last yea and Buch came on the scene I have been enameled with what he could bring to the Rangers and specifically to Buch.

      Vlad is solid with the puck, creative and sometimes flashy He does not have a lot meat on him but he is fiesty and not afraid to mix it up, much like Zucc.

      He will park himself in the crease and can also rip a howitzer from the point. He is fast and will help get some of the speed back that we lost.

      He has spent some considerable time on the first line with Stamkos and Kuch this year with success. But there is so much forward depth and talent on the lightning that Cooper often switches guys around and play different roles to even out the attack. Vlad has done that probably more than anyone and that includes PP and PK.

      In terms of his playoff experience – the lightning incrediously misses the playoffs last year. Vlads 29 games came with minor minutes and the limited role he had in those years.

      Summary. – as we move forward and get younger and more European this is a real solid addition. He has never been in a situation in Tampa where he was needed to be a big part of the offense. So it will be interesting to see how he handles that.

      This is for sure though. If AV does not immediately put him Zucc and Buch out there as a line he is an idiot. Oh….wait.

      • Swarty

        Great scoop for us who didn’t get to see as much of Name as you did. As to your comment, “If AV does not immediately put him Zucc and Buch out there as a line he is an idiot. Oh….wait”, he is an idiot, so what’s new?????????

        • Walt – someone had to finish that sentence and I am glad you took it upon yourself to do the honors….

    • I’m also not willing to just assume McD’s market would have been thinner in the off-season. Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but TB ended up being the only one of the rumored teams possibly looking for a stud defender to actually land one. It is my take that more teams fancy themselves a contender in the summer and would be more open to various types of moves to bolster their chances, whereas at the deadline teams are usually targeting very specific things, and by then, to most GMs, it is crystal clear whether their team is good enough to invest in further because they’re looking at the standings, not dreaming about what their record could be next year if they just add__________.

      This wasn’t a fleecing, at all, mind you. Gorton did alright. I’m just not fully convinced he could have done much worse by waiting until the draft or summer, is all. If he had ten active bidders all bidding against each other in the closing minutes, I think we’d have heard about it by now. It was basically down to BOS and TB before the weekend hit, and the Nash to BOS deal left it down to TB is what it seems like. I have to wonder what sort of offer Yzerman had out to Ottawa, if any formal offer was actually made, because if the reports that the Golden Knights’ offer was the best that Ottawa had in hand are true, that doesn’t sound like it was a very impressive offer and therefore may not have been that hard to beat.

      We’ll probably never know what other offers Gorton had for McD, if any, that were serious. Doesn’t seem like he was fielding calls from many folks other than Yzerman, though. We will obviously never know what he could have gotten waiting. However, it is a little hard to believe to me that for a player with not just the performance history but also the reputation of McD, nobody would have eventually offered a true top tier prospect for him. Yzerman obviously won that game of chicken, but I’m not at all convinced this was a true max return. Such is life, however.

      Flatly put, for this trade to be a win in my book, it needed to have one of their top tier prospects plus, and that just didn’t happen. I can guarantee you Yzerman was quite pleased with himself that he managed to somehow get out of there with McD, Miller, and all of his top prospects in pocket. I’m also willing to bet he wasn’t willing to pony up for Karlsson regardless and would have been ringing Gorton again about McD this summer, perhaps then with more of a bidding war between multiple teams a stronger possibility. Again, wasn’t a fleecing…but also was clearly not the 125 cents on the dollar like you hope for and expect from trading a marquee player.

      • Just another example of our over rating our players again!!!! I still think this was a fair trade just the same……

        • I essentially agree…fairly even, yes…but a win for Gorton, I just can’t say that personally. GMs have swung much more impressive packages for much less impressive players than McD. Organizations like the Rangers only get these opportunities ever so often. Gorton did better than I expected on the other trades though IMO, to give credit where credit was due. I just felt this was the chance to really work a fleecing, be it now or after the season, and unfortunately, it came back pretty “meh” in my eyes.

  • I’ll state the obvious: nothing much will come of all this unless/until we have a new set of brains in the coaching corps.

    • I’ll disagree Joe.
      Lots will come of this if we don’t have a head coaching change, and none of it will be good!

      Let us hope AV out the door happens immediately after the final game of the season.
      I am worried though. Miller traded and Graves traded give me cause for concern as neither were AV favorites………

    • Joe, so true. Must have a new guy behind the bench after this season. This is almost a necessity, especially with the roster turnover that will be in place by opening night 2018-2019.

  • this is what a rebuild is now that we are armed with picks let’s make these picks work for us I am happy for mac has a chance to win a cup with Tampa along with J.T also I am happy for brass and carl in Pittsburgh and Nash in Boston do well boys

  • Saddest part in all of this is how we wasted both Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Mcdonagh.

    It is becoming very clear we have been forcing Mcd to play hurt all season and it speaks volumes about how horrible our training staff is. Mcd has been out 3 weeks and needs another week just to return to action, so who knows what physical shape he is in.

    The only thing i fear with this rebuild is the players Gorton keeps asking for. It is very clear Sather and Gorton have been very poor at finding defensive talent. To boot, they chose terrible defensemen (Girardi,Staal) over amazing defensemen (Stralman, Yandle) over the years. I saw a tweet where in another universe we have Stralman, Yandle and Eric Staal right now (all for very cheap).

    I will never get over the fact that our management cost us making a minimum of 3 cup finals and probably winning one the day we resigned Dan GIrardi and let Anton starlman leave. We wasted maybe the greatest goalie of all time.

    I am all in on the rebuild and it HAD to happen. You cannot win in this league without elite talent. Lets just pray we get lucky in the lottery and find some diamond in the rough in these 10 or so draft picks we have this summer.

    I wish i could say its been a fun ride, but when you miss out on a cup because of management errors it is really tough to stomach. Next step is to find a progressive coach, but I have a fear AV is sticking around which will make this rebuilding effort all for nothing.

    • Yandle was not amazing. He couldn’t play basic ‘D’ and was not worth the assets we gave up for him. For the record

      • This is just totally false and he is a 40-60 point guy. Tell me what basic D girardi and staal play?

    • I never seen management on the ice. These players, in their prime were given every chance to win a cup, they failed to do so. Thus, the re-build!

      • No we got rid of good players for bad players. We resigned bad players instead of good players.

        You cannot win in the NHL with bad players

  • I’m fine with this re-build, and to be candid, I was hoping for it a long time. The return was fair, and the future will be bright. In any negotiations, one has to walk away with the feeling that we gave, and got back fair market value. If we are upset, and the Bolts are upset, then it’s a good trade. No one got everything they wanted, and no one got the golden shaft. Bottom line, we did OK, we start anew, and will be fine in the very near future.

    Good luck to both JT, and Mac Truck, you will be missed. The best to Nash, assuming he doesn’t come back next season. Glad to see Nicky boy gone, he gave his best, but it wasn’t too good. Grabner will be missed my me, loved his skill set, and speed. Time goes on, and I haven’t felt this good about this organization in a very loooooooooooooooooooooog time. Can’t wait for the draft to see what we get for our picks, should be fun. One can hope for Dahlin, if not him, Tkachuk!!!!!!!!!

    • Hey Walt
      On board with the way you think about this . My biggest concern is who is going to be the leader ship group. Right now we only have Staal and Zucc and maybe Fast , who have been around a while . Could also include CK20 and Hayes . Would love to get Tkachuk even more so than Dahlin , as my feeling is we are going to be OK going forward with the D we have accumulated , and what else we might pick up in the draft . With all the picks we have i don’t believe we will use them all for picks and use some to pick up a roster player some where . We can use a 1st and a 2ed to some one to get a good roster player with a big Cap hit for a few years because we will have something like 5 or 6 ELC on the roster next year
      Biggest need we have is going to be getting a REAL #1 C

      • We also have a shot at getting Nash or Grabner back on lesser contract for Nash ,3 Yrs at 4M or Grabs @ 4 yrs @ 3M . or we can just walk away and say we are going to keep getting younger and not look back , either way i would be fine with it . LGR LGR LGR

        • Ranger17

          All the world is clamoring for a shot at Dahlin, could be another Nick Lidstrom, so I would do whatever within reason, to draft him. Now having said that, I wouldn’t shed too many tears if we got Tkachuk instead. He is bigger than his brother, is skilled, and nastier, got to love what he could bring next season, instant grit, and scoring! Love being in a position to get possibly three very, very good players in the first round, can’t wait!!!!!!

      • I don’t see Fast as much of a leader, seems pretty shy. Staal for some reason also seems shy to me, although I assume he is respected. Hayes seems more mellow like a buddy vibe. Kreider though I think is pretty well-liked by all and more outgoing, but also has some fire. He also took Buch under his wing pretty much instantly (granted, that Kreider speaks some Russian probably made that pretty easy). Obviously Zucc, but I wonder if Kreider might be kinda next in line after him on the leadership front. At least among the forwards.

    • Haha, Walt, old friend. Glad you finally decided to be candid about your feelings the team needed to be torn down. You’ve been telling us 5x per day for three years. 😉

      • Yes sir, I have and it’s long overdue!!! You’ll notice a different tone in my posts as well, I’m excited!!!!!!

    • “One can hope for Dahlin, if not him, Tkachuk!”

      I agree with you here, but I’d include Filip Zadina. He had 7 goals at the WJC two month ago and is 3rd in goals (39) in the QMJHL at Halifax. He has an elite shot and plays a complete game. I’ll be happy if the Rangers can get into the top 3.

      • Love being in a position to get possibly three very, very good players in the first round, can’t wait!!!!!!

        I just posted this remark above, and you again confirmed why I’m so happy to be at the table for the feast, as opposed to what was said by a political animal, Nancy, the crumbs!!!!! LOL a little pun intended here……..

  • It’ll be 2-3 years before we know how to evaluate these trades since the bulk of the return to the Rangers is future oriented. That said my initial reactions to both the Nash and McDonagh trades was: quantity over quality. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Draft picks are currency and can be used to get talent in the draft or to bring back NHL-ready players. But the fact is that, from a current perspective, the best players in both the Nash and McDonagh trades were going in the opposite direction.Again, that’s not all bad. Nash had to be traded (and he might be back at a lower cap hit) and McDonagh was only a year away from a big contract that the Rangers would best avoid if they’re in rebuild mode.

    The lack of elite talent coming back is concerning but we don’t know yet what’s going to happen with the picks or the players that came back. Any of those could be flipped and I do expect additional trades to happen in the off-season.
    It will be interesting to see if JG opts for a long rebuild meaning he’ll keep the picks and prospects and let them develop or if he moves more aggressively to use the cap space gained by the trades to sign UFAs and flip some of the picks and prospects for NHL-ready or near NHL-ready talent.

  • One thing that should not be overlooked is that the prospects acquired have demonstrated leadership. While I supported the moves at the time, I think losing the on ice leadership of Stepan and Girardi had a significant role in the poor play this season. This team left its game in the lockerroom for the playing of the national anthem(s). The Rangers have allowed SEVEN goals in the first minute of play this season and another two goals in the first 2:00 of the game. To put this in perspective, the Rangers have scored one goal in the first minute and another two goals in the first 2:00. That’s a 9-3 disadvantage in the first 2:00 of the game. In fact, the Rangers have only scored 10 goals in the first 5:00 of the game this season.

  • McDonough and Miller were warriors on the ice. Both players brought not only talent but raised the level of competitive to the Rangers. They are very difficult players to replace. I was hoping the Rangers were going to retool rather then tear it down. This last trade may of been a bridge to far. Hopefully, we wont have to wait out a nuclear winter before they become a regular playoff team again.

  • Man so much to take in. Really hit me when i heard Mac was traded to tampa.
    Jt not so much wasnt one of my favs. Have no idea how this will go i guess we will see.

  • Good perspective Dave.

    I think you have to step back and look at the big picture here

    As of this point we have:
    Three #1’s
    Two #2’s
    Two #3’s
    In what is being called a very deep draft.

    We also have:
    Three high end D-men prospects
    A high end forward prospect

    Plus at worst an extra 2nd and a 7th in 2019 and Beleskey

    And JT is the only piece that is gone that was not expected.

    And Gorts is not done. Our own pick hopefully continues to improve and then we have numerous ways to get another top 10 pick.

    I went to the Lightning game last night and God are they stacked. At some level, I am a little disappointed that at least Koekkoek or Gourde or Foote were not included (Point and Sergachev are untouchable).

    But here is the bottom line. Gorts did not have to make this trade. I’ve said that if you trade McD you have to get the premium for the extra year and cap hit. Did he get it? None of us know for sure…yet.

    I am excited to see what Namestnikov can do in a situation where he is more of the guy as opposed to a piece. And honestly that could go either way. But the dude has talent for sure. And I think Spooner is a sold add.

    All that said – I agree with my man Richter in that this trade, or this week for that matter, cannot be judged for some time.

    We clearly came out on top in the other deals. And if this one allows Gorts to parlay these assets into one of those really, really, high- end, can’t miss prospects then we win this one as well.

    Be the Tank…

  • This team obviously was NOT going to win a cup this year or in the future with this team. McD has had a great career, but last year and this year there were injuries he had to deal with. He is still only 29, but the question is, has he slowed down a step? He is and will be a very good player this year and next, but will demand a kings ransom to resign contract time. Another big contract for an ageing veteran. This team has lacked depth for years in Hartford and on the Ranger roster. It is time to revamp the whole organization and refill with high quality players. There has to be sacrifice and change to build. J.T. Miller showed signs of being a solid player, but is way to inconsistent. Blame AV (who I’m certainly not that crazy about) but these guys sooner or later must mature and perform consistently as professionals. Sometimes change helps them to blossom. Nash, great guy, solid player, but never lived up to his resume as a goal scorer in NY. I think Gordon gets an A for his efforts!

  • Respect and appreciate McD, but wonder if injuries place his most productive years behind him.

  • My thoughts are

    Its clear that teams aren’t giving up their top prospects.

    From Gorton interview with boomer miller was a goner. If we waited till then we were likely looking at hagelin trade.

    Seems like things reached a boiling point with mcd’s camp .

    Considering what but got for Kane .. I think we did pretty well overall.

    Gotta nail our picks . scoring wings and defense are priority. perhaps package some to move up.

    Whats zucs deal? Rebuild but hold onto to part of your aging core ? Not sure I get that. Prob didn’t get a meaningful offer.

    • Only two teams went all in, Boston and Tampa … maybe could argue the Jets as well. There are only so many BIG trades to be had come a trade deadline, 4-5 by my count if you include Statsny, Kane and Tartar … and we were involved in the two biggest. I think our hauls in those two trades compare more than favorably to the others.

  • This will be a quick rebuild because I think the Rangers are all in on Tavares in the summer.

    • Taveres is an interesting case – it would seem that the Islanders are way ahead of the Rangers on the Cup chase at this point – but Snow did not do crap to improve the team over the deadline.

      I don’t see Taveres leaving and maybe even signing before July – but boy if he doesn’t the Rangers should jump all over that action.

      BTW – Snow is about as stocked for the draft as Gorts is – it shall be interesting

  • You can ‘t just have a bunch of kids playing hockey out there ,just look at Edmonton how that is working out for them . You need some one to calm the kids down when they are flying around with no purpose ala JT Miller . I mean i Luv JT but some times i would look at the TV and say what TFDHJD .

    • Would you please translate the following:TFDHJD . Oh wait, I got it, thanks just the same!!!! LOL

  • Always sad to see your favorite player go and to be honest I’m still bummed about it. I absolutely love Mac and didn’t think he needed to go yesterday. That said, I have to imagine that the Gorton felt there was no way the he was going to pay McD what he’s worth when his contract ended and that Gorton either concluded or found out that McD wouldn’t give the team a hometown discount.

    Like most I was underwhelmed by not getting back Sergachev or Point, especially when the move didn’t have to be made yesterday, and I still hold that position, but after reading the feedback of a few people that I trust who analyze prospects, I feel a bit more comfortable about the trade.

    Since McD is on TB and TB winning the Cup helps the Rangers, looks like I’ll be a TB fan for the rest of this season (and potentially next season).

  • I would have liked to see them move David D for something because he will be gone after the season.

  • McD suffered a ton because he was Captain…..He did not have that personality….so now he can be one of the boys and he will trend upwards. Tampa will trade him in a couple of years and recoup what they lost. Tampa therefore will remain a very strong team for years.

    Here in Rangerland people panic just at the mention of Lundqvist the leak…

    So here we are in said situation and just the mention of Leaky’s remaining years is fuel for sabotaging doing the right thing.

    As for lottery….we can end up as low as 4….if we do the right thing….what’s the point of meaningless points? This would be pride getting in the way.

    To be honest…..I think the fix is in and Montreal will win the lottery

    This draft could be as deep as 2003

    I have watched a lot of Wahlstrom….and to me he should be our pick. Obviously we know who at 1…..right???

    • The obsession with bashing Lundqvist in every post means your better points get overlooked. Just a suggestion but honestly I would love to hear your commentary on the trades, draft picks, the rebuild, etc, if they were not all prefaced with “Leaky this and Leaky that.” Lundqvist held this team together and in a playoff spot for 3 months doing all he could. He’s had a bad month mentally and technically in the face of some pretty overwhelming pressure (injuries to the core players, letter from management, too many shots and high danger chances, etc) and you conveniently toss out his 3 stellar months. I don’t expect this suggestion to be met with civility – I’m just saying that it would be easier to take you seriously without the “Leaky” faucet always running.

  • I think the write-up was great, Dave. Also agree with some comments. When not in contention, rentals getting back prospects you assume were well-scouted (and any picks) is good. Nash wanted to stay, so I think he would have signed, but still can.

    Overall take on trades is while we always have to wait when prospects and picks are involved, we do still have some vets and cap space… someone else wrote, this could be different by opening night next year.

    I will root for TB for sure. Always had a bit of a liking since they knocked Carolina out one year and got us in….lot of years ago. Tough to lose to them of course, but appreciated their speed and skill. Also, the older I get, the more I wish most guys well that I rooted for (if it’s not with a team I dislike). Girardi, Callahan, Stralman, McD, Miller….best to you on the Cup run.

    Funny seeing the expected TB pairings….they had McD with Girardi (after Herman-Stralman). Consensus was G held back McD, and though Year was a step back in my view, consensus was Holden didn’t help him either. I think a pure defensive player helps McD, but to each his own. A D-man has to sit for McD, but guessing that will be Sustr and either Coburn or Koekkoek (depending on youth vs. experience and if they keep dressing 7).

  • I’m very interested to see what the identity/style of play will be once the dust settles on our “new” NY Rangers. Truth be told I was an AV supporter up until this season as I was so tired of the boring defensive style of Tortorella et al that I was desperate to see some quick puck movement and goals. Looking ahead any coach we get now will have to teach an uptempo style as is the current trend (thankfully!!) but we definitely need more grit (and not just one minor league goon – like Tanner Glass – to “fire up the team” with a ridiculous fight that has nothing to do with the game at hand).

    Speaking of grit how about that Mats Zuccarello counter-check the other night? Anyone wondering why he’s still on the team? Love that guy. My favorite Ranger hands down!

    Ideas on our next coach? Captain? Zucc?

  • Unless the Bolts can win the cup, that town & team will quickly start to be known as the Rangers Retirement Home for sure!


  • With a plethora of picks and several good young players now in the pipeline, the future is bright in Rangerland. If The Tank continues unabated, it is possible they could end up being anywhere from #3 – #6 in the draft. From there, they could possibly trade up. No matter what, they are going to have enough picks to draft some very good players.

    They can also make trades in the off season or sign UFA’s. Yeah, they might bid for John Taveras, and he would be a terrific mentor for a bunch of young players. But with the Islanders already having some excellent youngsters on their NHL club, I am guessing that he will re-sign with them rather than rebuild with the Rangers. Also, he is going to command a huge salary and the Rangers would be tying up a lot of cap to sign him.

    So we are going to watch a lot of talented young people trying to prove themselves. What they lack in experience will be more than made up by their enthusiasm and effort. I think that they need a clean break from AV at the end of the season and a coach with a proven track record with young players in his place.

    I am excited. Embrace the Tank. All Hail The Tank!

  • The two things I don’t like is 1) we are 3 years from really realizing any value (thus not overly excited about our chances the next couple years) and 2) the fact that you don’t want a huge Draft Class any one year because it becomes a problem down the road with the UFA contracts (ie Spooner, Hays, Namestnikov, Vesey, Skjei, Gilmour, O’Gara are all up this year meaning someone one a goner ala Miller). I hope he converts some of them into to higher picks.

    WFAN – not sure anyone heard Gorton on the fan but I sense there is a chance AV could be gone. He kept saying ‘Evaluate’ but never made any mention of him being safe. Further he said Namestnikov will be a Center for us and Spooner a Winger. (I note that because of the versatility they have)

    • The only question I imagine is whether they believe that they can do better than AV in their search for a coach. If they find someone worthy of hiring it sounds like AV is history.

    • Assuming Letteri is a Top 12 forward next year and Zib remains a Center, we then need 1 Winger and 1 Center. If Zib moves to Wing then 2 Centers. Either way what I don’t like about that turn of events is that Hayes may again be relegated to 3rd line like defensive responsibilities.

      ILLUSTRATION FOR DEPTH PURPOSES ONLY (Not proposing Fast a 3rd line winger!!!!)

      Letteri- ? – ?

    • Whether they all end up being UFAs at the same time depends on what contracts they get. Rarely do you see the exact same term for guys from the same class.

      In any event I’m convinced more deals are coming. There is no way Gorton will sit on all these assets and not try to better our position.

  • Back to top button