There is still more work to be done – There are no half measures

alain vigneault

No, that title is not a rip off from Brooks, it’s a call back to my post a month ago, where Jeff Gorton needed to go all-in on the sell. So far, so good for Gorton. He turned his four biggest assets into solid hauls that sets the Rangers up with seven picks in the first three rounds this year, including three first rounders.

But there is more work to do. There are still more trades to make, specifically with players like Marc Staal, who might not have a place in the future of the club. That just scratches the surface, though.

The biggest change needs to happen behind the bench. Thank you Alain Vigneault for the Cup runs, they were fun to watch. But every coach has a shelf life, and yours has come and gone. The Blueshirts need to shift to a coach who will develop kids to play to their strengths and creativity. That, based on past history, is not an AV forte. Only Benoit Allaire should survive the purge.

Expanding on that, the new coach will need to begin leaning on the new core of Rangers. Kevin Hayes, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich, and Brady Skjei should be the new leadership core (I’m assuming Mats Zuccarello is traded at some point). These kids need to play to see what they can do. This isn’t about 2018-2019. It’s about 2019-2020.

In the more immediate future, let’s give Henrik Lundqvist a break. He’s played in what feels like every game this season. Alex Georgiev was solid in his first two games. Play him some more. Build up his trade value. He’s not the heir apparent, that’s Igor Shestyorkin.

Get the kids some playing time in all situations. When there are seven games remaining in the season, call up Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson. Get them some NHL games, but stay below the nine game threshold so their ELCs still slide a year. Production on ELCs, something both of these kids can provide, is critical.

With so much focus on getting high floor, low ceiling players during the trade deadline, it’s time to swing for the fences at the draft. It may not work out, but elite talent is needed to win these days. There are enough middle-six guys. Get that elite talent who can control the top line.

What Gorton has done so far is several giant steps in the right direction. But stopping here is a half measure. There is more work to be done.

"There is still more work to be done - There are no half measures", 5 out of 5 based on 34 ratings.
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  1. The Rangers cannot whiff on:

    Getting the right coachES.
    Making the right draft picks, especially the first one.
    Targeting the right vets in trade/FA.
    Oh, and getting the right coachES. Did I mention that?

    I say it’s a retool, not a rebuild. Stories now coming out that management didn’t like the locker room which makes sense: Laid back coach and laid back Captain. DOESN’T WORK.

    My prediction: The Rangers make the playoffs next year and make some noise, barring a slew of injuries.

    1. I agree, my friend.

      That locker room has been a nightmare for quite some time. Its starts with the coach and they better (I’m getting worried by the day that he will remain on) find someone that can be a leader and presence on and off the ice..not to the torts level but at least something. Its funny, our last two cptn have been more like their coaches and looking back it should be reversed. McD could have been that calm presence in the locker room whil Torts was blowing up the mic, and Cally would have been the shouter while AV files his nails and adds some bronzer in his office.

      I think the worst we get is a 6th pick in the draft, and from what i have read there is not a questionable player of the bunch. unless we go off the board we will be fine. The one thing i do like at this point is that we have stocked up on Centers and guys that can play both, and outside of Dahlin the best of the rest that we will be choosing from are all goal scoring wingers, something we desperately need in our system.
      I went to the PB’s/Pack game on Sunday and, MAN, i feel bad for Boo/Chytil/Lias up the middle. They have NOTHING TO WORK WITH!!!.

      1. Hey pal. They have nothing to work with in Hartford yet look at what they are doing. I think that speaks volumes about them.

        I’m excited to see them next year.

    2. Anthony: shame you’re on the Far Side of the continent.

      I’d line up the beer and mescal simply for the gusto and positivism you bring to the fore.

      I’m totally aboard, man, however you frame it: Rebuild or Retool.

      In Gorton We Trust. (Hell, what choice do we have, eh?)

      Going forward, as my old cellie Swarty suggested, let’s look to a younger outsider for bench boss this time. The Czech or Slovak who’s been mentioned. Please, No to Coach Q. No to Mumbles Sutter, as well.

      By all means, let’s attempt to move up at the draft for that Generational Talent. Absolutely.

      But in the interim, let’s also address the leadership vacuum, the discernible lack of jam up front. To wit, if Boone Jenner’s available at the draft he’d help close that, a solid 3C behind Zbad, Namestinkov.

      Had you watched Jets-Nashville last night you would’ve noticed EVERYONE hit, they all battled: from skill guys like Scheifele and Ehlers to depth players. I’m looking forward to a Ranger club that shows a similar intensity. Surround all these skilled youngsters with some passionate role players.

      1. Bro, listen and listen good (lol), yes the Rangers want to get younger and faster, but there is ZERO chance they are throwing the towel in for the next 2-3 years to win 4-5 years from now. None.

        They “hated” this locker room. No leadership, no spunk, no intensity to stir the guys up when needed. This works when you have a Torts behind the bench, not a gum chewing zombie that needs a mirror under his nose to see if he is truly breathing.

        No coach Q. Questions about his health are in play so he may just retire anyway. Do you see a very young coach? I wold like that but they probably will not do that. It may be a middle aged retread, someone who has NHL experience but is not as old as me or dirt.

        It “appears” (from what I hear) that Nash and Kovy as coming back. Does that sound like a rebuild? Chytil; and Andersson will be here. I do know the Rangers want to be in the top 4 of the draft so trading up may not be needed if they get lucky in the lottery. And they would rather use those assets for trade for an elite player.

        If Tavares somehow gets to FA? The Rangers are all over him. You can count on that. But I think he resigns, UNLESS JT hears the “interest” in him from his “rivals” and decides that he can stay in the area and be with a first class org that has one home to play in.

        This will probably the most interesting Ranger offseason in years, if not ever.

        1. Brah, you gotta let go of this Nash infatuation.

          The gentle giant made $60-80M (TSN figure) over his career. Boston overpaid for him. Let’s rejoice over that fact we don’t have an $7.8M 16-goal man. He’s got a home in Columbus. Let him go there. Please.

          F**k, give me Brandon Dubinsky, his passion and nastiness, irregardless of all his off-ice foibles for half that price.

          Jon Tavares? C’mon; he’s an Islander. (Bryan Trottier, et al.) As in Trump Family collusion with Vladimir Putin, that’s treason. You’re consorting with The Enemy, Anthony. I’ll dime your a** out to Robert Mueller.

          Ilya Kovalchuk? Okay. I see your vision: projecting chemistry with our Russkaya. Dah.

          Inasmuch, I cited Nashville and Winnipeg earlier to bring you to The Light, Old Son. I’m thoroughly on-board with your retool.

          Yet along with Kovy, John Carlson, the kids Chytil and Andersson, you need to begin projecting some leadership in the room. Alongside all that skill, give us a couple foot soldiers.

          You, Big Walt, Swarty, Bobby B. and I have seen enough detached, vanilla hockey for a lifetime.

          Now how about some ownership?

          Some presence?

          Someone with pride in that Blueshirt?

          1. Nash, 3 years $4M per. Wanna bet? 🙂 The Rangers love him and vice versa. He can play 3rd line and play all 3 phases of the game while being a mentor to the kids. He retires a Ranger and joins the org. That’s my prediction.

            Kovy, WANTS… HERE… BAD… Imagine, if you will, Kovy-Zib-Buch. Da.

            I forgot about Carlson, good catch bro. I think the Rangers get a top pair D man, preferably righty, ala Carlson or Trouba.

            I do believe Tavares re-signs, I have thought that all along. But…, if, for whatever God’s reason he does not sign there, the Rangers will be waiting with offer in hand. Imagine JT, Zib, Andersson, Hayes as the centers with Chytil moved to wing. Again, Da.

            The “room” will be fixed bro, no question.

          2. Fotiu, coining Nash the gentle giant ( PRICELESS) ! A very good player ( NOT ELITE) but as SOFT as they come, Hayes a close second. Rangers made many changes, no its time to get some sandpaper under their skin and fire in their belly. Gorton needs to hire Nicky as an assistant coach!!!

      2. I’m with Fotiu on this one.

        Not in the Nash fan club. Nice guy – great teammate – went from an $8M scorer to a very good two-way hockey player.

        Two years at $3M – maybe -depending on what else we have going. I’d much rather go to the reunion dance with Grabner.

        I am in on Ilya though. If we are going to go Russian – let’s go all the way to St. Petersburg.

        Nicky – I believe I turned you on to Jenner over some Tequila on our last trip through Tijuana. Big, tough dude who dropped in 30 a couple of years ago.

        The honeymoon with Torts is probably just about over so we should be able to get him on the cheap. Let’s just find a worthy body to send over to Torts and call it a day. I say Vesey….

        1. First of all, my friend, I have never seen you and Fotiu in the same room at the same time. 🙂

          But anyway, my prediction for Nash has zero to do about how I feel about him but how the Rangers feel about him. I would say that they already have a handshake deal in place.

          Isn’t it nice that, with all the places that Ric could’ve ended up, that he landed in Boston, so that his family doesn’t have to move?

          1. We were stealth. Witness protection will do that to you.

            I hear you on Nash. Still along way to to figure it all out but it sure is fun playing along.

            Given the state of the Rangers and all of armchair GM speculation this week – we should move right into the off-season makeover now.

    1. Was thinking the same thing on CK20. Also, Shatty has to be part of that core. He gets a pass from me as I assume that he was hurt right out of the gate and anyway they’re not moving him with that contract.

    2. Kreider is overdue for a letter. One of the few guys on our team the opponent fears.

  2. I heard something that Joel Quenneville might be available after the season? Anyone hear that? Thoughts?

    1. Dwbgamer

      If that is the case, we should jump on that like a paratrooper, with jump boots. Coach Q is a proven commodity, several cups under his belt, and great with developing kids. Look at Kane, Shaw, and Toews under his tutelage, just to name a few.

      I’m all in with Tony above, clean house with the entire coaching stiffs, staff, Freudian slip there, except Benoit Allaire, who is second to NONE!

      Now that we have all these kids coming our way, there should be some veteran leadership, a guy who plays to win, chippy, and will help with some of the kids, Kovy anyone? He, along with Buch, and Name could be a really nice line, plenty of skill, speed, and soft hands. As an aside, they can chadder in Russian to throw everyone off when they play against non Russians, just a thought, something like the Czech line with Nedved way back when?

      As for the draft, I see an impact player, maybe two, coming our way. I’m not sure what JG has in mind, but I think he has a plan, well thought out strategy, that will be implemented next season. The only way he can eff it up would be to keep the cow behind the bench!!!!!!!!!

    2. I wouldn’t be dead-set against Q by any means, but still would rather see what more of a new-blood coach might be able to do. I kinda like the idea of the Czech coach, but do also understand that he would be a big gamble compared to most. There are others out there that would come with less risk; current NHL assistants and AHL heads or assistants, etc.

      Whoever it may be, give them a two year contract, and if it doesn’t work, won’t cost much to eat a year (compared to bigger money vet coaches who sometimes command longer initial contracts anyway), and there are always retreads kicking around if they decide that inexperience from the coach is what the main problem was after a season. We don’t know what this team will look like next season, but odds are, they will be a bubble team at best. That’s not to say that the front office should throw in the towel, but if ever there was a time to allow a new-blood coach to show what they can do, next season just may be that time. Low risk/high reward.

      Also, no guarantee Q would be interested in the situation, of course. Some vet coaches who have already done their fair share of winning don’t want to deal with raising the youngins’, while other vet coaches relish that opportunity. Another name that comes up is Sutter, but there has been commentary/rumors circulated that he’s content not coaching right now, for example.

      Time will tell, but the only certainty in all of this is that AV has been weighed, measured, and found wanting. They need to dismiss him, and they need to go in a completely different direction (so, not Ruff AKA Older More Surly AV, for example).

      1. Pesan’s team(Liberec) is struggling to qualify for the playoffs directly, continuing a downhill trend.

        1. That’s fair enough, and for what it is worth, I think if you find a coach who checks all the same boxes who is already coaching in North America, then that would be the better candidate.

          1. No you blew the lede; The Suit as bench boss.

            He could leverage, daresay employ, our collective musings, second guessing, Monday Morning QBing.

  3. Wouldn’t change a word here.

    It helps that they have 2 late firsts. Now if they wanna reach they can use those picks.

    My biggest concern is Clark. Tends to be a smarty pants at the draft.

    1. Clark has been hit or miss, but he has overseen some later round picks that turned out to be well above their draft slot in actual talent/skill. Additionally, I’ve never been convinced that it is truly all on him. I assume most teams, while there may be one person named in charge, take some manner of a committee approach to the draft decisions.

      My bigger concern frankly is Gorton piping on about grit and leadership in recent comments. This is not the draft to target those types of players early, at least not with those two things being their main contributions in lieu of higher ceilings, anyway. This is not the type of draft to take a conservative Andersson type with the 7th pick, either. They will be best served to focus solely on current skill and future ceiling, at least through the first three rounds, of this comparatively deep draft.

  4. Our drafting will tell the tale of next years team. I think someone taken in the first round needs to be a stud that makes the team and shines. We have a team of complimentary players. no superstars in 2018/19.

    We will have a stocked AHL team, but that does not breed success at the NHL level – unless you have the right coaches.

    Look for Drury to be behind the bench next year – or maybe change it up totally and grab a frozen 4 coach and not a retread.

    All I know is that NYR hockey is done until draft day.

    1. Sal

      If not Dahlin, how about Tkchuck, both would be impact players, that will play next year for sure?????

      1. depends on where we are picking. there are guys id take before tkachuk. wahlstrom for example. zadina of course.

        1. Fine, all would be impact players, thats what Sal was talking about. Wahlstrom, Zadina of course, choices abound for us to make. This is a very deep draft, we have to walk away with a stud for sure!!!

      2. I’d be very underwhelmed if we ended up taking Tkachuck. Wahlstrom, Hughes, Boqvist, etc. have much higher ceilings.

        1. I concur. Svechnikov, too. There is no doubt Tkachuk can play well and bring some snarl, but his skills do not seem as high-end and his ceiling doesn’t seem as high as I’d like to see for the top NYR pick. I won’t necessarily be shedding tears in my beer on draft day if we end up with him, mind you…but others intrigue me more. For those wringing their hands about the lack of physical play by NYR in recent years, I get why this would be their guy…but if the Rangers get in the top 3 one way or another especially, I don’t think Tkachuk should be the one selected.

          1. If Dahlin, Svechnikov, Zadina, Boqvist, Hughes and Wahlstrom are off the board and we take Tkachuk at 7, I’d be fine with that. Those top 6 ooze elite offensive potential.

          2. Yeah, I don’t think he’d appear on my personal board until 7, either. Maybe lower; I’m still researching guys in the projected 8-15 range, and I really like players who project to have a high ceiling even if their NHL appearance might be a few years out compared to others. Could live with him at 4-6, even though would not be my choice. I would not be impressed with him at 2-3. And we all know who 1 is gonna be, of course.

        2. I’ll shout it from the mountaintop, Adam Boqvist is overrated. He has parlayed a good Ivan Hlinka into a top 5 status because most of them doing the ranking haven’t seen him play since.

          He’s done boo against men and in J20 he puts up respectable numbers playing every other shift. In top 10 (where you play against the best)he’s got 3 points(2a on PP, 1a on PK) and is -3 in 2 games.

          At the most recent 5 nations he was invisible. He’s not a big guy and he never will be, tough to say if he’ll put on muscle like Kampfer to be strong enough.

          His offensive skills are great, but he’s so deficient as a defender I don’t see how he could ever play more than 10 minutes a night. It’s one thing to get John Gilmour via free agency, it’s the height of lunacy to use a 1st on one, let alone a top 15 pick.

      3. Walt….I am all in on Wahlstrom too, only Dahlin tops him…..this kid is a stud….now if you can trade up and then nab Tkachuk…..gotta do it if it’s not tooooooo expensive, expensive it will be

        1. Leather

          I honestly believe we will get real quality in the first round, no matter who it is. I’m all for going after Dahlin, but in all seriousness, would you let him go for an additional first round choice? Hell no you, nor I would, and that’s the case with whoever gets a shot at the kid. Bottom line, we walk away with a real good kid, no matter if we choose 1st, or 5th, and for that I’m excited!!!!!!!!

          1. Yeah me too…..I think if we are 2, we could get Zadina but I think Wahlstrom is a better fit. I have looked at a lot of footage of both and both would be awesome.

            I just think we need right handed shots with talent

            Last pick of round 1 I would pick Dellandrea
            Hopefully Samuelsson falls into our laps with the 1st of our 2nd round picks

            I have been studying this draft extensively

            if our 2nd pick (Bos) falls to early 20’s there is still a few studs left …Kupari here since Noel has risen but earlier in my research this is where I saw Noel being a pick for us. Noel has risen from a 2nd round pick to 10 to 15 range pick

            one of Evan Bouchard or Noah Dobson could fall into mid level pick….here is where we should trade and pick up one or the other

            2nd of 2….we may see Bokk be available here….his swings are large….1st round pick to late 2nd but another Russian kid KotKov would be available

            If we are a top 5 and hopefully lottery winners we get Jack Hughes in 2019.

            I am not kidding I think the fix is in and Montreal is going to win the lottery. Does the NHL want to promote Dahlin in Buffalo or Phoenix? We all know the relationship with the league and the Rangers…plus the league thinks that if the Wolfpack was the Rangers roster we will still sell out

          2. Some mocks have Bouchard going pretty early. Like, 6-10 early. No issue with your thoughts here, just noting that – he may not be around long.

          3. Leather….Maybe you should run the rangers draft……you seem to know these players pretty well…..I cant imagine sather or gorton even knows the names….let alone how good they are and which are good fits for us……
            The rangers ”’brainless trust”’ reminds me of the jets in the 80’s…..when [ and I was there at the garden ] jets gm hickey passed up dan marino for ken o’brien………fans went nuts!!!!!!
            GM’s dont care as much about the team as us passionate fans…and in the case of rangers ….a history of poor gm’s…….

          4. I must say that’s a bit of an ignorant comment on your part. I guarantee you the JG knows these kids in and out — Slats is another story, but just being the President now he’s probably had the time to scout these kids as well. That said this will be a Gordie Clarke/Jeff Gorton pick for sure, they’ve worked together for years and have always seemed to be on the same page.

        2. Zadina will be gone at 2 Russian kid could drop to 6 as some teams might go defence

          I would look at picking up another pick in mid round

          This has to be a rebuild…..not a re tool…..only way I can agree to a re tool is we pick up Tavares and Carlson, however I can’t see this happening….this is why Lundqvist must go..Lundqvist is a round peg that can fit in the square hole but he is not the round peg that fits just right in the round hole

          Tavares has no incentive to sign here….not even money. He is absolutely a great guy to have and I want him. Zuc must go too and he is my favorite player on this current Rangers core but it has to be done. I am a Rangers fan first.
          Just the mere thoughts of re tool creates anxiety….we must be a top 5 pick again in 2019….no half measures as Dave mentioned. Even Skjei and Zibby could be moved.

          Zibby I actually would prefer to play wing….I don’t like him as a center….too soft and way too much of a rover for a center

          1. Once Desharnais is gone, Zibby is the best faceoff guy on the Rangers. Zibby has good possession numbers on a team that has horrible possession numbers. Zibby is better defensively than any center the Rangers have. Why on earth would you move this guy to wing? Who are you gonna replace him with? There’s nobody on this roster that qualifies.

            You seem to have a hard time understanding the concept of player contracts, no-trade clauses, etc. Zib wasn’t signed at his annual salary to be a winger. The guy is a center. The fact that he’s still here after all the roster moves means that he’s in NYR’s plans going forward.

          2. Are you for real? Hey arrogant one….He is toooooo soft for a center… on one battles in the D zone he loses 80% of his battles… include on the boards

            He is just OK on faceoffs…..go look at key faceoffs and you’ll see a different stat there. He rarely wins those as the other teams put their best faceoff men.

            I don’t know how many times I said WTF during important faceoffs that he lost

            He is a sniper no doubt about that….let him snipe….he’ll get more goals….his strength is his shot not coverage and faceoffs

          3. 54 Mika Zibanejad NYR 51.2% 922 54 17.1 472 450

            his stats for faceoffs….he isn’t even in the top 50

          4. As far as possession numbers….that’s a 5×5 5×4 4×5 4×4 concept not an individual concep

          5. Right, too soft. That’s why he’s a good faceoff guy and good defender. That’s why he was signed to a longterm contract, because he’s too soft. It’s not that his numbers indicated he is a talented defender. Who is better than him on the roster in this position? NOBODY.

            Your concept of hockey is outmoded. And like most Ranger fans, you have no clue what the gritty work of the position entails. Look at the teams who win in this league, elite center position strength is what drives winning hockey. There’s a reason why Tampa, Pitt, Winnipeg, et al are good teams—they routinely destroy opponents down the middle. When the Rangers had their best shot at the Cup under AV, they were solid down the middle with Stepan & Brassard & Richards & Boyle. No accident that they almost won the title that season. Yet according to Ranger fans at the time, Stepan & Richards were overpaid, Brass was soft, and Boyle didn’t use his size well enough. The fact that NYR had a defensively responsible group of centers that matched up well with any style of hockey didn’t matter.

            People don’t make it to the NHL if they’re soft. But please, wallow in some more clichĂ©s….

          6. I never said he was in the top 50 of the NHL—I said he’s the best FO guy on the Rangers pending Desharnais’ departure. Try reading for once instead of shooting your mouth off.

          7. Plus minus is a laughable stat, it figures you’d cite that instead of possession numbers. It’s such a crappy stat that Marek Malik was actually good at it.

          8. Yes that is all you need to see….not the best gauge but does have merit

            I would say 75% accurate

            so bright one….go dig up a stat for me to defend your point of view that he is a great defender….go on little man….show me…don’t just open your suck (Marine term)

          9. Giving you a thumbs up for not calling Lundqvist “Leaky!” Also good points…

          10. We have to face reality….I was on the Lundqvist train too until the SCF….then I was hmmmm and 2 years ago I was off

            Even when I was on his train….I didn’t like his IQ, headers and playing the puck

            I also realized all those acrobatic saves were because he was out of position or too deep unnecessarily. No one gives Trots any credit for his numbers….I point to Bobo in Columbus….coincidence he has incredible numbers under Trots?

          11. How many playoff series has Bob won? Oh, that’s right—none! He’s 3-10 lifetime in the playoffs, with a SV% of .887. Now THAT’S clutch playoff goaltending.

          12. Yeah….I guess Lundqvist won all those series all by himself….no one else contributed

          13. That was Lundqvist early on too….poor playoff numbers except for that Atlanta series….which any other team facing them would’ve done the same

            Jury is out on Bobo still in the playoffs

          14. Three and ten in the playoffs. Making a mere $7.4 million a year too. Let’s do the math:

            Hank—$8.25 million; 61-65 playoff won-loss record; 3 semifinal appearances, 1 Cup Final appearance, 11 playoff series victories
            Bob—$7.4 million; 3-10 playoff record, no series wins at all

            The fact that you disparage Hank on its own shows your ignorance. Pair it with celebrating a goalie who is CLEARLY not as good as Hank by any measurable metric? Well that just makes you a joke.

          15. I would love to have a nice talk with you face to face

            You remind me of a stench I pick off the bottom of my shoe

          16. And still….where is your data….all you have done is run your suck

            SHOW ME YOUR DATA….both on Zib and Lundqvist

          17. You do realize man cun….I can flip your win loss record and say…wait…that’s below .5

            this is how point of views work and totally omit the 61 wins

          18. MC that’s why those other teams are good,down the middle is where they spent the money,not on Yank the Goalie!

      4. Walt i really like the Tkchuck kid the best for me it would br hard not to take him 1st in the draft , if we are lucky to get it . We have a stable of young D men as of right now . Now of which jump out as Norris trophy just yet . Any way where ever we land in the picking i really want Tkchuck you don.t teach blood lines .Matt Tkchuck is going to be a beast up in Calgary. What big name in a UFA other than JT could we lock up at the draft , JT will sign on with the Rangers in no way shape or form ..

        1. So many things wrong with this comment.
          Rasmus Dahlin is a generational talent…this would be like passing on McDavid, you don’t, no matter what.
          Also you’re severely overrating Tkachuk, there’s a number of guys that are not only better right now in this draft but have much higher ceilings.

    2. if they get a lottery pick then then they could have an impact next year. beyond that they are likely 2-3 yrs away. worst thing they can do is pass up on talent because of time to nhl readiness. they have chytil coming in who already is an impact player in the AHL. gotta go with the most talented available (ideally forward) player. not rocket science.

  5. What if….

    What if the plans are not for a full blown rebuild? What if the plan is, this term that’s been seemingly forgotten about “re-tool”? What if the Rangers go after high end UFA’s?

  6. Correct on all counts. Being an optimist, I wouldn’t count them out of making the playoffs next season. But I agree that the goal is a true Cup contender in 2019-20. And I’m glad you’ve given AV credit for some pretty good seasons during his tenure. Now it’s time to say goodbye.

    1. Class reply JJ. I’m sure AV would’ve rather won a cup here. Shame on NYR management for wasting so many talented players thru financial and emotional mismanagement during his tenure. Thank goodness JG is trying to right a bunch of wrongs. There are some really good non NHL coaches available. Be the man JG again, find one that can handle NYC press and relate to this younger crew. Can’t look back anymore time to look ahead and stop the AV experiment, it hasn’t worked yet. I’ll reup MSG on Optimum in September if AV is gone and I’m still alive. I really do want to watch NYR hockey in May and June.

  7. Can’t really argue with the majority of the piece except on usage of Chytil & Andersson.

    Hartford needs to try and make the playoffs(as hard as that is at this point;) for Hartford to do that they need those two on weekends. The only conflict the schedule has on a weeknight is 28 March. The schedule sets up for those two to play 8 weeknight games (5 at MSG and 3 road games within an hour of MSG.)

  8. Good article, Dave. AV will be a good get for some other team, but he has to move on. I foresee a reunion with the Habs in his future, if they don’t get Q.

    The reason I am cautiously optimistic about Gorton is because he seems to understand that teams are built on defense and up the middle. For too long we have not followed this approach. Now can he land us an elite player, through the draft or free agency?

  9. Phase 1 – Get younger, faster, build a stockpile off assets for Phase 3 – action complete – high marks for execution

    Phase 2 – Remove AV – It is obvious he cannot be successful with younger team. To change over the makeup of the team without pivoting to someone who is relatable to the assets that are being assembled would be blasphemous. That said – we cannot miss on the next coach and it is tricky. As much as I like Joe Q -IMO we need something different and a little out of the box and that is the tricky part. Pat introduced us to the Czech junior coach Filip Pesan who has had tremendous success with young guys. He has NYR ties and “employs a modern approach that includes a video coach and statistical analysis.” I do also like the idea of Messier and I believe the two of them could really bring a whole new fresh mindset and do some serious damage (that would be positive damage). But it is tricky and thus risky – But this no longer your father’s NHL folks.

    Phase 3 – The Draft – Obviously this is huge and exceptional execution is key. There are many ways to go about it. I am very uneducated on the prospect pool so I say go big early. Package the extra 2’s and 3’s with Devils and Bruins #1s and move up. We should be able to get three picks in the first fifteen or so if not better. But….these have to be blue chipper can’t miss guys. No Jessman’s, No Sanguenetti’s, No Brendl’s, No Malhotra’s, No Montoya’s, No Korpikowski’s, and sorry folks as much as I liked him No McIlrath’s either.

    Phase 4 – Free Agency – A selective approach that compliments the other assets that have been accumulated. No long-term stupid money contracts with the exception of Taveres as in long- term but not stupid. Doubt he makes it to July 1 though. But if he does, our selection of coach will be a HUGE factor. Definitely would look at Grabs and potentially Nash but again, not long-term or stupid

    1. Why would you think Tavares would sign here Swarty? Saying he does go to July 1. I am also with you that he’ll be signed by the Isles prior to July 1.

      I don’t think he’ll want to play in Toronto which is a natural 2nd destination but in my opinion there are other teams that will have his interest. Rangers won’t be one of them.

      Montreal for sure would make a huge push

      1. Hey Leather – if he makes it to July 1 then anything is possible.

        He will have his choice of destinations but it will be one those contracts that establish a new ceiling so whoever gets must have the cap space. I have not looked at our cap outlook though.

        He has played enough locally to understand the Garden, the Sweater, Original Six, etc. If we execute at the draft, hire the right coach, and he thinks we are retooling rather than rebuilding I think we have a better shot than most.

        Also folks – I said Devils #1 – that is obviously the Bolts #1.

        My bad….

        1. Good read

          I think Buffalo or Pheonix will select him with number 2
          I think Buffalo or Phoenix will select Boqvist at number 3

          my gut tells me Montreal will win the lottery

          I think Ottawa falls to 4 Svechnikov
          We pick at 5….Wahlstrom
          Oilers at 6 probably will go for D in Hughes
          then there will be trades

          so one of Bouchard or Dobson should fall to 9-12
          We should trade into this range and we could end up in preference order Bouchard, Dobson Tkachuk This will be a high price….2nd of our 1st round pick….a 2nd rounder, a third rounder and possibly a roster player……I am on the fence on this….merit to both trading for and staying put

          pick 31….go Dellandrea….
          1st pick of 2 could net you Samuelsson, McBain or Bokk with Bokk having the highest cieling

  10. Hey Dave….just so you know….I will never advocate to ban ManCun….I totally believe in his right to express himself as he chooses to. I am one that will confront him in our difference of opinions. Just my 2 cents on the subject.
    He doesn’t have the power to offend me.
    Obviously our banter gets heated but that’s between him and I and not a reflection of the blog or any other circumstance….It’s me and him only

    1. Then find a different venue to argue. I will not have the comment section of this blog hijacked because you two need to call each other names.

  11. New rule: Leather and MC are not to interact with each other. It’s getting really annoying and takes away from the comment section.

  12. I know we’re probably looking at a forward (unless by some miracle we end up with #1 pick), but I’ll say it now: Give me Evan Bouchard.

    1. I think one of Bouchard or Dobson will fall into the 9-12 range and hence to trade into that range to grab either of them

      I like both of them too not named Dahlin as a D man

      1. Those are the two Dmen I’d take too, Leather, but I think the farm is pretty full of defensemen.
        I think they should pick where they get dealt at their first pick, and trade the other two first round picks for 1 in the top 12. They need to walk with any two of: Svechnikov or Zadina if available, or Wahlstrom, Lundestrom, Tkachuk, Hayton, or Bokk for this to be a successful draft in my opinion

  13. There are two great goalies in the line up–Alex and Igor. When Henrik goes put these two Russians together and we will have the best young talents in the NHL in the nets. This is a no brainer!

  14. Anyone have an opinion of will be this years Chytil? I have a feeling it’ll be Dellandrea

    1. Leatherneck: That “thumbs down” is from me. I remember your immediate, knee jerk reaction to the drafting of Chytil and Andersson. You called the choices “pathetic” and termed the draft a “bust”. Since then, you’ve been all positive about them without ever copping to your initial over-the-top and incorrect assessment.

      It’ll be the same with your immediate reaction to the Grabner trade, where your exceptionally harsh and unwarranted judgment was that, “Groton should have waited…Other teams would’ve upped their offers. Put the dunce cap on Groton on this one…..horrible return for him.”

  15. Out of step with everyone else I’m sure, but I just don’t think Gorton has it. The easy trades were fine of course, but just as with Stepan, JG simply didn’t get enough for McDonagh. My fear is that JG was on the same page as Chris Watkins yesterday – he got what he could for a declining asset. Never mind that guys like Lidstrom, Chelios, Chara played forever and that McD is only 28.

    As E3 is found of saying, you can’t win a Cup without stars. A week ago, the Rangers had one star and one in the making (Chityl). Today they have one in the making. And you guys want to deal the best remaining forward to boot.

    Finally, the chances of the Rangers winning the Cup are not enhanced by the fan base getting a chance to see what the kids can do at the NHL level. The focus should be on their development, not on us getting a chance to see them play.

    1. The fact that Ryan was going to be a UFA soon and the Rangers felt he would be very costly to retain had to factor into it too, besides his being a declining asset. In addition, the fact that he was able to restrict the teams to whom he could be traded limited Gorton’s trading partner options. My beef with the trade has more to do with the inclusion of JT MIller. But, there seems to be a lot of noise that JT wasn’t going to come back anyway, so that might have been the reason to include him as the kicker.

      1. “The fact that Ryan was going to be a UFA soon and the Rangers felt he would be very costly to retain had to factor into it too, besides his being a declining asset.”

        First, the declining asset thing is pure crap. Eight years from now, McDonagh will be better than Shattenkirk could ever hope to be. And very costly is a matter of perspective. If all you care about is dollars, buy out Lundqvist, Shattenkirk, Zibanejad, Staal, etc. That’ll save a ton of money. You have to pay for quality and the notion that you can pay Shattenkirk over $6M a year and balk at paying $9M for your best player is just crazy. And nobody is even mentioning $9M.

        Tampa Bay had a choice between McDonagh and Karlsson; they picked McDonagh. Oh, maybe Ottawa asked for too much. Maybe they thought they couldn’t keep Karlsson. Or maybe they just grabbed the better player.

        1. Declining asset in terms of trade value Ray. He was going to be a UFA which would impact his trade value. Declining asset regarding the wear and tear. A year from now he would be 29 and looking for a very nice and very long contract. He’d be crazy not to. So, perhaps the team did not want to go there.

          Karlsson is a better offensive player. Ryan is the better of the two in their own end. Depends on what you want or need.

          I think they decided that they might not be able to keep him a year from now and wanted to trade him when they felt his trade value was at its peak.

          It is a judgment call, there really is no right or wrong here. I doubt that they turned down better offers.

          1. You don’t evaluate your best player by trade value.

            There very much was a right and wrong here. That is the reality of judgment calls. I certainly agree that the Rangers likely did not turn down better offers; the question was trade or keep.

            I am opining that JG made the wrong call. Certainly I could be wrong. It is indeed possible that management and McD had some discussions about his next contract and McD made clear that he was not going to stay in NY beyond next year, in which case, yes, you get what you can. But I doubt that was the case. And McDonagh may have some physical problem that makes it clear he won’t be a top flight defenseman three years from now. I simply don’t have all the information.
            But there is a right and wrong — and a defenseman with a +/- of +7 on a poor team, playing against all the top opposition with a poor defense partner is damn good.

          2. Of course he is damn good. Of course he is someone you want on your team. It was not an easy decision to trade a quality guy like McDonough. We have both mentioned considerations that probably went into making the decision. I guess the ultimate judgment regarding the trade, and the decision to move Ryan at all, will necessarily await what happens with the Rangers and their rebuild, and the next several of years of McDonough’s career.

  16. Odd not to mention Kreider as part of the core, as he or Zuc are the next captain, if you ask me.

  17. I am no hockey expert, but why players on AV’s team always got concussions and players on their opponent teams never got any concussions, ever. Why? I guess maybe players on AV’s team have weaker skulls?

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