Irresponsible Rumormongering

Sneaking a peek ahead at the UFA class of 2019

Tyler Seguin will be just 27 when he’s scheduled to become a UFA next July (Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s nearly impossible to figure out what the roster might look like in August, let alone a year down the road. But for the first time in a while the Blueshirts have plenty of cap space and a world of possibilities in front of them.

A chunk of that pool might already be earmarked for Ilya Kovalchuk and it’s possible GM Jeff Gorton chases other big fish this summer. He also has a group of RFAs that will either get substantial raises or be shipped out of town.

Regardless – there’s flexibility. And that’s particularly interesting if you look ahead to next year’s crop of potential free agents.

Indeed the Blueshirts could be flush with cash entering a summer bonanza that could feature the likes of Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson, Jordan Eberle, Matt Duchene, Logan Couture, Artemi Panarin, Tyler Seguin, Jeff Skinner, Blake Wheeler, Tyler Myers, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ryan Ellis, Max Pacioretty and many, many more.

Many of those stars will surely re-sign way before July 1, 2019 – so don’t get too excited about that list just yet.

But what makes the class particularly unique is that there aren’t just the typical veteran mercenaries that would’ve been attractive to the Rangers of recent years. There are also several game-changers that could hit the open market at young enough ages that they could be sensible additions to the growing core.

Duchene and Ellis will be just 28, Ekman-Larsson, Skinner, Panarin and Seguin only 27.

If the front office feels positively about the developmental trajectory of its key youngsters and the restocked farm system looks poised to produce a couple more players in the near future – then splurging on one of those big names could make a lot of sense. It could fast-track the rebuild and be a logical short- and long-term move at the same time.

If you follow baseball, it’s similar to the path the Yankees have been on in recent years. GM Brian Cashman shed salary while stockpiling young assets that ripened in the big leagues surprisingly quickly. All the while, he purportedly had an eye on next offseason when megastars Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Clayton Kershaw could hit the market. Cashman’s Yankees are already considered contenders – adding one of those guys (in addition to Giancarlo Stanton) could cement the team’s status as a power for the next decade.

So yes, next summer feels like eternity from now and there are a slew of dominoes that need to fall over the next several months, but this is something to keep in the back of your mind. You can bet the Blueshirts are.

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  • Tyler Seguin, of the entire list appeals the most to me. He gives us the 1st center we’ve lacked for years, and gives us the opportunity to move some of the other centers around to say the wing position. Can you see a Seguin, Zib, Hayes and Andersson line up, while moving Chytel to the wing, or switch Hayes and Chytel around, that would be awesome!

    If they sign Kovi, as I suspect they will, on the same line as Tyler, now that’s fire power. As for the rest, I’d make a move to get Trumba to help the right side of the defense, and I think we are in the running for a long time to come.

    Just for the record, I have been very vocal for a longest of time being against signing re-treads, but in Seguin’s case, he is still young, and a proven winner, but will cost a good amount to land that big fish. JG will have plenty of options available to him, it feels great to be in the drivers seat for a change!!!!!!!

    • Nah JG would be more wise to see if John Travares wants in on this. I think Hayes would learn alot more from him being a big body and especially in the faceoff circle and skill zone. I’ve noticed vets tend to talk him up to the press and I see JT taking someone like that under his wing. Travares is the type to stick out on team Canada. Seguin is the type of player to get hurt the night before his first practice. JT also comes with more grit and determination and knows about the bright lights of NYC.

      I think they would turn Zib into a sniper on the wing. I would love to get a whole new top line this season.

      Imagine- Kovie- JT- Kreider as a top line and Zib- Hayes – Buch as a 2nd
      line? This gives room for Buch to properly grow.

      For sure it’s cool to have a GM will a set hand full of the best of good options.

      • No offense but who cares what you think would be more wise of JG? I want to know why so many on here talk like this? I’ve heard that line of “would be more wise” one too many times to not ask. Like, you really think it would be more wise if the team does this or that? In the great scheme of things, did your opinion matter? I just really want to know why you would believe that?

          • I knew I ran the risk of some confusion, there, sorry about that – that is actually a modified version of a response Mint recently decided was appropriate for one of my opinion posts, Kentric. Just a taste of the medicine in return. 🙂

      • I agree, Tavares over Seguin all day long… he just brings more to the team than Sequin and he know NY…I ‘ve seen more of Tavares too and he’s a beast … plus there is that added bonus of sticking it to the Islander fans….remember that 1940 stuff….payback time!!! haha!!

    • A la Sammy to your Dean, or Daniel Dravot to your Peachey Carnehan, I’m usually riding shotgun alongside you, Big Walt.

      Inasmuch, speaking to UFA Tyler Seguin: no, respectfully.

      No doubt, the kid’s got all sorts of skill. But at what potential cost: $8-9M? Six-seven years? No thank you. Not to take anything away from Seguin, but hell, I think Swarty or Troy Mallette would get 20G playing with Jamie Benn.

      Here’s my counter, paisano: Ryan Ellis, R/D.

      Let’s mull contingencies. Our R/D: 1) Shattenkirk coming off surgery; 2) Brendan “Wedding Crasher” Smith trying to unf**k himself, psychologically and/or physically, and 3) South Shore DeAngelo.

      How about adding a quietly solid Ellis to that tilting starboard, Big Walt?

      • Nicky

        Good choice, no argument here. The list has some nice names, and to be consistent with my history, I don’t care for chasing after marquee names, and never will. Tyler just jumped out at me as a choice that I would consider because of age, being a winner, but to be honest he also has baggage. I’ve said time and again we build a team thru a draft, and trade to fill in holes, and still am a believer of that path. You, along with others have to admit this kid is an elite player of which we have zero of at the present time. This is the reason you, as opposed to me ought to be our GM, I need two cups of coffee in the morning before I should start posting!!!!!! LOL..

  • As an aside, I’m not sure anyone is aware, but Rick Nash sustained another concussion, and this to me is trouble. The man has been concussed too many times, and when the time comes for UFA signings, I would avoid Rick at all costs. He’s a great guy, loves it here, but I fear for his long term health. I hope he has a speedy recovery, and wish him good health going forward, but we should stay away from him, and just pull for him as a person, and former Ranger!!!!!!!!!

    • I saw that, Walt—Rangers should stay away from Nash at all costs. I’d be surprised to see Nash make it through the Boston-Toronto series in one piece if he rushes back, as well. Rangers must avoid resigning Grabner as well. Grabner’s been pitiful in NJ—2 goals and 3 assists in 21 games with the Devs.

      Good article in the NY Daily News about how most Rangers on breakup day were clearly stoked that Vigneault is gone. Seems to me that it is now beyond a doubt that it was a huge mistake to not fire AV after the ‘16-‘17 season finished with the Ottawa debacle.

      • MC

        I was one of the first to speak out about the short comings of AV right after the cup series where Girarid was exposed for his immobility, and the insistence of doing things the AV way, or the highway. He should have been let go at least two years ago, but at least the organization has finally seen the light, and the guy is history. I suspect that there were few tears, if any, shed at the firing of AV!!!!!!

    • Classy treatment, Walt. Stick-tap.

      But you should mark this, Attention: Anthony/Richter.

      Besides his advocating for a Nash return, our shadow GM refuses to take down his Rick Nash poster. (Above his bed, between the Loni Anderson and Farrah poster, in her iconic, red/lifeguard one-piece.)

  • Rangers fans again clamoring for nice shiny toys in the form of UFAs. This is a failed strategy for decades .

    • It has been a failed strategy, indeed…but a huge part of that is the Rangers somehow managed to whiff on what seems like an exceptionally high percentage of their free-agents, especially the big-name ones, to varying degrees. If their evaluation and/or luck had been the opposite direction, they may have a couple Cups in the last decade to show for it. In fairness, they also have had some decent signings that turned out better than most would have expected (Grabner being the most recent example, of course), even if that is not the majority.

      However, the Rangers are in a position of possibly being able to build both ways in a hurry – they have some legitimate prospects, both early-round and a high quantity of picks, and a good amount of financial flexibility. Rare combo for them. Since the Rangers likely will not have multiple years of top-ten picks such as last draft and (hopefully) this upcoming draft in a row, for a more traditional and long-term rebuild approach that especially smaller market teams may take, I fully expect a big free agent signing within the next two years, personally. If not, a truly-blockbuster big-name trade. Examining these options isn’t necessarily the same as clamoring for them, the way I see it – it’s fair to say there is at least a 50% chance the Rangers sign a big money FA in the next couple years, IMO.

      • Rangers whiff on a large number of marquee free agents because most marquee free agents are bad business. It’s not a Rangers problem, it’s a league problem, actually, it’s a professional sports problem.

        You’d be hard pressed to find any big name FAs in the NHL that were actually good signings. The system is set up so that you aren’t signing FAs until they are actually on the downside of their careers.

        • I understand/concur – was pointing out that the Rangers instances of this seem exceptionally high, even for the normally high rate of such deals not working out.

  • Seguin, Panarin … and Ekman-Larsson if we get rid of Staal and Smith next year. I would pass on all UFAs this summer unless Tavares really wants in (which he won’t). Just say no to Kovi — sure, if we were one piece away I would see Kovi as a short term fix for 1 or 2 years … and I understand the “Russian” connection argument, but I think we need to embrace the rebuild 1 more year at least before going out and playing in the UFA market.

    I want to see us operate in the UFA market for the next two years from a position of strength, i.e. that we don’t NEED to sign anyone, that we don’t need to overpay for anyone and that we don’t need to take any real risk in signing a UFA.

    • Tannto

      The problem is we can’t trade Staal unless he approves it.

      I agree with your post, that’s why I said Seguin was the only player I’d sign on the list above. He is a proven winner, and at 27 years of age, young enough to play a number of years before he starts his decline. If we sign no one, I’m OK as well, because we are building the right way, through the draft!!!!!!!

      • Walt, I said get rid of Staal — that doesn’t have to involve a trade. In any event NTC/NMC clauses are broken all the time. If you’re not wanted chances are you’ll want to move on, teams can make it very uncomfortable for a player they don’t want — not that I think this classy organization would do that, but I think a guy like Staal would respect the team’s desire to move him.

        I guarantee you this though, if we bought out Staal he would be signed as a UFA in a heartbeat by another team — kind of like Girardi. It behooves management to look for a trade partner and retain up to half his salary if it means opening up a spot for a young capable d’man and maybe getting a draft pick or two.

        In any event you’re right, if we don’t sign any UFAs I’m ok with that as well … I just hope somewhere in all these drafts we find an elite player because I’ve grown tired of always hearing how we don’t have one (especially since Hank was one). I’m still of the belief that it’s a team game and that I would rather have 20 good guys with no apparent weak links than an elite player and a lack of depth. The less mistakes a team makes the less a team needs an elite player to bail them out.

        • great points my man!!!!! Now let’s see if we can’t find a partner for Marc, and get lucky in this draft!!!!

      • #91 Back in the East, yea man! Maybe he can bring Hitch with him?
        lol. I know Walt – he is retiring, and Ruff is a Ranger coach. lol.

        Cheers all


        • pas

          Please no on Ruff, we need new ideas, and Ruff is toooooooooo much like AV. And that is no laughing matter………..LOL

  • One signing or trade of getting a great defenseman to replace Ryan McD and continue with rebuild strategy. Also, there are 6 or 7 high rated defenseman in the draft and we should nab one of them in the top 10.

  • I’m pretty sure G will go with a def in the draft unless we land 2 or 3 in the lottery. There are likely 5 def that are worth top ten picks so at 8 to 10 we will get one of them.

      • The more I hear about Bouchard, the more I like him. Not that I do not like the other two, to note. Wahlstrom could be the sniper we’ve been looking for…but I think he may come with the highest bust risk, personally. Dobson is a great prospect as well, but I think Bouchard fits the apparent needs moving forward more. Since I put those two about equal at the moment, I think I would probably lean towards Bouchard of the three. Tough calls, really…definitely not as easy to research and form opinions as drafts that don’t have such depth!

  • Hi all,

    What do the Rangers have to do to sign or trade for Trouba? What would they have to give up for him?

    With Trouba on defense and that top center the Rangers have needed for years they can turn things around and maybe be in the playoffs next year. I think they key thing is to spend wisely. Only spend money on a player that is 25yrs to sign to a long term contract.

    Staal is gone, bought out. Mcleod gone, Desharanis gone. So the Rangers need to also get some 3rd and 4th line players.

    Does anyone know how much the Rangers can have saved up for this summer $25 million or more? That is still a good chunk of money but Rangers have to spend it wisely.

    • Hard to say for sure Tony, but last I heard, they wanted a young ready-or-close defenseman for Trouba, plus. This is why I always have trouble trying to come up with a fictional package for him; Gorton needs to add to his defensemen stable without taking from it, IMO. Trouba for Skjei and a first, for example…maybe that gets it done depending on which first…maybe not, but while Trouba is better than Skjei in my opinion, it kind of becomes a more lateral move for the Rangers in that type of scenario.

  • A 2019 UFA would make sense if the team was thisclose to putter big it all together.

    They are not.

    Kovy on a 1 year deal makes sense as the team doesn’t have anybody to plug in to top 6 production. If someone else steps up, you can move Kovy and basically buy a 1st round pick for $3-4mm off of somebody.

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