Stick to a plan: There are no half measures

jeff gorton

The NHL’s offseason has officially begun, and in New York all eyes are on the Rangers and how they are going to manage their rebuild. They made the critical first step in March by selling off stars and rentals for future assets. Their second step was made last month by naming David Quinn as head coach.

Next up comes the draft and free agency, and all the fun stuff in between. That is where we will begin to see the roster take shape and what our expectations of next year’s squad will be. Will they retool? Or will it be a full tear down? These are the questions that will get answered next month. But no matter what, the Rangers need to stick to a plan.

There are no half measures. If Jeff Gorton and company decide they need to tear it down, then go all in. Trade Chris Kreider. Trade Mats Zuccarello. Trade everyone and anyone who will fetch a good return. It doesn’t all need to be done at once, but do it all.

If the plan is to retool, then there are no half measures. Identify those that are going to be a part of the future, and trade the rest by next year’s draft. If players are identified that could help grow the kids, like Ilya Kovalchuk, then bring them in.

If the plan is to use these assets to go after Karlsson and Tavares, then go for broke. Get Hank his Cup. Land Karlsson, sign Tavares, trade those assets to make the Rangers a better team than the Lightning and the Caps and the Leafs.

There are no half measures, and there is no second guessing. Second guessing makes you Florida. Half measures make you the Islanders. Be the Caps or be the Coyotes. Whatever the plan, there are no half measures. Pick one and stick to it, for better or for worse.

"Stick to a plan: There are no half measures", 4 out of 5 based on 10 ratings.
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  1. There are no half measures…but there are bad measures. And trading picks for a Win Now solution is exactly what they should not do.

    1. This I also agree with. I lean towards retool. A full tear down isn’t a viable option since Hank is worth 12-15 points in the standings on his own. I don’t want more bloated contracts. Retool and go for it in 2019-2020.

      1. “A full tear down isn’t a viable option since Hank is worth 12-15 points in the standings on his own.”

        This is completely wrong. The premise is wrong and, were the premise true, the conclusion would be wrong.

        Using GSAA as a measure and eyeballing the value of a goal prevented in terms of points, I would say that over the first eight years of his career, Hank was worth about 17 points a season. Over the last five years, an average of 5 points a season (and actually none over the last two so he got those 25 points 2013-2016).

        BUT, let’s assume Hank really is still incredible. I don’t like a full tear down as you have a bunch of kids playing in over their heads and they get demoralized. That great tender saves them from their mistakes and keeps morale up. So if I am going to put overmatched players on the ice, I want a great safety net.

        As for tanking, how many teams other than Pittsburgh have drafted first since 1980 and won the Cup in the ensuing decade? Just Tampa Bay with Lecavalier and Chicago with Kane. And neither was the best player on their team. Yes, the Pens got Lemieux and Crosby (and Fleury), but that top pick has hardly been a panacea.

  2. Gorton surely has a plan and has identified his player targets, most definitely.

    Whether Ranger fans will like the plan is another story, lol.

      1. Agreed tanto, it showed that the Rangers were going in a totally different direction.

  3. I sure hope JG is smart enough to stay away from Lucic. He should try and make a 2 way deal to pawn him off to someone else and grab Kassian while dumping Staal to Edmonton.

  4. JT-folks, he isn’t signing here!

    Karlson can’t defend, has issues with his feet, and will be a major liability within the next 2 years. Proof, look at last season’s results. He is also under sized, isn’t physical, I’d walk, correction, I’d run like hell from him!

    Kovi, I would sign for no more than 2 years, for leadership, sniper that he is, and good for the Russian youth that we have!

    As for the plan, stick to getting younger, get as many assets as we can for the long term, and stay away from the retreads, they have been the Achilles heel of this organization for ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I completely agree, Walt! I also believe Ranger management agree. After all, didn’t they say they were going younger? Isn’t that the very reason they got Quinn to be the HC? Karlsson and Tavares would not be the answers in this scenario. If people think they kept Hank because they want him to be part of the rebuild, I believe they are mistaken. They kept Hank because they had no choice. He did not want to go elsewhere to try to win the CUP, and I respect him for that, and I’m glad he is staying. This rebuild, IMO, is not about Hanks window for a CUP, he’s here because he wants to be and the Rangers are handcuffed to him, for better or worse. Personally I would hate to see him in another sweater! If the youngsters on the team, and the ones yet to join, make big strides going forward, then Hank is the best option for a backstop. However, he is not here because they want to win the CUP now, but he could be the very reason they do.

    2. Maybe sign Kovi for 2 years, as long as there’s no NMC or NTC … a small modified trade clause is probably acceptable.

      1. It’s amazing to me how people buy into the whole ‘bring in Kovi’, to help mentor the young Russians that are, and will be, on the team in the next few years. As if just because he is a veteran, he comes with an untold amount of wisdom, and a willingness to share. This is the guy, if I remember, who was humiliated on Garden ice by none other than Sean Avery! Totally lost his composure while Avery, and the crowd laughed at him. Also, this is a guy who is, and always will be about the money. Great role model and mentor!

        They are not winning the Cup anytime soon. Why give a spot to a guy who’s been out of the League for a while; instead of giving it to a young guy who can develop into something?

        A Playoff berth, and a first round ouster should not be the goal anymore! The thinking has to be long term! As for Hank—I’m sorry, but for this to work— going forward into the next 5 years or so—-he has to step aside. Unless they are so set on surrounding Hank with a modicum of talent—and then expecting him to make the difference(in other words, the status quo)–then a total tear down is the way to go. I doubt they have the stomach for that; but IMO, that is what is needed.

        1. I don’t favor the signing, but if they do then we need to make sure we can at least flip him for assets come the trade deadline … but yeah, I prefer they stay away from signing these types of players.

          1. To me, its just a waste of money and taking a spot away from the future. For once, just once, build this damn team the right way!

          2. Agree 100% . Total waste of a roster spot and the precious cap space JG was so eager to talk about.

        2. Explain to me why Buch was very happy with Georgiev on the team, and then Name? The kids need leadership, whether you like it, or not, from somebody who comes from their country!!!!!!!!!!!

          1. Says you! I don’t question that the youth need leadership—I question why you automatically think that Kovulchuk is the guy to give it. Why?— only because hes Russian? Should we drag Peter Forsberg out of retirement to mentor Lias Andersson? Or are we only concerned about Buch’s happiness?

            And what about the rest of them. I guess they’ll just have to look to the coach for guidance(What a concept!).

            As I stated above, he’s not the most obvious choice, IMO, to provide any kind of mentoring to the new guys. Seems way too selfish to me, based on what I’ve seen.

            This whole Kovulchuk stuff has been floating out there since last year when Larry Brooks proposed it. That should tip you off as to how good an idea it is (IMO). Keep the money, and give the spot to a young guy and see what develops.

            Again, they’re not winning the Cup anytime soon. Giving out a roster spot(and a nice payday), just so he can babysit the young guys is very shortsighted.

          2. Look for what it’s worth, he is a national idol over there, and the kids look up to him. He has always represented his country in international tournaments, so that’s where I’m coming from. I don’t want to get into an argument over this nonsense, you think what you may, and I what I may.

        3. It would be pretty damn racist if it were two African Americans that we’re talking about. I’ve debunked that thinking plenty of times on here and I still think this TEAM and top 6 needs Kovy.

          Sean Avery called him out by saying he was soft and that’s why he will never win a cup. Let’s be real about this though, Avery has been punk’ d on the ice plenty of times.

          1. Sean Avery is NOT the point here. The point is, they are NOT winning the Cup anytime soon. Bringing in the type of player, who should only be added to a team that is ready to close the deal, strikes me as an attempt to just continue grasping at straws.

            Give the spot to a young guy, see where it takes you. They brought in a teaching coach for a reason! Let him teach.

            As for Kovy himself, I’m not interested in stories of how he is revered by the young players in Russia. I think he would be one of the oldest players on any team he played for in the KHL; so really, to see a legend on your team—of course the young guys would look up to him. In the KHL!

            This team does not need to add retreads. How about they add the NEXT Kovy, instead of trying to squeeze the last drop out of the current model. He would be cheaper, and would probably last a lot longer.

          2. There is no young guy for that spot. If the Rangers had useful youngsters in Hartford, they would have been called up last year.

            Sign Kovy with the abundant cap space that the Rangers will never use this year, if the Rangers aren’t looking good for the postseason next February, flip Kovy at the deadline. All of a sudden the Rangers have another high draft pick in 2019 or 2020.

            Why is this such a difficult thing to understand?

          3. A> “There is no young guy for that spot.”


            That’s what the draft and this summer is for! Pick someone who can be that guy relatively quickly; or use the picks and assets to trade for that guy.

            B>”Flip Kovy at the deadlne.”

            For another 26, 27, 28 pick? The teams that would want him would be in the upper echelon, so the pick wouldn’t be that sure of a thing. I guess they could use that pick and maybe package it to bring in a younger-type—after they would have already spent the money and time on Kovy. Its just a vicious circle.

            Again, save the money, give the spot to a younger guy and really try to build something that will last. Not some half-ass semi -rebuild that will only result in a first round ouster(if they’re lucky!).

            “Why is this such a difficult thing to understand?”

          4. You just flip Kovy for a pick 2-4 years out instead of 1-2 years out. Better chance a contending team hits their downside like the Rangers did if they had traded this year’s pick back in 2016. Or when the Devils sent Tom Kurvers to Toronto and got Scott Niedermayer out of it two years later.

            Draft picks need to be staggered out over time just like players on ELCs or bridge contracts.

  5. Isn’t it funny how all of the “experts” who profess so much knowledge forcefully stated that Ranger fans would never accept a complete tear down and re-build.
    Granted these blogs are just a small sample of the Ranger fan base, but if you look at the majority of the posts, the Ranger fans are absolutely on board with a tear down and rebuild, just do it the right way, as Dave said NO HALF MEASURES.

    1. We as bloggers and blog readers represent a small subset of the fan base. When it comes to money, we have none. Corporation want winning teams. A rebuilding team doesn’t sell to the casual fan and to the corporations.

      Sad, yet true.

      1. For the record, the Cubs typically draw 3+ million fans a year, hitting a high of 3.3M in 2008. When they traded virtually of their talent for prospects and were positively awful, they drew roughly 2.65M fans per year for two consecutive years.

      2. Is it me? I feel like you live in a completely different world then most of us. The Rangers, Leafs, Canadiens, and I might add Vegas to this list are going to sell out no matter what kind of product they put on the ice. In these cities….. it is just what you do during the winter. Just like the Yankees in the summer. The yankees still sold 30K plus seats a night even during their rebuilding process. It is just a event to the people in these major cities. And people use it as a gathering place just like a bar.

        I mean next year’s corporate tickets are probably already sold just like the jets and giants. It is a event. I think you honestly need to get out more often. I mean the knicks sell out all the time and they have been horrible for more then a decade. What world do you live in?

        1. In 1988, the Yankees averaged 32,717. They had four consecutive losing seasons thereafter and averaged 21,589 in 1992. They have not had a losing season since, nor even missed the postseason three years in a row.

          There was no Yankee tear down and rebuild. I noted above what happened when the Cubs actually did it.

          BTW Ranger home attendance declined this year by 1% from last year to the lowest level in the last twenty years (excluding the remodeling year).

          1. Not surprising considering how the team started and finished, but capacity is much lower than 40 years ago.

            Tickets sold will be the same, but people thru turnstiles should be down. I didn’t get to go to as many games as I used to(I think I may have seen them on the road more this season,) but tickets were a lot harder to unload at most any price.

  6. No one here knows the real plan. Lots of theory. By July 2nd we should all know how things will be moving. I expect activity on draft day and some activity on the free agent market. Whether it is complimentary players of a top line makeover is yet to be seen.

    1. I think that’s the best part. We don’t know it, so we can speculate and talk and have fun with scenarios. I love the offseason, and this is the first one of its kind for me.

  7. last trade deadline they sort of took a half measure not trading Zucc. the extra 4-6 points he helped get us could be difference in picking 6 or 7th. if you were gonna sell, sell.

    1. There was no offer out there for Zucc that JG thought was acceptable. And, even if there was, we still would have been at the mercy of the dreaded ping pong ball, and could have ended up at 11th or 12th.

    2. If you successfully trade every single player you put on the market, you are asking too little for your assets.

    3. I am sure that everyone and anyone on this current team as it is now was on the trading block….if there was a deal with value in it for the Rangers I am sure Gorton would have pulled the trigger.

      I just think certain players didn’t get the returns he was looking for to pull the trigger cause in no way do I see Zuc as a keeper. And again …I love Zuc. He is one of the few that have heart on this roster as of today. Just long term don’t see where he fits in.

  8. No plan survives 1st contact with the enemy. Or the 1st time Montreal drafts off the board.

  9. I want a rebuild, I want to play the kids, but also want to sign 2 or 3 players that can be moved at the deadline for more assets. No more no move contracts they are killers. Counting the players we draft this year there will be several players about a year away. Really see what we have this year in the kids that ready. Let them sink or swim. We will need to find a top pair D before the start of 2019-20 which means we will likely need to save our powder for another big name FA blueliner next summer. Forget about moving Staal it’s never going to happen anyway I think he retires after this season especially if he gets banged up.

    Shatty should be ready to QB the PP but aside from that Brady S. is the only other thing we can count on on the back line assuming he rebounds from a year in which he did not progress. Our best hope is that Smith can be fixed at least to the point where he is of some trade value again. Tony D needs to be given a long leash before trying to move him to forward the kid shows talent lets see if Quinn can unlock it. Hopefully another kid impressive enough in camp to earn a spot.

    Up front we need more hitting (Krieds needs to be turned loose) and more shooting too many pass first guys(Zuc) the coach needs to change this ASAP. This is one of the areas where a new voice can make a difference.

  10. For once I want them to go full rebuild

    We have ample sample of how not to win a Cup….the UFA route

    I have been saying and stick to it that Lundqvist became the most dangerous person for the NY Rangers.
    Timing is everything with the next 3 drafts being of high caliber. I agree that certain players have to go but by Dave’s account he’s ok with Zucc and Kreids to go but not Lundqvist? What gives here?
    Because of Lundqvist you want to bring in a way over rated Karlsson? Tavares isn’t going anywhere, Kovalchuk will sign with the Islanders in my opinion.

    Stay away from the big fish and build build build

    1. Unless you can swing a deal before the draft that garners us another good 1st round pick or a deal that brings in 2 good draft picks (top 2 rounds), it’s best to wait on a full rebuild until the next trade deadline when values tend to be inflated. Best to be patient and play off of other teams’ desperation in the playoffs arms race.

      The one exception to the NO UFA policy that you’re talking about is Grabner, I think he sets the right example and I would welcome him back if we can keep his salary under $3m.

  11. We can’t underestimate the effect of firing AV. The team was clearly “lost” and the players virtually the same as in 2016/17 when admittedly we lost a series to the Sens that we shouldn’t have. We don’t have to tear everything down, not when you still have a large group of players just entering their prime — there’s always time to move them by the trade deadline if Quinn can’t turn things around. That said this summer we should look to move one of Namestikov, Spooner and Zucc — and I wouldn’t lean towards trading Zucc unless he can bring me a 1st rounder in the top 15 or so. He has the most value and come the next trade deadline chances are he will still have the most value.

  12. Tanto

    I am with you, we need to trade Zucc who is my favorite Ranger.

    If we get Dobson or Bouchard we need to trade to get Veleno or Hayton
    If we get Kotkeniemi or Wahlstrom then we need to get Bodie Wilde

    Dellandrea Kaut
    Bahl, Woo or Lundkvist

    We have to build depth, period….why get rid of assets that build you depth. The other Key to winning the Cup is depth.

    1. This draft will not fix the 2018/19 NY Rangers. All it can do is put the 2019/20 Rangers in a better place. Use the draft, trades and free agency to build to a team that is young and talented. I want to see the Hartford team become a dynasty! Then we will have a future at the NHL level.

    2. Leather, you do a good job re: the draft … and yeah, I love Zucc as well but would trade him for a top half of the 1st round pick — then again I think come the next trade deadline he gets us a 1st and a good prospect by himself. It’s a hard call when you’re not privy to the offers being made.

      The thing though with the draft is that hope always springs eternal. We’ll be lucky if 3-4 of our top 7 picks (in the first 3 rounds) pan out as bona fide NHL players. If 1 out of those 3/4 ends up being an elite player, we’re even luckier … if 1 or 2 more end up being really GOOD players, great … but no one can reasonably expect much more than that — although possible in such a deep draft. If we can add another 1 or 2 picks in the Top 35-45 picks by selling off either Namestikov or Spooner, great — that could double our chances … but Zucc has to bring a Top 15 pick or a 16-30 plus a good prospect, I think he has the greatest value (excluding guys like Mika, Kreider and Hayes because of their age).

      Maybe where we differ a little is the fact that I think there’s still a core to build around, a core that in 2-3 years will still be in their prime years – Mika, Hayes, Kreider, Pavel, Brady, Fast, Vesey … I want to see what Quinn can do with them before selling any of them off.

      … and yeah, I want them to grab Veleno who will hopefully drop like a stone.

    3. I think Zuc no way can fetch a 1st round top 15 pick by himself. Just look at stepan’s deal…and he was a center and our number 1 center. Zuc is just a winger and by nature unless you are looking for that exact position it will field less in a trade.

      I like the idea of playing him this season and come deadline trade him to a contender that needs perimeter scoring and now we will have 2 first round picks again. That is unless Tampa wins it all next year and we get their first also. But 2 years of 2 first round picks will certainly stuff the cupboard with prospects. And maybe we end up with a Kucherov out of these possible 4 first round picks the next 2 years.

      1. Not so sure. There’s going to be a GM out there who thinks he can take a 60 point player like Zucc (who is also a SO wizard) and turn him into a 1st line 70+ point guy when paired with the right center. That’s worth a Top 15 pick. He also comes in cheap at 4.5m.

        If NOT, then keep him and put an A on his sweater … like I said, there’s still time to trade him at the deadline.

  13. I think they should develop a good plan and stick to it. But I don’t agree that the plan needs to be simple enough for everyone to understand it. One thing that gets overlooked is the idea of a winning culture. Players need to believe they can win games and want to win games. When you get used to losing, it is hard to right the ship. And there is a lot to be said for giving kids a chance to watch Marc Staal in action, to see how defense should be played even by someone with diminished physical abilities.

    There are simply good reasons for keeping the likes of Zuccarello and Kreider around and I see no reason why a good plan might keep them. [I also can envision a good plan which trades them.] When I look at the current Rangers, the only player I can envision winning the Hart Trophy is Filip Chityl and so he is the ONLY player I would not trade.

    In general, I would trade overvalued players and keep undervalued players. Honestly, I don’t know how to determine which is which. Everything we know here is known to the market.

    Oddly, the one player I definitely trade is Steven Kampfer. I see him as a solid third pair or seventh defenseman at a very low salary – a real asset for a team thin on defense with cap issues. Then, like Florida in 2016, you upgrade at the trade deadline. OTOH, as a Ranger, he would just be taking playing time from the kids.

    1. Kampfer will get you nothing in return, at this point he is *at best* playing top 4 in Hartford and is an emergency call up. Can be a mentor to the kids, has more value doing that.

      1. You may be right, but I think it is dumb. Two years ago, Kampfer played 47 games and was +5 for a first place team. He is now on a two way contract that pays him $650K as an NHLer.

        Sure he isn’t very good, but compare him to the crap that cap-strapped Chicago has put on their third pair over the years. Look at the gyrations Edmonton went through to afford McDavid and Draisatl. Isn’t using a really cheap competent third pair defenseman or seventh defenseman (and then upgrade on deadline day for the playoffs) a better idea?

        He isn’t particularly useful for most teams, including next year’s Rangers, but there should be some market.

        1. Any NHL team that needs a bottom pair/depth D can get a younger/better one off the street July 1.

  14. I don’t think the Rangers FO knows what’s up or down right now. From the AV resigning last year to the Stepan trade, to the weird firesale in February where they traded JTM/McD for well below their value.

    But the thing is the team core is close to ready to be competing. This past season was very difficult because most guys were playing injured (Hank, MZA, McD, etc). You had AV being a moron. Some guys going off the deepend (Smith) or regressing (Skjei). You already have four legit top six forwards in KZB and MZA. YOu have two very compelling prospects in Chytil and Andersson. Hank is still great. Both Shatt and Skjei are legit top four defensemen. You have a lot of pieces that can be moved to make this team work. Honestly, the below lineup is attainable and we’d absolutely make the playoffs:

    JVR —-RoR——MZA


    Blowing it up is incredibly risky in my view as you may never actually be good even with striking gold like Edmonton repeatedly did. And honestly, keeping Hayes also works for me. He’s a decent second line center. I was just noting what kind of team we could put together with the group of assets and RFAs we have to trade.

    1. It would behoove this team to look into drafting a player like Dylan McAvoy. Dude plays a man’s game, and the NHL is a man’s game.

    2. Your proposed 2nd pair has two lefties, your 3rd has two righties. JVR and O’reilly would be wasteful and impatient acquisitions, Vinny Lettieri isn’t an NHL player, where’s Marc Staal, and Klefbom won’t be traded to NYR. Other than that though…..

      1. The Skjei-Smith combination worked extremely well for three months, and was our best pairing in the playoffs (except that AV didn’t realize that and kept on pumping out Staal-Holden).

        I figure two d-men on the third pair that are good skaters will work. This defensive group is probably as good as the one that Las Vegas trotted out this year.

    3. That team looks like crap but I’ve been preaching that we need to see a new top line since day 1. This is why I hope that JG could sell his vision to JT so he can become a 1c over here. The KBZ line needs to die, that wish of them becoming something special is on par with Andersson being a future 2c.

      Zib needs to become a top line scoring winger and Kreider needs to play with a elite 1c to work with.

      1. exactly kzb is a 2nd line on many teams. just shows how far we have to go talent wise.

    4. Replacing a third of your top 9 and counting on a new top pair D and two guys who spent a good chunk of the year in the minors belies your concept that the core is anywhere close to ready.

      I’m assuming MZA is Zuccarello or the newest prospect out of the Wu-Tang organization.

      1. I’m not following the line of argument here. Right now we have a legit top line in KZB. Another legit top six player in MZA. We have a lot of useful bottom six guys in Vesey, Fast, Boo and Lettieri. We have two legit contributors at the 3C and 4C in Chytil and Andersson who should be allowed the opportunity to perform. We have two top four dmen in Shatt and Skjei. We have a legit third pairing guy in Smith. We have a bunch of players who have potential in Gilmour, Pionk and TonyD. We have a still very good Hank. And we have a ton of random RFAs that we can trade in Hayes, Name, and Spooner.

        This is NOT a team that is bottoming out. We have been rumored to be after Kovy. JvR stated he wants to play for the Rangers. I don’t understand why the above lineup is making this board go nuts.

  15. I like the team you put together, only wish Trouba could be a NYR. Would he be a good fit? Just saying he is 25, 6’3 210 R/H coming off west finals. NYR could be elite again as far as a defense; strong defense core. Imagine the defense with Trouba on the team.


    Gone Staal Smith, Zucc, Pavelec,
    Please no to Kovachulk he is the exact opposite if what NYR needs. They need a vet player that can teach the young players, but a vet player that is 30yrs old, still has some skills left, also key thing is to sign him to a reasonable contract.

    What do you guys think? Can we land Trouba? I would love to see that happen. Trouba on the team allows Lundqvist to play more confident, remember Stralman playing in front of him, Trouba may just be the one defensemen that helps the team out a lot.

    1. So how does Trouba end up on the team?
      How does Klefbom end up on the team?

      Staal/Smith/Zucc/Pavelec are not getting those guys on this roster on their own, so what draft picks are you trading? What prospects?

      This is an extremely flawed, idealistic proposal that has no chance of actually happening.

    2. I don’t think you can put a lineup together for next year that includes players from other teams, it’s just way too speculative at this point in time — inevitably we’ll always make trades in our heads that are biased in our favor. That said we have the basis for a good team right now without making any trades. I would consider adding Grabner back to the team, he worked so well with Hayes — he’s the type of winger Hayes needs (just like Hagelin before him).

      Maybe we don’t make the playoffs with such a group, but if I’m looking to add an expensive UFA then I’m waiting for next year when hopefully Seguin and Panarin are UFAs … and I’m looking to sell off an asset or two prior to the next trade deadline (at least one of Spooner, Vlad or MZA). Lastly no one here really knows the what/when impact of players like Chytil, Andersson, Lindgren, Howden, etc.

      1. Hayes is a top 6 center and Grabner is a 3rd line winger. Hags put up his best numbers next to Hayes but does that mean he needs him more than Malkin? The idea that Hayes would be a 3c should start to fade away soon. I get that this is what you rather see but the team will keep him and he would have a chance to play top 6 else where if it came down to it. The truth is that Quinn will be in his corner like AV in trusting Hayes but this time around it will be for offensive opportunity. Expect to see him getting consistent top 6 mintues, PP time, better OT minutes, shootout chances. Hayes needs a sniper to utilize his hands, he has to be a top 3 setup man on this team if Zuccs is still around. He’s the team’s best 5 on 5 player and needs more dynamic player’s to work with other than Grabner who kind of sucks at the cycle and possesion game. I would say that he needs more of a Mitch Marner type on his line who has the creativity of a Johnny hockey which is why I think Vlad could work well with him. Hayes scores more goals on his own for the PK so he never needed Grabner in the long run. Vladdy and him could do damage in that area, 5 on 5 and on the PP2.

        1. I won’t disagree with you that Hayes is a Top 6 center, but I want 3 lines that can score regularly. You can label them however you want, I just care about 3 lines of solid production game in and game out. Re: Grabner, some players established synergy with others. In Hayes’ case he did with both Hagelin and Grabner — there’s a parallel there.

  16. I would keep Kreider unless he brings back one heck of a return. He’s a one of a kind freakish athlete. You don’t find guys like that all the time.

  17. NYR make their first official signing of the off season.Marek Mazanec signed to a 2 way deal for 650K.

    1. FWIW, the Rangers now have five goaltenders on the 50 man roster, which is the typical number. Obviously, they can still do something, but it looks like they are planning to let Pavelec walk, not replace him, and let Georgiev back up Lundqvist next year.

      A scenario which puts Georgiev and Mazanec both in Hartford, leaving no spots for Nell and Halverson would be weird. Of course, a trade could change things.

      1. That’s the first thing that came to my mind that Pavelec was gone,but they did have all of these goalies including Pavelec last year for a total of 6,I still suspect that Georgiev showed enough in his stint with the NYR that the backup job is his to lose & Mazenec is insurance in case he falters.
        I know he’s still young but I’m starting to think Halverson is going to be a bust,he hasn’t even shown that he can crack the Hartford lineup.

        1. Halverson will battle with Nell to platoon in Hartford with Mazenec, hopefully one of them progresses enough to get another contract.

  18. TO: Reenavipul says

    Right—-after signing Kovy this summer(with the inevitable big press conference and hoopla), after telling the fans that we are in a rebuild—after making a big splash with a brand-new, coach—–and then finding yourself out of the playoff hunt in Feb.—you’re gonna turn around and trade your shiny acquisition for a pick 2 to 4 years down the road? Really? In NY?

    And the fans are just supposed to accept that as progress?

    Honestly though, I wouldn’t have a big problem with that. Its just that I have NO confidence that the current Front Office would have the smarts or the balls to think of that scenario. More likely, they would stick with Kovy though the losing and quietly release him at the end of his contract. While the whole time he takes a spot away from the future.

    I would just stay away from him and keep my eyes towards the future.

    1. Sonny Werblin ain’t running this team.

      Kovy ain’t a shiny new toy that you make the face of the franchise(not that the Rangers have been doing that in any marketing campaign in the Rangerstown era,) he’s an asset that helps keep things competitive(provided there’s still tread on the tires) while you wait for prospects to mature. You’re taking a calculated risk.

      If he’s killing it and the Rangers stink, you don’t even extend him and deal him.

      If he’s killing it and the Rangers are winning, extend him Jan.1 to another 1yr deal

      If he stinks, just ride the contract out.

      But he’s a 1 year deal only. $4.35mm signing bonus, $650 paragraph 1 salary(so $5mm AAV), performance bonuses that can get him another $2.85mm. He’s not getting a better deal anywhere

      You give him multi years and he stinks, he’s a full cap hit the year you buy him out.

      For all the fulminating that goes on here that nobody knows what the plan is, I feel it’s rather obvious.

      1: Maintain maximum roster flexibility
      2: Maintain maximum cap flexibility
      3: Rebuild 50 man roster/reserve depth
      4: Accumulate draft assets
      5: Maximize those assets via development or trade.

      The last bit hasn’t gone so well, but McCambridge’s track record is pretty solid.

      What does all this mean? When the right opportunity presents itself, Gorton will be able to strike to get the team closer to over the top.

      Is that time now? No. Too many flawed pieces, not enough depth. You would be wasting the few prime years remaining of either Tavares or Karlsson and then they would be handcuffed when the production slipped.

      So it’s compete & develop now, have your next big wave going for 20-21(Hank’s final season under contract.)

      1. Yeah, sounds very sane and reasonable. Qualities that this front office has not shown they possess in great quantities.

        I would still stay away from him. You want to bring in some vets to be competetive, and mentor the young—fine. IMO—he ain’t the guy.

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