Thoughts following the Ryan Spooner deal

The Rangers concluded their offseason plans, at least until the trade market picks up, yesterday by re-signing forward Ryan Spooner to a two-year deal with a $4 million cap hit. This comes one day after the Rangers inked Kevin Hayes to a one-year deal. As always, I have some thoughts.

1. I like the deal on the surface.Spooner is a good middle-six player, but not someone you commit to long-term. The deal is short. It’s cheap. It’s everything you want to see from a rebuilding team. The club isn’t getting up to their eyeballs in bad contracts. Four million for someone who is looking for a next big payday is solid all around.

2. I do not think it is a coincidence that Spooner and Vlad Namestnikov got matching contracts. Both were acquired at the deadline. Both had ups and downs as Rangers. Both are likely fighting each other for long-term plans in New York. When the four first round forwards are ready for prime time, only one of Namestnikov or Spooner will be here, at most.

3. What I do find to be very interesting is that the Rangers have Spooner, Namestnikov, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, and Jesper Fast all expiring at the end of the 2019-2020 season. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on Jeff Gorton and company banking on the 2020-2021 season as the beginning of the new era of Rangers hockey.

4. Back to Spooner the player, I think he’s a good bet to be a counting stat darling over the next two seasons. He’s likely to get top-six minutes and potentially powerplay time as the rookies adjust. That means more TOI, and more goals and assists that other GMs love to see. If Hayes is primed for a big year this season in a contract year, I’d expect the same from Spooner next season.

5. Assuming Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil make the team on the third line, I think Spooner winds up on the second line with Mats Zuccarello and Hayes. That line can handle tougher minutes, leaving the rookies with Namestnikov to take the easier assignments. If you want the kids to succeed, that’s the way to do it.

6. Of Spooner, Namestnikov, and Hayes, I’m surprised that no one got more than two years. I thought one of them would get three years. But the more I think about it, the more I realize the Rangers are counting on Zibanejad as the 1/2C, and the trio of RFAs this year are stopgaps with trade value. Such is the game. Of the two year guys, I hope it’s Namestnikov that eventually sticks around longer. I think he has more skill than Spooner.

7. Spooner is what he is. A solid middle-six guy who can punch above his weight sometimes. In the end, he doesn’t warrant a bigger deal just yet. Maybe he puts it all together for a year and the Rangers bring in a haul. That’s likely the best case scenario at this point.

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26 thoughts on “Thoughts following the Ryan Spooner deal

  • Aug 1, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Spooner: what evs…

    I had read on the other BSB blog someone mention that because of the way that Hayes came to the Rangers that once July 5th came around and was unsigned, that he could not be traded, based on the CBA.

    Don’t know if that’s true, but even so, Hayes should have been traded after the draft anyway, if he was not part of the long term Ranger plans.

    • Aug 1, 2018 at 7:32 am

      Yeah the Hayes situation is more about buying time to renegotiate a new deal by January or February. He wasn’t going to get traded when they had him in mind to resign him to a new deal. The market and popular demand raised his price a bit along with his 25 goal season. Quinn wanted to coach him and my guess is that JG wanted him as well. The overprice 1 yr deal shows good faith in both sides and especially by the management. He was going to end up being the top paid forward regardless of if he signed whatever the FO originally offered. 5.1 million should buy him some good will to get top 6 minutes and PP time to find a medium while proving his asking price.

      • Aug 1, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        The only way an extension is even plausible is that the 2 sides have a handshake deal to discuss one in January.

        But the Rangers appear to want cap space for next offseason and I don’t see how giving Hayes $6M+ per accomplishes that.

        • Aug 1, 2018 at 10:17 pm

          My comment obviously points to that, I thought the hefty 1 yr contract was enough proof without me bringing up their possible gentleman’s agreement.

    • Aug 1, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Richter, what does (“he should have been traded after the draft …”) even mean? We don’t have a real clue as to what offers might have been out there and whether or not it pays to wait and dangle him come the trade deadline — if that’s the plan, as opposed to resigning him in the middle of the season. Rarely does “trading a guy for tradings sake” work out. Patience grasshopper.

      PS: I oppose the 1 year deal theoretically, but none of us have all the facts — time will reveal whether this is a good or bad strategy.

      • Aug 1, 2018 at 5:50 pm

        Very logical response tanto.

        I get your point, and we don’t know the facts, that’s true.

        My feeling is either Hayes is part of the future or he isn’t. My gut tells me that he’s not because he would take a large chunk of next year’s cap space with a new deal. Rangers want cap space for next year’s FAs.

        Plus, Hayes will be taking time from young players who the Rangers want to play, including Howden.

        I just don’t like it.

        • Aug 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm

          Richter – Hayes is young, too. He’s a solid face off man – and has improved every year. He won’t be taking time from any youngsters because although most of our distinguished prospects will be solid – theres no guarantee – Hayes is a guarantee. Plus at 6’5″ and with 25 goals last year he has lots left in him, he was a #1 pick from Chicago for a reason and I for one am glad he re-signed. Sure you can trade him before the deadline but I’d rather see what this kid from Boston can do with Quinn and our lineup this year.

          • Aug 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm

            Not disputing any of that, not at all.

            And to be honest, this has nothing to do with anyone’s opinion about Hayes other than the Rangers’ opinions of him.

            So here are the possible scenarios that have brought us to this point:

            #1. Hayes wanted over $6M per for a 5-6 year contract that the Rangers balked at.
            #2. The Rangers offered 2 years and Hayes balked at that.
            #3. The Rangers had no intention of signing Hayes long term.
            #4. They gave Hayes a one year deal with a “wink-wink” verbal agreement that they will negotiate after Jan 1 on a long term deal.
            #5. Both parties agree that one year is enough and that Hayes will be allowed to test the market next year.

            In all of these possibilities, the chances of keeping Hayes past this year is slim to none, IMO. So now it is almost a given that Hayes will be dealt at the trade deadline. What would he fetch?

            It depends on his season, that could include an injury or a bad year. But isn’t his incentive to put up pts because that’s what gets forwards paid? In all probability, Hayes’ next contract is his only chance to score big, so he has the incentive to play like an offensive mad man, and maybe get to $7M per.

            There are too many things that can go wrong that makes this one year deal a big screw up. Granted, I don’t know what was offered now, maybe nothing great.

            But now the Rangers have boxed themselves into a corner with Hayes. They now have 2 options: Trade him and get what you can or pay him $6M+ per that will cut deeply into their cap space for next year, with attractive FAs on the market next offseason, Panarin being one of them, who may want to play here (Hayes is no where near that level).

            And let’s not forget this, when a contract covers RFA years, those years are not covered by NTCs or NMCs per the CBA. Since Hayes will be an UFA next year, he will demand some sort of trade restrictions which the Rangers may balk at, which again, makes keeping him very, very difficult.

            So tell me, why should I (we) be happy about this, because they basically took their best trade asset and tainted it dramatically.

            • Aug 1, 2018 at 10:14 pm

              Just thinking out loud here .. JG is buying his time to see what Dallas does with Seguin.

              I’m with you that the Rangers will be going after the big free agents next year. But Seguin may not even make it to free agency. I think their thought process is that these kids make significant strides, maybe/maybe not make the playoffs but they show a ton of growth. Then make the splash for that big FA(s) to help them grow even more.

              And then contend in 2020. If Dallas locks up Seguin, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hayes is re-signed to what a lot of us would like him to be, which is to about 4-5 years, into his age 30-31 season for 5-6 mill.

              Just my two cents.

              • Aug 1, 2018 at 10:47 pm

                I would stop thinking about Tyler Seguin, he loves it down there. I held out a small percentage of doubt that he may took at the JT sweepstakes as negative ripple effect for his future in Dallas. They will resign him and he’s ready to cash in from what I read. No way would they let one of their studs who is apart of that top heavy lineup that they have slip away while Jamie Benn only gets older as time passes by.

                JG’s time that he bought will hinder on Hayes output and Quinn’s input. PP time and consistent top 6 minutes will have him sitting pretty. He’s definitely going to make more than Zib so anything under 5.5 is out of the question. I think 5.1 and something change for 1 year already shows tremendous faith in him to succeed and to go out to earn it all.

              • Aug 2, 2018 at 6:15 am

                You could be right Dan. The problem is that we really do not know how we got here, was it Hayes pricing himself out but the Rangers wanted him long term or was it that Hayes wants free agency next year.

                Hayes is 26 so this next contract is it for him. If he’s looking north of $6M then he will not be here, same reason the Rangers traded Stepan. They will not pay that kind of money for a 50ish pt player.

                Seguin may be a target but he may also stay in Dallas. I think that Panarin is the guy to watch.

                I just don’t see Hayes here long term. He’s 26 and he is what he is. There may be some upside but how much? Not a lot.

        • Aug 1, 2018 at 10:34 pm

          ” My feeling is Hayes is apart of the future or he isn’t “. Lol you really like shooting mud on the wall?
          The fact that he’s still here and will get to play under Quinn which should all translate well for his camp tells me that the FO is willing to find a medium ground in his demands. When a team still wants you than that is the base of any relationship between a club and the athlete that you want to see. He will get consistent top 6 minutes and PP time and they might even try Chytil on his wing or Zib as a new top line. He will be set regardless of line combo’s which should help his side to get 6-6.3 million dollar deal from JG. Quinn vouching for him will only solidify his role for years to come.

          ” I don’t like it”. Sorry bro but I had this convo with you a few months ago when you said how you don’t think he should make more than Kreider. I knew he would and as you see they gave him over 5 million for just 1 year.

          • Aug 2, 2018 at 6:18 am

            “The fact that he’s still here and will get to play under Quinn which should all translate well for his camp tells me that the FO is willing to find a medium ground in his demands”

            How much choice was there? I guess the Rangers could and should have traded Hayes if he’s not in their long term plans.

            Guess we’ll have to wait until January to find out how this might go.

            • Aug 2, 2018 at 11:06 am

              Your guess is I until January?? No way, I think that’s about 98% of the rest of the fans guesses when Hayes would get resigned.

  • Aug 1, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Here’s an interesting nugget

    Career high points:

    Kevin Hayes = 49

    Ryan Spooner = 49

    So really a nice deal for JG.

    it appears that there’s been a shift in approach for next year. Many prospect/inexperienced guys with 4-5 “vets” …. To mostly exp guys on liquid deals with a prospect or two mixed in. (Isn’t this what AV depicted?)

    Which leaves the only real chance for next year , at least to begin, the coaching.

    • Aug 1, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Career high points:

      Chris Kreider= 53 points

      Mika= 52 points

      Those two will be the next best thing, I’m telling you right now that the KBZ line is official.

  • Aug 1, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I can see Spooner and Namestnikov being the older players part of the new core of the Rangers if they play well over the next 2 seasons.

  • Aug 1, 2018 at 10:24 am

    The amount of talent we now have on this team makes it a sure bet we will finish in the bottom 5 the next 2 or 3 years………..
    Three of our best proven goal scorers have been dumped for very little in return , we drafted way lower than our position in the draft would indicate , and the same management team is in place who have a proven record of failure……….
    The only bright spot is to hope for 2 or three last place finishes and a couple of elite prospects to build around……….
    Wins and goals will be hard to come by ….

    • Aug 1, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Pronman goes at length about nils today with sweden coach.

      Theme: picked high bc of success in pro leagues but not highest skilled guy. More 2 way.

      im not sure gordie Clark is the best fit rn

      • Aug 1, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        Gordie Clark needs to have nailed it in the 1st of round of picks from draft (especially passing on Wahlstrom). And I think someone should have overturned the decision on a goalie in round 2.

  • Aug 1, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    I would have locked up Hayes and traded Mika. Although Mika is the better player–he will fetch more and has a concussion history. The risk of his career ending at any moment is much higher than Hayes’. If they are not contending this season, they have enough options at center to get by. I bet Mika could get a 1st and a good prospect for starters.

    Just my two cents. Maybe that’s playing it too safe. Chytil is only 18. Having two top 6 centers ahead of him might be best for a year or two as he develops.

    • Aug 1, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Problem is Zib is one of the few right-handed shots on the PP and on this team right now.

  • Aug 1, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I like the flat deals to spooner and names. I don’t like the hayes deal cause it puts everyone in a hard spot.

    Hayes is a poor man’s Zettenberg. If he is in the league in 5 years I would be surprised. These type of players are getting phased out. Speed rules the game. That is why there was no decent offer on the table for him in the trade market. He is another McClarath in my eyes. 10 years to late. I mean if everything goes great they trade him for a first but as all you know my cup is always half empty and this kid has the stack against him.

    Gorton obviously wasn’t signing him for a long term since he couldn’t get a decent offer…which as a gm tells you he isn’t what you might have thought he was. Now you offer him a 1 yr. deal and let him prove himself or prove the league right and dump him after the season. It is the best bet.

    Personally I wouldn’t have given anyone on this roster over a year. This year is trial by fire and lets see what poo sinks to the bottom and which poo rises to the top. Make them earn their place and pay day.

    • Aug 2, 2018 at 3:12 am

      1. u gonna compare a player coming off 25 goals to a guy who is on his like 10th ahl team? be a little fair.

      2. fyi hayes skates well for a guy 6-5. def better than brian boyle.

      3. I wouldn’t say he is still here due to lack of offers. A. its a dead trade market this summer B. they’ll get more for a guy that’s signed. see hagelin. C. kinda dumb to deal him without seeing what LIas and chytil really are first or more of anyway.

      • Aug 2, 2018 at 8:16 am

        1. i didn’t compare him to McRath directly…more like a similiar situation. I said he was a poor man’s Zettenberg. Please read more carefully.

        2. Definitely think boyle would win in a race.

        3. The market started as soon as you made that letter if you are gorton and nothing showed up for him. This deal is saying I won’t commit large money to you for many years. Which is a very subtle way of saying hey you are not for us but prove us wrong and we can talk. But Skjei just got large money and he is alot more unproven then Hayes. He is not a bad player by any means just not what this franchise or any other is looking for at this moment in the NHL. 5 years and he is in europe or the AHL. Speedy defensive minded centers win out…

        B. HAHAHAHAHHAHAH HAHH Etem was a gem.

        C…they made their bed now they have to sleep in it and if neither of them are good then guess what rangers fans? We are the new edmonton.

        • Aug 2, 2018 at 11:12 am

          Lol all your points are heavily exaggerated or just really bad thoughts.

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