Three questions for the mailbag today. As always, send your questions using the widget on the right to have them answered here.
Anthony asks: The Rangers may have 4 Group VI UFAs next year (Nieves, Fogarty, Gilmour, O’Gara). Is it worth bringing any of them up to get the required number of games and retain their rights?
This is a very good question. Group VI UFAs are players at least 25 years old who have been in pro hockey for three years and have not established 80 NHL games. I did the filter on CapFriendly and it showed no UFA Group 6 players, but there’s a solid chance I’m using the filter wrong.
By my math, the four you mention above are due to be Group 6 UFAs. Of those four, only Nieves is really worth ensuring he doesn’t hit the UFA market this early, at least for now. He’s the only one who has shown he can play at the NHL level consistently.
O’Gara and Gilmour have simply been passed by too many others on the depth chart and are beyond the point of “prospect” and are on the road of AHL player. They might get looks from other teams, but I think they are done with the Rangers. Fogarty looks to be a career AHLer at this point. He’s a depth AHL forward.
Ray asks: Is there any information available on the Wolf Pack defense pairs? We don’t get much information aside from stats and plus/minus.
Here’s what Bob Crawford had for lines/pairs:
Warmup lines for @WolfPackAHL vs. Phantoms: Schneider-Holland-Ronning, Gropp-Andersson-Lindqvist, Gettinger-Fogarty-Butler, Meskanen-Fontaine-O'Donnell. D: Hajek-O'Gara, Lindgren-Bigras, Crawley-Gilmour. Tokarski starts. #FeelTheImPACKt
— Bob Crawford (@HawkCrawford) October 24, 2018
The Pack will struggle a little bit with consistency because the defense pairs aren’t all that strong. But it’s a growth year for them too, although they should be better than last year.
Jordan asks: The link colors on the site are hard to read, since white/ice are generally the same color.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll look into changing that up. I’m actually color blind, so stuff like this helps out a lot.