Mailbag: Group VI UFAs, Hartford Defense, and Site Colors

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:

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.

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  • Hopefully the trade talk is heating up in preparation of the next wave of Rangers to go.

    I wish everyone were color blind, in the conceptual sense.

    • Trade talks and asking for a certain name are two separate things. I wonder if JG changed his untouchable list around from the summer?

      • No. Hayes lobbying through the media to stay does not make it so.

        If he and Zuc are still here after the trade deadline, then I have zero faith in this “rebuild.”

        • Seems like a normal tactic considering all the info JG has put out on his stance with Hayes. Than there’s the coach who decides to hype him up and give him praise. I think the management is shutting it dowb just like last summer. Quinn is obviously team Hayes, it looks like he wants to keep him along with Sather and Drury.

          A prospect or draft pick so he can go off to play with some elite winger? Yeah I don’t think that JG wants to see that.

          Soon enough we’ll see how this all goes down. Brooks is already throwing the thought that FO would want to keep Hayes. I see no coincidence of rumors that Zib could get shipped out instead of him.

          • The day that Hayes gets traded, it’s gonna be amazing to see your reaction, Mint. The Rangers want no part of him long term, otherwise they’d have, you know, signed him to a long term deal instead of a one year contract. Hayes is a difficult negotiation too—refusing to sign with the Hawks is what enabled the Rangers to get him in the first place. So put on your big-boy pants or get ready to weep, because Hayes won’t finish this season as a Ranger.

            In short: actions>words, and the action of a 1-year deal says much more than your daily wishful thinking about Hayes’ ability and long-term prospects with NYR.

  • If a hockey franchise wants a successful rebuild they need to pull the weeds and keep the flowers. If Names and Spooner aren’t on board they should be the first to go. Zuc, Kreider and Zib on the other hand are still contributing and comes to play every night. I wouldn’t be in a rush to trade them away.

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