Thoughts following the trade deadline

The trade deadline has come and gone. The Rangers made three trades and re-signed a pair of players. There were no surprises, no “WOW” trades from the Rangers, just business as usual. There was a lot of chatter on Twitter, and after a day to digest, I have some thoughts.

1. The Kevin Hayes trade is what left a lot of people with feelings that Jeff Gorton got fleeced. There was a vocal group of Jets fans that thought that Winnipeg got fleeced. Generally speaking, that’s usually a sign that the trade was fair. It’s probably not the best barometer to use, but hey, it works. In the end, Hayes fetched the Rangers a B prospect and a 1st round pick. That’s what everyone thought would happen, and that’s what would happen. If Matt Duchene fetched a pair of B prospects and a pair of 1sts, then Hayes was always going to get less. That’s the way the trade deadline works. Top prospects are rarely available for pure rentals. The only reason why Erik Brannstrom was included in the Mark Stone deal was because Vegas knew they were going to re-sign him. Past that, it’s never the top guys, only the B-level guys.

2. As for Brendan Lemieux, he’s got some skill, but he’s primarily a bottom-six pest. He’s probably one of those guys that you want on your team, but hate when you’re going against him. He can fight and protect his teammates, for the folks who want punchers. He was a second round pick. He wasn’t my personal favorite from Winnipeg, as I would have preferred Nic Petan (who was also traded at the deadline), but I’m not going to nitpick. The prize is the 1st round pick. If Lemieux turns into a useful bottom-six, then that’s just gravy.

3. The McQuaid trade was one I wasn’t overly pleased with at first. It took a long time for the news to come out that the Rangers, in addition to 4th and 7th round picks, got Julius Bergman. I love Swedish hockey players, and Bergman is a Swede. He is a 23 year old right handed defenseman. Even as a depth player, it helps the Rangers basically break even. My initial qualms with the deal was the Rangers gave up their own 4th and 7th rounders to get McQuaid, and the Columbus picks will be further back in both rounds, a net negative. However Bergman probably makes this a break even sequence of events for the Rangers. Given McQuaid’s reputation in the locker room, let’s give a slight win here for Gorton.

4. Random side note, but the Rangers got a 2022 conditional 4th from Winnipeg for Hayes. The condition was that the pick hits if Winnipeg wins the Cup this year. I’d love to know how that was negotiated. “Hey Kevin, I need another pick.” “Jeff, I can’t guarantee you one.” “Ok, give me a conditional 4th.” “Sure, but only if we win the Cup.” “Deal. 2020 work?” “No – 2023.” “Ugh, fine, settle at 2022.” “Deal.”

5. Re-signing Boo Nieves was a good move. He’s probably the 4C for the near future, and he came at a cheap contract with no risk involved whatsoever. It kept him away from being a UFA at the end of the year as well. Not much else to say here, other than Nieves earned his deal.

6. Steven Fogarty also re-signed. Terms haven’t been disclosed yet, but it keeps him from being a UFA as well. He’s a food injury depth center who has really turned it on lately in the AHL.

7. A Group 6 UFA that wasn’t re-signed like Nieves and Fogarty: John Gilmour. May not mean anything yet, but something worth keeping an eye on.

8. This deadline, the Rangers got four 2019 picks: A 1st, a 2nd that could become a 1st, a 4th, and a 7th. They got a 2020 3rd that could become a 1st. And they “got” a conditional 4th in 2022 that won’t hit and I’m not counting. In addition to Lemieux, that’s five picks, of which three are in the first three rounds, and they could get as many as three picks out of this deadline.

9. All in all, a good deadline that moves the Rangers forward in their rebuild. There wasn’t anything that helped launch this forward a few years. The Blueshirts will still get worse before they get better. This is what happens in a rebuild. It is not going to be pretty, folks.

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  • I think im satisfied overall. I was just happy we got a first for hayes because after seeing what some of the players on sunday were getting I had my doubts. In custance stone trade analysis, he says league execs thought we did better today, fwiw. Anyway, now onto the next phase – the lotto.

  • I think that Gorton was expecting a par and got it.

    It’s a buyer’s market with about 5 sellers in the league. It was fine, not great, not a disaster, but fine.

    If Lemieux is a regular NHL player, no matter what line he plays, then these deals look a lot better.

    • Here is my concern at the moment Richter – We have all said we need elite talent and we all agree that we have none. What do we have then, besides oodles of money and some cap space, that is going to entice elite UFA’s like Karlsson, Panarin, Duchene, to come to the NYR?

      Duchene, for one, said he wants to win and who can blame him. Karlsson is in a pretty good situation with San Jose. Panarin – who knows – I hear he likes the sun.

      Surely teams go through cycles and players understand that. The sell-off of Hayes and Zucc this year combined with last year’s deadline dump pretty much solidifies the NYR situation as a true rebuild.

      I get that we have some good young kids coming and we have another stash of high draft picks as well so I would not paint the future as bleak. I also like what Quinn is doing to get these guys to compete every night.

      I am sure the glitz of NYC and the glamour of playing in the Garden are very attractive, but is that enough when you as the player would project that this team will not likely contend for a Cup anytime soon?

      I hope so…

      • Draft time frame: They’re might be discussions tabled until the draft which might include Shattenkirk. Out of the 7 d currently on the roster, at least two will not be here come July, Classy Freddie and potential Kevin. Jacob Trouba is a must get to pair on the top d pairing with most likely Skjei. Trouba is a Quinn type of player and D-men, in addition Smith and Staal are handcuffing the rebuild on the blueline.

        Rangers cannot endear any more dead money via buyouts. The forecast would be to see if Lindgren can secure a spot and demote Smith to the AHL. Staal is not going anywhere until maybe his final few months on his contract. No team will take Staal with 2 years or 1.5 years left on his term for 5 million plus per for a 3rd pairing d-men at this stage of Marc’s career. Sather doing with Staal and Gorton’s with Smith.

      • Don’t know pal, I really don’t.

        But you know that players who are becoming FAs, talk a lot. The NBA they do it publicly even when they are 2 years away fro free agency.

        Most cases, teams know where players are going before the offseason starts. Not in all cases, but there’s a pretty good feeling.

        Panarin’s desire for NY or FL is pretty well known. Does he end up in either state? Maybe. But the Rangers can get 2 high level players, add them to the current core, and what’s coming next year, and be a playoff team.

        Yeah, it’s doable. Probable? Don’t know, but they will have cap space, something Ranger teams usually do not have.

  • Petan is a 2C on a bad team and an AHLer on a good one. Seattle can put together an Island of Misfit Toys line of him, Pirri and Sonny Milano.

    Gilmour is gonzo. Already 5 under contract in Hartford and with Joey Keane on deck, not sure what purpose he serves. Not even sure Bigras gets qualified.

  • No biggie. None of these guys was coming back. That is the bottom line. I am sure he took the best deal that was out there on the final day.

  • It wasn’t a day to write home about, but we accomplished our objective, that is to get at least a first for Hayes. I look at it this way, we never drafted him, so to get a #1, a prospect, and a conditional that one has to laugh at, we did fine. My only question is where was the windfall we where expecting, or was Mint blowing his usual smoke up our blow hole muscle……

    As for the others, the return for Zucc wasn’t as good as I would have liked, and I’m so sorry for his injury, the guy is all heart. FYI, Zucc had surgery yesterday, and will need at least four weeks to recover. McQ got what we paid for him, more or less, and I want to wish him well also. Boo, and Fogarty, they earned their contracts. Gilmore was never a real option for the bigs, so let the man find useful work for himself elsewhere!!!!!!!!

    • “If they believed Hayes would be the same player under a long-term deal as he had been for them on consecutive one-year contracts, they’d have engaged in talks immediately after Jan. 1. They did not.”

      I find this to be an interesting quote by Brooks in yesterday’s article on Hayes. Where the Rangers really ready to sign Kevin for 6-7 years at over $6+ per season, I think not??????

      Also an interesting quote by Hayes, alone the lines of “I’m glad to be on a Cup contender, and good team”. Is that sour grapes, or just his true feeling about the Rangers? Like I said the other day, they named a street after him, ONE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Don’t let the door hit him in the ass …. now it’s up to the FO to make a good pick ! Scarey thought there ?

  • “My initial qualms with the deal was the Rangers gave up their own 4th and 7th rounders to get McQuaid, and the Columbus picks will be further back in both rounds, a net negative.”

    I think that’s because you have assumed the deal to get McQuaid was a better deal than it was because the Rangers unloaded Kampfer. The deal the Rangers made acquiring McQuaid was worse than the deal with Columbus. While different type of players, both Bergman and Kampfer will play about the same amount of games in the NHL in their careers (roughly 10 — 40 games every season).

  • These trades accomplished a few things:

    We needed to open up some spots on the roster for the young kids to get their chance every day. Now Howden and Andersson can be centers. Chytil or Buch can get some time on the first or second line and we no longer have to rotate 8 defensemen.

    None of the guys we traded were elite players, and we need some elite talent. The combined salary for next year for the 3 would have been at least $10M. That is what an elite talent could cost us. If we do the right thing with free agent signings and maybe make another trade at the deadline, we could acquire that talent and also move up in the draft, getting someone NHL ready.

    We need to fill the AHL pipeline with some talent. No surprise that the WolfPack are being manhandled night after night – they just do not have that much skill. In 2 years, that pipeline should be at the AHL level, making for some strong contenders for the NHL ranks.

    Lastly, Coach Quinn is there to develop youth, not babysit a moody second line center or an aging winger. While we may see Zucc again, it will be on tems we can afford. We should commit to Krieder so he knows he is wanted. I think there is a master plan, and these moves will give us available cash to spend and (hopefully) deliver us some talent in the near future.

    • Funny how when Hartford got rid of Schneider & Holland all of a sudden the guys who couldn’t score started scoring?

      Apparently McCambridge is like AV in that you have to take his toys away to force him to play the players the organization needs him to play.

    • Sal

      “Lastly, Coach Quinn is there to develop youth, not babysit a moody second line center”.

      How spot on with this remark. I guess the ingrown toe nail issue where he sat out a half dozen games shows us a load about this guys character, or lack there of…………………..Glad he’s gone, and we got a decent return for him!!!!!!!!!

    • Good post SalMerc, very thoughtful and logical. I only disagree with committing to Kreider. Can you elaborate? I actually think he should have been traded this deadline, or alternatively in summer, the latter which may bring a broader market of buyers. At 29 end of next year, and shortly before becoming a UFA, will we commit $6+mm for a term deal? Would we want to? I am indifferent to finishing 15th in the league, or 25th; and want a true rebuild, not one with just one foot in the door.

      • You’re gonna need leadership to get the kids to the next level in preparedness, maintaining ones body and level of commitment. It also helps when you best players are also your hardest working ones(leave DJ Ziba out of this.)

        Only 3 players left from the SCF and goalies can’t really set the tone.

        Kreider’s game is aging curve resistant. Has steps to give before he becomes a league average skater, doesn’t play that heavy a game, has found an optimal weight that will minimize wear & tear and his goal scoring isn’t driven by his speed. He’s got a shot to age like Mike Gartner.

        I’d start at 6 years, front loaded blahblahblah at $6.5mm AAV and be willing to go to 7x $7mm.

        • “You’re gonna need leadership to get the kids to the next level in preparedness, maintaining ones body and level of commitment. It also helps when you best players are also your hardest working ones”

          Totally Agree – but isn’t that the definition of Zucc????

          • Huh?

            Your statement (which I totally agree with) has nothing to do with the SCF – it has to do with leaders on a team that is by your words going to have “kids” who need leaders.

            “You’re gonna need leadership to get the kids to the next level in preparedness, maintaining ones body and level of commitment. It also helps when you best players are also your hardest working ones”

            I realize I am out here on an island as the lone Zucc supporter but you throwing a pretty cheap shot at Zucc with your “not in a coma”. I doubt he wanted to be there with a fractured skull. If we was on the ice he may have been the difference maker for the Rangers

          • 2 statements of fact; nothing more, nothing less. Zucc can’t show the kids what it takes because he wasn’t there. Not his fault, but it is what it is.

            If “ifs” and “buts” were candy & nuts, it’s be Christmas every day.

      • I agree with you on all the points Sal and I think Kreider needs to be addressed and I think at this point since we did not trade him we should resign him. Even for 5 years at $6 mill maybe $6.5 mill. I’d also be fine making him the Captain. I think in many ways he’s earned it. On a new contract, he’ll be pretty good for 3 to 4 years and then he may not be as good the last year, maybe two, but he won’t be a disaster. He takes good care of himself. And he also has a lot of positive intangibles. As for The cap, it is estimated to increase $3.5 mill to $83 mill next year. And with a Vegas doing well and Seattle coming on board if the cap can increase $3 mill per season(about 3.5% increase per year) by the end of a 5 year deal, the cap would be $15 mill higher at $98 mill. So his contract would be less impactful on the overall cap when the contract may become a bit problematic.

      • What Swarty and Reena said. You do need some leadership for the next few years. I think we make Zibby and Kreider co-captains and show them we commit to them and let them both lead by example.

    • Spot on Sal … only thing we didn’t get done was move 1 or 2 more of the high priced pylons we currently have .

      • I think there was a soft market. I think Staal was never going anywhere and I trust we tried to move Smith. We have an off-season to make a deal on Pionk or Skjei if there is a market for them. Sounds like Shatty was never in the mix to be moved. I can see us using one or the other plus a first round pick to jump back 6 spots and choose in the coveted 2-6 slots. I have to trust Gorton has a bit of a plan and is sticking to it the best he can.

  • We had to trade Zucc and Hayes. Looking at the comparable trades made, it appears that we received solid market value for both. A good day for the rebuild.

  • JG got full value on all the deals based on what the market turned out to be, based on the other TD deals. And that’s all you can hope for on expiring contracts if you’re not making the playoffs as there is no benefit to not trading a pending UFA.

    Hoped to get more for Zuc but the market for wings was quite poor – look at the Stone and Simmons trades in particular. With that as a backdrop we did better.

    I was hoping for a 3rd round pick for McQuaid but I guess the return was a bit better if Bergman has value.

    Hayes got what everyone new he would – a 1st and a B prospect; and Lemieux is a type the Quinn covets for his bottom 6.

    So the rebuild continues and we may only be about 50% thru that process. Now have to do well in the draft.

  • Would have taken all b level prospects over some draft picks. At least we would know what we were getting and not waiting 4-5 years to see the results of the 2019 trade deadline.

  • I’m not disappointed overall. But I was hoping for a franchise altering deal where Kreider was dealt for an A type prospect and a couple of firsts including a 2020. Fantasy. Especially the way GMs seem to be a little more judicious all of a sudden.

    Kreider is Kreider but he has that contract and he is getting older… seemed like the perfect storm in this rebuild. THAT I am disappointed about.

  • Heard that the odds of a late 1st round pick playing 100 games in the NHL is about 50%. The odds of that pick being a 4th line player – or worse – is 75%. True? How do the Rangers ever replicate the only elite draft pick they have ever made in Brian Leetch??

    • Agreeing with Boomer E. of wfan radio……We as fans have a tendency to overrate our players. I have also said that myself……In this case we feel or most Ranger fans feel that we did not get maximum return for our players….My thoughts are that these three players were not going to be resigned…. so instead of keeping these players and get nothing….we traded them and got something back…logic… it is up to Gorton to get the best players available at every draft position…… There is the possibility of trading picks, but this isn’t what this current GM….does unlike Sather, who crippled the farm system for many years………Free agency is still a possibility, but it is looking like the current leadership wants to stay the rebuilding course, which could take years……….Let us pray…

    • That’s true; the odds of hitting an elite player on a late first round pick are very low. That is why it is important for us to get a pick in the top ten and not blow it like with Lias. May have an elite forward in Kravtsov and Chytil has a chance also.

    • You’re assuming that they automatically keep those late first round picks. They have cap space and plenty of options to use. I think, left to his own devices, Gorton has a plan. And I don’t think he believes that this rebuild will take 5 years or so. I think he is more than willing to jumpstart it with FA signings and trading picks for NHL ready talent. Hes not going to trade the picks for aging veterans, but I see him exploring trades that would bring in young, prime talent that, their own teams may have trouble resigning. (Trouba, anyone?) Still, its gonna take some time…..

      • 2021


        Why jumpstart a process when you will get your legs cut out from under you in 2 years?

        Why chase a guy like Panarin when his final prime years will have no support, then he turns into an albatross?

        You want to chase Trouba or Kapanen? I have no problem with that. Either one (or both) would be an upgrade to the projected protected list and have age on their side.

        Panarin ain’t getting this team out of the 1st rd, let alone win a cup.

        Everybody who thinks Panarin is a panacea, just stop already.

        • Tell me where I mentioned Panarin? Smart, cost effective signings are what I’m talking about; thought I was pretty clear. But…this team NEEDS- A Class talent…and if they are not going to be a lottery winner or they don’t have enough quality assets that they can afford to sacrifice..then it WILL cost them money! I don’t think Gorton, after these last 2 years, is going to sacrifice his work and throw the hopes of his whole rebuild on a $11 million dollar player. But, I do believe he will spend when the right opportunity comes along. And I do believe that sooner than later, MGMT. will demand that he get them back to the Playoffs. Right now they, presumably, are behind him. But after another Season with no playoffs, things can change–quite quickly!

  • Dave, it was previously reported this month that Bergman has a deal in place to return to Frolunda after this season. Thoughts? Is Hartford much more appealing than Belleville? Seems like he would be pretty far down the depth chart with the Rangers?

  • I don’t know about trading Kreider. At the moment he is more or less the on-ice leader for this squad. They need some guys with some experience on the team who aren’t old and slow. Kreider and Zibanejad are the guys who can lead and could still be around in a couple of years when the team is further along in its development. By that time Shatty, Staal and probably Hank will have left the building.

    However, if Gorton were to deal Kreider, then I think that the time to do it is this off season, not at next year’s deadline. After going through the deadline yesterday I think we can all see that rentals usually do not bring back the kind of returns that fans might hope that they bring.

    • The forward market was terrible at the TD. Good thing they didn’t trade Kreider. I wouldn’t trade Kreider for the return Ottawa got for Stone, and Stone is considered virtually a superstar. Can’t believe Stone didn’t yield either a first round draft pick or an elite prospect. Brannstrom is a very good prospect but they couldn’t even pry any of Vegas’ top prospects: Cody Glass, Elvenes or Suzuki for Stone.

  • “All in all, a good deadline that moves the Rangers forward in their rebuild. There wasn’t anything that helped launch this forward a few years. The Blueshirts will still get worse before they get better. This is what happens in a rebuild. It is not going to be pretty, folks.”

    Absolutely, Dave! It’s what I have been trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to say. The letter last year was put out to make us aware that the team has decided to go in a different direction. That being the rebuild. That letter did not come out to then go a try to make quick fixes, ala Panarin, and other aging elite players. I would be astounded to see the Rangers sign Panarin this FA year. this is a rebuild and will take time as Dave has said.

    So what does that mean? It means years of not competing. Don’t expect the playoffs next year, either. In order to right the ship that is listing badly because of trading draft picks, it will take 2-3 years of drafting and more trades for picks to complete the rebuild of both the Rangers and the Wolf Pack. At that point, they can look for elite talent to augment the foundation.

    You can’t build a house on an unstable foundation, it will just collapse into itself. Again, patience is the key to this rebuild. strong inroads were made yesterday!

    • Well said. Hartford was devoid of viable NHL options until they started to draft some younger players last season. It is going to be a long road. When the letter was issued last season I figured it was going to take a good three years for the team to become one that might make the playoffs. With the expansion draft looming in the background and because most prospects take at least two or three years to develop, I think that I had it about right.

      I’ve read some comments from friends who are Rangers’ fans on FB who are livid about the rebuild and want the Rangers to become cup contenders now. Under the circumstances that isn’t possible.

  • Hated to see Zucc. our little sparkplug go. Here was a guy who took a salary cut for the team, gave 100% every night, and was a skilled gritty player (Great combination). What he lacked in size, he made up with heart. Going to miss those Zucc. cheers! Life will certainly go on in Ranger-land without Ditsy-Doodle Hayes, though a decent big body player to have around. His hesitating, hold on to the puck to long, pass – first style, usually gets stifled in the ultra – fast paced style of play-off hockey. A big somewhat skilled player who is good, but not great, He is certainly not worth 6-5 to 7 Million for five years in my book, I don’t care what the market is. I doubt whether he will get much better and I could see him possibly fizzing out in a couple of years.

  • Good points but we need to fall lower in the standings….pick between 4 and 6 for it to be worth it as a rebuild goes. A get of Cozens would be awesome but some how I see Clark selecting Podkolzin. I think the odds of us being top 3 is maybe 10% and the NHL will never give us a top 3 pick. Fact is Rangers sell tickets and have no empty seats in the stands. Call me a conspiracy theorist….lol.

    Let’s pray Zucc gets healthy soon and help the Stars get to the WCF and resigns in Dallas.

  • We now have the devils son, so we now can get rid of Fast. Who has 9 goals in 44 games and is better than Fast?

  • In the first place people need to stop all the Hayes bashing. I don’t think Hayes was anything other than a good professional. He did as he was asked, he played both ways and his teammates seemed to like him … he was responsible for bringing Vesey on board and he improved year after year. He’s gone now, I won’t root for him … but I also won’t belittle him and what he did for this team for the last half decade. You don’t have to love him or shed a tear, but at least respect him.

    Secondly, let’s not minimize Brendan Lemieux just yet. Sure he isn’t that elite offensive talent we all hoped and wished for, nonetheless he’s the type of glue guy that could quickly become a fan favorite. He’s not just a prospect, he’s an NHL ready player. There are two types of bottom 6 players, guys that make little difference and play 8-9 minutes per game versus guys who are top 9 and end up playing an integral role on the team. He seems more like the latter and less like the former. If he’s a high energy guy knocking in 15-20 a year and playing the right way he’s more than welcome on this team — you can’t get enough of those guys.

    So now let’s just hope the FO goes out and wows us with a couple of good 1st round picks and then backs it up with a few sleepers in the 2nd … then let’s clean up the d’ and get rid of the dead weight. Bring in Kravtsov, maybe 1 of the d’ from last year’s draft (?), try to sign Panarin and hope Chytil and Andersson can take the next step — worse comes to worse next year we can all chant Lose for Lafreniere!

  • In the first place, we need to stop telling people what they must stop doing because we may not disagree on certain points. In the past, some responses on this board have been downright offensive arrogant, and sarcastic. Everyone on this board has a right to comment and voice their opinion regarding any player in regard to their talent, value, or style of play without being categorized or labeled because of an opposing opinion. Disagreement and debate in a courteous and tactful way is a good thing and what a blog should be, but to be adamantly told we need to stop voicing an opinion or idea can come off as forceful and somewhat arrogant. No offense intended at all, my apologies if I blow things out of proportion, but I think it makes sense. It’s great to disagree, but always respectfully.

    • I said “bashing” … and sometimes it appears to be irrationally personal — especially when we don’t know all the circumstances surrounding the situation. I have zero issue with differences of opinion regarding a player’s style and/or abilities, but when it becomes more personal then I think it detracts from the argument and brings down the collective IQ of the blog commentary. 😉

      Maybe stop was an inappropriate word, how about CAN we tone down the rhetoric … and yes, I think you’re overreacting — a tad. 😉

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