Mailbag: Ryan Lindgren, more blue line questions

Even on Friday nights, the late games are a little rough. Sorry folks.

Another trio of questions for the mailbag this week. As usual, use the widget on the right to send in your questions.

Dave asks: With Libor Hajek injured, why hasn’t Ryan Lindgren been called up?

This is a good question, and the short answer right now is they don’t need him. The Blueshirts have seven defensemen on the roster right now, and Lindgren showed in his first stint (one game) that he wasn’t necessarily ready for The Show yet. There’s nothing wrong with him staying in the AHL right now. He may be there next year too. There just isn’t enough room on the blue line, yet. I’m not overly concerned.

Ray asks: What do you think the plans for the defense will be? Jeff Gorton has focused on the forwards, and we seem to be fine there, but the defense is still Swiss cheese.

This is a loaded question that requires a full post, not just a mailbag. So I’ll get to this in significant detail next week.

As for a short answer, I simply don’t know. There are a ton of options. I don’t agree with buying out Kevin Shattenkirk, especially since the cost is significantly more than simply trading him and retaining salary to make it more palatable for other teams.

I’ve come to the realization that Marc Staal will not be bought out or traded. He’s going to be here for the remainder of his contract. Ditto Brendan Smith. Although the latter is somewhat serviceable when deployed properly. The Rangers need bodies while their prospects develop. They aren’t hurting for cap space. So having these two around, doesn’t bother me as much as a lot of other people. I’d prefer the Rangers stink with these two than stink with rookies who are asked to do too much, too soon.

The only thing I hope the Rangers avoid is a bad Neal Pionk contract.

James asks: When do you think we will start seeing some of the kids we’ve acquired in the NHL?

This is a loaded question and a lot of guess work is involved. K’Andre Miller is the high-end talent here, but I don’t think he comes over to the NHL for another year or two. That’s just my guess. College players rarely leave before their junior year. He has so much raw talent that needs honing and developing, and Wisconsin has done wonders in that department with a different former Ranger defenseman.

Yegor Rykov looks like he’s coming over after this season (with the other two Russian prospects: Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shestyorkin). He might slide into the lineup right away, which is nice.

As for the AHL guys, Lindgren was discussed above, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he needs another season. Sean Day has shown promise, but he still has a ways to go. Joey Keane just signed for next year. That’s it on the blue line, for the most part. The others are either not in the Blueshirts’ plans (John Gilmour) or are too old to be considered prospects anymore (Chris Bigras).

Show More
  • I believe that Lindgren will be a player for us if not next year, for sure the following season. The day they drafted Miller, I said I loved this pick. He has shown maturity well advanced for his age, and the kid has a good head screwed onto his shoulders. He will be a powerhouse player for us down the road. Sean Day has been a disappointment to me. The kid has so much potential, but seems to lack the IQ. I’ looking forward to Rykovs arrival, I suspect he will do just fine.

    Of the current d-men on the roster, you can rid the team of them all except ADA, and possibly Skjei. Smith has shown that he is versatile, and I’d be OK if he was here for the length of his contract. Staal just stinks up the place. He is immobile, and his play has deteriorated ever since he was concussed by his brother Eric. Shittypants is, was, and will always be a defensive liability, that’s all I have to say about him. If he were moved, I’d pay the taxi fare to get him to the airport ASAP. Pionk falls into the category as Shatty, don’t resign him, get what we can in a trade.

    This draft we should go after quality sniper forwards, and then d-men in the second, or third rounds. We should stay away from any more goalies, we are deep here, no need for any more. It will be another two years or so, but this team will contend for a long time after that, assuming we draft properly this year!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lindgren doesn’t skate, those 3 games I guess showed it pretty clearly, and Miller has a little hockey sense, bust IMHO

    • I’m actually good with Lindgren just like I was with Hajek (even when expert “statisticians” were sweating them) they both will be solid D-men in th NHL. As far as the defenseman (Staal, Pionk, Shatty, Smith) that pain most of us on this board, I don’t sweat that either, cuz we’re all finished and out of here in a couple of weeks, anyways….then start the post-interviews, assessments and it gets real…..REAL fast. The way we are falling, too, we may be looking at a #6 or #5 pick in this draft, but as long as we can finish strong and get the youngsters encouraged and ready for next year, I’m good…Ill take hard fought one goal losses in regular or overtime the rest of the year….would love to see Cozens here.

  • Why so many boring questions needed to be answered? Ask some fun and imaginative questions!

    I do have some questions that I know you have no answers for them right now, but I am not blaming you.

    1. Are we getting Panarin? OR Erik Karlsson? OR BOTH? Personally I think Erik Karlsson is a lit too old for the current Rangers. He played 10 years already in NHL, just like Ryan McDonagh and Karlsson is only 1 year younger.

    2. Are we sending an offer sheet to the Leafs for Mitch Marner in the off season?

  • Tarmo Reunanen is another D man prospect who is starting to find his game in Liiga. I think he may be a pleasant surprise for the D in the future as well.

    • Reunanen’s P60 is 1.21

      For comparison, the leading scoring defender in the Liiga(Oliwer Kaski) P60 is 2.5

      Kaski is UDFA

      So who would you rather have?

        • Reunanen is not a NHL level player at 21, will not be one at 23. He ate a ton of minutes on a not good team in a 3rd tier league, put up 3rd tier points in that 3rd tier league.

          IOTW, a homeless man’s version of Mat Bodie.

          But keep on pumpin those tires.

  • Leave the d’men (aside from probably Hajek) down on the farm to mature. No need to rush them. Guys like Rykov and Shesty would probably benefit from a little AHL seasoning, even if it turns out to be just 20-40 games. Kravtsov, unless he’s in the Top 9, as well. My fear with Kratsov is that he doesn’t have enough JAM in his game right now to be given top minutes by DQ.

    • Agree especially on Kravtsov. He is a lanky kid at the moment, He’ll need to fill out and workout to be able to handle the NHL.

      • Just watching him play a couple of KHL games and in the WC, he isn’t proactive physically yet — a little similar to what we saw from Buchy early on in his career. A ton of talent of course, but doesn’t possess the physicality that DQ seems to like to see from everyone — it could be confused with compete level by some coaching staffs.

  • Ryan Lindgren doesn’t skate, KAndre Miller has low players IQ, and I wouldn’t take him as a high end talent, I personally was reallt surprized they wasted pick to get D-man with not much hockey sense, I would personally watch closer for Reunanen and Day, Tarmo is ready, probably more then Rykov and talking about Day, he has more raw talent then Miller and he needs some nursering… I mean Paks frontoffice should be completely removed and coaches developers should be hired. And talking about Lundquist Jr….. he is again better talent then Miller and need couple more years to get developped

    • Completely disagree with your assesment of Miller. He is raw but has great physical talents. He is at least two or even three years away but with the right development could be a real find.

      • Miller is a finalist for Big !0 Freshman of the Year despite being out for last nin e games due to injury

    • UW seems to disagree with your sentiment. He plays the hard minutes against the the other team’s top line. Low Hockey IQ? Hardly, but he does need more time honing his defensive acumen. Not the same thing.

    • I guess being a finalist for Big10 freshman of the year is meaningless for K’Andre Miller. As is his all-round excellent play this season for UWisconsin. Wonder what you’re really basing your judgment on. Either way, you’re a hell of a judge of talent there, Eugenius.

  • Think Sauer when you think Lindgren and has letter bearer character. I think he will be better than Miller.

    I honestly tried to watch with bias in a good way to change my opinion of Miller in the WJC and have watched the games several times since I recorded them. His hockey IQ is real bad, sense of awareness isn’t there instinctively. Lindgren on the other hand was surreal and that was when he was a Bruin property. I was wishing he was with us.

    I am not saying Miller is a bust, man he needs a lot of work though and I pray he succeeds. I love his character so that’s paramount, rest can be taught but not character. Either way Hajek, Lindgren and Miller will play as a unit for the Rangers and my hope is together as quickly as possible not 1 next year one 2 years from now and so on.

    My other gripe is with Clark in regards to Miller, we didn’t need to trade a 2nd rd pick to move up to get him because Bode Wilde will be a player of Miller’s caliber so we would’ve had one or the other.

    Let’s not become another one off like the majority of this team’s history. This is most essential factor to this rebuild.

    • If Miller does not become a top 4 d man for us, and Lias continues to NOT look like a top first round pick ……….like I have been saying for years…..time for a new GM……lamoriello was available/ not anymore……..we need proven talent evaluator and GM……nothing changes here until new, competent GM gets here…….

      • agreed. gorton and clark need a strong june or they will be on the hot seat. none of this charachter boulderdash in the first round.

    • I think teams rarely “move up” in the draft unless they have a strong sense (i.e. info) which leads them to believe the player will be taken imminently. Aside from Miller’s character, you have to love the raw physical tools. Remember, this kid has been playing d’ for about 3 years now … I understand your concerns, but lacking defensive acumen is different from low Hockey IQ. I hope you’re wrong and I’m right … but I won’t lie and suggest that your thoughts haven’t ever crossed my mind.

  • The defense needs to be the focus moving on. Since I don’t think the Rangers are going to be any good for the next couple of seasons I think buying out Shattenkirk and Smith doesn’t really make sense. We still will need some bodies until the prospects are ready. If a trade that works comes up then move them. I would most certainly buy out Staal. Its time to move on from him. He’s old, slow and pretty much useless in the defensive zone. He doesn’t provide any offense which can some what offset his terrible defensive play.

    We need some of these prospects to pan out. Hajek has looked decent so hopefully he’s the beginning of the new wave of defenseman.

    • Not sure there’s a point to buying any of them out this summer, their 3 contracts expire in 2 years … they can try to make a trade while retaining salary, or if they’re desperate they can buy at least 1 of them out 2 summers from now.

      • Why are you buying any D out in 2 years when their contracts expire?

        Shatty to Ottawa, take a replacement level D back. They need to make the cap floor, would actually fill a need for the rest of the contract beyond $$$.

        For the Rangers, it’s not about salary dump but just clearing out the roster.

        • I said if they were desperate they could buy one out 2 summers from now, in other words when just 1 year is left on the contract —- since this summer is months away. I don’t advocate such a move, was just suggesting that IF a buyout for some reason was necessitated then it would be best to wait a year.

    • Hajak looks like a young McDonagh. Hope his shoulder doesn’t affect him like it did McDonagh!

  • Back to top button