Admin note: Most of the issues should be resolved by now. The commenting bug should be fixed, and if it’s not working for you, please email me and let me know. I’m working on the Google Chrome main page issue. We still lost about a week’s worth of content and I lost all of the custom code I put into the design. The main to-do for me is getting that Google Chrome issue fixed. After that I will work on the rest of the custom code. You’ll be seeing little changes here and there over the next month or so.
Update: Looks like the Google Chrome issue is fixed. I still see some issues commenting. Working on it.
For the second straight year, the Rangers are playing golf instead of gearing up for the playoffs. And for the second straight year, we will be watching ping pong balls determine the fate of the Rangers this summer.
Ok maybe determining their fate is a bit harsh, but their draft strategy and potentially their offseason strategy may change depending on how the ping pong balls bounce. A lottery win, and the Blueshirts may not need to bring in one (or more) free agents. A big loss, and perhaps their plans to accelerate the rebuild are doubted.
As it stands today, the Rangers are drafting 6th overall. They can move up to top-three, or they can move back up to three spots. Their odds for the draft lottery tonight are:
- 1st – 7.5%
- 2nd – 7.8%
- 3rd – 8.0%
- 6th – 16.3%
- 7th – 38.9%
- 8th – 19.4%
- 9th – 2.1%
And yes you are reading that right, the Blueshirts actually have a higher chance of moving back than they do of moving into the top-three or staying put. Based on odds, we should expect them to pick in the 6-8 range. I haven’t done much research on the draft yet, but it looks like there are a lot of options in the 3-10 range that will give the Rangers a solid prospect. The prizes are in the top two picks, with Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, who are miles ahead of the others in that 3-10 range. Hughes or Kakko are supposed to be able to play in the NHL right away. The others are not projected to impact an NHL lineup in the 2019-2020 season. I am phrasing that very carefully.
If the 15% chance hits, and the Blueshirts get one of Hughes or Kakko, then you can do back flips and celebrate however you wish. The Rangers haven’t seen a scoring talent like one of them in a long, long time. Given the rumors they want to sign both Kevin Hayes and Artemi Panarin, it makes you wonder if their plans change if they land a Hughes or a Kakko.
As for the playoffs, the Rangers have a vested interest in the fates of Tampa, Dallas, Winnipeg, and Columbus.
- Tampa’s 2nd this year from the Ryan McDonagh trade becomes a 1st if they win the Cup.
- Dallas’ 2nd this year from the Mats Zuccarello trade becomes a 1st if they advance to the Western Conference Final.
- The Rangers have Winnipeg’s 1st from the Kevin Hayes trade, so a loss in the 1st round is good for the Blueshirts.
- The Rangers have Columbus’ 4th and 7th rounders from the Adam McQuaid trade, same logic applies.
If you were looking for a team to root for, it’s basically Tampa and Dallas. Outside of that, it would be nice to see Joe Thornton win a Cup. Carolina is a good fun team with great celebrations. I feel like Nashville would be a great city to win a Cup, that team really loves its Predators. We missed out on the carnage of Columbus trading their entire draft and missing the playoffs, but them losing in the first round would be some nice carnage as well.
The ping pong ball drawing is tonight. After that, we will have a good idea of where the Rangers stand, and we will be going into our regularly scheduled draft profiles, player grades, offseason plans, and the like. Again, thank you all for sticking with us after the Great Malware and Hacking Debacle of 2019.