Tampa’s stunning loss could have more impact on the Rangers than initially thought

The Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off the stunner of the hockey year last night, completing the sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. It wasn’t so much that Columbus pulled the upset on the 62-win Lightning, it’s that they utterly dominated the series and it was never even close. Tampa Bay got run out of the playoffs.

The obvious impact here is with the conditional pick to complete the Ryan McDonagh trade. The pick, which was to be a 1st rounder – 31st overall – if the Bolts won the Cup, will now be the 58th pick in the draft. Right away, the Rangers drop 27 spots in the draft with this result.

The Blueshirts also own the Blue Jackets’ 4th and 7th round picks as part of the Adam McQuaid deal. Despite popular belief – and this is also a mistake I made – these picks do not drop back as part of the upset. Those picks are locked in at #112 and #205. Of course, the Rangers do move back 13 spots from their own picks sent to Boston to acquire McQuaid in the first place. But that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

Perhaps the most significant impact is with that of Artemi Panarin. This is just conjecture at this point in time, but there is a chance that an expanded Columbus run impacts Panarin and his desire to leave Columbus in the offseason. This is a team that, based on how good they looked, can make a serious run. Both Toronto and Boston are flawed and can be exploited. If the Jackets make it to the Eastern Conference Final, or beyond, will Panarin want to leave a potential winning situation?

Something else to consider: The Blue Jackets showed to their players that they are willing to go all-in on a season. They traded their entire draft this June to acquire pieces that they believed would help them make a run. When you combine a run with the feeling that ownership and the front office believes in you, it’s tough to leave that situation. Would you leave your job if your bosses showed you that they believe in you, and then your group produces something that makes everyone happy? Not a direct comparable, but still food for thought.

The wild card here is the John Tortorella factor. He has this locker room. This is not Vancouver’s Tortorella. He certainly has his flaws, and his style may wear thin on veterans at some point, but boy does he have this team ready to run through brick walls for him. That could be the trifecta to keep Panarin in Columbus.

Also worth noting John Davidson, whom the Rangers are rumored to be targeting as President of Hockey Operations. Is he willing to leave that situation? This Columbus upset of Tampa may have been fun for some to watch, but it has already impacted the Rangers at the draft and potentially beyond.

We now turn our attention to the Winnipeg pick, which could be as low as 18th if they lose in the first round to St. Louis. That series is tied at two games a piece after Kyle Connor won Game Four in OT last night. There is also a watchful eye on Dallas, as their 2nd rounder this year (#49) would move up to at most #28 if Dallas advances to the Western Conference Final. They currently trail Nashville 2-1 with Game Four tonight.

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  • Having more elite players on your roster than the other guy doesn’t always equate to playoff success. Go figure. lol You don’t build a team by just having the best talent, building a team is like a jigsaw puzzle and it requires players that buy into the system and their role within it. The little details count.

    Re: Torts, I never fully bought into the whole Vancouver fiasco … nor do I fully buy into Sean Avery’s “issues” with him. He’s been too good for too long. I wish him continued success.

    Re: Panarin, John Davidson, etc. … I don’t really care. Neither has to factor into our resurgence, we can survive without either … just like we can survive without the guru of hockey, Steve Yzerman — who still hasn’t won anything meaningful despite assembling a talented arsenal of players. Again, being a great team is more than the sum of the talents on it. The first sign of real pressure and adversity and TB crumbled.

    Sure, the #58 pick is worse than the #31 … and sure we may lose out on the Dallas pick turning into a #1 or the Winnipeg pick being worse than hoped for, but we had our lucky break this year by gaining the 2nd pick so if either the Dallas pick turns into a #1 or if Winnipeg loses here in the 1st round, that’s just gravy. Let’s not act like spoiled brats. 😉

  • I know, I know, Tampa’s loss hurts the Rangers’ picks, as does the success of the Blue Jackets. But, so far they are a great story and I still have a soft spot for the flawed yet sometimes brilliant John Tortarella even if he has at times been a jerk in the past. He seems to be on a roll in Columbus and has grown in his approach to the game and players. Besides, with the Blue Jackets still in the playoffs my teen daughter can watch the games with me and do her wonderful Torts facial expression imitations. So life is good. 🙂

    • For all his flaws, he cared … for all his flaws, he established an identity here that other teams respected. So yeah, he’s a bit of an idiot savant … or maybe jerk savant … but he was always entertaining and never dull. AV’s tenure here was successful overall, but it was built on the foundation Torts laid. After the 1st year, the more time AV was in control, the worse things got.

    • I am not surprised CBJ knocked off Tampa. As I said in a earlier comment CBJ got a lot stronger at the trade deadline and was on a roll going in to the playoffs. Then there is the Torts factor who can bring the most out of his players.

      Meanwhile in Dallas, we are seeing the Hobbit factor. Dallas is a team on the rise and Smashville has their hands full. Zuc has added 3 markers in this series so far and his freaky Hobbit magic may just be enough to help Dallas get over the top.

  • I don’t know how anyone can root for the team that bounced your NYR out of Stanley Cup finals, at least I can’t. Draft picks? Sure, NYR’s pick from the Bolts drops from #31 to #58, SO WHAT? It’s not like the NYR are geniuses in the draft. Two words for you: Lias Anderson, whom the NYR drafted #7 in the 1st round, how did he look? I would put more bets on trades instead of drafts, where the NYR had more successes in recent years.

    Because of the arrogant and egotistic Glen Sather, who had never delivered a Cup during his 20 years of NYR reign, should’ve retired last year so the NYR could have a chance to take in Lou Lamoriello, unfortunately Lou had to settle on the Islanders, and look how well they play in the playoff right now and they sent Princess Cindy home early.

    I don’t see the Stars will advance in the 1st round, let alone the 2nd round, and if Zucc doesn’t sign with them, the NYR are not going to get a 1st round pick. Zucc played well, scored 2 goals and the 2nd one was a beauty. I have criticized the NYR didn’t get enough for Zucc who is an experienced playoff proven high skill player in his prime.

  • As mentioned earlier, we already won this draft by getting the #2 pick! Let the rest fall as it may. And now that the Tampa pick has fallen to the 2nd round, who’s to say Mgmt. won’t feel as leery now to the idea of trading the pick to Carolina for Fox( if they want him now, and can’t wait til’ next year). As for the Tampa loss, it was deja vu seeing Macdonagh play the same soft, passive game he did as a Ranger. Granted, he was far from the worst culprit on that team, but seeing him getting bashed into the boards with no response was reminiscent of his Playoff games here. I only saw the 4th game, so I don’t really know what kind of series he had, but from what I saw, he was slip-sliding and snow-plowing all over the ice. And the look on his face was utter despair. As for Zuke—too bad he couldn’t finish the chances he got with the Rangers as he has with Dallas. He’s playing really well. Whether they win or not, I think Dallas will try and resign him. If he does, don’t we get a #1 in 2020?

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